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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

General Medical Administrative Arrangements

General Medical Administrative Arrangements

Brigadier Large, RAMC, with headquarters in Athens, was in command of all British medical services in Greece. Colonel Kenrick was given control of the operational area north of Elasson, the troops in the area at that time being the New Zealand Division and 1 British Armoured Brigade. When 6 Australian Division reached the forward areas, the command fell to Colonel W. W. S. Johnston, the senior Australian medical officer, as DDMS Anzac Corps, and page 100 Kenrick reverted to his position as ADMS NZ Division, which position gave him control of the three field ambulances and the field hygiene section, but not of 1 NZ General Hospital. Under Anzac Corps, in addition to field ambulances, were 2/3 Australian CCS and 2/1 Australian MAC.

There were two base sub-areas: 81 Base Sub-Area with headquarters at Larisa, and with Colonel R. H. Alexander, RAMC, as ADMS, controlled 24 British CCS, a section of 189 Field Ambulance, 1 NZ General Hospital, 2/6 Australian General Hospital, and supply and evacuation on the lines of communication to Athens; 80 Base Sub-Area at Athens, with Colonel J. B. Fulton, RAMC, as ADMS, controlled the base hospitals, 26 British and 5 Australian, Advanced Depot Medical Stores, Voula-Camp, and supplies and evacuation in the Athens area. A hygiene section was also stationed at Larisa to help in cleaning up the debris resulting from a severe earthquake which occurred at the end of February.

Thus, at first, 1 NZ General Hospital was under control of DDMS BTG, Brigadier Large, and then of ADMS 81 Base Sub-Area, Colonel Alexander. Orders affecting New Zealand medical personnel in Athens came from ADMS 80 Base Sub-Area.

There was no New Zealand medical liaison staff attached to HQ BTG in Athens, although the Australians maintained a medical officer there. In retrospect, there can be no doubt that a New Zealand medical liaison officer attached to Medical HQ, British Troops in Greece, would have been of very great service during the campaign.

The New Zealand Division and its medical services, although under command of the force commander and DDMS BTG respectively, were still a separate expeditionary force, usually asserting a certain degree of independence which rendered close liaison with the overall command especially desirable.