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Problems of 2 NZEF



The small size of the Expeditionary Force caused us to make use of British military prisons and detention barracks throughout, but no New Zealand officer liked them. We thought that they were administered too rigidly, made little distinction between real criminals and occasional offenders against military law, and used a system that was reminiscent of the treadmill and would tend to discharge men with feelings of resentment. Punishment is necessary; but we thought that something a little more human could have been devised.

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In the middle of 1941 we formed our own Field Punishment Centre, which coped with the majority of offenders. Where at all possible, we avoided sentences of detention. Anyone sentenced to a term of imprisonment amounting to years was sent back to New Zealand to serve it.