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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

6 Field Ambulance's Camp Hospital

6 Field Ambulance's Camp Hospital

Indian troops moving out of Baggush left their dug-in EPIP tents to serve as hospital wards for the camp hospital 6 Field Ambulance was to establish. The erection of more tents, dug in and sandbagged, completed the hospital layout, and very soon the little hospital was operating.

The spot was more pleasant than any of the unit had expected. The wadi provided natural shelter and the surroundings were relieved from the monotony of flat desert by a line of white sandhills running down to the sea coast about half a mile away, and by the little oasis of green date palms where the wadi opened into a page 155 flat basin a few hundred yards below. A single, large, spreading fig tree was the only vegetation in the camp area, but in the many dips and hollows the men were able to dig cosy little holes over which to erect their bivvy tents, and with much ingenuity and improvisation there were soon many comfortable little dugout homes scattered about the area. The blue water of the Mediterranean close by was delightfully calm and refreshing, and the men spent much of their off-duty time swimming and basking on the beach.

A test of 6 Field Ambulance's organisation came early in a rush of a hundred South Africans suffering from acute food poisoning. Without warning, they descended upon the MDS one morning. Large tarpaulin shelters were erected to accommodate them, the MDS managed to provide blankets and stretchers, and all received care and attention. Within a day or so the majority returned to their units; the gift of a large number of cigarettes from the South Africans for the orderlies who attended them was much appreciated.