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Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Battle of Romani, Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916, General Staff HQ, Anzac MD, AIF, War Diary Account
Topic: AIF - DMC - Anzac MD

Battle of Romani

Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916

 General Staff HQ, Anzac MD, AIF, War Diary Account

 

War Diary account of the General Staff Headquarters, Anzac Mounted Division, AIF.

 

The transcription:

3 August

0315 - The officers patrols left out reported enemy advance on Qatia at this hour. They consisted chiefly of camel men, and on reaching Qatia split up into small patrols, which prevented our patrols finding out what was in rear. Infantry appeared on ridges south west of Er Ragah and east of Qatia at dawn.

0400 - The 2nd Light Horse Brigade left the gully south of Katib Gannit for Qatia.

0430 - A Column of Infantry also appeared at 0430 marching on high ground south of Bir el Hamisah from the south east. One man sent to meet the Brigade with a message is missing. The patrol retired on Qatia and was heavily fired on and withdrew north west and met the Brigade. The Turks could be seen digging on ridges west of Er Rabah. The Brigade had left the gully south of Katib Gannit at 0400 and met the officer’s patrols on the way to Qatia.

0740 - The Ayrshire Battery left at 0740 to join the Brigade.

0835 - At 0835 the enemy were found holding the ridge north of Bir el Hamisah very strongly.

0847 - At 0847 the Section Mounted Troops reported enemy holding high ground west of Bir Waset, put at 2000, very strongly. They were also moving on Bir Nagid.

0950 - At 0950 patrol from Hill 110 found the Turks entrenching the line on rise two miles distant towards Er Rabah. Orders were issued to try and drive enemy from Er Rabah, and preparations made to do so; but in view of the information received of enemy advance about Bir Nagid, this was countermanded at 1020 and the Brigade ordered to remain in observation.

1020 - In view of the enemy advance on Qatia being probably only a step to an attack on Romani the General Officer Commanding the Anzac Mounted Division gave orders for the 1st Light Horse Brigade to hold the entrance to the sand dune country between Katib Gannit and Hod el Enna with an outpost line to be in position by dusk. The position was fired during the day.

1210 - At 1210 large bodies of enemy were reported moving on Er Rabah from the west. Aeroplanes sighted also teams of horses hauling towards Hod er Reshafat and considerable movement towards Bir abu Thrila. Enemy were also reported to be placing a gun on ridge running north east from Er Rabah.

1748 - The enemy's position on the evening of August 3rd ran as follows:-

From a point two miles east of Hill 110 to a point bearing 158 degrees from Hill 110 to "B" in Bir Qatia through the palm trees to a point ½ mile south south west of "Q" in Qatia, thence just south of Bir Nagid.

Small posts of 5 to 8 men were pushed out west of Nagid and west of Bir Waset; these were strengthened at dusk. The 2nd Light Horse Brigade generally faced the enemy line holding Hill 110 on the north and connection with a troop of Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment just north of Bir Nagid.

The arrangements for the night were:-

The Brigade leaving officers patrols to watch the enemy's lines closely was to withdraw to Et Maler camp. the 1st Light Horse Brigade to hold an outpost line with two Regiments running generally along the entrances of the gullies from No. 1 Infantry Post just south of Katib Gannit to and including hod el Enna. One Regiment in reserve in camp at Romani. The Squadron Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment, at Bir en Nuss had a troop at Bir abu Raml. Arrangements were made that the 1st Light Horse Brigade should patrol to Bir abu Raml three times and Bir en Nuss twice during the night, hours arranged in interview with Officer Commanding Squadron Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment. Communications by cable to the outpost line from Divisional Headquarters was arranged.

The Regiment 1st Light Horse Brigade , in reserve in Romani camp, was to report to Brigade Officer Commanding 1st Light Horse Brigade  at 0300 on the morning of August 4th. At 0430, unless otherwise ordered, the 1st Light Horse Brigade were to move forward and gain touch with the enemy.

One Battery, Royal Horse Artillery to be ready to move out after 0400 on August 4th.

The Outpost Line was in position at dusk.

2202 - A light exposed four times for ten seconds each time was seen from Mohamadiya.

The Battle of Romani - August 4th

2350 - At 2350 the Brigade Officer Commanding 1st Light Horse Brigade reported to the Divisional Staff by telephone that 30 Turks were approaching Hod el Enna. Also that east of that place there was a body of 500 more. The Reserve Regiment from Romani was ordered to join the Brigade.

