Number issued: 3
Gold Maltese crosses, to:
3594 Trooper John COOLING
Presentation made by Mr F.R. Flatman, in the Woodbury schoolroom.
4411 Trooper Len HAMMOND
Reverse: "Presented to Lance-Corporal and Trooper Cooling from Woodbury friends on their return from the Boer War, 1902".
Returned Troopers' Reception at Woodbury.
The Woodbury schoolroom was crowded on Friday night when a reception social was tendered to Lance-Corporal H. COOLING and Trooper J. COOLING, of the Sixth New Zealand Contingent, who returned last week, from the front. Music was supplied by Mr and Mrs W. Glanville and Leslie Glanville, and Mr J.M. Ferguson acted as M.C. Musical items were contributed during the evening by Misses Webb and Dawson, and Messrs Glanville and Cooling, and the catering by Mr Budd, of Timaru, left nothing to be desired. Dancing and musical items comprised the programme till about 11 o'clock, when the company gathered round to witness the presentation.
Mr F.R. Flatman, M.H.R., said he had a very pleasant duty to perform on behalf of the residents of Woodbury, which was to extend a hearty welcome home to two of their young men who had just returned from fighting the battles of the Empire. He felt sure that all present would echo what he said when he gave expression to the remark that he was very glad indeed to find their two soldier boys home again safe and sound. (Hear, hear). They had done probably more than they thought they had in upholding the honour of the British flag in the interests of their country. There was no doubt about it, the good old flag had been upheld in an honourable manner during the present war, and no one comparatively speaking had done more towards it than the New Zealanders (Applause). New Zealanders were referred to with respect throughout South Africa and in military circles in all parts of the world. Most people would like to see the war brought to an honourable close as soon as possible, and he thought that the clouds were lifting in that direction from what he had read in the newspapers that day. He hoped that a merciful Providence would continue to watch over the New Zealand lads who were still on the battlefield, and that they would return to their native land and settle down. He now had a pleasing duty to perform in making a presentation of two gold Maltese crosses to the returned troopers from their Woodbury friends [The crosses bore a lion and the figure "VI" inside a laurel leaf and "N Z. Regmt." On the back of each was an inscription "Presented to Lance-Corporal and Trooper Cooling from Woodbury friends on their return from the Boer war, 1902"]. Mr Flatman, in handing the medals to the men hoped they would be long spared to wear the same, and that the Government would liberally provide land for settlement for returned troopers as an inducement to keep them amongst us. There were plenty of big estates that might be profitably broken up to settle thousands of families in the colony.
At the close of Mr Flatman's remarks the company sang "For they are jolly good Fellows',' and gave several hearty cheers for the returned troopers.
Trooper John COOLING responded, thanking his friends for their kindness. He also mentioned that the New Zealanders had a great reputation, and the South Canterbury boys had done their best to keep it up. Lance-Corporal H. COOLING also briefly thanked the company for the kind treatment he and his brother had received at their hands.
Mr McLeod, in extending a welcome to the returned troopers, said they belonged to a Contingent that had done a lot of hard work in South Africa. Woodbury — through a small place — had done a great deal in helping to maintain British prestige by sending troopers to the front, and it was a source of gratification to them to known that their young had behaved like soldiers and men. (Applause).
Mr J. Bennett welcomed the troopers back on behalf of their mates at Orari Gorge Station.
Reception at Woodbury.