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[Page 363]


The health of the whole of the troops under my command continues extraordinarily good, not a single case being in hospital at the present time. Although the weather is hot here there is generally a strong south-east trade wind blowing, which tends to reduce the temperature and make the conditions bearable. The work of the troops is being done principally in the early morning and again late in the afternoon, while during the hotter part of the day - from 11-am until 4-0 pm -they are resting.

After the occupation of this place I was fortunate in securing possession of 2 modern Krupp Field Guns on carriages, one carriage being in good order, the other broken. I propose sending these to Sydney on the first opportunity, and it has occurred to me that it might stimulate recruiting for future Australian Contingents if one gun was exhibited at the Town Hall, Melbourne, and the other at the Town Hall, Sydney.

A wireless station has been erected at the top of the hill overlooking Rabaul alongside Government House, and should prove of inestimable advantage in keeping up communication with the fleet.

I have the honor to be,
Your obedient servant,
(Sgd.) William Holmes, Colonel.

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