Many thanks to the following people;
The overwhelming concensus was to tune several NFS mount options.
I adjusted rsize and wsize to be the same as the lowest MTU on the WAN, and
increased the timeo option to a fairly high value ( 30 secs ).
A number of people also suggested setting the proto option to be udp but
I've held off from that since things have dramatically improved anyway.
thanks for the rapid and extremely astute responses
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