Sam and Mum Megan Reeder, the great-grand niece and grand niece of Brigadier Bull with his German dagger.
Omokoroa No. 1 School from north of Tauranga recently spent a day in the Museum. Prior to their arrival the museum was contacted by the family of Brigadier William Henry Blinman Bull whose great-grand niece was coming with the Omokoroa School class. The museum has in its collection a German dagger belonging to Brigadier Bull and brought back from his time as a prisoner of war in Colditz camp and they were hoping she would be able to see it.
This lead the museum's Education Officer Mark Hays on a journey of discovery into the life of Brigadier Bull. Blinman Bull had a remarkable career, a trained surgeon he joined the Medical Corps in 1917. By the time World War II started he was the Commanding Officer of 6th Field Ambulance and saw service in the Middle East, Greece and Crete.
On Crete he was captured by German Paratroopers on 28th May 1941 whilst caring for a group of 46 severely wounded at a WWCP (Walking Wounded Collection Point) in a schoolhouse at Neon Khorian. The group had been due to be picked up by trucks for the withdrawal from Crete however the trucks were unable to get through.
Lt Col Bull had this to say about his captors,
"Treatment by the Germans was, on the whole, fairly correct except that they:-
1. Removed 9/10ths of our one month's supply of food.
2. Would not or could not provide medical and surgical necessities for five days.
3. Would not evacuate the severely wounded, several of whom died as a result of inadequate treatment.
4.Would not allow us to procure surgical supplies from Kalives, only miles away, although large quantities were known to be there.
5. Took away at once 3 NZMC medics wearing red cross armbands, for the purpose of carrying ammunition.
At aged 44 Lt Col Bull became the highest ranking New Zealand Medical Corps officer to be taken prisoner during WWII.
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