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The New Zealand Dental Services

War Diary ADDS, 30 December 1941:

War Diary ADDS, 30 December 1941:

Nothing would appear to be gained by attaching the unit to the N.Z. Division, particularly in the present indefinite, half-hearted manner. Actually when the unit moved originally from Maadi Camp to the Western Desert it was not intended that it should become attached to the Division. The unit was moved under a GHQ1 order from Maadi Camp to HQ 13 Corps, but on arrival at Baggush was claimed and annexed by N.Z. Division.

When the Division moved forward to a concentration area, the Mobile Section marched out to attachment to Eighth Army. Subsequently when Eighth Army moved, the section became attached to HQ 83 L of C.2 When the Division returned to Baggush it became attached to them again, more or less. During the period when the unit was attached to the Division, all Divisional orders had to be complied with, many of which did not concern the unit. Also, the section was considered by the A.D.M.S. to be one of his Medical Units. Numerous irrelevant returns had to be sent to him, returns which concerned medical units but which were not applicable to a dental unit. The Mobile Dental Section became one of the A.D.M.S.'s five medical units and became tacked on to the end of the other four. Naturally the unit was the last to receive consideration. There was no friction nor sign of it, but nevertheless the position generally was one in which the unit was attached to the Division without receiving any of the advantages of such a position.

N.Z. Division is always either moving or about to move, and, when it does, Mobile Dental Section remains behind until conditions become reasonably stable. When Division moves, the unit has to become attached to the page 206 Headquarters of the area or sub-area in which the Force is situated. It seems logical to conclude that in the first instance the section should move to the vicinity of the Division but, being a non-Divisional unit operating on all units of the 2 NZEF, it should be attached to the Headquarters of the area or sub-area in which the Division is located. Then it would be dealt with and controlled in the same manner as other 2 NZEF non-Divisional units. When Division moved there would be no disorganisation. The unit would be under the local control of the senior Medical Officer of the area concerned. It is felt that the unit would operate more smoothly and efficiently under this arrangement.

1 General Headquarters, Middle East.

2 Headquarters, 83 Lines of Communication.