Just at midnight the enemy columns appeared both opposite Hod el Enna were in great strength, and as the pressure increased both there and at Mount Meredith reinforcements were called for by the commanders there. At 0115 the reserve Regiment arrived, and one Squadron was despatched to Mount Meredith. The situation became a little quieter about 0215, but at 0230 the attack was renewed, firing became general all along the line and the enemy pressed hard on Hod el Enna and Mount Meredith, particularly the latter place whither another Squadron was sent, two Troops to the north and two to the south of the hill. During this period a bayonet charge on Mount Meredith was made by the enemy and beaten off.

0320 - The 2nd Light Horse Brigade were at this time standing to at Et Maler. A patrol of the Squadron Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment, which had been cut off by the enemy advance, had by now made its way to one of the infantry posts, and reported that two large columns of the enemy had been seen moving north east between Bir ed Dhaba and Bir abu Raml.

The right of the 1st Light Horse Brigade was now hard pressed at hod el Enna, and the Brigadier sent the last Squadron of his reserve Regiment to reinforce that flank. the attacks however continued and the Brigade gradually fell back on Wellington Ridge. The enemy were now reported approaching No. 1 Infantry Post.

0400 - General Officer Commanding the Anzac Mounted Division ordered the 2nd Light Horse Brigade to turn out, and join them with the Divisional Headquarters at Et Maler.

The Ayrshire and Leicestershire Batteries, Royal Horse Artillery moved out to positions to come into action; they were attacked by bombs on the way.

0420 - At 0420 the 1st Light Horse Brigade had been forced back from Mount Meredith, and the Brigade faced generally south. The were contesting the enemy advance among the sand dunes; but, in addition to the force in front of them the enemy were pressing up the valley round the right of the Brigade and continually outflanking them. General Chauvel, General Officer Commanding the Anzac Mounted Division met with Colonel Meredith Brigade Officer Commanding the 1st Light Horse Brigade on the southern slopes of Wellington Ridge. At the same time as he arrived there, the Turks in front of the 1st Light Horse Brigade charged over the intervening ridge, and covered by machine gun fire from Mount Meredith, and got into the valley immediately south of Wellington Ridge.

0425 - General Chauvel ordered Colonel Royston Brigade Officer Commanding the 2nd Light Horse Brigade to extend his Brigade to Colonel Meredith's right and hold Wellington Ridge at all costs. The 6th and 7th Light Horse Regiments therefore took up their positions on the hill, the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment being in reserve. This was done by 0430.

0500 - At 0500 the enemy guns opened up with shrapnel on Wellington Ridge and searched the valley behind, causing some casualties there. At the same time the enemy aeroplanes were dropping bombs on the camp, though with very little result. The pressure of the enemy on the front held by the two Brigades continued and strong bodies made their way up the valley between Wellington Ridge and Mount Royston causing further withdrawal of our right.

0515 - As the enemy advance on our right continued to outflank the line, it became evident that Wellington Ridge would be no longer tenable. At 0515 Divisional Headquarters was established on the northern slope of Wellington Ridge connected with the 1st Light Horse Brigade and the Divisional Headquarters Office at Romani. Hostile aeroplanes were still very active with bombs and the enemy's heavy guns opened on the infantry posts and the hills north of Katib Gannit.

0544 - At 0544 the Leicester Battery, Royal Horse Artillery opened on Mount Meredith and stopped the machine gun fire from that direction.

0555 - At 0555 1st Light Horse Brigade telephoned through that they were unable to hold on the southern slopes of Wellington Ridge. General Chauvel gave orders for the Brigade to retire to the ridge in line and to the west of it. Divisional Headquarters were also moved 500 yards back to the ridge immediately north of Wellington Ridge where some infantry outposts were in position. The Section and 52nd Division were informed of this move.

0615 - Meantime the pressure of the enemy on our right continued and outflanked the 2nd Light Horse Brigade. The 6th and 7th Light Horse Regiments and some picquets of the royal Welsh Fusiliers still held the western end of Wellington Ridge but the 1st Light Horse Brigade were forced to retire from the eastern end, and Colonel Meredith was ordered to collect his Brigaded in Et Maler camp behind the lines occupied by the 7th Light Horse Regiment. Heavy shrapnel fire was opened on the retiring Brigade and some casualties were caused. The Divisional Headquarters moved back and established themselves in Et Maler camp in the Orderly Room of the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment.

0647 - At 0647 information was received that the 156th infantry Brigade had been ordered to move to a position in readiness behind Work No. 23.

