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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Preparation for Move to Italy

Preparation for Move to Italy

At Burg el Arab all ranks were inoculated against typhus, and the taking of mepacrine tablets, four tablets a week, as a precaution against malaria was begun. In a ‘hardening’ programme each unit had been required to march about 100 miles a week, and they also took part in exercises with their respective brigades. The troops were not all thoroughly trained for the long march involved and there were many cases of acute foot fatigue; some of the men had to be graded down subsequently for this reason. The issue of a first-aid kit for every armoured fighting vehicle and gun was completed during September. These kits were made up at New Zealand Medical Stores Depot. In addition, all armoured fighting vehicles were provided with chloroform craquettes and three morphia tubunics (½ gr.). By the end of September the vehicles of the medical units, except for some light vehicles, had been overhauled and made battle-worthy. In the first days of October they were loaded for shipment and each man made trial packs of the heavy load he had to carry individually. Sufficient medical equipment to establish a small dressing station had to be taken as baggage.