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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy


Minqar Qaim: The plan for the Minqar Qaim action was the attachment of an ADS to each brigade, with smaller sections to any detached group. Casualties were evacuated to the ADS by ambulance cars supplied both from the field ambulance and from the American Field Service group. Stretcher-bearers were detailed to carry casualties to the RAP, but help was generally given by combatant transport such as Bren carriers or by the ambulances going forward of the RAP. From the ADS, field ambulance and American Field Service cars evacuated wounded to the active MDS, another MDS being in reserve. Main dressing stations were some 20 miles back from the divisional units.

From the MDS evacuation was carried out by 2 British MAC to British units, either Corps or Army CCSs, whence the cases were evacuated to the base hospitals in the Delta and in the Canal Zone.

Alamein Line: Two advanced dressing stations were similarly attached to the brigades evacuating to the active MDS. Arrangements were made to carry out all forward surgery at the MDS and British surgical teams were attached for this purpose. Later a Field Transfusion Unit was also attached. A surgical team from the New Zealand CCS was then sent forward to the MDS, and later this was strengthened by extra equipment and orderlies to allow abdominal and other serious cases to be held and nursed for up to ten days following operation. Air evacuation from improvised landing grounds alongside the MDS was also utilised for serious cases. Ambulance-car evacuation by 2 British MAC was to the Army CCS at the L of C medical area, from where road, rail, and air evacuation was provided.