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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy



After 13 May units were able to organise trips to places of interest. Parties visited Takrouna and Kairouan, and a number of men made unofficial visits to Tunis by hitch-hiking. Takrouna was page 282 smashed and its atmosphere fetid. Kairouan, ranking high among Islam's holy cities, was full of interest. Soldiers were permitted to inspect the Grand Mosque, with its huge chandelier of oil lamps, and view the city from the minaret.

Tunis was crowded with troops of all descriptions, and consequently the leave quotas for units of the Division were very limited. The medical units were able to send small parties. The harbour was a scene of ruin, with ships sunk at the wharves; but the town itself, with its fine buildings and wide, tree-lined streets, was practically undamaged. The visit included Carthage, where the party inspected the Roman and Carthaginian ruins.

The sisters of the CCS also visited Tunis, going up one day and returning the next. They spent the night with an Italian family who provided beds and cooked the rations which they took with them. They enjoyed seeing the town, though shops and most other places of interest were closed. Leaving early on the return trip, they were able to see much of the country where the last fighting had taken place. Later the sisters had another trip to Tunis to witness the Victory March, with General Eisenhower taking the salute.