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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

CCS in Forli

CCS in Forli

In the school building in Forli, too, the CCS, under Lt-Col A. G. Clark, was set up in more comfortable conditions than it had ever enjoyed before. In fact, with the wards neatly arranged and all the departments functioning in a routine manner, the unit had all the aspects of a base hospital rather than a forward one. By good page 404 fortune the central-heating system was intact, though some adjustments were necessary at first. The large boilers in the basement were kept stoked continuously and, besides keeping the whole interior of the building warm, provided an ample supply of hot water to the modern shower-room. Another great feature of the school was that it was connected to the town water supply.

The staff was well quartered, too. A villa across the road was reserved for the nursing sisters, under Charge Sister Gilfillan,6 and another large one nearby accommodated the officers. All other personnel lived in a five-story block of modern flats farther along the road. Most of the former inhabitants of these flats had either evacuated or been forcibly ejected by the Germans, but a few families remained. In many ways, such as doing washing and mending, these Italian people helped many of the staff, and strong friendships developed as the weeks went by.

On 14 and 19 December the casualties from the Division's two main attacks resulted in peak periods of work at the CCS. Because of the muddy country roads, the wounded from the first attack were many hours reaching Forli. Later, however, when Faenza was occupied, ambulances were able to come direct down the main highway. There were two surgical teams attached to the unit at this time, but as so many of the casualties were serious ones requiring urgent attention, a number of them were sent on to less busy British medical units. Evacuation from Forli presented no problems since the 75-mile journey to 1 NZ General Hospital at Senigallia was over good roads.