J. Archibald [referred to as 'Jack' by the unidentified interviewer - probably John Alexander Archibald] recalls Sling Camp being bitterly cold with the snow. Everyone had wet feet and colds, with some colds turning to pneumonia. He does not remember there being a hospital at the camp. The dead, he says, were picked up every day.
He describes the daily camp routine of infantry training, with each day ending up in 'The Bull Ring', which was tough and supposed to convert civilians into soldiers. The instructors were bullies but they did their job very well.
He recalls arriving back on the 'Remuera' to find six o'clock closing was now in force, and he and other returned men were very annoyed, even though he was not much of a drinker. The feeling was something had been done behind their backs, which was what annoyed them.
He met a friend on Lambton Quay one day who suggested he go to Nelson and take on an orchard. He went to an orchard in Stoke with the Lands and Survey Department who were administering the Soldiers' Resettlement Act. He worked there for a year learning how to grow apples.
Then he found an orchard at Mahana which he liked and Lands and Survey Department purchased it for him. It was not an economic proposition at the time, being only five or six years old. He lived on bread and honey for some time and cannot stomach honey now. He talks about pioneering the new industry of orcharding and the hundreds of acres of orchards planted on the Moutere Hills in 1914.
It was difficult to make a living however, and some orchardists, both civilian and repatriated servicemen had to walk off their land. Lessons were learnt which were helpful when it came time to rehabilitate servicemen after World War II.