WW1 New Zealand Troops Postcard

At the outbreak of WW1 New Zealand was a tiny island nation, with a population little more than a million. Despite this she contributed 100,444 men to the allied cause and suffered the highest casualty and death rate per capita of any nation. The New Zealand Army fought alongside their Australian cousins in Gallipoli and on the Western Front. Tonight we are looking at a nice group shot of a group of New Zealand troops in camp:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001fTheir national identity can easily be determined by the ‘lemon squeezer’ hats some of them are wearing:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001Most of the men are wearing shorts and fatigue uniforms:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001aThe lengths varying from very short:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001fTo longer lengths coming to the knees:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001eThe corporal on the left is wearing standard woollen service dress, but without puttees:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001bAbove the hut door is a painted sign showing it housed 48 men:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001cThe most likely candidate for the photograph’s location is Sling Camp, near Bulford on Salisbury Plain. The camp was created for use of the New Zealand troops and the men built wooden huts much like the one in the background of the postcard. In this view of the camp (showing the chalk kiwi the men carved in the hillside above) the hut on the right bears a close resemblance to the style of accommodation in my postcard:34138-atlReturning to the postcard, one of my favourite details is the chap front and centre, kneeling down and holding a tray of some sort with what looks like a mug on it:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001dThe reverse of the card handily dates it:SKMBT_C36415031808421_0001It reads ‘Some of the hut taken last week 31-10-17’. Sadly the camp was to be the site for rioting and looting by disaffected Kiwis awaiting repatriation once the war was over. The camp was finally rebuilt in the 1920s, but the chalk kiwi survives.

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