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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

5 Field Ambulance

5 Field Ambulance

Another medical unit came into being to take 4 Field Ambulance's place in Burnham Camp. Its commanding officer was Lt-Col H. S. Kenrick,19 and its officers and NCOs underwent a training course between 8 December 1939 and 6 January 1940. The CO was later to become ADMS 2 NZ Division and afterwards DMS 2 NZEF. The second-in-command (Maj J. M. Twhigg20) was later CO of the ambulance and DDMS 2 NZEF IP. Another officer (Capt F. P. Furkert21) became CO of a field ambulance and ADMS 2 NZ Division.

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Volunteers to make up the body of 5 Field Ambulance began to arrive in camp on 10 January 1940. Most of them were new to medical work as well as to Army life. During their period of training route marches were also undertaken, the distances ranging from four to 22 miles.

Final leave was granted late in March—fourteen glorious days —and then the unit came back to camp to be told that, because of shortage of shipping, another month's training would be done. In the last week of April the Second Echelon units at Burnham marched in a farewell parade in Christchurch—down High Street to Cranmer Square, where the salute was taken, then over the Bridge of Remembrance to the King Edward Barracks, where the parade was dismissed. The unit (244 strong) left Burnham for Lyttelton on 30 April and embarked that evening on the ferry for Wellington for departure overseas with the Second Echelon.