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Friday, 23 May 2008
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 23 May
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 23 May

Pro Gloria et Honore - For Glory and Honour

Regimental March -  Marching Through Georgia

 

 

The following entries are extracted and transcribed from the 9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary, the originals of which are held by the Australian War Memorial. There are 366 entries on this site. Each day has entries as they occurred from 1914 to 1919. In addition to the 9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary, when appropriate, entries from the 3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary and other regiments with the Brigade will also appear. Entries from the unit history, Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924 will also appear from time to time. The aim is to give the broadest context to the story and allow the reader to follow the day to day activities of the regiment. If a relative happened to have served in the regiment during the Great War, then this provides a general framework in which the individual story may be told.

 

The Diary

 

1914

Saturday, May 23, 1914

See 4th Military District, South Australia for militia activities.

 

1915

Sunday, May 23, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Walkers Ridge
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary -
3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary - 10th Light Horse Regiment to trenches Shrapnel Valley with 1st Light Horse Brigade.
Machine Guns placed under No. 3 Section of Defence. Visited trenches.

Carew Reynell Diary - To continue where I left off.

We remained on board the transport Minominee in Lemnos Bay on the night of the 20th and on the morning of the 21st we waited while the navy decided whether it was safe for the Minominee to go to Kape Tepe or whether we should be transhipped to small craft so as to be safer from the German submarines known to be in the vicinity. About 1000 it was definitely decided to send us up in small craft.

Two destroyers [Foxhound and Scourge] came long side about 2300 and 8th Light Horse Regiment less one Squadron and Brigade Headquarters left per Foxhound at about 0145 and our 9th Light Horse Regiment less “C” Squadron and the third Squadron of the 8th Light Horse Regiment and about 50 details left per Scourge about 0215.

Our third Squadron, “C” Squadron left along with the field Ambulance in a 3rd destroyer about an hour later.

We ran up to Kape Tepe at over 20 knots an hour but had to wait some time before disembarking. At about 1600 we were sent ashore in barges towed by pinnaces and were allotted the side of a precipice to live on. We climbed up and dug out ledges to sleep on and made ourselves moderately comfortable and safe for the night. Spent bullets and odd shells fell round us from time the destroyers came into the barges and either a bullet or a piece of a shell made a hole through our destroyer the Scourge close to the end of the barge I was in.

Perched up near the top of the cliff we had a lovely view from our dugout and admired the sunset behind the shipping in the offing consisting of warships, hospital ships, destroyers, trawlers etc and went to sleep with a regular whistle of spent bullets from over the trenches a mile inland like canaries over our heads. It kept some awake but as it gradually crescended and sank I didn't find it at all disturbing.

Just after breakfast a high explosive shell landed in the middle of “C” Squadron's part of the cliff. No damage.

At 1100 on 22 May we got orders to go at once and relieve the New Zealand Auckland Regiment in the trenches. The Trenches are like a rabbit warren and it took me till 1800 to get everybody settled down and get every man prepared to meet the various quips and cranks and merry jests that brother Turk is primed up with by his German confreres.

There are scores of dead men mainly Turks lying within twenty yards of some of these trenches and although most of them have been dead for nearly three weeks the stench is still very ripe.

They can't be buried as there are Turk snipers all round in the thick bush who pick off anybody who shows over the parapet. When I was looking round one trench that we were to relieve I suddenly came on a dead New Zealander in an advanced stage of decomposition that had been dragged into the trench by the New Zealand men with a crooked stick. It was a very unpleasant object and I was glad they had buried him by the time our men came to occupy the trench. By using the periscope one can see all round and we have plenty of them but men only look over to fire when a target has been marked down by means of the periscope. Our fellows have shot five Turks since occupying the trenches yesterday afternoon and are very keen on it. Two very keen members have shot two each.

Their snipers lay round in the bushes and it's very hard to mark them down and at night they come within a few yards and keep firing all night. Also a fire from their trenches, including machine guns, is kept up all night. It's a hideous waste of ammunition but apparently they have plenty of it.
Our next sheet is a plan of our trenches - those held by our men at Nos 3, 4, and 5 Saps. The dotted line between 3, 8, 4 Saps won't be finished till tomorrow night. Until then Turks can and do get in between them for sniping. Turk's Point is only occupied by us at night. Yesterday afternoon, 22 May, there was great excitement among the shipping since a German submarine came in among them. Destroyers dashed here and there at a devil of a pace and all the big ships cleared out at their very best pace and made for Lemnos.

There has been a German aeroplane cruising about over us all this morning and we have got no naval guns now to help us - all warships at Lemnos - we expect the Turkish artillery to be pretty accurate tonight.

1630 They have just started but are shelling the beach and bivouac so far - must go out and have a look and see if they are getting decent practice at all.

I am writing while lying on my back in our dugout measuring 5 foot 6 inches by five foot floor by five foot high in which the Colonel and Adjutant and self sleep.

The Colonel is not himself yet and has to take things steadily. Our feeding is top hole and besides army biscuit, we have bacon and bully beef and jam and cheese and rum and tobacco including cigarettes. We are quite safe here, comparatively, with care and we can hear the shells coming in time to duck.

There are a lot of stray bullets from snipers but they don't seem to hit many. The Turks shell us for about an hour in the morning and another hour in the afternoon but as I say, with certain care, it's a very harmless proceeding. They have been making general attacks on the trenches from time to time but none since Tuesday last. We hear they have been heavily reinforced so expect some fun soon.

 

1916

Monday, May 22, 1916
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Roadhead Serapeum
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Lieutenants Nelson and Robertson returned to duty from School of Instruction, Zeitoun.

 

1917

Wednesday, May 23, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Goz Mabruk
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Point 680 near U of cUltivated was reached at 0400 and the Brigade then moved to Abu Yahia the 8th Light Horse Regiment as advance guard. Touch was gained with enemy patrols in vicinity of 840 but on our advance they withdrew.
The Regiment assigned to reserve throughout the day. In vicinity of 840 one Squadron moving forward about one mile to support of the 8th Light Horse Regiment.
At 1600 the order was received to withdraw to the ridge cove
ring El Buggar to cover the withdrawal of the Brigade. This was completed by 1700 and the column moving back to El Gamli, the 8th Light Horse Regiment forming the rear guard. Horses watered in the wadi and the Brigade bivouacked on the west bank. Scott, Lieutenant Colonel WH, DSO, rejoined the Regiment from hospital.
 

1918

Thursday, May 23, 1918
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Auja Bridgehead defences
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Cruddas, Lieutenant GF; and, two Other Ranks proceeded to School of Instruction, El Arish.
Sharp, Lieutenant RC, with A Troop of “A” Squadron patrolled to Square 127F20a.
One deserter surrendered to his patrol. Patrol came under heavy fire from Square 127F16b.
North east patrol shelled for about two hours during morning.
Nine remounts arrived.

 

1919

Friday, May 23, 1919
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Tel el Kebir
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Routine.
Kildea, Lieutenant FJ; and, Aikman, Lieutenant GE, both reported to Brigade Headquarters.
1530, Tod, Lieutenant PA; and, patrol returned.

 


Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 22 May

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 24 May

 

Sources:

See: 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Contents
Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, AIF War Diaries of the Great War, Site Transcription Policy

 

Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF

Bert Schramm Diary

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 23 May

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 26 July 2010 10:24 AM EADT

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