‘Field punishment No 1’

No.8 Wire Awards

During World War One, New Zealand’s conscientious objector’s, were taken overseas to the front. Here attempts were made to break their spirits. This included ‘Field Punishment No.1’.

Archibald Baxter (a farmer) wrote of his experience on what were called ‘mud farm poles’.

‘He took me over to the pole. I stood with my back to it, and he tied me to it by the ankles, knees and wrists. He was an expert at the job, and he knew how to pull and strain at the ropes till they cut into the flesh and completely stopped the circulation.

I could get no proper grip with my feet on the ground as it was worn away round the pole and my toes were consequently much lower than my heels. I was strained so tightly up against the post that I was unable to move body or limbs a fraction of an inch.

3 x tantalized poles, 750 meters of number eight wire.