KIWIS IN MAADI 1939-46
by Samir Raafat
EGYPTIAN MAIL, April 27, 1996
On 6 December 1939, Major General Bernard Cyril Freyberg, V.C., Commander-in-Chief of the New Zealand Forces, arrived in Cairo ahead of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force which would soon be arriving in Egypt.
Over six feet tall, "Tiny" Freyberg started his military career at the age of 24 when he accosted Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, and demanded a commission. Two years later, he was made a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order "for most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty" during the operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
On a cold dark night, Freyberg, naked and painted black, was dropped into the water in the Gulf of Xeros and swum for two hours towards the beach, with firing from the ships going on all around him. Once ashore, Freyberg lit a series of flares along the beach in order to mislead the Turks about where the landing was to be, then swum back.
The following year, Freyberg won his Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery and brilliant leading as a Battalion Commander on the Somme, and the year after, at the age of 27, he made it to Brigadier General. By 1934, Freyberg, aged 45, had become a Major General.
Upon arriving in Egypt, Freyberg was offered a choice of two campsites. The first was on the banks of the Suez Canal, the second, Maadi. The Major General had no trouble at all making up his mind. Flatly turning down the campsite in Suez, he opted for Maadi which was far more to his liking. It was minutes away from Cairo and the desert there was hard and suitable for training. Moreover, the area was practically free from mosquitoes and flies. In general, it has a reputation for being healthy.
The old WW1 Australian campsite south of Maadi's Road 84 was now a part of inhabited Maadi. New camps were allocated, this time further inland, at the base of the desert slopes of Wadi Digla and Tel al-Maadi generally referred to as Digla. The area belonged to the Delta Land Company which created Maadi in 1907 but had yet to be exploited.
The rocky plateau provided plenty of space for expansion and for maneuvers. By agreement with the British High Command, the land was leased to the New Zealand Forces. For the next six years, Maadi Camp would be New Zealand's main overseas base.
By the time the first New Zealand "Kiwi" disembarked at Port Tewfik, seven miles of tarmac, six miles of water mains, and over four miles of drains were laid out, while 150 huts had been built, providing cookhouses, messrooms, ablutions, storage rooms, etc. For accommodation, EPIP (English Pattern Indian Patent) tents, camouflaged to merge with the sand, were erected. Even then, the camp was only partially finished due to shortages in building material.
On 12 February 1940, the first contingent of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force arrived in Maadi aboard the Digla railway line, headed by the pipe band of the Cameron Highlanders. Almost overnight, the residential suburb was turned into a giant military base.
Maadi's population, down to under 2,000 after being depleted of its young Anglos now in the service of His Majesty, was multiplied in a matter of weeks. The New Zealanders peaked at 76,000 constituting the largest single foreign community ever to have resided in Maadi.
Freyberg did not believe in wasting time. Almost as soon as he arrived, he had a cook brought over from England for his Mess. He then proceeded to set up a culinary school, consulting with the manager of Lyons in London, who was also advisor to the War Officer on army cooking. Because ice cream sold in Egypt was considered unsafe, an ice-cream factory was also set up in the Maadi Camp. Obviously Freyberg had not heard of Groppi, Cairo's leading purveyor of sweets and pastries.
Next, Freyberg established a New Zealand Club in Cairo, where his soldiers could get a decent meal and a drink while off duty. But his most ambitious enterprise was yet to come.
As a young man, Freyberg had been New Zealand's champion swimmer and had swum 1000 miles in the course of his life. Freyberg was determined that the Maadi Camp should have its own "bath" and requested that one be built immediately. "In seven days," he insisted! It took Isaac Kipnis, Delta Land's engineer, a record time of five weeks. By 7 April 1940, the pool was ready. A carnival for the official opening that day was organized by Captain Noel Crump. Surrounded by photographers and reporters, Freyberg made his inaugural speech, expressing his deep gratitude to the Delta Land Company for allowing the New Zealanders the use of the pool's site free of charge and letting them have the water to boot! As a token of gratitude, he presented Engineer Kipnis with a silver cigarette case. Then, to the cheers of 1,000 spectators, half of them civilians, General Freyberg, balancing precariously at the edge of the diving board, plunged in. Within seconds, hundreds of soldiers followed suit!
