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

General Questions Of Interest

General Questions Of Interest

(a) The Visit of His Majesty the King

On Saturday, 6 July, His Majesty paid us a visit at Mytchett Place and spent the whole day going round our units. He was much impressed by all he saw and was especially impressed with the smartness and drill of the Maori Battalion.

During his visit His Majesty honoured us by staying to luncheon when he met about 140 officers and nurses picked from all the units of the Second Echelon. Needless to say, his visit, which was attended by the High Commissioner, Mr. Jordan, and the Commander of the 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force, General Sir Alexander Godley, GCB, was greatly appreciated by us all….2

(i) Organisation at Home after Departure of Second Echelon

When the New Zealand Expeditionary Force leaves England to concentrate in the Middle East we shall be forced to leave about page 144 one hundred men in hospital who will come to us in Egypt as and when they are fit enough to travel. I intend, therefore, to leave behind a doctor and possibly two nurses, together with a small organisation, to look after them. These will follow us to Egypt as and when they can.

Finally, may I say that as far as I can estimate everything is going well both here and in Egypt. I am anxious that we should concentrate as a division and get our complete equipment as soon as possible. It really looks now as if that goal were in sight. In the work I am carrying out here I am supported by a most excellent body of officers and men who will, when the time comes, give a good account of themselves.

I am most indebted also to the band of officers and NCOs in New Zealand for the excellent work they are doing in training the men for overseas, and am most appreciative of the help given me by Army Headquarters.

It is difficult to say what the future has in store for us all but I am sure that if we can get through the next four months without any major setback, North Africa will be an active and profitable theatre of war for the Allies.

I have …

B. C. Freyberg, Major-General,

Commanding the New Zealand Expeditionary Force

PS.—I have sent by separate post a copy of this report to the GOC New Zealand Forces, Wellington.

2 In the portion of the text not published General Freyberg reviewed the medical and welfare arrangements for the force in the United Kingdom and made acknowledgment of Patriotic Fund parcels and consignments of apples received.