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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Third Echelon—Voyage to Middle East

Third Echelon—Voyage to Middle East

The Third Echelon embarked for the Middle East on 27 August 1940 on the Mauretania, Empress of Japan, and Orcades. While the accommodation in the Mauretania and the Orcades was good, in the other ship a degree of overcrowding made conditions unpleasant.

The medical arrangements for the Third Echelon were similar to those of the two preceding echelons. Influenza, measles, and mumps were the main causes of hospitalisation but in no case was the incidence serious. The medical officers on the transports were united in their recommendations that inoculations and vaccinations should be completed prior to embarkation. Where the troops were accommodated in hammocks their sore arms caused great discomfort and severe vaccine reactions were suffered by numbers of troops in the tropics.

At Bombay on 16 September 6 Field Ambulance was disembarked and 2 General Hospital was transferred to the Ormonde. The troops who were disembarked found themselves submitted to considerable inconvenience and trying conditions in Bombay and Deolali. Sixth Field Ambulance eventually reached Port Said on 26 October after travelling from India on a most unhygienic ship called the Felix Roussel. In the Red Sea the convoy was attacked by Italian planes but without serious damage resulting, and the Felix Roussel was subjected to a further harmless attack while at Port Sudan.