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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

4 ADS in the Battle

4 ADS in the Battle

There was heavy shelling in 4 Brigade area all day on 29 and 30 November. The enemy was ranging on a battery near 4 ADS. Several of the wounded in the ADS received fresh wounds, and eight of the staff were wounded and one killed. One of the medical orderlies, L-Cpl C. Munro,6 carried out his duties during the shelling with complete disregard for personal safety and was later awarded the MM.

In the evening of 30 November the ADS was moved to a more sheltered locality. A convoy which had taken patients to Tobruk on the 29th returned with 300 blankets and 100 stretchers, which were urgently needed, and a further convoy of patients was sent to Tobruk that night.

At seven o'clock on the morning of 1 December there was heavy machine-gun and shell fire to the south of the ADS. A tank battle was in progress, and British tanks manoeuvred among the ADS vehicles. At midday the remnants of the badly mauled 6 Brigade withdrew through 4 Brigade, and the enemy was in full view on the escarpment, south-west of the ADS. Patients were collected from two 6 Brigade medical officers (Captains A. W. Sutherland and G. H. Levien7), and at 5 p.m. 4 ADS held 120 patients. Eighteen trucks were supplied to carry these patients during 4 Brigade's withdrawal to Egypt that night. Across the frontier the patients were transferred to 14 British CCS at Minqar el Zannan, and the ADS then continued east and reached Baggush on 5 December.

6 Lt C. Munro, MM; born Taihape, 26 Sep 1914; clerk, Wellington; 4 Fd Amb Oct 1939-Aug 1945 (RSM); Registrar 6 Gen Hosp, Japan, 1946-47.

7 Maj G. H. Levien, m.i.d.; born Auckland, 14 Jun 1917; House Surgeon, Auckland Hospital; Medical Officer 5 Fd Amb Jun 1941-Dec 1944; Maadi Camp Hosp Dec 1944-Jul 1945.