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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

5 ADS Captured

5 ADS Captured

On 27 November, as the enemy columns streamed back from the Egyptian frontier towards Sidi Rezegh, they overwhelmed 5 Brigade HQ group which stood in their path at Sidi Azeiz. The units in the page 168 group, including 5 ADS, surrendered to the German forces. One member of the ADS staff was run over by a tank and killed and six were wounded.

The German troops systematically looted all the vehicles and commandeered medical and other equipment not in actual use. Nearly all the transport was taken over and driven away. The ASC drivers were marched off to Bardia as prisoners of war, along with other troops of HQ 5 Brigade. A German medical officer, who had made contact with the ADS medical staff, granted every facility for the collection and treatment of casualties, both friend and foe alike. A German general also personally investigated the treatment of German casualties, which he found was equal to that given New Zealanders.

Two RMOs of 5 Brigade units, Captains Tyler8 and Adams,9 along with their RAP orderlies, joined the ADS and gave valuable assistance, besides bringing in most welcome supplies and equipment. Throughout that day and the next the ADS was unmolested, despite the passage westward of large enemy columns. By 29 November very few enemy troops remained in the locality. At 6 p.m. on the 30th a patrol of 2 NZ Divisional Cavalry arrived, and the evacuation of patients and staff was speedily organised and the convoy set off for Fort Capuzzo, where the patients were accommodated in an underground cistern until they could be transferred to 19 Indian MDS at Sidi Omar on 2 December. The ADS reopened in the ruins of Fort Capuzzo to serve the concentrating units of 5 Brigade. The Indians supplied some equipment, some vehicles were salvaged, and three trucks obtained. On 5 December the ADS admitted 67 casualties, which were transferred to the MDS at Sidi Omar. The ADS then prepared itself for further action with 5 Brigade.

8 Maj J. M. Tyler, m.i.d.; born Auckland, 16 Sep 1915; Medical Practitioner, Auckland; Medical Officer 5 Fd Regt Mar 1941-Jan 1942; 5 Fd Amb Jan 1942-May 1943; 2 Gen Hosp May 1943-May 1945.

9 Maj A. B. Adams; born NZ, 20 Apr 1914; House Surgeon, Wellington Hospital; Medical Officer 27 (MG) Bn Jun 1941-Jun 1943; 2 Gen Hosp Jun 1943-Jul 1944; OC Adv Base Camp Hosp Jul 1944-May 1945.