Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR
The Battle of Magdhaba
Sinai, 23 December 1916
9th LHR, AIF, War Diary Account
War Diary account of the 9th LHR, AIF.
Regiment left point mentioned in 22 December 1916 with remainder of Division at 0130 and moved south along the wadi arriving at Es Ria at daybreak. Shortly after, the Regiment moved on and took up a position to the north of El Magdhaba where it remained in reserve for the time being. At 1300 the whole line commenced to advance on El Magdhaba the 9th Light Horse Regiment less 6 troops [one Divisional escort, two Camel escorts, three escorts to machine guns] being between the 8th Light Horse Regiment on the left and a regiment of New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade on the right. The horses were taken up under cover to within 11/2 miles of the enemy's positions where the whole Regiment less horse handlers dismounted to advance on foot. C Squadron on left, A in centre and B on right. When the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade were picked up on our right, two troops of B Squadron were placed to support. The line advanced in troops by troops from the left. A Lewis Gun and a troop were giving forward cover to the advance of the remainder. These guns did very fine work and were instrumental in giving us superiority of fire. At 1430 we were within 500 yards of the enemy's trench where the regiment paused in its advance. The line was straightened up and reserve ammunition brought up for Lewis Guns. At 1515 the Regiment again began to move in bounds of 25 yards. At about 1545, bayonets were fixed and the enemy's position rushed. The enemy then started to surrender.
In one or two cases the bayonet got home and one of our men was wounded by an enemy bayonet. At one of the redoubts to the north east of the buildings there was one machine gun that was placed out of action by taking out the lock. After that we moved on and took the surrender of the next series of trenches. Just after this word was received from Wearne, Captain A, 8th Light Horse Regiment, [Author's Note: Wearne was the officer in charge of the 8th Light Horse Regiment Scout group, a very capable officer who led the first reconnaissance out to the Wadi um Mukhsheib on the 21st March 1916, and acted as guide for the Raid at Jifjafa, 11-14 April 1916. Scott, Major WH, made this comment about him after the raid to Jifjafa: "This officer made a previous reconnaissance of portion of the country and his knowledge and experience were of great value to me from first to last. He is the finest Scout Officer I have ever seen and was untiring in his energy, giving me particular help in his topographical knowledge." [Scott, Major WH, Reconnaissance Report 15 April 1916, p. 4.]] that the 10th Light Horse Regiment was in trouble near the buildings and McKenzie, Major KA, with 50 dismounted men, was sent. Just then the horses came up and Royston, Brigadier General JR, asked for two mounted troops and these were sent under Chanter, Captain JC. These were not required as the enemy surrendered. The Regiment had not much time to collect prisoners using one Officer and a few men, and we handed over four officers and 154 Other Ranks to the Division and these were credited to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade. Shortly after 1800 the Regiment watered and marched back to the rendezvous. The Regiment casualties were one killed [179 Lance Corporal RHA Fix] and 17 Other Ranks wounded. Also two horses killed and one destroyed. This was the first time the Lewis Gun team were in action. I cannot speak too highly of their dash, initiative and skill. They are instrumental in keeping down the enemy's fire to a great extent thus keeping down our own casualties. We fed at the rendezvous and left there at 2300 for return to El Arish.
Roll of Honour
Henry Richard Alfred PIX
Lest We Forget