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Rights Information
Media type
Moving image
Place of production
New Zealand/Aotearoa
Photography: Norman Laugesen

Filmed by Captain Norman Laugesen (Divisional Signals) while serving with the 2nd NZ Division in the North African campaign during the Second World War.

Intertitle: “Maadi Club - a pleasant retreat which many officers will never forget.” Officers walking about the grounds of the club in Cairo, lounging outside. Tennis courts. Playing bowls.
“The Swimming Pool.” Diving into the pool and bathing (woman and children included)

“NZ Divisional Signals, Maadi, July 1941.” Sign outside tent reads, ‘Headquarters - Divisional Signals’. Officers relaxing, laughing at the camera. Soldier approaches camera and salutes. More scenes at the pool. Swimming races. Nurses exiting a tent.
“Review and inspection by Major General Freyberg V.C. on our big day.” NZ Divisional Signals in formation ready for inspection, parading. Brass band. Unfurling of NZ flag. A biplane performs aerobatics.
Personal letter to the filmmaker’s daughters in NZ. Captain Laugesen riding a motor bike in the desert, jumping and skidding.
Sun setting over camp.

Please see F4541 NZ WAR HISTORY COLLECTION to view the following footage online:

“Div HQ & 6th Brigade vehicles burning (in the desert).” Large group of soldiers making their way across desert. Vehicles grouped in desert. Signals personal in foxholes. Man cleaning his Bren Gun.
“Remnants of the 6th Brig, hard pressed race into our lines.”
“Enemy launches a heavy attack on 6th Brigade and Div HQ. This closed the corridor which we had opened up to Tobruk. It also cut off our infantry from us. Thus on the Dec 1st, 4th Field Regt found itself alone and attacked on all sides.” Explosions in the distance.
“A heavy barrage is laid on us and we are machine gunned...” Explosions near by. Artillery returning fire. Truck burning in the night.
“Following this severe barrage the enemy advanced upon us with tanks and infantry. Our gunners kept them at bay. While the enemy was checked we were able to move back and reform... After dark we drove south; dawn found us 60 miles away.”

“Desert morning”
Next morning, soldiers receiving medical attention. Men grinning at the camera. Cleaning artillery piece.
“And so we returned to Baggush by the sea.” Waves crashing on rocks. Encampment on the beach - general scenes. Trucks driving through desert.

Soldiers relaxing by sea. C/U of a signed toilet seat entitled ‘Libya 41’ with a picture of Hermann Goering attached. Inscribed at the bottom is: ‘Gambut Aerodrome, 23-11-41’. Panning shot of the camp at Maadi.

Sign for: YMCA Lowry Hut. Plaque reads: ‘This Building was erected and furnished and is maintained by T.H. Lowry ESO. of Hastings New Zealand.” Soldiers relaxing inside. Hundreds of metres of washing flapping on the line. Locals working in the laundry.
Soldiers on the march. parading. Minister performing a service in the desert. Soldier exiting tent and saluting camera.
Officer handing out cigarettes. Cameramen in desert. Artillery firing.
Rural town scenes. Row boat races across a river (a row boat is hit and sunk by a passing sail boat).

Headquarters of the 4th Field Regiment. Locals digging dung.
Grand Hotel Helouan [Helwan] in Egypt. Soldier having his boots cleaned. Various city scenes.