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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Reception of Escaped Allied Prisoners of War

Reception of Escaped Allied Prisoners of War

From the hills in the neighbourhood of Avezzano hundreds of escaped prisoners of war filtered back through the New Zealand lines. They included men from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, United States, India, and Russia. Most of them, excluding the Russians, had fallen into enemy hands in North Africa and were overjoyed to reach safety with the Allied forces again. For the adequate cleansing, clothing, and feeding of these men, many of whom had undergone great privation and overcome many obstacles to regain their freedom, it was decided to employ one of the closed MDSs to provide the necessary facilities. Fourth Field Ambulance was chosen, and the unit opened for the reception of prisoners of war on 17 June.

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