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22nd Battalion 2NZEF
"Vrai et Fort"
The 22nd Battalion's War Diaries
The 22nd Battalion was required to keep a diary, recording day by day - and in some cases hour by hour - all the major events in the life of the battalion. The diary begins on 12 January 1940, but describes events starting on 8 November 1939 when the battalion's officers first reported to Trentham, where they were met by the battalion's new Commanding Officer Major Andrew VC. The diaries end in August 1947 when the Battalion become 2 Battalion, NZ Regiment.
The diaries are now held by Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kawanatanga, in Wellington. They are mostly in remarkably good condition considering their age and the circumstances under which some of them were written. The diary for May 1941 notes that the original was destroyed in case the HQ was overrun during the battle of Crete. Some are in loose-leaf folders, others (especially relating to famous events such as Crete, Ruweisat Ridge etc) have been pasted into books.
Accompanying the diaries are files of correspondence and copies of Routine Orders, Special Orders and various maps and diagrams. The accompanying papers are often carbon copies of the originals and some are difficult to read. I will make some of this material available on this website, but if you would like to see a copy of any particular Order (these are numbered and indexed in the diaries), I can email you the file.
I accessed each file and photographed it with a hand-held camera. Some of the pages were difficult to photograph due to creases, folds or being bound into large books. There are 92 files in the series (one for each month) and this has produced several thousand photographs - the wonders of digital photography.
On this website is the full set of war diaries, page by page, month by month. You can read it all by following the links, clicking on any page to see a larger image if you cannot read the small version. I have collated each month into a PDF file but these are large files, so email me if you would like a copy to read it offline or print it out. I have enhanced the images to bring out the writing, but if you would prefer an original photograph please email me.
Last updated: 02/05/2011