What is it?
This is a single issue magazine published on the transport of the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces, XXI Reinforcement. The XXI Reinforcement travelled on transport no. 75, the ‘Waitemata’, from which the publication took its name. Likewise, the journey from New Zealand would no doubt have crossed a number of unsettled portions of sea and so the second part of the name would have been born.
Despite only running to a single issue the ‘Wobbler’ provides a lively record of life on board a troopship. These ships were involved in long journeys, giving the crew plenty of time to get to know each other, cope with boredom and come to terms with the routine of ship-board army life. As a result the magazine is full of humour, poetry, anecdotes and caricatures. In particular the caricatures capture the relationship between Privates and senior staff, as seen on p.5;
Adjutant: ‘There’s nothing like exercise and hard work to shake off that sea-sick feeling’
Private: ‘Yes, sir. Sorry you are not looking well yourself this morning yourself, sir.’