Topic: AIF - 1B - 1 LHFA
The Battle of Magdhaba
Sinai, 23 December 1916
1st LHFA, AIF, War Diary Account
22 December 1916
1620 - Received signal message from Brigade to be prepared to move at 1730.
1700 - Received signal message from Assistant Director of Medical Services, ANZAC Mounted Division to evacuate all cases immediately to Receiving Station at El Arish.
1730 - Received orders per Brigade to draw rations at 1800.
1830 - Left camp with Brigade and proceeded to rendezvous about one mile south El Arish and drew rations per order.
23 December 1916
0045 - Marched from Rendezvous up Wadi el Arish to point about 4½ miles north west of Magdhaba arriving 0600. Road good except for occasional wash outs. Abandoned one sand cart ???? south east of Lahfan. Also one pole broken.
All camels under Captain Machin marched independently under escort with 3rd Light Horse Brigade arriving about 0800.
0800 - Saw Assistant Director of Medical Services, ANZAC Mounted Division and received orders to hold tent division in reserve and to send three sand carts to Welch Field Ambulance with Imperial Camel Corps under Captain Bateman. No 38 Driver Cullen S fractured tibia trying to save runnaway team caused by aeroplane.
1000 - Sandcarts and horses accompanied 1st Light Horse Brigade (in reserve) to ??? in bank of water ??? about 2½ miles from village.
1030 - Under orders per Assistant Director of Medical Services, ANZAC Mounted Division all cacolet camels under Lieutenant Knox sent to Divisional Headquarters. Bearers posted with each Regimental Medical Officer as orderly messenger.
1530 - Visited transport division and sent Captain Bateman back and tent keeping Captain Machin with me. Report by Assistant Director of Medical Services, ANZAC Mounted Division that ???? very few casualties. Difficult country and long distance from firing line to dressing station made evacuation very slow.
1600 - Received message from Regimental Medical Officer 3rd Light Horse Regiment that he had several severe casualties for collection, also verbal message from Captain Hudeah that trenches were to be charged and heavy casualties expected.
1630 - Proceeded with Captain Machin, three sand carts, 4 sledges and bearers along bed of water course (very difficult country)
filled two sand carts and one sledge en route, evacuated to New Zealand Mounted Rifles Field Ambulance.
1700 - Sent message to Major Robertson to gather all available transport to village of Magdhaba and report to Assistant Director of Medical Services, ANZAC Mounted Division, as numerous casualties were being reported.
Informed by Lieutenant Colonel Fraser, 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance that a dressing station had been opened in building at Magdhaba so evacuated cases there to save time in collecting in the dark.
2200 - Finished collecting all reported cases and searching hill side west and south west of village. About 15 cases sent out from this area.
Of four sand carts sent out by Major Robertson only one reached me, the remaining three having been filled en route.
2230 - Watered horses at Magdhaba.
2330 - Major Robertson received instructions from Assistant Director of Medical Services, ANZAC Mounted Division to hand over 5 pairs sitting and 10 pairs lying cacolets, also medical comfort pannier and one General Service pannier containing provisions, stores and lamps and two fantasses water. Also ordered to pack up and load all available transport with wounded from New Zealand Mounted Rifles Field Ambulance and move to El Arish.
24 December 1916
0015 - Tent division with 11 wounded transferred to El Arish arriving 0535.
0100 - Reserve division arrived New Zealand Mounted Rifles Field Ambulance and found tent division gone and could get no information or orders. No rations or water or equipment left for my carts so decided to follow Brigade to El Arish.
Roll of Honour
Lest We Forget
Citation: The Battle of Magdhaba, Sinai, December 23, 1916, 1st LHFA, AIF, War Diary Account