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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Developments at Base—Changes in Administration

Developments at Base—Changes in Administration

The movement of 4 Brigade Group to the Western Desert while a proportion of men remained in Maadi Camp and at Helwan hospital led to changes in headquarters administration. Up to September 1940 all administrative functions had been carried on by Headquarters NZ Division. This title was retained by the headquarters of the brigade group when it moved up under active-service page 68 conditions, and a reconstituted headquarters at Base became Headquarters 2 NZEF. This latter organisation could only be built up slowly without drawing unduly on the divisional troops. In September separate routine orders were issued by Headquarters NZ Division (on matters affecting all troops under its direct command) and by Headquarters 2 NZEF (on matters having force throughout 2 NZEF).

In August the acting ADMS NZ Division, Lieutenant-Colonel Kenrick, drew attention to the fact that it was impossible for one man to carry out satisfactorily the duties of ADMS with the force in the field, and at the same time cope with such important base duties as the establishment of hospitals and convalescent depots. When Colonel MacCormick returned from his duties with the Second Echelon in England in September he took a similar view. Immediately upon General Freyberg's return to Egypt from England, the question of the administration of the New Zealand Medical Services was taken up with him.

It was decided that there should be a DDMS 2 NZEF on Headquarters 2 NZEF and Colonel MacCormick was appointed to this position. Lieutenant-Colonel Kenrick was thereupon appointed ADMS NZ Division with the rank of colonel. These appointments were effective from 1 October 1940.

The DADMS NZ Division, Major Tennent, continued to assist the ADMS until appointed to command 1 Convalescent Depot, and Captain Williams1 was appointed DADMS in the office of the DDMS at Maadi Camp. Both DDMS 2 NZEF and ADMS NZ Division had a clerical staff to assist with administrative matters. This staff, especially at the DDMS's office, was expanded later with the increase in numbers and size of the medical units. A quartermaster, Major Peek, was posted to DDMS's staff as officer-in-charge of medical supplies and equipment.

The DDMS thus became responsible for the medical arrangements throughout 2 NZEF as a whole, including all hospital arrangements, and was adviser to the GOC in medical matters, while the ADMS made the medical arrangements for the Division in the field, being responsible to the DDMS.

In January 1941 Miss Nutsey2 arrived in Egypt to become Matron-in-Chief 2 NZEF. Under the DDMS, she was in administrative page 69 control of the members of the NZANS, and later of the members of the New Zealand Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (Medical Division).

1 Lt-Col M. Williams; Wellington; born Masterton, 29 Jan 1910; physician; RMO NZ Engineers, Oct 1939–Sep 1940; DADMS 2 NZEF Oct–Dec 1940; OC Base Hyg Sec Dec 1940–Jun 1941; OC 4 Fd Hyg Sec Jun 1941–Jan 1942; 5 Fd Amb Jan–Aug 1942; 1 Gen Hosp Aug 1942–Jun 1943; in charge medical division 4 Gen Hosp (Pacific) Sep 1943–Aug 1944.

2 Matron-in-Chief Miss E. M. Nutsey, MBE, RRC, ED, m.i.d.; born Christchurch, 9 Jun 1887; Lady Superintendent, Auckland Hospital; 1 NZEF 1915–19: staff nurse, Egypt, 1915–16, sister, England, 1916–19; Matron-in-Chief 2 NZEF Jan 1941–Nov 1943; died 4 Jul 1953.