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The New Zealand Medical Service in the Great War 1914-1918

Chapter I. Formation and Organisation of the N.Z.M.C

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Chapter I. Formation and Organisation of the N.Z.M.C.

The origins of the New Zealand Army Medical Service may be traced back to the earliest days of organised settlement in New Zealand. Although the New Zealand Medical Corps, as constituted at the outbreak of the Great War, dates only from 1908, a Colonial Medical Corps pre-existed and was in being with unbroken succession from the time when a small body of devoted surgeons attached to militia and volunteer formations in 1845 formed the anlage from which our present Medical Corps has evolved.

From the initiation of the colonising schemes of the New Zealand Company some form of Colonial military forces existed in New Zealand in contemplation or in being. The warlike disposition and fighting qualities of the Maori race were known in England prior to Captain Cook's explorations, and at the time of the New Zealand Company's first emigrations in 1839 it was recommended by a select committee of the House of Commons that the New Zealand settlers should be enrolled in a militia. Prior to embarkation the prospective colonists were invited to sign an agreement that they would consent to be trained in a militia on arrival in the Colony, and by this undertaking all male emigrants became potential soldiers.

The Maoris, much devoted as they were to their ancestral lands, held in tribal communism, were lacking in a comprehension of the true nature of a land sale, and in many instances opposed in arms the settlement of the colonist on lands purchased by the New Zealand Company: the settlers were frequently harassed, sometimes driven out of their lands, and occasionally murdered. So that conflicts with the Maoris led at an early date to the enrolment of the New Zealand Militia. In 1845 the first Defence Act was passed entitled: "An Ordinance for raising a militia within the Colony"; by this enactment power was given to train the European population for the defence of the settlements, and all males were made liable for military service. In the New Zealand Gazette of April 11th 1845, the embodiment of three militia regiments, in Auckland, Taranaki and Wellington, was authorised. Surgeons were appointed page 2to these formations. The four military districts were constituted in 1858: Auckland, Taranaki, Wellington and Napier. Volunteer formations were enlisted in the following year, some of which had surgeons on their roll.

The long drawn out Taranaki-Waikato War of 1860-1870 had its roots in a much earlier period, and was founded in disputes concerning the sale of land in the Waitara District in 1840. At the inception of this war, in which Imperial troops were mainly concerned, Sir James Mouatt, V.C., C.B., then P.M.O. of the Imperial troops, was requested by Mr. Russell, at that time Minister for Defence, to organise the Colonial Medical Service. The Colonial forces, as apart from the "Royal" or Imperial troops, consisted of some eleven battalions of militia with seven squadrons of volunteer cavalry and thirteen volunteer rifle corps. The medical personnel in 1861 comprised eight surgeons and assistant surgeons in the militia regiments, and four surgeons on the strength of volunteer cavalry or infantry formations. Medical equipment and supplies were furnished from the "Royal" stores. It is on record that P.M.O. Mouatt rendered valuable services in this reorganisation. Those who are curious in the matter will find in appendix (i.) a nominal roll of the medical officers attached to Colonial troops as shown in the New Zealand manuscript Army List of 1862. We may say that these surgeons were the founders of the New Zealand Medical Corps.

Up to 1865 the Colonial troops, then about 1,500 strong had acted as auxiliaries to the Imperial troops, about 9,000 of all arms, but at this time a political movement was set on foot known as the policy of "Self Reliance," strongly supported by the Governor, Sir George Grey, and the Premier, Sir Frederick Weld. It was considered right that the colonists, now numbering some 150,000 souls, should bear the whole cost of the war, provided they had authority to direct and control it. A petition was submitted to the British Parliament to withdraw its troops and leave New Zealand to work out its own destiny. Major General Sir George S. Whitmore, K.C.M.G., then a colonel, was appointed Commandant of the New Zealand Forces comprising some 17,000 Colonial troops including militia, volunteers and friendly natives. Colonel Haultain was Defence Minister from 1865 to 1869, and the New Zealand forces were operating alone in 1867.

