Topic: Please don't take a fright

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Dear Mother and Father. Please don’t take a fright when you see this. I had it taken just after the Doc had been pulling me about. I wish they would send me to N.Z, but I think I will be going back to France. I wouldn’t mind if it was stronger. From your ever loving son Chas.

 Rifleman Charles Davies wrote this postcard February 21st 1918 while convalescing in England. As a member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF), nicknamed ‘The Dinks’, Davies may have received his injuries at the Western Front. Only a few months before, his Brigade had fought at Passchendaele, a battle symbolizing the ‘mud and misery’ of the Great War.

 The Tauranga Museum holds Rifleman Davies’ British War Medal and his Victory Medal. Both were awarded to British and Imperial Forces at the conclusion of World War I. These family treasures were donated to the Museum in 1969 by Mrs Flora Smith. Mrs Smith was Rifleman Davies’ sister and lived to be one of the oldest residents of Tauranga. Her husband Alf Smith died while travelling overseas to fight alongside her brother.

 Like many soldiers who fought in World War I, Rifleman Davies’ story is told by the objects he has left behind. On ANZAC Day we listen.

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