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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

5 MDS at Atina

5 MDS at Atina

At 6.30 a.m. on the 30th, HQ and B Companies, 5 Field Ambulance, pulled out from the Volturno Valley to travel through Acquafondata, Sant' Elia, and Belmonte to Atina and take over the school building which A Company was preparing to leave. There were casualties immediately, and through that day and the following day the MDS was busy. It did not help when the Germans started shelling the town.

page 361

More and more of the civilian population were returning to Atina. Most of them were elderly people and women and girls who had been hiding in caves and gullies during the winter months, short of food and clothing, and their condition was absolutely wretched. At every meal they thronged around the mess queues, gazing longingly at the steaming dixies and mess tins. It was too much for some of the men; they drew their food and handed it straight to some old man or woman.