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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

2 NZ General Hospital Arrives

2 NZ General Hospital Arrives

The arrival of 2 General Hospital in Egypt with the Third Echelon at the beginning of October meant that there was now available for the first time the complete staff of a New Zealand military hospital of 600 beds. Their arrival was opportune as 4 General Hospital had an occupied bed state of 434 on 4 October, when 2 General Hospital proceeded to take over. By 8 October the change-over had been smoothly completed and 4 General Hospital's page 60 male staff went back to 4 Field Ambulance or the Camp Hospital at Maadi for posting to their units, except for twenty-nine men retained temporarily as key personnel. There was a considerable number of changes in the postings of medical officers.

The GOC visited 4 General Hospital on 28 September prior to its relief and issued a special order following his visit. It read:

With the arrival of further personnel the medical units of the 2 NZEF are about to be reformed. Before this reorganisation takes place I wish to say that I am particularly pleased with the work done in establishing No. 4 NZ General Hospital. I realise that owing to the shortage of staff this work was effected under difficult conditions and I feel that the present efficient running of the hospital is a tribute to the high standard of the NZANS, NZMC, and attached personnel. I am more than sorry that the organisation so carefully thought out must now be taken over by another unit and the Emergency Staff sent to other work. Will you please tell all ranks how pleased I was with all I saw during my visit and thank them, especially those from the British and Australian Medical Services.

The eighteen sisters of the First Echelon became part of the staff of 2 General Hospital, with Miss Brown as matron and Miss Chisholm,1 assistant matron. It was now possible to grant leave to these sisters who had experienced an extremely strenuous time.

1 Principal Matron Miss M. Chisholm, RRC; (now Mrs Cartwright); Wellington; born Masterton, 23 Oct 1902; sister; sister-in-charge Camp Hospital, Trentham, Oct 1939–Jan 1940; Charge Sister 4 Gen Hosp Jul–Oct 1940; Asst Matron 2 Gen Hosp Oct 1940–Apr 1941; Matron 3 Gen Hosp Apr 1941–Nov 1943; 1 Gen Hosp Dec 1943–Aug 1944, Feb–May 1945; Principal Matron May–Dec 1945.