Built along simple lines, the pool was 30 meters long and 10 meters wide. Before getting in, the Kiwi swimmer had to pass under a system of showers that were continuously running, then wade through a short stretch of water to clean his feet. On either side of the pool were wooden grandstands capable of seating up to 1,500 people-ideal for competitions. (Today, it lies in ruins near the western gate of Victoria College.)
Two weeks later, on 24 April 1940, ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Memorial Day was celebrated in Maadi. As his troops stood to attention on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, Major General Freyberg read out a message of support from Marshal Fevzi Tchakmak, Chief of Staff of the Turkish army. The Marshal had been Freyberg's most bitter foe during WW1 but Tchakmak was not one to harbor a grudge. "The Turks who fought in Gallipoli," he wrote, "have always recalled with enthusiasm the memory of their encounter with the New Zealand troops. They still relate with endless pride the wondrous episodes of that epic struggle which has since united the formidable foes of that day with strong ties of mutual respect and appreciation". Old enemies had now become allies!
During their stay in Maadi, the Kiwis were never at a loss for entertainment. They organized donkey derbies behind the Marconi Station (afterwards Maadi Satellite Station), fox hunting in the gorges, and when neither beast was available, the malicious alternative-Bedouin baiting. Another favorite pastime was the "Bar-None" motorcycle trial which took place on a special 17-hazard course especially prepared in the Maadi desert.
The New Zealand troops also had a picture theater at the Maadi Camp. The makeshift building clad with ripped kit bags was called Shaftos after the proprietor, and soon became known as "Shufti Shaftos". Unfortunately, the films that were shown were very old and in atrocious condition. One evening, when the film ended as usual in complete breakdown, the troops rioted and the theater collapsed! An open-air amphitheater type of cinema, named "al-Djem", was later built on "the Hill", otherwise known as "Bludgers Hill", the Administrative site which happened to be on a higher level than the rest of the Camp.
While the cinema in the desert was not much to speak of, the sports activities certainly made up for it. A boxing ring had been set up at Maadi Camp, and the matches proved to be great crowd drawers, particularly as real boxing champions could be found among the troops.
Maadi's New Zealand Rugby Team was also well endowed. With "All Blacks" ruggers like Parkhill, Evard Jackson (who lost his leg during the war), Tindill, Saxton and Hart on the team, it was hardly surprising if they regularly won the inter-base matches at both the Maadi Club and Maadi Camp. Meanwhile, several friendly cricket games were played between the Maadi Club team and their military visitors.
Although an "Officers Only" rule was enforced at the Club, servicemen were allowed inside for certain events. Soccer was also popular with the troops. It was faster than cricket and involved more players. The Maadi Camp's "N.Z. Maadi XV" and the "Digla Zone", played regularly in Maadi, Cairo and Alexandria. As for tennis, first-rate tournaments were held on the Maadi clay courts between the enlisted champions of the New Zealand National Team and their South African counterparts.
Many Maadi residents participated in the war effort. On 24 February 1940 Maadi's British wives launched the "Maadi Recreation Tent" on an unused plot of land between Roads 78 and 79 next to the Digla Freight Line and by the side of the 17th hole of the golf course. A few casuarinas were felled to make way for a large marquee where the troops could meet, play table tennis or draughts, listen to concerts, or simply relax over tea and cakes. The small profit accumulated went to the British War Fund.
The idea of the Tent had been Delta Land's wartime chairman John Crawford of the National Bank of Egypt. Just before the arrival of the troops, he issued a circular among Maadi's Anglos asking them to attend a meeting in the Club lounge one evening. The purpose? To "discuss" what they could do to make the troops' stay more enjoyable. The question was never really posed, for Crawford had been ready with the answer. He had also known just the right place, had received permission from the authorities concerned, and had already enrolled a secretary to take care of the matter. In true democratic spirit, however, he had assembled them all there that evening so that they could appoint the Maadi Tent Committee.
Throughout the war, the Maadi "Tentainers" entertained the New Zealand troops to plays and comedies at the Maadi Tent open-air theater. No civilians were admitted. The Tentainers' first performance took place on 28 April 1941, with Noel Coward's comedy "Hay Fever". Their last performance would be on 2 June 1945, with Emlyn William's "The Night Must Fall".
As time went by, strong relations developed between the Maadi British Community and Freyberg's group of ADCs. Some of these relationships turned into courtship's. But life in Maadi, however, was not always a bed of roses, for the Camp did not necessarily house the most exemplary of soldiers. Some would lose their lives, not at the Battle of al-Alamein nor the siege of Tobruk, but fighting among themselves right here in Maadi. One summer evening, at around sunset, horrified Maadiites witnessed a knifing incident which took place at the railway crossing. One soldier had just lost his life at the hands of another.
