Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Casualties Suffered and Work Done

Casualties Suffered and Work Done

The campaign in Greece had resulted in considerable losses in medical personnel and the battle for Crete added substantially to this depletion. About half of the medical personnel on Crete became casualties. One medical officer was killed, another wounded, and the acting ADMS NZ Division and seven medical officers were taken page 199 prisoner.1 Of the other ranks of the medical units, 5 Field Ambulance lost 1 killed and 63 as prisoners; 6 Field Ambulance lost 6 killed and 83 as prisoners; 4 Field Hygiene Section lost 17 as prisoners; and 1 General Hospital lost 17 as prisoners. These figures are exclusive of those who were temporarily missing and who later escaped to rejoin their units, and also of attached ASC drivers.

In the short but fierce battle for Crete the medical units were called upon to treat large numbers of wounded. Fifth Field Ambulance admitted 1274 patients and 6 Field Ambulance 1400 (half of the latter being casualties from Greece), and in most localities urgent surgery was done by surgical teams attached to the main dressing stations, with a limited amount of medical equipment and supplies. The staff of 4 Field Hygiene Section gave assistance at 5 Field Ambulance, to which they were attached, and the party from 1 General Hospital, in the words of the Registrar, “worked admirably” for 7 General Hospital, to which unit 6 Field Ambulance also gave valuable help.

In a survey of all the medical services on Crete, Colonel Kenrick remarked that to him the outstanding points were: firstly, the amazing fortitude displayed by the walking wounded under the most ghastly conditions; and, secondly, the universal courage and devotion to duty shown by all ranks of the medical services under conditions of warfare such as had never before been experienced by our troops.

1 Lt-Col W. H. B. Bull, acting ADMS NZ Division, Major S. G. de Clive Lowe and Lt R. F. Moody of 5 Field Ambulance, Lt D. A. Ballantyne of 6 Field Ambulance, Captain O. S. Hetherington, RMO 21 Battalion, Capt L. H. V. Longmore, RMO 22 Battalion, Capt R. S. Stewart, RMO 23 Battalion, and Capt E. Stevenson-Wright, RMO 2 Divisional Cavalry Regiment, were taken prisoner. In addition, Lt-Col Plimmer, acting CO 6 Field Ambulance, was killed, and Capt Mules was wounded, losing an eye.