Libyan conflict brings bad memories for 28 Maori Battalion vet

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The Italian army barracks at Upper Sollum, near the Libyan-Egyptian border, were captured by the M?ori Battalion on the early morning of 23 November 1941. More than 250 German and Italian prisoners were taken, but the Battalion lost 20 dead and 33 wounded, mainly to retaliatory artillery fire from Halfaya. The foreground shows the type of rocky, flat terrain across which the attack was made.

(Waatea News) A 28 Maori Battalion veteran says he looks at the news of what’s going on in Libya in dismay.

Arthur Midwood says the fighting between Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi and civilian rebels takes him back to World War 2 battlefields like Acroma, Benghazi and Tobruk, where he watched so many of his comrades die.

The 92-year-old Rotorua resident says many more carried injuries for the rest of their lives, and the shrapnel he carries in his hip is a constant reminder of what went on in North Africa over 70 years ago.

He says when he returned to North Africa and Crete in 2006, all the graves marked New Zealand Soldier Name Unknown made an impression he will never forget.

(Image courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library)

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