Some Maadiites resented the presence of the troops. Others, for the first time ever, were afraid to venture out after dark. Saturdays and Sundays were especially unpleasant, for the soldiers, returning from their drinking bouts in Cairo, would awaken Maadi with their lewd songs and drunken brawls. Unfortunate were those who lived on roads and paths leading from the railway station in Maadi or Sakanat to the Digla barracks. The fact that "Jimmy's Bar" had opened in Bab al-Louk ensured that even the most abstemious of soldiers would arrive in Maadi completely drunk.
On more than one occasion, Maadiites residing next to the railway station had to get on the phone to the military units in Digla, who hurriedly sent a jeep to pick up the drunken soldiers sleeping across their garage doors!
Clothes hanging out to dry in yards often disappeared; cars were sometimes forcibly "borrowed"; soldiers would impose themselves on scared motorists, demanding a lift into town or asking for "five ackers" (five shillings). One New Zealander attempted a break and entry into Princess Khadija Hassan's home on Road 10. His attempt was foiled when the princess, using all the courage she could muster, shouted at the culprit from the safety of an upstairs window. The following day a senior officer called on her to present his regiment's apologies. Other Maadi residents were not as lucky.
Meanwhile, Maadi's Egyptians were divided amongst themselves. The pro-British element more often than not, had been educated in Britain and, in the process, had become more English than the English. They sported tweed jackets, smoked pipes, wore monocles and hobnobbed with the British at the Maadi Club bar, discussing the merits of Scottish nationalism. Some even had British wives with names like "Bunty" and "Toby", who, while enjoying a position of consequence in the Egyptian society, were forced to endure the derisive sniggers of the more snooty among the British who treated them like they had let the side down by marrying a "local".
For the most part, however, Maadi's Egyptians were secretly anti-British, and watched apprehensively as the Maadi Camp grew into a huge military base. The English had far outstayed their welcome; it was time for a change. The Egyptians held their own wartime meetings. Not at the Maadi Club, however. What with all the uniformed officers about, and "God Save The [English] King" crowning every official function, the club had become more British than ever.
No, the Egyptian residents preferred to retreat to the safety of their large homes and gardens. There, the older generation, mostly pashas and beys, could give vent to anger, resentment or harmless banter. The younger generation, however, especially those teenagers fresh into college or the military academy, bordered on the militant. The young resented their parents' lack of initiative, interpreting it as diffidence to the British. The sons would show their fathers how to scare off the inglizi".
Maadi was rife with heroics, some real, others imaginary. Youth gangs were formed, traps and ambushes planned, army trucks and jeeps sabotaged, Kiwi soldiers stabbed as they returned half drunk to their barracks in Digla. The British Army Command, while publicly dismissing these incidents as vicious rumors, quietly began taking precautionary measures. Certain areas were put off- limits; soldiers were told to move about in pairs; leave was canceled at the slightest show of disturbance.
The Maadi gang was led by the notorious Hussein Tewfik, the 20- year-old son of Tewfik Ahmed Pasha, the Undersecretary of War. As early as 1939, Tewfik had fomented trouble for the British and Imperial troops stationed in Cairo, Heliopolis and Maadi. During his protracted trial for the murder, on 5 January 1946, of Sir Amin Osman Pasha, much would be revealed about the wartime harassment of British and New Zealand soldiers by young Egyptian activists. The mysterious assaults carried out on Allied soldiers in Maadi during the nights of 1941 would be the gang's doing.
While the sons of the Maadi pashas and beys were living their adventures, the handful of Maadi shopkeepers and traders were getting their first taste of wartime profiteering. This was a period of austerity when rations were supposedly enforced. Yet black market trade was thriving. Road 9 was experiencing its first boom. Trading in small arms had become a major source of income. With the Moslem Brotherhood and other militant groups absolutely determined to evict the English and to rock the already tottering Egyptian monarchy, gun-running between Allied military camps in Egypt and the militant groups was rampant. The more enterprising Road 9 tradesmen were taking in their share of this trade in view of the close proximity of the Maadi Camp.
