Explanations & Places

Strange words and phrases, NZ and UK slang

Blighty: A slang term for the United Kingdom. Commonly used as a term of endearment. The word came to be used as an adjective eg a ‘blighty wound’ ie a wound that would get you transported from the fighting in France back to England and safety.

Buckley’s Chance: No chance at all. It will not happen.

Fritz: The french nickname for German soldiers.

Frogs: The english nickname for the French.

‘going up the line’: This is a reference to the lines of trenches used for engagement with the enemy. It effectively means going to the front line trenches.
Line. The name given to the trenches. Depending on the context it could also specifically mean ‘The Western Front’.

Old Grannie: The New Zealand Herald. It had a reputation for conservatism.

Piffle: to talk or act in a trivial, inept, or ineffective way.

Puttie or puttee: Strip of cloth wound round the leg from the ankle to the knee to form both a support and protection from mud water etc.

Quid: A one pound note.

Rot: Talking nonesense.

Stars: The Auckland Star Newspaper.

Strides: Trousers.

Talk the leg off an iron pot: Somebody who is excessively talkative or is especially convincing.

Weights & Measures
‘lbs’ is an abbreviation for pounds weight, about 0.45 Kg
‘cwt’ is an abbreviation for a hundredweight, a weight of 112 pounds or 51 Kg

written as ’3/6′ (for example) is 3 shillings and 6 pence or 35 cents
When its written as ’2/-’ (for example) the value is 2 shillings (20 cents)
A backward and upside down comma was used to denote pence. So that 3‘ would be three pence
A pound (£) in currency terms is 20 shillings

Aldershot  About 50 Km south west of London

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Awapuni Military Camp  At the start of the war the Awapuni Racecourse, about 3 Km from Palmerston North, was set up as an army training ground. 

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Brockenhurst, Hants.  About 20 Km south west of Southampton

Codford. NZ training camp.  The Codford area in Wiltshire has had a long history with Anzac soldiers, during World War I large training and transfer camps were established for the tens of thousands of troops waiting to move to France. Codford also became a depot in 1916 for the men who had been evacuated from the front line and were not fit to return to the front.

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Ewshot About 6 Km west of Aldershot

Featherston Military Camp

Palmerston North (Anzac Club)

Ploegsteert Wood. Thirteen Km south of Ypres, Ploegsteert Wood was a sector of the Western Front in Flanders in the war, part of the Ypres Salient.

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Sling Camp, also known as ANZAC Camp, was a World War I camp occupied by New Zealand soldiers beside the then-military town of Bulford on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.  Officially called the 4th New Zealand Infantry Brigade Reserve Camp it trained reinforcements including war casualties who were regaining fitness. By 1918, there were 4,300 men in training when Sling Camp suffered large casualties as a result of the Spanish influenza which later hit New Zealand with a vengeance. It is about 40 Km north west from Southampton and 110 Km from London.

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Torquay, N.Z. Discharge Depot

Trentham Military Camp