Stories

ALICE PATERSON SERVED HER COUNTRY TOO.

Once established in Egypt in charge of the Remount Station at Moascar with 230 horse breakers to oversee and thousands of horses to break in, classify and send on to their most suitable army postings, Major A B Paterson took a little time to take in all that was going on around him.

A very primitive Australian Air Corp Flying School was located next door to the Remount Camp. Paterson was very moved by the number of young Australian soldiers who were drawn to the glamour of flying only to find that the aeroplane was still in its infancy and totally different in its reaction and use to any land based machine.

The death toll was rather high and Major Paterson wrote home to his wife in Sydney. He encouraged her to leave the children with relatives and volunteer to serve with the British Red Cross. Mrs Alice Paterson sailed from Australia across the very dangerous Indian Ocean and served her country as a volunteer in the Red Cross Hospital at Ismailia. A wonderful gesture and a great service to her country.



ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO THIS MONTH
One hundred years ago in May 1918 the official magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East was the Kia-ora Cooee. It was published monthly by a joint committee of management consisting of both Australian and New Zealand servicemen. Its office was in the A.I.F. Headquarters in Cairo and it was published monthly. It encouraged contributions of interesting stories, poems, jokes and cartoons from serving members of both Australian and New Zealand forces.                                                          

Many talents were discovered from cartoon drawing to short stories and poetry writing. Trooper Bluegum is a great example of those discovered and all were supported by well-established poets such as Banjo Paterson, who wrote 3 very moving poems whilst serving in Egypt - ”The Army Mules”,  ”Moving On” and “Santa Claus”.  All of these were printed in the Kia-ora Cooee and because it was not a mainstream publications all 3 poems were overlooked for many years as all Paterson poems were cataloged and collected.                                                                                                                         

The caricature of an Australian and a New Zealand Soldier (which featured as the front cover of the Kia-ora Cooee was drawn by David Baker), without any words it sums up the ANZAC tradition which has only strengthened over the past 100 years.

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