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Century Of Service For Medical Corps Celebrated

2 July 2008

Century Of Service For Medical Corps Celebrated

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Territorial Force members of the Medical Corps participate in a training Exercise in Waiouru Army Training Area in late 2007. The Corps has a close relationship with territorial force members and civilian health volunteers.


100 years of Army service to the medical profession will be celebrated in Palmerston North next week (8-13 July).

The Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps (RNZAMC), which has often deployed with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) to operations ranging from humanitarian aid and disaster relief situations to conflict zones, was formally established in 1908.

Among the highlights of the centennial celebrations will be the Centennial Medic Challenge for the ‘Kidman Trophy’ on Thursday 10 July, a day-long competition that will test NZ Army medic’s skill in providing combat casualty care.

Other activities during the week include: A medical conference, a medic poster competition, a centennial parade and the ‘Century of Service’ Ball. They will take place at locations across Palmerston North including Linton Military Camp and the refurbished Awapuni Raceway.

A centennial cocktail party will also see the launch of the book: “The Staff, the Serpent and the Sword” by Captain (Retired) Ken Treanor and the unveiling of RNZAMC Centennial painting by Army Artist Captain Matt Gauldie.

Regimental Colonel of the Medical Corps Brigadier Anne Campbell said the week recognises a long history of loyal service by the Corps which has seen some significant developments in providing medical treatment.

“The Corps is able to provide complex delivery of the healthcare that has advanced over the last century; from antibiotics, to the availability of vaccinations, advancement in resuscitation and surgery, prevention of illness and injury with better protective equipment, and of course the availability of aero medical evacuations. This reflects where medicine was during WWI to now. Many of these advances were trialled on the battlefield. What a century.”


History: Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps

- The foundation of the RNZAMC was as a volunteer medical bearer corps (later renamed field ambulances) established in 1898.

- The New Zealand Medical Corps (NZMC) was formally established in 1908. This included the establishment of an Army Nursing Reserve.

-More than 3600 members of the Corps served with the 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force in World War One. The NZMC remained as a separate Territorial Force corps and was greatly affected by defence cuts in the depression but was revived during the Second World War.

- After 1945 the NZMC was subsumed within the New Zealand Army Medical Corps which in 1947 was granted the prefix ‘Royal’ to enable it to become the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps (RNZAMC).

- Currently, the RNZAMC is responsible for the evacuation and treatment of casualties as well as promoting health, preventing disease and providing assessment of armed forces personnel.

- During the last 100 years of service the Corps has served overseas in such theatres as Egypt, Gallipoli, France, Flanders, Palestine, Greece, Crete, North Africa, Italy, the South Pacific, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Bougainville, East Timor, Indonesia and Afghanistan.

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