The New Zealand Medical Service was now under the control of Dr. Grace, an officer of the Imperial Army, then retired and settled in practice in Wellington. He had volunteered his services: he was appointed P.M.O. and was asked to inspect and page 3reorganise the New Zealand Medical Department, which, according to Sir George Whitmore, was poorly equipped and organised; he says: "We were ill provided for a campaign as regards hospitals and medical department." The year 1870 closed the ten years period of the Taranaki-Waikato Wars. The New Zealand Medical Service now comprised three surgeons and 18 assistant surgeons. The rate of pay for a surgeon at this time was 18 - per diem; and a grant of 250 acres of confiscated land was guaranteed to those who saw war service. Several medical officers had gained distinction, amongst them Dr. J. M. Gibb, who was recommended for the New Zealand Cross for gallant conduct in the Taupo operations in 1869; he was afterwards appointed P.M.O. of the Taupo district. One member of the medical department, Assistant-Surgeon Walker of the Armed Constabulary, gained the coveted distinction of the New Zealand Cross on March 13th, 1869, at the attack on Ti to Kowaru's camp at Otauto. This gallaut officer, although only a senior medical student, achieved no less distinction by his skill in surgery.

A period of reaction followed the war, the militia service became unpopular, the volunteer movement decadent. The causes were natural: laxity of commanding officers; general distaste for war amongst the volunteers who had been under arms for ten years; increasing prosperity of the Colony. A report of a committee set up to consider colonial defence in 1873 recommended a modified system of compulsory training, the number required to complete the strength of the volunteer corps to be filled by ballot. But volunteering was again stimulated in 1879 by fresh disturbances with the Natives: 1,500 men were under arms on the West Coast; the volunteer force numbered 8,032 with a medical staff of five surgeons, 19 assistant surgeons.

Again in October, 1881, the volunteers were called up for service at Parehaka. This campaign closed the period of Native wars and rebellions, and the years that followed saw no fighting in New Zealand, but the defence forces waxed and waned in strength in sympathy with European crises, the first of which was the war in Egypt in 1882. In this year a board of officers sat to consider the re-organisation of the Defence Forces. Amongst the recommendations made was the appointment of a Volunteer Surgeon General and the formation of "Ambulances"; there were at this time 46 surgeons and assistant surgeons in the Medical Corps. But it was not until five years later that the recommended appointment was made, when in 1887 the Hon. M. S. Grace, M.L.C, was appointed Volunteer Surgeon General.

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Under volunteer regulations drafted in 1888 a general medical list was formed of officers appointed to the "General Medical Service" of the New Zealand Defence Forces. Rank as a surgeon in the volunteer force was honorary only, but after five years service in the volunteers a medical officer was eligible for enrolment in the army list. A battalion at this time had one surgeon-major and two surgeons; each senior officer was responsible that at least three men per battalion were trained and instructed in stretcher drill and field dressing. Men so instructed and approved by examination were to be selected as regimental stretcher bearers and were entitled to wear the Geneva Cross. The rates of pay were: for a Brigade Surgeon or S.M.O., 25/- per diem, with forage for one horse, 3/-; an S.M.O. Battalion 21/- and forage; a Surgeon 18/-; all when employed on military duty only. Promotion was by seniority: after twelve years' service to Surgeon-Major; after twenty years, to Brigade Surgeon; active service in the Maori War counted double towards promotion. There were four Brigade Surgeons on the Staff of the Surgeon General.

In succeeding years inspecting officers drew attention in their reports to the unsatisfactory state of the Medical Service. There was no medical equipment available, medical officers drew no capitation grant; the more zealous were obliged to provide the necessary drugs and dressings for camps and manoeuvres at their own expense. The medical officers, although discontented, were reported to be deserving of great praise for the efficient training of the "Ambulance" details attached to the corps. There was no provision for field hospitals nor base hospitals. Medical equipment was urgently required. In 1897 Colonel A. P. Pole Penton, R.A., appointed to command the New Zealand forces, in his first annual report drew attention to the fact that there was no organised method for providing medical aid to troops in case of war, and recommended the calling together of a small committee of volunteer medical officers to consider the matter: he further advised the appointment of a P.M.O. to each military district. In the following year a volunteer establishment was fixed for the Colony including four ambulance corps. A P.M.O. was appointed to each of the military districts, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Otago. Bearer companies were now enrolled in each of the military districts; they had a peace establishment of two officers, and 25 other ranks. Medical stores and equipment were issued to districts.

