March 25th 1917
Neil and I were transferred from Trentham to the Ambulance Corps at Awapuni last Friday. At present we are both in the Home Service section pending the arrival of our papers from Trentham, but it is more than probable that we will be posted to the 27th Rfts section at an early date.
Awapuni is certainly an improvement on Trentham in some respects. Instead of rough metalled roads smothered with dust we have here tarred parade grounds surrounded by the flower gardens and lawns of the racecourse. The work aspect of the place is about as pleasant as one could possibly expect. The work is play compared with the infantry and a lot of our time is spent sitting down listening to lectures. The only serious drawback is the necessity for the strict observance of every little rule and regulation down to the most minute detail. This is a little bit of a worry and it takes the most particular fellow all his time to keep off “the mat”.
You were asking about sending along some cake. I don’t think it would be advisable at present as we have nowhere to keep it and the daily inspection misses nothing. We are sleeping on the seats of the grandstand which is only partly closed with canvas screens so we are enjoying a little open air treatment at present. The tucker is fairly good and we don’t have to fight for it here like we did at Trentham. We cant find out if the Medical Corps is to have Easter leave like the rest, but I think we will get it all right although it is a little uncertain.
Neil and I have had two trips into Palmerston already and I must say that the place is well laid out and very pretty. The soldiers club rooms are very homely and comfortable and the reading rooms are first rate. Awapuni is about 2 1/2 miles from Palmerston by level road which is splendidly formed and is almost straight all the way. Motor cars run us out and in for 1/- each way – that is when we are too lazy to walk. You will see by the paper that we have institutes here as well as the other camps although it is a very small camp containing in all about 150 men.
The address you wanted I will give below.
Vic left Wellington on Wednesday March 14th somewhere about midday I think. I have not got your last letter here so if there is anything more you wanted to know I am afraid you will have to ask again.
Good bye just now
P.S. Pay building Society (pound) 1 if I am not financial also about 2/4 working expenses when due
Pte N H or N R Smith
Awapuni Training Camp