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The 35th Battalion



Naturally with the hot weather in Fiji, cricket was very popular with the men and regular inter-company games were played in sports periods and weekends. Enough gear was supplied by the National Patriotic Fund Board for all games and though no inter-battalion matches were played, we were twice the guests of Mr. P. A. Snow, the Nandi District Commissioner. We lost both these matches on a very fast, matted concrete wicket to the fast bowling of the Fijians and the sound captainship of Mr. Snow. Personalities of the battalion teams included: Bonsall, Learning, Smith, Boyd, Mills, Stokes, Boland, Peach, Evans, Warner, Stevens and Budd.

Back in New Zealand again we found ourselves in the open spaces at Te Aroha and with the approach of summer the bat and ball appeared after the day's training. The men seemed quite content to spend the long evenings at cricket, and Saturday and Sunday games were sometimes organised. Then came the golden era of sports in New Caledonia. Each company had a wicket, but headquarters company cut out a wicket and kept a good surface with the aid of a 'home made' roller. This was the main wicket for inter-unit games. All companies were strong and some good matches were played. HQ company showed its keenness by arrranging regular matches with other units in the valley and are pleased to remember the hospitality shown on return matches with the anti-tank, artillery and engineers at Nepoui. The climax of the season was reached when a game with the 37th Battalion was arranged. After trials, over several afternoons, the following players were selected to travel to Taom for the match: Avery, Buckland, Buick, Budd, Cotterall, Evans, Farrell, Hare, Hill, McCormack, and Mills (Captain). This was the most exciting game in the unit's history. The 37th Battalion batted first and made 223 for 8 wickets declared. Scores were:—

page 124
Whitelaw, c. Hill, b. Mills 39
Smith, c. Budd, b. Mills 32
Miller, lbw. b. Cotterall 17
Brown, b. Hill 3
Cook, c. Evans, b. Hare 16
Sugden, c. Avery, b. McCormack 19
Dean, b. Mills 42
Smith, not out 32
Elems, b. Mills 0
Hadler, not out 20
Extras 20
Total 223

The unit replied with 241 and passed the 37th Battalion total with five minutes to spare. Scores were:—

Buckland, c. Dean, b. Bulman 30
Buiek, lbw. b. Smith, 19
Avery, run out 55
Cotterall, c. Hadler, b. Smith 42
Mills, c. Hadler, b. Smith 35
McCormack, c. Bulman, b. Sugden 14
Evans, c. Whitelaw, b. Sugden 2
Hare, c. Elems, b. Sugden 0
Budd. c. Hadler, b. Smith 20
Farrell, not out 6
Hill lbw., b. Cook 0
Extras 18
Total 241

Then came the move north and on our return to Necal we took up cricket for relaxation, but it wasn't long before we were on our way to greener fields and the chapter of army cricket was closed to many.