The outbreak of the South African war caused much temporary activity in the volunteer force. The number of men volunteering for active service was so great that there was no difficulty in page 5recruiting the 10 contingents of mounted rifles raised in the period 1900-1902; in all, 6,505 officers and men were embarked. The contingents, varying in strength from 220 (the first), to 1,218 (the ninth), had one medical officer attached to most of the smaller contingents, and two or more to the larger. 26 medical officers, about one third of whom were of the New Zealand Volunteer Medical Staff Corps, were enlisted in the New Zealand Militia and proceeded over seas with the troops, taking with them what medical equipment was then available in New Zealand. On arrival in South Africa a certain number acted as regimental medical officers, others, in excess of requirements, were posted to military hospitals.

The summary of deaths in the New Zealand troops on service during this war is of interest, not only because it reflects the general sickness wastage of the British Army in South Africa, but because it demonstrates an unusual preponderance of deaths from pneumonia.

Deaths in New Zealand Contingents on service in the South African War,1900-1902.
Killed in action or died of wounds 68
Accidentally killed 25
Died from disease 139
Total deaths on service 232

of the deaths by disease no less than 57 per cent. were from enteric and 25 per cent. by pneumonia; there were six deaths from dysentery, four attributed to C.S.M. and two to malaria. The bulk of the deaths from pneumonia were the result of a serious outbreak of measles on board a returning troopship, the Britannic, which embarked 1,080 officers and other ranks at Durban on the 5th of July, 1902. When 10 days out from port the first cases of measles were observed; the infection, it is stated, was brought on board by details of the 10th Contingent, drafted from a camp in which the disease was prevalent. At first sporadic cases were admitted to the ship's hospital, two deaths from pneumonia occurring at sea, but after calling at Melbourne measles became epidemic, with a marked incidence of pulmonary complications—on arrival in New Zealand 62 cases of pneumonia were disembarked, of which 20 terminated fatally after landing. The Principal Medical Officer of the transport, Surgeon-Major R. Peerless, of the New Zealand Volunteer Medical Staff Corps, in giving evidence before the "Contingents Transports Commission," in August, 1902, showed page 6clearly that there had not been any overcrowding on board the ship; that discipline and sanitary provisions had been well maintained; that the hospital requirements were adequate; that he had a staff of three medical officers, and eight other ranks, and that he was quite satisfied with the medical arrangements. In his opinion the onset of pneumonia was determined by the sudden change from a dry climate and an open air life to confinement on board ship in a damp and cold latitude. Whatever the causes, the unusual incidence and the high mortality were at least suggestive of some predisposition in New Zealand troops. Among the medical officers who served in South Africa in the New Zealand contingents and who subsequently joined the N.Z.E.F. in the Great War, or served in New Zealand, were: Surgeon-General Skerman; Surgeon-Major Peerless, Surgeon-Captain P. C. Fenwick, Major Godfrey (deceased), and Surgeon-Captain E. O'Neil, of whom the latter two were mentioned in South African Dispatches.

The volunteer force doubled its strength during this war and was reorganised by collecting the various scattered companies into battalions. New regulations were framed dealing with the medical branch of the defence forces. All medical officers were appointed to the "General Medical List"; they could now earn capitation, the nominal service being six parades yearly and attendance on one Easter encampment in two years. The years following the South African War were a period of stagnation; interest in the defence forces failed in a very marked manner; the volunteer strength fell. Major-General J. M. Babington, Commandant of the Forces, on taking over in 1902, reported the medical services as being inefficient. "At present," he says, "beyond five bearer corps insufficiently equipped, and four ambulance waggons, the medical resources would barely meet the requirements of a battalion."

Colonel Skerman was appointed Surgeon-General in 1905. Regulations were amended; the chief medical amendment being the formation of the New Zealand Medical Corps. At this date there were two distinct, corps: the medical officers attached to Bearer Companies and the New Zealand "Defence Medical Staff" on the "General Medical List" of the Volunteer Regulations of 1900. Provision was now made for the formation of a corps of officers to be called the "New Zealand Medical Corps," with ranks as follows:—Surgeon-General; Surgeon Lieut.-Colonel; Surgeon-Major; and Surgeon-Captain. Hereafter all commissions were to be granted, all appointments and promotions made by the Surgeon-General. Up to this time medical officers attached to formations held honorary rank only, and were elected by the company or other page 7subdivison of a unit to which they were attached. Provision was made for the examination of officers with bearer companies in regard to their military duties. The general conditions of the medical service were not much bettered: there had been some improvement in the training of bearer companies but they were ill equipped; there was insufficient provision for the Surgeon-General and the district P.M.O.'s to visit and inspect medical units or to make themselves acquainted with their administrative duties; their activities were restricted to the towns in which they lived—which was not unnatural—as they were all busy practitioners. General Babington in his last report, dated 1906, attributed the decline of volunteering to:—A dearth of a leisured class to provide officers; less cordial relations between employers and employed; and extreme centralisation of command. He considered that the nomination of officers by election was highly unsatisfactory and that the Defence Act required amending in that respect. "It does not appear to me," he says, in his valedictory remarks, "that the Colony takes the question of defence seriously or gives due attention to a subject which is so vital."

