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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

1 General Hospital Leaves for Egypt

1 General Hospital Leaves for Egypt

Instructions to 1 General Hospital on 7 September to prepare for departure were not cancelled when the departure of the rest of the Echelon was postponed. The staff were sorry to be leaving the hospital, which was then nearing completion. Nissen huts had been erected to allow the pack and ordnance stores to be cleared from the two wards they had been occupying. A move had been made into the administration block, and the painting of the hospital was almost completed. The summer had changed to autumn, the fruit was ripening on the trees, and the beech trees were a picture in their autumn tints. Pinewood, too, had been spared the attention of enemy aircraft. Few were looking forward to a sea trip again, feeling that they had already spent so much time travelling. All hoped until the last that the arrangements might be altered, but they were not changed although a little delayed.

On 26 September DDMS, Aldershot Command, visited the hospital to make final arrangements for 18 British General Hospital to take over. He expressed his pleasure at having had the unit in his district and his appreciation of the good conduct of the staff and of their reputation with the people of the district; he also congratulated Col McKillop on the excellent work of the unit.

The staff all had seven days' leave before embarking for Egypt, and this took them to all parts of England and Scotland. Some page 60 tried to find their way to quieter areas, as the noise of planes overhead became trying at times, especially at night. On 4 October the main body embarked at Gourock on HMT Georgic. The ship sailed on the evening of the 7th and reached Port Tewfik on 16 November, after calling at Freetown and Cape Town.