Whilst driving through the King Country yesterday from Te Kuiti to Awakino (on the west coast) it struck me that for many New Zealand young men their great adventure began at home.
The journey from Te Kuiti to Awakino is a great drive, a smooth road, winding but not unmanageable and the King Country scenery was spectacular. My journey was also comfortable and relatively short compared to those young men who volunteered for service in World War One Then the journey from rural New Zealand to the big cities of Auckland and Wellington was in itself a great adventure. Many who volunteered from places such as Awakino had never ventured far from the area they came from and had certainly not been to the city.
The initial few months in New Zealand and aboard troop ships en route to the war were as we now know the great adventure. The so called great adventure of World War One turned out to be a nightmare for most. New Zealand soldiers in their revolting trenches I am sure lamented the time when they had thought this would be their great adventure.
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