Topic: AIF - 3B - 3 LHMGS
The Battle of Beersheba
Palestine, 31 October 1917
Lieutenant Clarence George Woods, formerly from the 8th LHR and transferred to the 3rd Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron, compiled a unit history which remained an unpublished manuscript but it included a section specifically related to the battle of Beersheba and is extracted below.
Woods, Lt CG, 3rd Australian Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron - Brief History from July 1916 to 1919, unpublished MSS, p. 11:
At 1430 of the same date Sqdn in company with Bgde marched on Esani arriving there at 2330, and bivouacing.
At 1700 Sqdn marched with column on KHALASSA arriving 2200
At 0200 1 Sub Section was sent with the 8th Regt on a detached reconnaissance and at 1600 F Subsection was sent to proceed with the advance Regt of the Divn (10th L.H.) At 1630 the Sqdn moved off with Column to Iswaiwin via a I Y N, & N, roads Reference kip Beersheba 1/250000 arriving there 0800 on 31st inst.
Sgdn moved off again at 1200 to BIR SALIM ABU IRGIEG which place was reached at 1500. By that time Beerhseba was being assaulted from three rides and the appearance of our force on the fast resulted in our being heavily shelled from the enemy position, which however caused no casualties to the Sqdn.
At 1700 enemy aircraft flying low bombed our forces in the line behind Tel el Saba, causing great casualties to "A" Sub Section. This Sub Section was practically annilated, the casualties sustained being:
Wounded. 1 Officer & 15 O.Ranks.
Horses: Killed 21 wounded 3. & missing 3.
At 1800 the Sqdn less 3 Sub Sections moved on Tel el Saba and there the remaining Sub Sections were attached to 9th & 10th Regts respectively for outpost duty, while Sqdn set up HQs at a point 1700 yds w of Tel el Saba.
Guns were established in positions which whilst commanding important points of the town could be used with the greatest effect in the event of a counter attack.
During the night Beersheba was entered and cleared of enemy troops, by L.H. patrols.
Guns came into action against enemy aircraft flying low bombing and machine gunning our line. It was reported that one of these planes came down as a result of small arms fire, the Pilot being killed.
Citation: The Battle of Beersheba, Palestine, 31 October 1917, 3rd LHMGS, AIF, Unit History Account