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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Re-formation of 1 General Hospital

Re-formation of 1 General Hospital

Considerable reorganisation of hospital units took place in August. The arrival of the 6th Reinforcements allowed the re-formation of 1 General Hospital as an active hospital, and steps were taken to effect this. The male staff was gathered together from their relieving duties with other medical units and began training. Following the disruption of the hospital during the evacuation of Greece, and the loss of so many medical personnel in 2 NZEF, the authorities in New Zealand suggested that the hospital should not be re-established. Brigadier MacCormick, however, with the strong support of DMS MEF, stood out strongly for the retention of the three hospitals, and fortunately for the future of the medical services of 2 NZEF the hospital was retained. The staff of the hospital had been very usefully employed in the meantime reinforcing other medical units.

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On 10 August Lieutenant-Colonel Stout and Lieutenant-Colonel Boyd were appointed full-time consultants with the rank of colonel and were attached to DDMS, Headquarters 2 NZEF. They had been acting part-time in these capacities from January 1941 and remained as consultants until 1945. Colonel Pottinger1 became the new officer commanding 1 General Hospital on 10 August, while Majors H. K. Christie and E. G. Sayers were placed in charge of the surgical and medical divisions.

Other appointments made at this time were Lieutenant-Colonel Cottrell as officer-in-charge medical division 2 General Hospital, Major Russell2 as DADMS HQ 2 NZEF, Major Kirker as Registrar 2 General Hospital, and Major Noakes3 as Senior Medical Officer, Maadi Camp, while on 26 June the DDMS 2 NZEF, Colonel MacCormick, had been promoted to the rank of brigadier.

1 Col D. Pottinger, MC; Invercargill; born Orkney Is., 20 Sep 1890; physician; in charge medical division 2 Gen Hosp Apr 1940–Aug 1941; CO 1 Gen Hosp Aug 1941–Aug 1944.

2 Lt-Col J. Russell, m.i.d.; born Scotland, 28 Oct 1896; Deputy Director-General, Mental Hospitals, Wellington; Captain 1st Gordon Highlanders, First World War; Registrar Gen Hosp Oct 1940–Aug 1941; DADMS 2 NZEF Aug 1941–Nov 1945.

3 Lt-Col A. L. de B. Noakes, ED, m.i.d.; Auckland; born Waitekauri, 21 Jul 1900; medical practitioner; Registrar 2 Gen Hosp Apr 1940–Sep 1941; SMO Maadi Camp Sep–Oct 1941; CO 1 Conv Depot Oct 1941–Aug 1945.