The same year it was decided by Parliament that a "Council of Defence" should take the place of the previous administration and control of the forces by a general officer commanding and his staff. The policy of the Defence Council was outlined in their first report. It was held that the volunteer system was on its last legs and that radical changes were required to give it a final chance before compulsory training was introduced as foreshadowed in the recommendations of the "Colonial Defence Committee" of 1873. Amongst the various matters to be arranged was the re-organisation of the medical corps which, although it furnished excellent bearer companies at each centre, was lacking in administrative organistion.

The Defence Regulations of 1905 were amended in 1908. the chief "Medical" amendments being: the reorganisation of the New Zealand Medical Corps, on R.A.M.C. lines; the formation of field ambulances; and the establishment of an Army Nursing Reserve. Prior to this the N.Z.M.C. was a corps of officers only. There were still volunteer medical officers, not members of the corps, holding appointments as regimental medical officers under the old regulations. The previous regulations were so amended that all officers, non-commissioned officers and men connected with the medical service of the permanent force, militia, and volunteer should be formed into a corps called the New Zealand Medical Corps. The command of this corps was entrusted to the Surgeon-General, on whose staff two medical officers were to be appointed: one a sanitary page 8officer and the other to act as secretary. All medical stores and equipment were placed under the Surgeon-General's control, and he was instructed to visit and inspect the various units of his command. Further emendations were the appointment of a chief sanitary officer, and the formation of a reserve of medical officers. Bearer companies were now converted to field ambulances with an establishment of four officers; one Q.M.; 46 N.C.O.'s and men: Total 51. Capitation grants earned by medical officers were to be credited to central funds to be utilised by P.M.O.'s of districts. Provision also was made for the examination of medical officers on the active list under conditions similar to those in existence for the R.A.M.C. A sanitary officer drawn from the public health service was to be attached to each military district. A New Zealand Medical Corps Nursing Reserve was authorised. This formation, affiliated to the Royal Army Nursing Reserve, was to consist of qualified nurses willing to undertake the duties of army nurses in time of war; they were to form part of the military forces after enrolment; the ranks were:—Matron-in-chief; matrons; sisters; staff nurses. The first matron-in-chief was Miss Janet Gillies. The Surgeon-General's report of this year was not very favourable to the efficiency of the medical service; he considered that in many cases medical officers were ignorant of their duties, of military organisation and of their proper relations to the combatant branches. The strength of the N.Z.M.C. was: officers, 115 attached; 52 unattached; while the field ambulances personnel numbered 207, rank and file.

The Defence Council of New Zealand shortly realised that without some form of compulsion the efficiency of the Defence forces, now admittedly much below requirements, could not be maintained. In 1909 the policy of compulsory military training was given effect to in the Defence Act which ensured that every male up to the age of 25 should be trained to defend his country. The Act constituted a force of 30,000 of all ranks, designated the "Territorial" force, and made training obligatory in the Junior and Senior Cadets from the ages of 12 to 18; and from 18 to 21 in the General Training Section. Voluntary enlistment was to be encouraged but the strength of the units was to be maintained from the General Training Section in case of need. Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener visited New Zealand in 1910 and inspected the old volunteer force in its last year of being; the Defence Council ceased to function; and General Godley became G.O.C. at the end of the year.

From the passing of the Defence Act of 1909 the years that followed were a fruitful preparation for War. The New Zealand page 9Territorial Medical units were authorised by Gazette dated 6th May, 1910. Military districts were reorganised; A P.M.O. was attached to each district; there were 180 territorial N.Z.M.C. officers on the army list. The first duty of these officers was the examination of cadets and recruits for the Territorial Force.

