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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Motor Ambulances

Motor Ambulances

At the outbreak of war there were no military motor ambulances on hand to convey the sick from camps to civil hospitals. In some instances ambulances belonging to hospital boards were used, and where they were not available army service trucks were adapted by placing mattresses or stretchers on the floor.

In October 1939 the Salvation Army gave two motor ambulances, and about the same time five chassis were obtained and bodies built on them at the Post and Telegraph Department workshops, Wellington. An ambulance was presented by the Red Cross Society and donations towards ambulances were made by various organisations and individuals. An amount of £4410 was donated in this way for the purchase of army motor ambulances up to the end of October 1940. Subsequently, ambulances became available through army channels and the substantial deficiency was overcome.