Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
432 — Recommendation by Major-General Barrowclough, Brigadier Conway and Mr H. L. Bockett1 for relief of long-service personnel in 2nd and 3rd Divisions and reconstruction of a new division for employment in the war against Japan
Recommendation by Major-General Barrowclough, Brigadier Conway and Mr H. L. Bockett1 for relief of long-service personnel in 2nd and 3rd Divisions and reconstruction of a new division for employment in the war against Japan
1. That 2nd New Zealand Division should not at this stage be withdrawn from the Italian theatre.
2. That after 2nd New Zealand Division has finished its work in Europe, New Zealand should still maintain one active division in the field until the defeat of Japan, or until it is decided that such a division is no longer required in the war against Japan.
3. After completion of its task in Europe the 2nd Division be withdrawn to New Zealand, excepting men who on 31 October 1944 have less than two years' service abroad. Provided, however, that all men who are over 36 years of age on 31 October 1944, or who have more than two children, will be returned to New Zealand irrespective of length of service.2
4. Members and ex-members of the 3rd Division in the same categories as above will be liable when called on for overseas service.
5. If this scheme is adopted it will result in the gradual transfer of 3rd Division men and new recruits to the Middle East, and if it is fully accomplished, which normally would take approximately twelve months, the New Zealand Division would then consist of men with not more than three years' service abroad.
6. The time involved in effecting the replacement of personnel will depend on the employment of the Division and the availability of shipping, which will regulate the release of troops by General Freyberg. In certain circumstances the period of twelve months might well be considerably reduced.page 455
7. This scheme should satisfy the popular demand for the return of the 2nd Division when the fighting in Europe ceases, because in point of fact the whole of the original 2nd Division and reinforcements up to and including the 7th Reinforcements are included in those to be returned.
5 September 1944
2 A table attached to this recommendation is not reproduced. It contained estimates of the numbers of men in the 2nd Division to be replaced and of the replacements available in New Zealand from various sources.