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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Divisional Medical Arrangements for the Battle

Divisional Medical Arrangements for the Battle

The New Zealand medical arrangements consisted in the employment of two advanced dressing stations in the forward areas servicing the two brigades and attached troops. Each RAP had an ambulance page 381 car attached and the Divisional Cavalry had two. Attached to the Division were eight ambulance cars from the inactive 4 Field Ambulance and fifteen cars from the American Field Service, as well as twelve trucks from the NZASC for lightly wounded. The newly formed New Zealand Section MAC, consisting of twenty-three cars lent by the British Red Cross, was now available for use in evacuating cases from the MDS to the CCS. The cars were not suitable for desert work but were of value on main roads.

The active MDS had attached to it the New Zealand Surgical Team and extra personnel to enable it to undertake urgent surgery, including the abdominals, and to hold and nurse serious cases. Only urgent cases were to be dealt with at the MDS and the remainder sent to the CCS, which was within easy reach over a reasonably good road.

The ADMS 2 NZ Division, Colonel Ardagh, was granted permission to call on the NZ FTU and the Light Section of the CCS if conditions warranted their use. (Both units were called up.) A section of 4 Field Ambulance was detailed to take over cases from the MDS when this unit moved forward. Ample medical stores were available in the different units and ample Red Cross comforts. Sterilised dressings were in good supply and blood, plasma, and serum, as well as glucose and saline solutions, were all available in large quantities.

The 5th MDS was stationed in the narrow space between the main coast road and the railway, one and a half miles east of Alamein station and just east of the Springbok road, which ran south at right angles from the coast road, and so was very favourably placed to receive casualties from the Division, whose axis lay on the Star track running parallel to and not very far south of the main road.