King George V inspects 7,000 New Zealand troops at Bulford Field on 1 May 1917. New Zealand’s high command did not miss the opportunity and also present were Generals, Brigadiers, the Prime Minister William Massey, Joseph Ward – Leader of the Opposition and their wives and daughters and other dignitaries.
The 7,000 New Zealand troops on parade included: 4,000 from 4th Brigade; 1,500 from Sling Camp; 1,000 from Codford Command along with Engineers, ASC, Cadets and a few mounted rifles. After inspecting the troops, the King took the march-past and presented medals.
In the Bull Ring at Sling Camp
Sling Camp on the Salisbury Plains of England was home to four or five thousand New Zealand soldiers at any one time, from 1916 until after the end of the war. It was staffed by New Zealand officers, with the exception of physical instructors whose job it was to get the ‘colonials’ into fighting shape. These men were veteran sergeant-majors of the regular British Army and their territory was the training ground known as ‘The Bull Ring.’ In a 1964 radio interview, Jack Archibald of Nelson recalled the grim conditions he faced there in the harsh winter of 1917.