Topic: AIF - 4B - 9 MVS
The Battle of Beersheba
Palestine, 31 October 1917
9th Mobile Veterinary Section, AIF, Unit History Account
[From: AWM B00761]
At the conclusion of the war, Captain GK Thorpe, O.C. 9th Mobile Veterinary Section produced an unpublished manuscript in 1919 called 9th Mobile Veterinary Section History 1917 - 1919, which included a section specifically related to the battle of Beersheba and is extracted below.
Thorpe, GK, 9th Mobile Veterinary Section History 1917 - 1919, unpublished, pp. 5 - 6:
On 20.9.17 orders were received to march to Kilo 15 on the Railway near Weli Sheikh Nuran at which place it remained till 28.10.17 preparations being there made for the coming operations.
On 28.10.17 the Section moved to Esani and bivouacked with the Brigade marching next day to Maalaga on the Wadi el Immaalaga to be near water.
On 30.10.17 orders were received to move back to Esani as Desert Mounted Corps considered our position unsafe.
On 1.11.17 we were told to push on to Beersheba arriving there that night and the following day took over all the horse casualties of the Brigade.
While at this place about 30 decrepit Turkish ponies were ordered to be destroyed. The OC of the Section was detailed for the job and a party of Turkish prisoners to lead the animals provided. The animals with prisoners holding them were lined up along a deep trench and the prisoners, evidently under the impression that they were to be shot with the horses, commenced to pray with considerable fervour. Their relief was great when they could be made to understand that they were not to be killed.
On 4.4.17 the Section was detailed to conduct 81 horses to Shellal. The party left in charge of Corporal JB Sharpe with one man to six horses. The animals were watered Khasif, one died en route and remainder handed over to the receiving depot at Shellal.
Citation: 9th Mobile Veterinary Section, AIF account about the fall of Beersheba