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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Concentration in Florence

Concentration in Florence

In October the Division moved from Lake Trasimene, and HQ 2 NZEF from Senigallia, to Florence. The 4th, 5th and 6th Brigades were housed in former Italian barracks, while 9 Brigade and other troops were in tents and Nissen huts. Headquarters 2 NZ Division and HQ 2 NZEF were amalgamated with a reduction of staff, and the combined administration was housed in a modern office building in the centre of Florence. The DMS 2 NZEF, Brigadier G. W. Gower, and ADMS 2 NZ Division, Colonel R. A. Elliott, were replaced by Colonel F. B. Edmundson, as DDMS 2 NZEF, and Lieutenant-Colonel V. T. Pearse as SMO 2 NZ Division.

The 4th Field Hygiene Company was reinforced by the Hygiene Section previously operating at Senigallia, its commanding officer was also appointed DADH Florence Command, and later the control of hygiene in the Florence sub-area was entirely undertaken by this unit. Its duties were onerous as New Zealand troops continued to show the highest venereal disease rate of Allied troops in the area, and also a high incidence of pediculosis and scabies, which pointed to a low standard of personal cleanliness in a large number of the troops.