--CAVALRYMEN IN AUCKLAND.--
A most unusual sight in Queen Street to day was a party of Javanese cavalrymen. This is the first time soldiers of the kingdom of the Netherlands have visited New Zealand. The eight troopers concerned are on their way to Sydney to take charge of over 100 remounts for the Netherlands Indies Army. The men are under the command of Corporal Laheh, but at Sydney will he met by two Netherlands Indies cavalry officers, and a Netherlands Indies army veterinary surgeon. The men are making the round trip aboard the Maetsuycker.
Although none of these cavalrymen has been engaged in actual war service, they are called upon to perform various dangerous duties. For instance, recently there was a serious disturbance among natives in Netherlands Borneo. A mixed military force was dispatched from Java, ready for a minor war, but the mere presence of a Netherlands Indies force comprising cavalry, infantry and air force secured the submission of the natives without a shot being fired.
Source of Trouble.
The principal danger spot in the Netherlands Indies is the sultanate of Atchin, in the northern part of Sumatra. This was once British territory, but it was exchanged for Singapore, and the Dutch have never forgiven the British. The people of Atchin have been a source of trouble ever since.
Frequently the people of this sultanate make raids on adjoining Government outposts, raids which are prompted by their proud spirit and opposition to domination by another country. However, the Dutch principal is not to make war on them. They station forest outposts comprising a Dutch officer and probably one cavalryman and one infantryman. When a raid occurs these men follow the jungle trail, and, like the Canadian Mounted Police, "get their man" without the necessity of plunging the countryside into war. In this manner the Dutch are pacifying the few isolated areas which still object to their overlordship.
Practically all the cavalrymen are recruited from the Ambonese of the south. These men are taller and stronger than the people of Java and Sumatra and make excellent soldiers. They have been employed in fighting all over the Netherlands Indies, which stretch from Singapore to Australia. Many, of the best fighting men come from the island of Timor, just off the coast of Australia.
Owing to the nature of the country, the operations of the Javanese cavalrymen are naturally somewhat restricted. Except on the flat areas of Sumatra, the mountains and jungles prevent the effective use of cavalry. In these areas cavalry is chiefly used for the transport of mountain batteries.
The Javanese cavalrymen who visited Auckland to-day were delighted with their" experience and the kindness extended to them here, but they are apprehensive of the situation in the Far East and are keen to get back to their regiment. (Credit to: Auckland Star Newspaper, Wednesday, 17 Nov 1937)