Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

6 MDS in Castelfrentano

6 MDS in Castelfrentano

On 14 December 6 MDS moved west to the main road and proceeded to Castelfrentano to establish an MDS in the school. Lt-Col Fisher left at 8 a.m., and the remainder of the vehicles moved page 327 individually throughout the day. This precaution was considered necessary as a long stretch of the road, lying below and in full view of Orsogna, was subjected to spasmodic shelling.

The road was muddy and churned up by tires and wheel chains. The trucks wound up the steep valley from the river, passing dumps of stacked ammunition, batteries of medium guns and 25-pounders, and roadside notices forbidding the use of headlights. Some of the guns were silent; others were firing in the direction of Orsogna, a line of buildings along the ridge ahead, overlooking the valley. Crossing the railway at Crocetta, they emerged on to a stretch of road running past the smashed brickworks and up the final slope to Castelfrentano, where down-coming traffic was flying past at a reckless, speedway pace, and the trucks going up were pushed unmercifully in the drivers' anxiety to reach cover. This was the ‘Mad Mile’ of the Orsogna battles. In full view of the German positions, it was frequently and accurately plastered with shells. To the apprehension of the orderly room staff, their truck suddenly developed transmission trouble and barely managed to limp round a bend into shelter before coming to a stop. It was towed the last 400 yards into Castelfrentano, and the unit squeezed its vehicles into the tight mass of trucks and houses and set up immediately. Attached to the unit were 1 General Hospital surgical unit, a British surgical team, and 102 Mobile VD Treatment Centre, one of the two Base treatment centres having been made mobile to treat venereal disease within the Division.