Troops Marching Through Upper Hutt, Wellington, 1915.
click on image for larger view.
This image of troops marching through Upper Hutt haunted me through the month of December as it was that month's offering on a calendar that had as its theme New Zealand history.
A long column, seemingly endless, freshly minted at the nearby Trentham army camp, marching off to God knows what on the other side of the world as part of the Great War, the War to End All Wars (sic). Young lads running alongside the brass band heading up the column, the commanding officer on his steed, the stray dogs, and a few passers-by stopping to watch the parade.
Of the 103, 000 New Zealand troops who served overseas, 18,500 died in combat or as a result of the war, with 50,000 more wounded.
Little did they know what they were marching into.
Infantry from the 2nd Battalion, Auckland Regiment, New Zealand Division in the Switch Line near Flers, taken some time in September 1916, after the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.