Topic: AIF - 3B - 8 LHR
The Battle of Magdhaba
Sinai, 23 December 1916
Auchterlonie, G. (ed.), Dad's War Stuff - The Diaries, Morwell, 2001, pp. 28-29.
Friday 22 December:
Moved early to join the Brigade. Went along shore. Lots of trenches along beach & several war boats out at sea. Camped for the day, plenty of good water in dozens of wells, & the natives grow a bit of oats & vegetables by irrigation. Got word to pack up with no blankets or led horses (our troop has about two per man) for a two days stunt. Left at 6 p.m. Only went a couple of miles then pulled up to get feed & rations, waited about & froze till 2 a.m.”
Saturday 23 December:
Set out, went SE along a good wide road, level & firm. Are after a camp of Turks about 26 miles from El Arish & have 1st & 3rd Brigades, NZ’s, Camel Corp & artillery. Kept going till sunrise, had a short spell & fed, but a plane came along & bombed the Turks, we moved on at once some 3 or 4 miles. NZ’s, 10th & CC have been having a fly & the guns are doing good work.
Waited behind a ridge till midday when all hands mounted & went over the ridge half a mile & dismounted for action. Kept on advancing with good cover in the shape of little hillocks, a few Turks at first, but we drove them in capturing a few, then following up got into the fire from their redoubts which was pretty solid & a few were getting knocked, kept sneaking on & must have come a mile when we got fix bayonets. When we got closer in Jacko began to chuck it in batches. A few took charge of them & the rest came on & took the two redoubts, one after the other. There were a great many killed & wounded Turks in them & was no means a nice sight. No time was lost however before prisoners were collected & led horse brought up. The regiment took a bit of getting together for at the last it was NZ, 8th, 9th, & 10th all mixed up. Moved at dusk down to the Turks headqtrs to water. But it was too dark & dusty to see much. A good water scheme & several big stone buildings & tents – evidently their HQs for this part. Brigade massed after watering & moved off four or five miles, same as coming out, very powdery. Got water issued there, then on again at 10.30 till 4 a.m.