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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I

242 — Memorandum from Headquarters, New Zealand Division, to Headquarters, British Troops in Egypt — DETACHMENTS FROM NEW ZEALAND DIVISION

Memorandum from Headquarters, New Zealand Division, to Headquarters, British Troops in Egypt

29 September 1940


As you will have seen, the second contingent1 of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force has now arrived in Egypt, and this will be followed by the brigade group that has completed its training in Great Britain. We are therefore within measurable distance of having a complete Division concentrated and ready for Divisional training.

In the past, with the object of helping, we have met practically every request for the loan of New Zealand units and detachments. The time has come when we can no longer comply with requests for detachments, and in fact, since reinforcements have been left behind in New Zealand to make room for Army Troops companies, it is now necessary for us to recall those already made. I do not wish to cause you undue inconvenience, and I am prepared to postpone the recall of some detachments in order to give you time to arrange for their relief.

The detached units I most require are:

One troop, 4th Field Regiment, now under command Alexandria Sub-area, to rejoin its regiment at Maaten Burbeita;

6th Field Company, also under command Alexandria Sub-area, to move to Maaten Baggush and come under command 4th Infantry Brigade;

No. 1 Company, Divisional Signals, now forming Western Desert Corps Signals, to return to Maadi and revert to New Zealand Division when possible.

1 This was the Third Echelon, the second contingent of the force to arrive in Egypt.

page 185

As you are short of transport it is proposed that the 4th Reserve Mechanical Transport Company should remain under command Western Desert Force.

In addition to the units mentioned above, the following individuals or parties should return to their units as early as possible:

Ten artificers with MAC1; twenty-five other ranks employed on filling anti-tank mines at Abbassia; three Engineer clerks at Moascar and elsewhere; three other ranks on railway duties in the Western Desert; one signalman at Khartoum; one Engineer officer (Lieutenant Pemberton)2 on special duties in the Delta; one Engineer officer (Lieutenant Pollock)3 on special work either in the Western Desert or Alexandria Sub-area.

The seventy other ranks in the Long Range Patrol should return to regimental duty in due course, and I would appreciate information regarding when they are likely to be released from their present duties.4

I know you will realise that these proposals are necessary to enable Divisional training to be carried out.

B. C. Freyberg,

Commanding New Zealand Division

2 Major R. C. Pemberton, MC, New Zealand Engineers.

3 On the HQ 2nd NZ Division (General Staff Branch) file copy of this memorandum the name has been amended to Peacock. At that time Lt. J. F. Peacocke, HQ, NZE, was attached to HQ, BTE. Lt. G. D. Pollock, 10th LAD, was then attached to 5th Field Park Company, New Zealand Engineers.