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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 5, No. 5. July 2, 1942

Drake, Nelson, etc

Drake, Nelson, etc.

For a number of years no Extrav. curtain went up without the blessing and supervision of Cedric Wright, who stage-managed a number of 'Varsity's most successful shows. He is in the Navy now, and writes from England:—

"Since leaving New Zealand I've had the time of my life—it's the best skylark I've ever been on. It's a bit grim at times, but there are some exciting moments. The initial training in Suffolk was a glorious summer holiday: they taught us knots and splices and Navy language, and shipped us off to sea in bell-bottomed pants.

"I have just come in from six months at sea on a snappy long-range destroyer, and during the period we had only 48 hours' shore leave. The packet was a tiger for work, and holds the steaming record for our flotilla. We managed to be in at most things, and took part in most of the scoops that hit the headlines of the national press.


"Spent two months in Russia—had Christmas Day at Murmansk with a temperature of 11° below zero. We did time round at Archangel, and had a week ashore there. It's a pretty bleak part of the world, with piles of timber as far as the eye can see. All wooden buildings of good solid construction; electric trams and motor-cars; broad streets, patrolled by dashing Cossacks, who gallop up and down complete with revolvers and swords and tassels and all. No young men about; all at the front. Lots of women guards, complete with, rifle and bayonet, on sentry duty, and women working everywhere. They tackle some heavy jobs in the timber line, and appeared to us to be almost down near the beast of burden line.

"Have been into a couple of fjords in Norway, and had plenty of smacks at Focke-Wulfs and other miscellaneous odd bodies, and chased subs, all over the Atlantic. The blokes on my ship were a pretty tough bunch, and life on our mess deck was as colourful as anything Eugene O'Neill ever wove into a play.

I had these comments first-hand from a Tommy officer who spent a few months with Russian troops in Iran: Armaments and food—excellent; organisation—wonderful; discipline—very good; morale—the best in the world. Evidently these bleeding Bolshies have something better to fight for than we are led—to believe.

—Pte John Love.