Superb shot taken by the Maori Battalion's No 4 carrier platoon C.O. Captain E.V. Hayward on or around the 12th of April 1943 which I think in some way depicts his pride in this mobile multi role unit.Captain Hayward was also B Company's Commander during the campaigns above in Tunisia and later in Italy.
An interesting photo in what appears to be an early morning moment with "brew up" activity noticable in the central frame. I believe taken not far from the town of Enfidaville, it gives a rare indication of the tracked carriers as to how they were loaded on board their long distance heavy tank carrying transporters with NZ Division trucks already rolling on this excellent road.
The small town of Sidi Bou Ali can be seen in the distance some 5 kilometres away from the daunting pinnacle of Takrouna outpost itself. This previously enemy held village required the Battalion carriers to initially go through and sweep clear any remaining German and Italian rear guard defences of which only one manned mobile weapon was found and destroyed. This allowed the 28th Battalion as part of its 5 Brigade unit to pass through with out incident.
The closing stages of the North African campaign are in progress after the success of taking point 209 as part of the 8th Army "left hook" attempt behind the Marenth Line. No more are we lacking in armoured support and air cover. Our boys are beginning to feel part of a very effective properly supplied, highly organised and sophisticated 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force - 25,000 strong..but the Takrouna outpost holds some serious surprises ahead.
Hayward family Rotorua. Denis Clough archive.