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

298 — The Prime Minister to General Freyberg — [Extract]

page 270

The Prime Minister to General Freyberg

28 September 1943

Your telegram of 24 September (No. 295).

I was very pleased to have your most satisfactory report on the equipment situation and state of training, and, in particular, to learn of your comprehensive precautionary measures for a winter campaign.

Mr. Churchill's personal assistance was requested in ensuring the fullest naval escort and the strongest air protection, and he has advised me that my message has been conveyed to Admiral Cunningham.

It will, I know, be a source of pride and satisfaction, both to the troops and to the New Zealand people, that the association of the 2nd New Zealand Division with the Eighth Army is to be resumed. On this, as on all previous occasions when our men have gone into action, it will be our constant prayer that, despite the arduous nature of the campaign, casualties will not be unduly heavy. Your able leadership and devoted care for the welfare of the men is a matter of great assurance to us….1

1 The return of the first furlough draft to the Middle East is discussed in the text omitted.