Topic: AIF - 2B - 2 LHB
Bir el Mazar
Sinai, 17 September 1916
2nd LH Bde, AIF, War Diary Account
The transcription:Report on reconnaissance of Bir el Mazar on 17th September 1916.
The Brigade left bivouac at Hod el Hassaniya at 0230 on Saturday 16th September and marched to Hod el Ge'eila arriving there at 0600. Men and horses were rested under the palms for the day. At 1600 one Squadron 6th Light Horse Regiment was sent to Divisional Headquarters at Salmana as escort to the artillery, this Squadron remained with the artillery during the operations. At 1645 the Brigade left Hod el Ge'eila and marching in a north easterly direction arrived at the Divisional rendezvous four miles east of Bir Salmana at 1900. At 1930 the 5th Light Horse Regiment detailed as advance guard to the Division, moved out and took up a position in advance of Divisional rendezvous ready to move off at 2000. At 2030 the column moved off. Two troops of the 6th Light Horse Regiment formed the flank guards, one on each flank. The column advanced with the usual halts until a point on the road one mile North North East of Hill 157 was reached. At this point one Squadron of 6th Light Horse Regiment with one Section Machine Gun Squadron was detached with instructions to hold the high ground immediately north and south of the road until the column returned. At 0245 the column moved forward to a point about one mile west of 30 on the Mazar Road. From this point the 5th Light Horse Regiment was pushed forward with instructions to reconnoitre the country towards Mazar and deal silently as possible with any enemy found at the redoubt know to be on Hill 30. At 0445 the 7th Light Horse Regiment less on Squadron (Divisional Reserve) were sent forward with instructions to get in touch with 5th Light Horse Regiment and move forward to the attack on Mazar. The left flank of the Regiment to be on the caravan route.
At 0500 two Troops of the 6th Light Horse Regiment with the Lewis Gun Section were sent forward to support the 5th Light Horse Regiment on the left flank. The 5th Light Horse Regiment found the redoubt on Hill 30 unoccupied but came in touch with two posts of the enemy about half a mile east of it. The Regiment pushed forward to a ridge overlooking Mazar and about 800 years from the enemy's trenches. Meanwhile the 7th Light Horse Regiment had moved forward and taken up a position on the right flank of the 5th Light Horse Regiment. At 0615 a small post of the enemy was reported to be in position about three quarters of a mile south of the position held by the 7th Light Horse Regiment. Lieutenant Stanley's Troop was detailed to deal with this post. The post was rushed and the enemy, 6 camel men surrendered. The advance guard of the 7th Light Horse Regiment also chased and captured 8 camel men and their camels. The enemy were located strongly entrenched on the bare sand ridge on the foot of which the ruins of Mazar stand. An advance was made against the position by the 5th and 7th Light Horse Regiments but it was checked shortly after it started owing to a message having been received that the 3rd Light Horse Brigade were withdrawing. During the early part of the morning the enemy's anti-aircraft guns were very active against our aircraft but afterwards they actively shelled the position held by the 5th Light Horse Regiment. At o945 the Brigade started to withdraw and by 1200 all troops had been withdrawn west of the salt pan three miles west of Bir el Mazar. One Squadron of 5th Light Horse Regiment was detailed as rear guard and Brigade withdrew towards Salmana. At a point on the road one mile north of Moseifig the Brigade halted to water horses. From there the Brigade withdrew to bivouac at Salmana. Our casualties during the day were one man killed and nine wounded. At 0315 on September 18th the Brigade left Salmana and marched to camp at Hassaniya arriving there at 0600.
Citation: Bir el Mazar, Sinai, 17 September 1916, 2nd LH Bde, AIF, War Diary Account