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Liveblogging World War I: November 18, 1914: The Newcastle Herald Complains

NewImageWWI in the Herald: November 18, 1914:

It is apparent, from the unaffected and easy-going character of many of the young members of the defence forces now in encampment in the Newcastle district; that military supervision upon their movements, when away from camp, is not as strict as it should be.

It is quite a common thing to see khaki-clad young infantrymen drinking in various hotels in and about the city, and a by no means infrequent occurrence to see them in expressive degrees of intoxication.

They go in and out of the hotels with an easy abandon, and comport themselves in a manner that certainly is not in accord with the ethics of good military training.

With the inevitable cigarette stuck between their teeth, tunics partly open, and hats rakishly set on their heads, they do not give credence to the smart soldierly appearance that is supposed to characterise the average British soldier.

While this only applies to a small section only of the forces now under arms, it has the effect of reducing the general esprit-de-corps, and a possible loosening of the morale among the members of the companies who take a pride in their military associations.

During the parade on Monday it was inspiriting to notice the splendid conduct of the young soldiers, their smart appearance, and excellent marching, and it is for the moral and physical welfare, as well as the citizen pride of our Australian troops, that the high standard of efficiency should be displayed both on and off duty.

At the same time, there is no desire to restrict the pleasures of the men, who are entitled to a certain amount of freedom and amusement, but such can be found under more advantageous conditions than those drinking in hotels.