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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Bardia Prisoners

page 282

Bardia Prisoners

The New Zealand prisoners of war liberated at Bardia on 2 January in the mopping-up operations were all quickly evacuated to Egypt. They had suffered from the primitive conditions under which they were kept, conditions probably accentuated by the disorganisation of the enemy communications and supplies. Dysentery was prevalent amongst the enemy troops and developed amongst our own prisoners, though the majority continued to live in the prisoner-of-war area. A few were treated in hospital, one of our men being the only prisoner found in the Italian hospital. The men recovered quickly after their arrival in Egypt, and soon lost the drawn appearance they had when they first arrived. Their imprisonment had been too short to make any difference to the normal healthy young soldier, either physically or psychologically.