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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Move to Kalivia

Move to Kalivia

At Nerokourou 6 Field Ambulance cared for walking wounded and received any evacuations from the New Zealand line, while 5 Field Ambulance functioned as an MDS with ninety-four patients who had been transferred to the new site, assistance being given by Lieutenant-Colonel Debenham and his surgical team from 7 General Hospital.

At 6 p.m. on 26 May instructions were received from Colonel Bull to move at dusk to Kalivia, some 15 miles to the south-east, along the coast. The front-line troops were steadily falling back and a general move was being made towards the south coast, from which evacuation from the island was possible. For the move 5 and 6 Field Ambulances, 4 Field Hygiene Section, and 7 General Hospital were all placed under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Twhigg, CO 5 Field Ambulance. The more seriously wounded were taken by the available transport in two trips; the walking wounded were assisted over part of the journey, but the staffs of the units all had to walk, arriving at Kalivia shortly before daybreak on 27 May.

During the night 2/1 Australian Field Ambulance had, on receipt of orders from DDMS Creforce, established a temporary hospital in the school buildings in the village of Kalivia and received 100 cases from 5 Field Ambulance and stretcher cases and walking wounded from 6 Field Ambulance as they reached the village. This Australian unit was soon coping with 530 patients. Approximately 300 of these patients had to be left behind during the withdrawal, and Colonel Kenrick deputed an Australian medical officer and some medical orderlies to stay with them.