The registration of all youths available for service had been completed and the G.O.C. reported in 1911 the numbers registered as: Territorials, 21,838; senior cadets, 29,991; which was considered ample, after allowing for rejections at medical examination, for a total establishment of 30,000, the quota recommended by the Imperial General Staff. During the year 1911, 25,085 territorial recruits were medically examined almost entirely by the officers of the N.Z.M.C. Each P.M.O. was made responsible for examinations in his own military district: sub-centres were delimited in each area group with a medical officer in charge who had authority to employ civilian doctors where necessary. Much assistance was rendered by the officers and N.C.O.'s of the permanent staff in charge of area groups. The standard of fitness required was not a very high one as far as the cadets were concerned, as it was considered advantageous that all except those who would be harmed by the training should be accepted in as much as the training was expected to be beneficial. Only the absolutely unfit; therefore, were rejected. The medical examination of the recruits, youths over 18 years of age, was of a more searching character. Recruits were classified as: (a) absolutely fit, (b) sound and fit for the territorial force, (c) those fit only to serve in rifle clubs. Causes for total rejection were: any acute or chronic disease; deformities of bone; scoliosis, if marked; loss of limb; hernia; defective vision; loss of one eye. For service with the territorial force the recruit was required to be in good mental and physical health and free from any physical defect likely to interfere with the efficient performance of military duty. At 18, the standards of measurement were laid down as minimal at: 62 inches height; 111 lbs. weight; 34½ inches chest measurement, fully expanded. The results of the examinations, more especially of the cadets, showed that the standard of physique as compared with that of school boys of a like age in the United Kingdom, was a very high one, but there was evident an alarming percentage of defects of dentition. The country youths generally gave a higher proportion of fit than the town recruits, but dental defects were more noticeable amongst the country lads. Rejections for defective teeth equalled 120 per 1000. Of the 25,085 territorial force recruits, 657 were classed as temporarily unfit for one year; and 1,350 were rejected as medically unfit for service; equivalent page 10to 6 per cent. rejections. Of the cadets examined—26,782–366 were unfit for one year and 889 were rejected: say 3 per cent. totally unfit. 25 per cent. of the rejections amongst the territorial recruits were for physical disablement: diseases of the heart, 16 per cent; defective vision, 15 per cent; defective teeth, 2½ per cent. A special inquiry as to the prevalence of scoliosis showed that little severe deformity presented itself and that about 2.5 per 1000 of the recruits had some degree of spinal curvature.

In the following year, 1912, 3,803 territorial recruits were medically examined, of these 9 per cent. were found permanently, and 3 per cent. temporarily unfit, the chief causes of rejection being similar to those already quoted. It was now agreed that further examination of the cadets under 18 was unnecessary as there were but few boys who would not derive benefit from the cadet training, and the unfit could be readily eliminated. In this year the first territorial camps of instruction were held. The field ambulances went into camp in their own district for company training only; medical equipment was not yet up to full establishment. 3,416 territorial recruits were examined in 1913 with 12 per cent. temporary or permanent unfitness. The Surgeon-General, Colonel Purdy, notes in his report a general improvement in the physical condition of cadets; that there was considerably less sickness in the camps and a marked general improvement in the case of the dental condition. The Adjutant-General also notes that the influence of military training "upon those who had been subjected to it, had been a matter of favourable comment on the part of employers and others in a position to judge." The discipline and conduct of troops in camps was all that could be desired.

The Territorial Force of New Zealand, the New Zealand Army, and first line of defence, was, in 1913, finally organised, fully armed and equipped as a field force of two infantry divisions and four mounted brigades with coastal defence troops and L. of C. troops on modern war establishments. Military training was compulsory for boys from 14 to 18 years in the cadets, and from 18 to 25 with the colours. Service in the reserve extended to the age of 30, but by existing legislation could be increased up to the age of 55 years in case of national emergency. The minimum amount of training required annually was: 31 drills; twelve halfday parades; and seven full days in camp with a prescribed course of musketry. The reserve were required to attend two half day parades or their equivalent with a territorial formation. Promotion to commissioned rank was by examination of N.C.O.'s only—from the ranks—and in the case of officers, by examination and selection.

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The direction and training of the force was in the hands of the New Zealand Dominion section of the Imperial General Staff. Each military district provided a quarter of the total force, namely:—

  • 1 Brigade of Mounted Rifles of 3 Regiments.
  • 1 Brigade of Infantry of 4 Battalions.
  • 1 Brigade of Field Artillery and Ammunition Column.
  • 1 Company Field Engineers, 1 Mounted and 1 Divisional Signal Company.
  • 1 Mounted and 1 Field Ambulance.
  • 1 Company Mounted Supply Company, 1 A.S.C. Company.
  • Coastal Defence Troops.