0700 - At 0700, 6th and 7th Light Horse Regiments retired by alternate Squadrons from Wellington Ridge. The enemy did not come at once move forward to the crest. Communication was cut with Kantara from now onwards. At thi8s hour the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade were on the march to Dueidar, but they were now directed to march to Canterbury Hill.

0720 - At 0720 the enemy were still pressing on between Et Maler and Mount Royston, and a Brigade of Infantry and mounted troops were seen. The Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment were put into the line, with their left on No. 2 Outpost and from this position covered the retirements of the 6th and 7th Light Horse Regiments.

0745 - Colonel Royston, Brigade Commanding Officer, 2nd Light Horse Brigade arrived at Divisional Headquarters and told General Chauvel that the enemy was now pushing along the slopes of Mount Royston and outflanking his right. A Regiment from 1st Light Horse Brigade was sent to prolong his line to the west. Meantime a Squadron of the 5th Mounted Brigade from Pelusium had moved up from that place and engaged the enemy.

0830 At 0830 the 52nd Infantry (Lowland) Division sent to say that the enemy some 2-3,000 strong had appeared close to Work 23A. The Turks also now began to line the crest of Wellington Ridge, and a hot fire was poured into the camp. The Ayrshire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery and a section of the Leicestershire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery was turned on to them, and cleared the crest. They did not again attempt to cross it.

0835 - At 0835 a message was received from 5th Mounted Brigade that they were taking up a position Bir el Kashba, Nod Nigeiret Ali, Bir umm Ziyad. One Regiment to be at Gibah. The armoured train was also to be ready at Kilo 37.

0930 - At 0930 it was also known that the 42nd Infantry Division were moving towards Canterbury Hill. At 0945 Colonel Yorks, commanding the Composite Regiment 5th Mounted Brigade got in touch with the enemy two miles south west of Mount Royston.

1000 - On our left, "B" Squadron, 3rd Light Horse Regiment reported that they were cut off from their Brigade but still holding the crest of the hill above the hod west of Infantry Post No. 1. They were ordered to rejoin their Brigade.

The position of the Anzac Mounted Division at this hour was as follows:-

Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, 5th Light Horse Regiment. The line running from No.2 Outpost, less about 700 yards, north of Wellington Ridge to the sand hills north of Mount Royston. In reserve Headquarters and one Regiment 1st Light Horse Brigade.

The enemy still continued to work along Mount Royston.

1040 - By 1040 the situation was stationary in all parts of the line except at Mount Royston, where our right was succeeding in working south along the sand hills endeavouring to occupy Mount Royston. Our right was now in communication with the 5th Mounted Brigade at Pelusium at this hour.

1050 - In the left of the line, an arrangement was made with the Brigadier 156th Infantry Brigade to relieve part of the line held by the 7th Light Horse Regiment with two Companies of infantry.

1100 - To support our attack on Mount Royston, one Section of the Ayrshire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery were detached to deal with the enemy in the hods and valleys under the hill. The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade now got into touch with the 5th Mounted Brigade. The 127th Infantry Brigade under Brigadier General Ormsby, were asked to send two battalions in support of this attack. This request was immediately complied with. At 1100 the enemy formed for attack on the Infantry line of works opposite Works 22A, 21, 21A, 4 and 5 but did not press the attack home.

1130 - At 1130 the enemy opened on Et Maler with a mountain battery. This was located by the dust of the discharge, and the Section of Ayrshire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery turned on to it and it ceased fire.

1140 - Two considerable bodies of enemy entered Abu Hamra.

1145 - Enemy reinforcements appeared south of Wellington ridge and were seen entering the hods west of it. The artillery again swept the crest of the ridge and searched the ground behind, and also the hods. The enemy at the same time strengthened his western flank and became hotly engaged on his extreme left with the 5th Mounted Brigade. He still held Mount Royston, the south side of Wellington Ridge and thence bending round east and north facing the Infantry Posts.

1215 - The 126th and 127th Infantry Brigades began concentrating at Pelusium.

1230 - the 6th Light Horse Regiment reported the enemy in Bir abu Diyuk and advancing. Rifle fire was heavy and continuous.

1310 - The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade began to attack on Mount Royston from the west. They were supported by the fire of the Somerset Battery, Royal Horse Artillery. Orders were issued by the Division that as soon as the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade had made mount Royston good the 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades would push forward from the north.

