THE PALESTINE ADVANCE.
LONDON, November 2. Egypt official: We hold the position northward of Beersheba, and successfully raided another portion of the enemy front, killing a large number.
'The Times.' AMSTERDAM, November 2. Herr Helfferich and Herr Waldon have resigned from the German Government.
PRIVATE JAMES BAIN.
Mrs Bain, of Russell street, has received word that her son, James John Bain, was wounded and gassed in the recent fighting in Flanders. Private Bain left with the 19th Reinforcements. His eldest brother, Second Lieutenant William A. Bain, died of wounds received in the Somme battle 13 months ago, and his younger brother "Bob" is now somewhere in France. -Evening Star, 3/11/1917.
James Bain was a shepherd on Kyeburn Station when he joined the Otago Infantry Regiment in June, 1916. He was not a perfect soldier - his conduct sheet has a small number of minor infringements, of the "late on parade," "overstaying leave," "improperly dressed on parade" kind.
James was gassed on October 16th, 1917, during the Battle of Paesschendaele. The Official History of the Otago Regiment has this to say about that period of time: "There was inconsiderable artillery fire during the night, but on the following day the enemy disclosed activity which increased until the whole of the forward area was swept by an obviously largely augmented artillery strength; while low-flying enemy aeroplanes persistently harassed the trench garrisons. Meantime our own heavy artillery had proceeded with the bombardment of the block house system of the Bellevue Spur. Thus conditions were far from settled, and continued so until the night of the 17th, when the Battalion was relieved and moved back into support on the western slopes of Abraham Heights."
Two weeks later James was in a London hospital and he remained in hospital until he was embarked on the HS "Marama" in April, 1918. Back in New Zealand, he was discharged as unfit on October 11th. He died at his family home just over a year later, of tuberculosis.
Many soldiers died of TB during and after the War. Many were seriously and permanently affected by poison gas - mustard gas, especially. Mustard gas was a sulphur compound which became sulphuric acid when in contact with water - for instance, damp parts of the human body such as the armpits, the groin and the lungs. It was not designed to kill - a dead soldier was buried; a wounded one had to be carried by as many as four men, through the back lines, and possibly past fresh troops coming up to the front trenches.
There seems to be no direct relationship between the effects of gas and the contraction of tuberculosis. Damp conditions, close contact with other troops and bad nutrition are more likely contributing factors.