by lieutenant-general lord freyberg, vc, gcmg, kcb, kbe, dso
IT is a pleasure and an honour for me to write this foreword to the history of this fine unit.
The Divisional Supply Company went overseas with the First Echelon of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and was among the earliest of our units to see active service in the Western Desert in General Wavell's 1940 campaign. In 1941 it served in the Greek campaign, where it lost its vehicles and all its equipment. When evacuated it fought as infantry in the Battle of Crete where it had heavy losses and fought with great distinction. It returned to Egypt where it was re-equipped and replacements found for its many casualties. It took a full part in the winter campaign in Libya. It then served in Syria and returned to the Desert for the great campaigns of 1942 and until the end in Tunisia in 1943. The Company continued to serve the Division in Italy until the end. In all it was more than six years on active service overseas.
I feel that our greatest contribution to New Zealand's war effort was in the North African campaigns, in which high mobility and sound administration were essential and often decisive. New Zealanders were ideally suited for this class of page vi warfare, which required initiative, technical skill, and ability to find their way about the trackless Desert in the night, which they seemed to do by instinct.
The Divisional Supply Company was always an efficient and adaptable unit which served the Division well throughout its entire existence. Throughout the war the New Zealand Army Service Corps, of which it was a part, never failed us. I am certain that without their resourcefulness and skill we could not have attempted, let alone carried out, the long marches such as the turning movements at Agheila and the Mareth line.
This is a great story of the record of the service of one of the most efficient units of the 2nd New Zealand Division, which I hope will be widely read.
Deputy Constable and Lieutenant GovernorWindsor Castle
9 September 1955