The following letter was received by the Commanding Officer from Mr. A. Brigg, Church Army, at St. George’s Barracks.
“Please allow me to express my warmest thanks to you for the great interest and sympathy you so kindly showed in my work in Camp. I assure you I shall long remember your kindnesses and the way in which you gave me every facility.
“It is a matter of regret to me that I was unable to render more adequate service, but I am very proud indeed to have had the privilege of being so closely associated with the Battalion, and shall watch with a keen interest its future movements”.
Four officers from the Royal Engineers were attached to the Battalion to give instruction in field engineering, etc. Platoons were practised in building barrel rafts and in erecting barbed wire entanglements.
The Rev. Mr. Webb, Chaplain to the Forces, was attached to the Battalion ; he speedily won the hearts of all ranks.
A Reserve Machine Gun Section was formed in the Battalion, and all N.C.O.’s. and men detailed for duty with this Section underwent a special course of instruction in machine gun work under Lieut. L. A. Dickins.
Capt. F.C.J. Read, with “D” Company, marched to St. Andrew’s Barracks and built wooden huts for hospital work, and erected marquees for convalescents.
No. 2867 Sgt. Langley and No. 3343 Cpl. Hill left the Battalion to proceed to England to take up commissions.
Major R. F. Legge, the Brigade Major, left Malta for England.
Lieut. W. R. Botterill took charge of No. 2 Section 1st London Divisional Signal Company for a week.
The Battalion attended Divine Service with 2/1 Battalion. 2nd Lieut. L. R. Chapman was invalided to England.
A cricket match was played against the Australian Convalescents with the following results:
Australian Convalescents, 194
2/4 Battalion, 200 for 4 (Lce.-Cpl. Powell 124).
The Battalion went for a route march to Citta Vecchia.
The Commanding Officer offered money prizes for the best kept and decorated tents in the Battalion.
“C” Company won 1st and 2nd prizes and other prizes were given to “B” Company “D” Company and the Machine Gun Section.
Special Fortress Order was issued as under:
“His Excellency the Governor and Commander-in-Chief cannot express his gratitude too warmly to all served under his command who have given him such splendid support in helping to arrange accommodation for their comrades who are returning wounded from the Dardanelles. He knows the strain has been excessive but the result has been beyond all expectations. So far all demands from the front have been met; there has not been hitch, nor has there been the slightest friction. It has been a labour of love, and all may rest assured their efforts will never be forgotten by those for whom they have given their best”.
In the evening an open-air Concert was held in camp. Large parties of the Maoris attended, and were highly delighted with the entertainment; they were greatly impressed by the friendship and cordial welcome that were extended to them.