The Maadi pensions (B&B), to a large extent the bed and breakfast type, were also making the most of the war while it lasted. Some of these pensions dated back to prewar days; others had been established with a view to cashing in on the war traffic. There was the Maadi House run by a Swiss lady who coveted officers only. Anyone not in possession of at least one pip was not admitted. Other pensions included Marguerite Mizrahi's Pension Marguerite on the corner of Road 14 and Mosseri (Orabi) Avenue, opposite the Synagogue; Broadway House on Road 10; Meadiville Pension, next to Maadi Station, run by Mrs. Goldstein; Pension Victoria on Road 9, run by Mrs. Victoria Mariotti, the ex- proprietress of Pension Viennoise in Cairo; Mrs. Wood's on Williamson (Wahib Doss) Street, which had a sordid reputation; last but not least, was the Pension Sporting (originally Pension Golf) situated next the Maadi Club and run by Marthe Hochstein, the doyenne of Maadi's Yiddish Community.
June 1941 found Freyberg battling for Crete. Even before the division had embarked for Greece, sometime in March 1941, Freyberg had had grave misgivings about the outcome. Sure enough, his doubts were confirmed. Finding themselves greatly outnumbered, Freyberg's brigades withdrew to Crete, with orders from Lieutenant General Sir Archibald Wavell, Commander-in-Chief of the British troops in the Middle East, to hold the island against the expected German invasion. But with a severe shortage of arms, equipment, and supplies, the New Zealand troops were barely able maintain an unbroken front as they withdrew yet again to the evacuation beaches.
Shortly after, Freyberg returned to Maadi, only to learn that he was "not to be trusted" and would be relinquishing command of his troops. But as fate-or Freyberg-would have it, he would retain his command, and Lieutenant General Sir Archibald Wavell, who had ordered his dismissal, would be relieved of his post that very same week!
Early in 1942, Kiwi troops would unwittingly find themselves embroiled in a war of nerves against King Farouk of Egypt! On the evening of February 4, under the command of Brigadier Falconer, the N.Z. 6th Brigade and a detachment from Maadi Camp that had moved into Cairo for security purposes joined up with British and South African troops commanded by Sir Colin Grey and sealed off Abdine Palace, where King Farouk was in session with his advisors. Sir Miles Lampson (later Lord Killearn), the British Ambassador, had decided to apply strong-arm tactics to "persuade" the young King of Egypt to "see it" his way by calling for the formation of a pro-British government. Notwithstanding Lampson's overbearing personality he is remembered as the last of a string of high-handed and imperialist British ambassadors to Egypt.
Thereafter, as though reflecting Britain's steady decline, her majesty's representatives would ultimately come from that middle-class civil servant milieu which had gradually supplanted the old genteel establishment.
Particularly crucial to the Allied victories in the Western Desert was the Legendary Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) under the command of R.A. Bagnold who had led three expeditions into the Libyan Desert in 1929, 1930 and 1932. In his book, Long Range Desert Group, part of which he wrote while he was in Maadi, Captain William "Bill" Kennedy Shaw, of the Sudan Forestry Service, describes the LRDG as a vital patrol and reconnaissance unit successfully operating behind enemy lines in the Western and North African Deserts.
Up until 1943, the unofficial Maadi wartime headquarters for members of the LRDG was a large house on the corner of Fouad al-Awal Avenue and Road 15 that had earlier served as the premises for a boarding school. While a large number of volunteers for the LRDG were provided by the New Zealand Division stationed in Maadi, several of Maadi's Anglos were also selected for service in this unit in view of their invaluable knowledge of the Egyptian and Libyan deserts.
By summer 1942, the battles between the Eigth Army and the Afrika Korps were in full swing. Tobruk had already been taken. Two New Zealand brigades were assigned to the desert south of Matrouh to cover the Eighth Army while it established its main defense positions in al-Alamein. On the night of 28 June 1942, their ammunition exhausted after five daytime attacks by Rommel's 21st Armored Division, the Kiwi brigades were surrounded. Asked by two correspondents what he would do, Freyberg calmly replied: "We will break out." "How can you, without ammunition?" they asked. "I have 10,000 perfectly good bayonets," he said. And Freyberg, true to his word, broke out.
By mid-June, 1943, the New Zealand division was back at Maadi Camp, minus the dead, the wounded and the missing. Freyberg, himself, returned to Maadi on August 1st to "pick up the pieces". He was now charged with redeploying his troops in Southern Italy. Brigadier L.M. Inglis of the 4th Brigade spent a blistering month in the Maadi desert, preparing an entire armored formation for the Battle of Italy. In Autumn, Freyberg and his men had joined the Eighth Army on the Sangro front.
