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4th and 6th Reserve Mechanical Transport Companies

Saturday, 29 November

Saturday, 29 November

The day opens with a mass of 300 vehicles, with tanks, moving towards the Division. Whose? With the Afrika Korps closing in on all sides, the supply column has broken through, led by Colonel Clifton68 in a bullet-riddled staff car. Heartening too is the arrival of more ammunition from Tobruk. Shelling continues on both sides, together with heavy bombing by the RAF, as the enemy probes. Enemy tanks masquerading cheerfully as British help enemy infantry win Point 175 from the remnants of 21 Battalion. At dusk Sergeant-Major Gay and six men escort German prisoners along the narrow corridor to Tobruk. Captain Blanch, in charge of D Section, is evacuated with influenza to the 6 Field Ambulance ADS, which is overrun, and he is taken prisoner but later escapes in a truck. Second-Lieutenant Smith takes over D Section.

68 Brig G. H. Clifton, DSO and bar, MC, m.i.d.; Auckland; born Green-meadows, 18 Sep 1898; Regular soldier; CRE 2 NZ Div 1940-41; Chief Engineer 30 Corps 1941-42; commanded 6 Inf Bde Feb-Sep 1942; p.w. 4 Sep 1942; escaped in GermanyMar 1945; NZ Military Liaison Officer, London, 1949-52; Commandant Northern Military District, Mar 1952-Sep 1953.