1350 - A message was received from 52nd Infantry (Lowland) Division asking that the Companies of the 156th Infantry Brigade holding part of the line with us might be withdrawn in case of an advance towards Abu Hamra. this was however cancelled on the position being explained.

1430 - The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade and 5th Mounted Brigade advance on Mount Royston. The two Battalions of the 127th Infantry Brigade moved forward in support of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, the rest of the Brigade following.

1630 - The Turks were reported to be in strong force and moving forward again, while their guns opened from close to Mount Meredith. Artillery fire was directed on Wellington Ridge in anticipation of Infantry attack.


1635 - Divisional Headquarters moved at 1635 with the reserve Regiment from their present position to a pint 800 yards north of the "D" in Abu Diyuk.

1700 - The combined attack on Mount Royston by the 5th Mounted Brigade and New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade at the same time the 156th Infantry Brigade were ordered by the General Officer Commanding the 52nd Infantry (Lowland) Division to attack Wellington Ridge. The enemy north of Mount Royston now began to surrender, and the hill itself fell at 1830, some 4-500 surrendered on the hill and one machine gun was taken. The whole line began moving forward but it already was getting dark, and the horses had, in many cases, been without water all day. The positions of the Regiments was as follows:-

Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, 6th Light Horse Regiment and 1st Light Horse Regiment; then came the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade with the two Battalions of the 127th Infantry Brigade and then the 5th Mounted Brigade. The line running from No. 2 Outpost to the sand ridge south of Bir el Arais and thence on to and including Mount Royston where the two Battalions, 127th Infantry Brigade remained for the night.

1845 - The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade and the 5th Mounted Brigade withdrew to water at Pelusium. The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade casualties were 4 Other Ranks killed and 3 Officers and 32 Other Ranks wounded. The 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades put out an outpost line and remained where they were. In order to facilitate command for the night, Colonel Royston was put in command of the left of the line comprising the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment, 7th and 2nd Light Horse Regiments; and Colonel Meredith of the right comprising the 3rd, 6th and 1st Light Horse Regiments. Firing still continued all along the line. The enemy also kept up artillery fire and star shells.

2030 - The 3rd Light Horse Brigade and Inverness Battery, Royal Horse Artillery arrived at Dueidar. Divisional Headquarters remained at the point 800 yards north of "D" of Abu Diyuk for the night. During the night parties were sent into Et Maler camp to water the horses.

2050 - During this day's fighting the Ayrshire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery expended 429 rounds, Leicester Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, about 500 and Somerset Battery, Royal Horse Artillery 180 rounds.

Casualties in the Artillery were

Ayrshires: 2 Other Ranks killed and 1 Officer and 6 Other Ranks wounded;

Leicesters: 1 Other Rank killed.

The casualties for the 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades during the day were:

Killed: 4 Officers, 57 Other Ranks.

Wounded: 51 Officers, 312 Other Ranks.

Orders for action next day were issued to Brigades. The enemy had withdrawn to a line of entrenched positions from Hod el Enna through Bir Qatia to Abu Hamra, with covering troops in front. The Section commander desired first to crush the enemy southward to the line Katib Gannit, Hod el Enna and vicinity, and then made a general advance on the northern flanks in the direction of Abu Hamsa and Er Rabah, at the same time a strong enveloping move to be made against the flanks. The Anzac Mounted Division were to press forward all long the line, right on Hod el Enna and left in close touch with 52nd Infantry (Lowland) Division, which was advancing on the line Katib Gannit - Mount Meredith. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade pushed towards Bir en Nuss and attack Hod el Enna from the south, keeping in touch with the 5th Mounted Brigade on its left. The 5th Mounted Brigade, at present under orders of General Officer Commanding the 42nd Infantry Division, to assist in linking up the 3rd Light Horse Brigade and the Anzac Mounted Division. The 42nd Infantry Division were moving forward in full strength on line Canterbury Hill, Mount Royston, Hod el Enna, in close support of Anzac Mounted Division right flank and were to drive back anything which delayed the cavalry.