On 30 December 1944, Cairo was subjected to thunder and heavy rainstorms which continued throughout that day and the next. The result was a flash flood that devastated the New Zealand camp in Digla. The floods were a direct result of massive water accumulation in natural reservoirs high above Wadi Digla and Wadi Tih. The sand and rock barriers gave way under increasing pressure, and the released waters came crashing down, carving out deep channels sweeping away everything before them as they headed straight for Maadi and the surrounding villages. The Digla train came to a screeching halt as the rails ahead were torn away from the loosened earth and carried off by the torrents. The Maadi raintrap system (dismantled in the 1970s), still existing in those days, collapsed. Firemen attempting to drain the waters into the Khashab Canal saw their efforts come to nothing as more flood water poured down the hills. When it was finally over, 35,000 cu.m. of deposited silt had to be removed from Maadi alone. Mixed with the silt were boots, pots and pans, uniforms and blankets.
It was almost as though nature sought to cleanse the area of the effects of the war. The remaining New Zealand troops helped repair ESR's "Freight Line", then, with their bulldozers, ploughed up the thick layer of sediment on the main streets. The remaining sediment on some of the side streets was peeled off in strips like a giant orange rind.
It was soon after that the New Zealanders discreetly withdrew. The war was over, and the Kiwis could finally return home. On 15 November 1945, a farewell party was held at the New Zealand Club in Cairo. Speaking on behalf of the government and Prime Minister of New Zealand, Lieutenant General Freyberg thanked all the volunteer workers, both in Maadi and outside, for the efforts they had exerted over the years to ensure the welfare of the New Zealand division. Freyberg then paid a final visit to Maadi.
By February 1946, only a handful of the Kiwi forces remained in Egypt. Out of the 76,000 soldiers stationed in Maadi, 29,000 were among the missing, wounded or dead, and many more had already left. In appreciation of the hospitality the New Zealand troops had received from the residents of Maadi, Brigadier Jack Mitchell, Commanding Officer, Maadi, commissioned New Zealand officer and architect F.I. Anderson for the job of building an obelisk in Maadi's Fouad al-Awal (afterwards al-Nahda) Square. In the words of F.I. Anderson
"I felt that offering a monument in the form of an obelisk as a "thank you" in the land where the obelisk had been developed some 3,500 years previously would be inappropriate. Accordingly, I designed a pylon 3m. X 0.5m. at the base, tapering to 1.5m. high to provide space for an inscription. High up on the front of the pylon was a marble inset on which was engraved the New Zealand Army badge. The three small shields above the inscription carried the insignia of the three divisions of the New Zealand Army. The pylon had a solid reinforced concrete base and core."
The inscription at the foot of the obelisk recorded that, from 1940 to 1946, 76,000 soldiers had passed through the Maadi Camp and had trained there. The limestone used was from the Torah quarries, and the workmanship, which was of a very high standard, was that of Egyptian stone masons. Supervising the finishing touches was another New Zealand officer, Lew Highfield of the Garrison Engineers. (The Kiwi monument was removed shortly after the 1956 Tripartite aggression). Two memorial plaques were also placed on the walls of the Maadi Community Church where so many services had been held for the benefit of the troops.
In July 1946, Lieutenant General Sir Bernard Cyril Freyberg, 66, was appointed Governor General of New Zealand. He had become a WW2 legend. In 1951, the former commander of Digla-sur-Maadi became Lord Freyberg, 1st Baron of Wellington.
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2011 12:28:06 +0100 [Tuesday, 22. February 2011 01:28:06 PM EET]
From: Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller
Subject: Camp Maadi 1940
Maadi Camp on U-Tube
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 11:59:00 +1200
From: Grant Lahood
Subject: Maadi Camp
I'm currently researching a New Zealand television documentary about the significance of music during wartime. ONe of the aspects of the story will be the music and performance that was used to entertain the
troops stationed at Maadi camp during WW2.
I understand also that Maadi was the birthplace of the Kiwi Concert Party.
We are planning a trip to Europe to follow in the footsteps of the Concert Party and are considering whether it is worthwhile to also visit the site of Maadi camp.
I'm very interested to know what stands there now or if there are any memorials or remaining evidence of the camp.
Many thanks for any information you can provide.
