No corrections yet
Military Camp at Oakagee.
T ? ' Camps of training are a very inter esting form of instruction now much in favour with, those who have in hand the task of building: up our Common wealth Defence Forces, and afford a healthy relaxation from the strain of civil avocations for our citizen sol diers.
Ihe local Infantry, combined with a portion of the Light Horse Squadron stationed in the vicinity of Geraldton, went under canvas at Oakagee, on the Northampton line, on Saturday af ternoon. A very suitable spot was se lected, the ground being very kindly lent by Mr. Thos. Allender. Troops left Geraldton by the 5 p.m. train, and arrived at Oakagee at 6.30 p.m., settling down to service condi tions without delay. The work done that evening was limited to instruction in guard and sentry dutv. but camp was early astir next morning, the reveille being sound ed at 6 o'clock, and an hour's drill in « the fresh morning air gave the troops an appetite for breakfast. The N.CO.'s mess looked very inviting under a shady tree, while the men partook of the rations in their respective tents. The work during the day consisted of instruction in reconnaisance and skirmishing, followed by a practical il lustration of the method of protecting troops halted bv means of outposts. In the evening the outpost scheme was continued, the special form of instruc tion being known in military parlance as 'lamp stealing.' To the uninitiat ed it may be explained that the lamps represent information concerning tho defenders which the attacking force wish' to obtain, and are hidden from the men composing the outposts or scouts, although their relative where abouts are well-known. The object of the attack is to get through the line of defence, steal the lamps, extinguish them, and return them to the main body. Great interest was evinced in this practice, and the result was that the attacking forces were unable to capture any of the lamps, the vigil ance of the outpost being too keen. An hour's relaxation in the form of a 'camp fire' concert, to which all branches contributed, and the 'lights , out' from the bugle sent all to rest after their hard day's work. Monday's work consisted of company drill, followed by a 'combined at tack,' in which every man in the camp participated. It was assumed that an enemy had taken up a posi tion on a high hill in dangerous prox imity to the camp, and that it vt-s absolutely necessary to dislodge Uio; A screening movement by the Light Horse was effectively carried out, and then the Infantry advanced by rushes from cover to cover, until the whole merged into one firing line. After the enemy's position had been continuous ly swept by an oblique fire, the 'charge' was sounded, and an irre sistable assault drove the invaders out with heavy loss. After dinner camp was struck, and troops prepared for the home journey. During the camp the lively inspirit ing strains of the band were frequent ly heard and much appreciated by the men. A specially valuable feature^ of these camps is that both the Light Horse and Infantrv arm* of the fore*'* J^ are able to execute tactics in combina tion, making the work very much more interesting for all concerned. Those who went to camp were more than amplv repaid for the little time expended by the interesting instruction' received, and it is hoped that more of our voung men will realise that they are doing a service to their country a? well as improving their own time, bv joining the Defence Forces. Mr. F. G. Armstrong announces his in tention to nominate for another term as Mayor. The steamer Rakanoa put into the Bluff (N.Z.) after an unsuccessful search since the 20th for the abandoned steamer Port Ste l» phens. She experienced wretched weather, gales prevailing the whole time. She searched as far south as 50 deg. Arrangements have been concluded be tween Sir Joseph Ward and Mr. Cortelyon, the American Postmaster-General, that New Zealand letters shall be admitted into the United States at the penny postage rate, as from November 1 . The body of .Stanley Reid, the vic tim 'of the shocking accident at Fve mantle. has been recovered by the di , vers, who found it embedded in silt by the anchor. The head had been crush ed. At a meeting of the Milford (County Donegal) Board of Guardians, one of the members read a letter from Angle sey inquiring for the heirs to an es tate of £40,000, left by Thomas O'Reil ly, who emigrated from Donegal to the United States and died without mak ing a will. ?