August 5th - The Actions at Qatia and Bir el Hamisah

0400 - The enemy's artillery continued to fire at intervals during the night, the last shots from their heavy pieces being at 0500. At 0400 in accordance with orders, the 1st Light Horse Brigade drove south east toward hod el Enna, taking prisoners, arms and ammunition on the way; some 50 unwounded and 30 wounded prisoners were taken near mount Royston. A battery of four Mountain guns and three Machine Guns were found in the valley and sent in. The 2nd Light Horse Brigade moved on their left. The Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment and the 7th Light Horse Regiment encountered the enemy, who opened fire from Wellington Ridge. They dismounted and attacked with the bayonet, while the 156th Infantry Brigade advanced on their left and the Ayrshire and Leicestershire Batteries, Royal Horse Artillery, prepared to come into action. The enemy, however, stood up on all sides and surrendered with six Machine Guns. In the action, Lieutenant Colonel Onslow, Commanding 7th Light Horse Regiment was wounded. The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade had marched on Bur en Nuss, and the 3rd Light Horse Brigade left Dueidar at 0500 and marched from there.

Colonel Royston, who had been wounded the previous day was obliged to hand over the 2nd Light Horse Brigade to Lieutenant Colonel Meredith commanding the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment.

0600 - The 5th Mounted Brigade reached Hod en Enna at 0600 and moved towards Abu Hamra in touch with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, taking 9 prisoners.

0635 - Orders were received from No. 3 Section putting all mounted troops under the command of General Chauvel. A vigorous pursuit was ordered, by the mounted troops, the Infantry to follow as soon as the front was clear. Accordingly the general forward move of the mounted troops continued, the only resistance encountered in the centre of the line.

0730 - Divisional Headquarters moved to the sand hill in the gully 1,000 yards south of Katib Gannit. The 1st Light Horse Brigade reached Bir abu Gulud and watered there.

0800 - The Ayrshire and Leicester Batteries, Royal Horse Artillery, moved out with the Brigades towards Qatia. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade and New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade met at Bir en Nuss, the latter picking up the 8th Light Horse Regiment and Squadron Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment here. Both continued to move on the line Qatia - Bir Hamisah, the 3rd Light Horse Brigade directed on the latter place.

0900 - Rifle fire broke out from Abu Hamra, some shots falling into the batteries.

1000 - A Mountain Battery opened on the Ayrshire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery which came in action and returned the fire, when the battery apparently made off, the ground being favourable for concealment.

1002 - The enemy were found holding the ridges west of Qatia, and our guns opened on them. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade continued their advance on Bir Hamisah and gained touch with the enemy 1½ miles from that place. The 9th Light Horse Regiment were in advance and engaged the enemy in front while the 10th Light Horse Regiment swept round their left flank. 439 prisoners, 3 Machine Guns and many camels and much material were taken. The Brigade, however, came under heavy howitzer fire and the engagement continued until dark with no further advance.

1120 - No. 3 Section reported that the enemy's heavy guns were supposed to be in Qatia. The enemy were also reported to be digging about Abu Hamra. The General Officer Commanding the Anzac Mounted Division directed that all horses should be watered and then a general move on Qatia.

1200 - At noon, the position of the Division was as follows:-

3rd Light Horse Brigade engaged at Bir Hamisah, New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade on their left, the 1st Light Horse Brigade north and south of Abu Gulud with one Regiment extended across the Qatia - Dueidar line, 2nd Light Horse Brigade on the left of the 1st Light Horse Brigade, 5th Mounted Brigade waiting in the gully 1,000 yards south of Katib Gannit, Divisional Headquarters still on the sand hill 1,000 yards south of Katib Gannit.

The advance against Qatia was ordered to begin at 1430.

1430 - The enemy were still in Abu Hamra and the 52nd Infantry (Lowland) Division moved against them at 1430. The Anzac Mounted Division moved as follows:-

5th Mounted Brigade on Er Rabah; 2nd Light Horse Brigade, 1st Light Horse Brigade; New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade all on Qatia; the 3rd Light Horse Brigade still engaged at Bir el Hamisah.

The 42nd Infantry Division were following the mounted troops and the 127th Infantry Brigade were already at Bir en Nuss, the 125th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters being about Mount Royston. The 52nd Infantry (Lowland) Division Heavy Artillery cooperated in the attack on Qatia from Romani. Divisional Headquarters moved forward and was established on the telegraph line three miles west of Qatia.

The 5th Mounted Brigade found enemy strongly entrenched about Er Ragah, and could not push on. They had heavy gun fire opened on them. The 2nd Light Horse Brigade got within 500 yards of Qatia; the 1st Light Horse Brigade and New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade reached the fringe of the palms west of it.

1600 - Here the enemy were found in strength holding the ground and line of palm trees across the salt pan at Qatia. They were entrenched and had machine guns among the trees. The attack was held up and the enemy's guns opened from positions in rear.

The Ayrshire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, and later the Leicestershire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, came into action, but were unable to locate machine guns which stopped the advance.