Subject: Thoroughly appreciated your article on Maadi Camp
Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 21:10:39 +1200
From: John MacGibbon
I've been doing a fair amount of research on Maadi Camp, among other aspects of the NZ Division's time in North Africa, and I found your article fascinating. I recently published a book based on my uncle's North African diaries and his superb photography, while an artiller gunner in WWII. I've also produced a website that has some of the photos and some diary extracts. You may care to have a look this
site, unfortunately it doesn't show a lot of the book's Maadi content, but there's a lot of it in the book itself.
Ngaio, Wellington, New Zealand
Subject: Maadi Camp home base for The Kiwis WW2
Date: Mon, 7 May 2001 16:39:55 +1200
From: Cathi Andrell
I have just read your webite on The Maadi Camp, found it amusing to hear what the boys did for entertainment good on them. Thank -you for our freedom & I remember you all each ANZAC Day & sent a special pray to the fallen & to the ones who came home. My late Uncle Stanley James ANDERSON Service No 287873 a Gunner with RNZA not sure what battalion, he was a Sergant in rank. twice demoted(hi jinks expect as he had a wicked sense of humour). He went on to "The Battle of El Alamain" & Monte Cassino. If anyone has information on him or knows what unit he was with please email me. He was born 30/09/1921 Belfast North Canterbury New Zealand, eldest son of Wellwood Stanley ANDERSON( a ex BEF in WW1) & Margaret Milne WOOD. I have some of his war
Thank-you foor sharing the information on Maadi Camp.
Kind regards, Mizpaah
Subject: Maadi Camp
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2001 21:14:20 +1300
From: Graham Street
Very shortly we are going on a holiday to UK and returning via Cairo. The reason I have chosen to stop at Cairo my father was in the 25th New Zealand Battalion and spent a lot of time at Cairo as well as Greece, Crete,Battle of Alamein. While on our stop over in Cairo would like to visit Maadi. I note you have a photo of a momument to the 2nd NZEF on your web site. Can you please advise the location in Maadi of it as I would like to visit it. My father has since passed away, that is why the visit. I have just read his war diary, and about days at Maadi etc. Any other points of interest about Maadi camp would be appreciated.
I have just finished reading my Fathers war Diary, most of his time was in the Middle East etc. Arrived at Maadi Camp Ist Oct 1940. After different battles etc then departed from Maadi 15th June 1943 for New Zealand. I was only 1 year old when he went to Egypt. The diary has many interesting pieces about experiences in Cairo etc. climbing one of the Pyramids, having his watch and paybook pinched in Cairo while on leave once , the experience of the Battle of Alamein etc, plus the effects of "plonk" after being out in the desert etc.
I had used the internet to do some research on Maadi Camp and found your photo and article, that story made me excited, but as you say after 55 years things do change.
Subject: 7th field company, 2nd nzef, world war II
Date: Tue, 06 Jul 1999 23:29:09 +1000
From: Gayle Cameron
We, Julian Collins and Gayle Cameron have enjoyed your information on all things pertaining to Maadi camp. Julian's Dad, Charles Stuart Collins, was a sapper of above company, trained in the U.K. and Maadi (we have postcards and photos of various activities described-donkey derbies, golf, rugby players etc.,) and was sent to Crete. He was wounded (shrapnel) whilst being evacuated from Crete. His mate, sitting next to him was not so lucky-he was killed. He was taken to Cairo to recuperate and returned to N.Z., we think, in 1941. Any further revelations regarding this groups activities would be most welcome in our quest to put together his personal history!
Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!
Subject: Your piece on the Kiwis in Egypt -- 1939-46
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 19:16:21 +1200
From: Paul Corrigan
I've just read through it (I'm trying to find something for an old soldier). But has anyone told you, though, that you've got the wrong flag? You have the Australian flag with your story. The NZ flag has four stars in red. (We Kiwis can get touchy about being mistaken for Aussies) I think you might find, too, that the style for Freyberg is Baron Freyberg of Wellington (for the first reference), and Lord Freyberg after that. Apart from that, you seem to have done a superb job.
Subject: EGYPTIAN/US/ET AL WAR GAMES
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 00:30:16 -0400
From: Pat Nicastro
I enjoyed your write up immensely. An interesting observation! I served in Egypt during WWII, being stationed at then Payne Field near Heliopolis. I believe Egypt made it their Internatioal Airport. I do
recall that we had donated the air base to Egypt following the cessation of the war. Thanks again for your wonderful dissertation on the War
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