LIEUT.-COLONEL HOWSE, V.C.
Lieut.-Colonel Howse. V.C., P.M.O., having completed the work of organising the Hospitals and the Medical and Sanitary services generally of the Administration, left for Australia by H.M.A.S. "Berrima" on the fourth of October, and intends to place his services at the disposal of the Commonwealth in connection with any further contingents that may be organised for service abroad.
The Administrator wishes to place on record his high appreciation of the highly efficient manner in which all the duties entrusted to Lieut.-Colonel Howse were carried out. no better evidence of this is needed than the fact that nearly 2000 men were transported by sea, and disposed of on shore in a tropical country and that up to the present not one single case of serious illness has occured.
The work commenced by Lieut.-Colonel Howse will be continued by Captain Maguire A.M.C. whose promotion to the rank of Major and Principal Medical Officer it is expected will shortly be announced.
After many months of drought welcome rain fell last week, but although the severe tension as regards Town Water Supply has been somewhat relieved, the situation still causes some apprehension, it is therefore desired that until more copious falls occur that the utmost economy in consumption may still be practiced by all.
CAPTURE OF THE "KOMET".
The expedition which was despatched by the Administrator under the command of Lieut. Commander J.M.Jackson,R.N. on board H.M.A.S. "Nusa" on the 8th October, with instructions to search the North Coast and capture the "Komet", which was believed to be in that vicinity, returned to Rabaul on the 13th idem have met with complete success. The "Komet" was located and surprised on the morning of the 11th and was captured without opposition, having on board one Q.F. Gun and a complete wireless outfit. The prisoners included the Captain 4 German Officers and a Native Crew of 52 persons. A detachment of Infantry with one Machine Gun, under Lieut.-Col. Paton accompanied the expedition. The "Komet" is now in Simpsonhafen flying the British Naval Ensign.
Athletics in the shape of football and running have been enthusiastically taken up by the Garrison. In future issues a limited space will be given to sporting news.
On the 7th inst. an unfortunate accident happened near the Garrison Barracks, caused by some men foolishly handling some signal rockets which exploded, causing serious injury to Private G. James, who was some distance away at the time, and Private W. Guard, both of "A" Coy. The men were at once attended to by Dr. Wicks, on the spot, and were immediately afterwards removed to the Hospital at Namanula, where they were operated on by Captain Maguire, A,M.C., and are progressing as well as can be expected, although the former is not considered to be yet out of danger.
On 14th inst. another accident occurred which resulted in the death of Private Albert Martin Wates, of "C" Coy.
It appears the deceased was removing his rifle from a peg in the Barracks, where he had hung it, muzzle down, by the sling, when he had come off duty in the morning. Unfortunately he had neglected to unload it, as there was one cartridge left in the chamber which exploded, and completely shattered his left thigh bone.
He was removed to the Hospital at once, where his leg was amputated by Captain Maguire, A.M.C. After the operation he conversed with the attendants, but suddenly collapsed, and died at 5.45 p.m.
His body was interred with military honors at the Rabaul Cemetery on 15th instant.
Inquiries into both accidents have been ordered.
From Captain Stevenson, H.M.A.S. Berrima, to Administrator, 4th October 1914.
"Good luck and continued success to the Expeditionary Force."
From Administrator to Capt. Stevenson. 4th October, 1914.
"Good wishes reciprocated. Thank you for all your assistance and advice. Good-bye you and Howse, - Holmes."
The following message was despatched to Colonel Murray, Lieut.-Governor of Papua, from the Administrator when wireless communication was established:-
"Greetings; all well."
A reply was received from Colonel Murray as follows:-
"Congratulations upon your occupation."