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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy


page vii


THIS is the second volume of the official medical history of New Zealand in the Second World War. It has been preceded by the Clinical Volume in which important surgical and medical experience has been recorded and evaluated in case of future need. Also, it follows the unit history, Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy, by J. B. McKinney, but it covers another field, concentrating rather on the story of the New Zealand Medical Corps in the campaigns in the Middle East and Italy, on the professional problems and on medical administration. A final volume will cover other activities of the New Zealand Medical Corps—with the Pacific Forces, with prisoners of war in Europe, with the Royal New Zealand Navy, with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, with hospital ships, and the army and civil medical organisations in New Zealand. The size of this present volume has precluded the inclusion of all overseas activities in this history as was originally planned.

The record of the New Zealand Medical Corps in the First World War was admirably presented by Lieutenant-Colonel A. D. Carbery in his book The New Zealand Medical Service in the Great War 1914–1918. This present volume takes up the story where he left off, and briefly covers the inter-war years before turning to the mobilisation and campaigns of the Second World War. Each campaign has been briefly summarised so that the medical story may be intelligible, but the reader is also referred to other War History volumes. Medical histories are being published by other Commonwealth countries, and, in the United Kingdom volumes particularly, those interested may see how the New Zealand Medical Corps fits into the broader picture of, for instance, the medical service of the Eighth Army. A pleasing feature of the writing of the history has been the co-operation achieved by the Medical Editors or Historians of the different countries through the Official Medical Historians' Liaison Committee of the Commonwealth countries and the United States of America.

In the medical history of a single homogeneous division, problems and experiences can be analysed more intimately than is possible with a larger force. Thus it is felt that this volume has a significant contribution to make to the history of the Second World War. Despite page viii fairly complete war diaries and reports, it would have been impossible to present an adequate and accurate history without the help of many members of the Corps who have supplied information and perused drafts of the chapters. They are too many to mention all by name, but they are thanked for their assistance, especially Brigadier H. S. Kenrick and Colonel R. D. King. The invaluable services of my assistant, J. B. McKinney, are also gratefully acknowledged.

It is hoped that this volume will constitute a worthy record of those who served during the Second World War in the New Zealand Medical Corps.

T. D. M. Stout,

Medical Editor