1730 - It was plain that no advance could be made direct on Qatia, and that the holding up of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade at Bir el Hamisah prevented any chance of turning the enemy's flank from the south.

The position on this hour was the 5th Mounted Brigade outside Er Rabah, 2nd Light Horse Brigade 500 yards from Qatia in low ground, 1st Light Horse Brigade in palm west of Bir Qatia from the telegraph line to the "L" of Bir el Maraieh with Brigade Headquarters west of Abu Gulud, New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade on their right also in the palms with Headquarters ½ mile south of last "U" in Abu Gulud. 3rd Light Horse Brigade at Bir Nagid. Ayrshire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery in action just west of palms at Bir el Maraieh. Leicester Battery, Royal Horse Artillery on high ground due west of Tomb of Sheikh el Mussal'in.

1815 - Orders were issued to hold on until dark and if Qatia not made good, to withdraw and water horses as follows:-

1st Light Horse Brigade at Romani, 2nd Light Horse Brigade to Et Maler, 3rd Light Horse Brigade to Hod el Enna, New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade to new wells in Hod 700 yards south of Katib Gannit, 5th Mounted Brigade to new wells in gully 1,000 yards south of Katib Gannit.

Officers patrols kept contact with the enemy.

2230 - The 1st Light Horse Brigade arrived at Romani. The casualties of this Brigade in the battle of Romani and in today's fighting were:-

Killed: 3 Officers; 32 Other Ranks.

Wounded: 10 Officers; 99 Other Ranks.

Missing: 24 Other Ranks.

Orders issued for next day. 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades to remain at Romani and Et Maler in reserve. The 5th Mounted Brigade, New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, and 3rd Light Horse Brigade to move forward next morning leaving bivouac at 0500.

The 52nd Infantry (Lowland) Division and 42nd Infantry Division were to continue their advance on Er Ragah and Qatia respectively.


August 6th

0600 - The 5th Mounted Brigade and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade moved to Qatia. Divisional Headquarters being established on the telegraph line three miles west of Qatia. Both Er Rabah and Qatia were found deserted, a few prisoners being taken in the latter place.

0800 - The 5th Mounted Brigade pushed on through Er Rabah and found high ground to the north also clear of enemy. At 0835 the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade got touch with the 3rd Light Horse Brigade. The Divisional Squadron of the 52nd Infantry (Lowland) Division were moving on Er Rabah and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade were asked to gain touch with them.

1030 - The 5th Mounted Brigade and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade pushed on towards Oghratina and found the enemy entrenched east of Umm Ugba, holding a position across the telegraph line. Divisional Headquarters moved to the ruins in Qatia and established themselves there. Artillery and rifle fire continued throughout the day. Both Brigades pushed their way as near as possible and the enemy were located holding the following line:-

From "H" in Hod er Reshafat to "H" in Hod ed Dhaba. The high ground south east of Dhaba strongly held. Orders were sent to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade to make Hod es Sagia good. There was desultory firing all day. The enemy's artillery got into the lead horses of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade and there were some casualties.

1412 - News was received at 1412 that the Mobile Column No. 2 Section had taken Mageibra unopposed.

1435 - The 5th Mounted Brigade were ordered to move via Umm Ugba to the "S" in Sabkhet el Amya and round the enemy's right. They were to keep touch with the left flank of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade.

1510 - The enemy's flank was located by the 5th Mounted Brigade 1½ miles north west of Oghratina. It consisted of a post of about 50 men. They were shelled and the Ayrshire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, which was with them, came into action and fired 15 shells at the enemy's redoubt. By 1750 the Brigade got a position 1½ miles north north west of Hod en Negiliat. Meanwhile the 3rd Light Horse Brigade had moved and got possession of Hod es Sagia. One Turk and a Machine Gun and ammunition were taken. The Brigade, however, could not stay in Hod es Sagia on account of shell fire and so withdrew for the night to Abu Darem.

1900 - Brigades withdrew to bivouac; New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade west of Er Rah, 5th Mounted Brigade to Qatia, Divisional Headquarters to Qatia and 3rd Light Horse Brigade to Abu Darem. Officer's patrols were kept out keeping touch with the enemy. During this day, the 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades remained in reserve at Romani and Et Maler.


 

 

Further Reading:

Battle of Romani, Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916 

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Battle of Romani, Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916, General Staff HQ, Anzac MD, AIF, War Diary Account

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 21 October 2009 7:49 PM EADT

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