Topic: AIF - 1B - 3 LHR
The Battle of Magdhaba
Sinai, 23 December 1916
3rd LHR, AIF, War Diary Account
War Diary account of the 3rd LHR, AIF.
23 December 1916
The Regt moved at the trot on the southern side of the Bde, and continued in this position under the fire of the enemy’s mountain battery. One troops was sent out at the gallop to act as ground scouts, and discovered impassable ground in front. Sections left was ordered and the Regt followed in rear of the Bde until the bad ground was passed and then resumed its position on the right of the line. The bde then came under machine gun fire from the enemies trenches and orders were received to move to the right into the bed of the wadi. This was done over very broken ground. This Regt was then ordered to move down the wadi dismounted and was distributed as follows: C Sqdn on the north side of the wadi, B Sqdn in bed of wadi, A Sqdn on south side of wadi, with two machine guns on either flank. I reported all in position and moving at 11.20. Instructions were received that the ICC were on the left of this Regt at 11.35. The advance was continued very slowly on account of the difficult nature of the ground and the difficulty of men handling the machine guns. Cross fire from the enemy trenches down the wadi was difficult to locate and progress was difficult until these were definitely located. Word was sent back to the Mountain Battery giving the exact position of the enemy’s redoubts and after these were shelled a more rapid advance was made to the fork of the wadi. At this point A Sqdn on the right were in a position to bring cross fire onto No 1 Redoubt. At 12.44 word was received that on Sqdn of 2nd Regt was coming up on my right and they moved a considerable distance round and joined up with the 3rd Bde. At 1300 this Regt was in first position. Two more machine guns joined up at this point and when all were in position to afford cover fire an advance across the fork of the wadi was made. At 1330 C and B Sqdns were half way across and the ICC covering their advance with the machine guns. The first white flag was hoisted at this time but they still continued firing. Bayonets were then fixed and a rush made and No 1 Redoubt taken at 1340. Their trenches were then occupied and the machine guns hurried up to this position and fire brought to bear on No 2 Redoubt. The ICC [two Coys or part of 2 Coys no 1 & 2] reinforced on the left of C Sqdn. A Sqdn on the south of the wadi then gained considerable ground and C & B Sqdns with the ICC then pushed straight at No 2 Redoubt and took it with the bayonet and were joined by A Sqdn and one troop of 2nd Regt on the left of A. This redoubt fell about 1600 and No 3 about 1620. There was no further determined resistance and the wounded were gathered into groups and small fires lit at dusk to show their position in order to aid collecting.
Roll of Honour
Mervyn Stafford BLYTH
Lest we forget
Citation: The Battle of Magdhaba, Sinai, December 23, 1916, 3rd LHR, AIF, War Diary Account