General Sir Ian Hamilton, Inspector-General of the Overseas Forces, visited New Zealand in 1914 and inspected every unit of the territorial force; his opinions expressed in his report were: that the progress made during the last three years in giving shape to a national army in New Zealand had been singularly rapid and that there were good prospects of a practical war machine being ultimately produced at an economical price. Of the Medical Corps he advised that the Field Ambulances were organised on right lines; that every use was made of men whose civilian training fitted them to the work. The medical officers attending the camp were enthusiasts and it was obvious that all had benefited markedly in efficiency by the territorial training.

Difficulties there were in plenty in acquiring experience of army requirements: the scattered distribution, more especially of the country units, when one section of field ambulance might be recruited over an area of 50 miles in extent; the limited time that could be made available by busy practitioners for military work; and above all the lack of a qualified, commissioned, whole time instructor from the R.A.M.C. who would have acted as staff officer to the D.M.S. and as an instructor to the officers of the N.Z.M.C. Such an appointment was under consideration. Again, District Medical Staff Officers—the P.M.O.'s—were granted only £50 per annum to cover the expenses of their department, while the D.M.S. had £120. It was felt that the pay drawn by territorial medical officers while in camp was insufficient to defray the cost of a locum tenens and that regimental medical officers were obliged to meet expenses and undergo a loss of time wholly disproportionate to the training benefits to be obtained in a battalion camp. These disabilities were not so keenly felt by medical officers attached to medical units, as most of them realised that the experience gained in instructing the men more than balanced the loss of time and money incurred.

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In one way and another, by the use of army manuals, by contact with staff officers and by the effort required in the training of their units, without much encouragement or assistance, the N.Z.M.C. officers prepared themselves for war. A growing number presented themselves for the "C" examination—captain to major—but the number of officers so qualified was a very small percentage of the whole. Above all, the geographical distribution of officers in a sparsely populated country in which they were widely scattered, and the dearth of opportunities for personal communication and interchange of ideas, except in the larger centres, made progress in military knowledge most difficult to attain. There was certainly enthusiasm and a keen desire to carry out all duties assigned with whole hearted energy, but there was a regrettable lack of any effort to organise the N.Z.M.C. in its higher ranks for war purposes. There was no provision for adequate training of the higher commands; the administrative control was weak and inefficient. There were no officers trained for the important duties of direction such as would be required on the staff of the D.G.M.S. in case of war. There were no military hospitals; not even T.F. hospital cadres; there was no department of military hygiene, there were no military laboratories; nor was there any draft scheme to embody these units at the outbreak of war. As far as administration was concerned, New Zealand was not, from a medical point of view, prepared for war. In the words of Sir James Allen spoken in 1915: "No steps had been taken to provide a permanent army medical staff or to organise the medical department, owing to public outcry against excessive expenditure."

Such were the conditions of the New Zealand Medical Services at the outbreak of war in August, 1914, when the D.M.S., then Colonel Will, V.D., who succeeded Colonel F. R. Purdy, T.D., in June, found himself in the necessity of manning and equipping a medical service for expeditionary forces. At that time the strength and distribution of the N.Z.M.C. officers was as follows:—At headquarters, the D.M.S. only, he had no assistant; in districts: four P.M.O.'s, but no sanitary officers as yet gazetted; with 12 mounted rifle regiments, 11 N.Z.M.C. officers attached; to the 16 infantry battalions 19 R.M.O.'s attached; 8 field artillery brigades with 6 medical officers; 8 garrison artillery companies with 7 medical officers attached. The medical units, four mounted field ambulances, and four field ambulances had in all 38 officers. On the army list was shown a total of 153 N.Z.M.C. officers: of these 86 were attached to units; unattached, 67; and there were 3 quartermasters, and, say, 750 N.C.O.'s and other ranks. The present total authorised page 13establishment of the eight ambulances was 784 N.Z.M.C. of all ranks, equivalent to 5-7ths of the normal establishment, as the units, in accord with the defence scheme, were not yet fully recruited. There were 66 N.Z.M.C. officers on the reserve of officers and a very small number on the retired list. The New Zealand Branch of Queen Alexandra's Imperial Nursing Service, founded in 1913, with Miss H. McLean as Matron-in-Chief, had as yet no names on its roll.