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THE "8" IN THE RIBBON , To the Editor The writer of your article onthe Eighth Army states quite definitely that it was so-called as early as Sep. tember, 1941, yet in his opening par* graph he makes reference to those who wear the "8" on their Africa Star ribbon as being the men who would feel the pangs of regret at the passing of the Army. It is a strand piece of juggling by the powers-that! be that only men who took part in action from El Alamein onward* should be- entitled to wear the coveted "8." The date of that great feat was October, 1842. What of those who bore the heat and burden of the day before El Alamein, whS tne Eighth Army was, comparatively speaking, poorly equipped? What of the gallant infantry who were en gaged in that fierce, bloody fightint?" for the blockhouse at Sidi Rezegh? the heroic anti-tank gunners stand ing up to Rommell's panzers with their 2-pounders?—the tank men on El Hamed?—the outstanding exploit at Minqar Q'aim, and may other gallant actions fought in the desert by those earlier members of the Eighth Army? Yes, they were members of that Army, and yet, through sickness, wounds, or being taken prisoner, they are denied the honour of wearing the "8." Surely these and other exploits entitle them to be ranged with their comrades of a later Eighth Army at El Alamein. The injustice of the distinction will be made even more plain to your read ers when they realise that a man who went through the earlier shows and right up to within a day of the great offensive, is denied recognition if he was sent out of the line, while the reinforcement who took his place on the day of the offensive, receives his"B." There are many ex-members of the old Eighth Army without the "8" on their ribbon who read with mixed feelings of the passing of that fighting force. A.D.S., SIDI REZEGH. [Perhaps more generally than our correspondent appreciates, there is public knowledge of the fact that any New Zealand fighting man entitled to wear the Africa Star merits the same respect as the man with the "8" in his ribbon.—Ed.]

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Bibliographic details

CORRESPONDENTS' VIEWS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 180, 1 August 1945

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CORRESPONDENTS' VIEWS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 180, 1 August 1945

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