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Wednesday, 30 January 2002
Desert Mounted Corps (DMC), General Allenby's Despatches, Part 3
Topic: AIF - DMC

DMC

Desert Mounted Corps

General Allenby's Despatches, Part 3

 

Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby GCB, GCMG, GCVO.

 

Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby GCB, GCMG, GCVO (23 April 1861–14 May 1936) was a British soldier and administrator most famous for his role during the First World War, in which he led the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the conquest of Palestine and Syria in 1917 and 1918.

 

Full text of "A brief record of the advance of the Egyptian expeditionary force under the command of General Sir Edmund H. H. Allenby ... July 1917 to October 1918" General Sir Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, g.c.b., g.c.m.g., Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force FROM June 1917.

 

A BRIEF RECORD OF THE ADVANCE OF THE EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE UNDER THE COMMAND OF GENERAL SIR EDMUND H. H. ALLENBY. G.G.B.. G.G.M.G.

JULY 1917 TO OCTOBER 1918.

Compiled from Official Sources.

THE ADVANCE OF THE 21st Infantry Brigade.

 

Commander.— Ueut.-Col (temp. Brig.-Gen.) A. G. Kemball, 31st Punjabis.

2nd Battalion Black Watch, 1st Guides Infantry, 20th Punjabis, l/8th Gurkha Rifles.

21st Light Trench Mortar Battery. 28th Infantry Brigade (F.F.). Commmder.—Bt. Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) C. H. Davies, C.M.G., D.S.O., I.A.

2nd BattaUon Leicester Regiment, 51st Sikhs (E.F.), 53rd Sikhs (F.F)., 56th Punjabi Rifles (F.F.). 28th Light Trench Mortar Battery. Divisional Troops.

9th Brigade, E.F.A. (19th, -iOth, 28th and D/69th Batteries).

5Gth Brigade, E.F.A. ("A," "B," "C" and 527th Batteries). Transferred to 52nd (Lowland) Division in March, 1918. 261st Brigade, R.F.A. ("A," " B " and " C " Batteries). Transferred from the 52nd (Lowland) Division in March, 1918. 2C2nd Brigade, R.F.A. (" A," " B " and 438th Batteries). Transferred from the 52nd (Lowland) Division in' March, 1918. 2G4th Brigade, R.F.A. (422nd, 423rd and " C " Batteries). Transferred from the 52nd (Lowland) Division in March, 1918. 7th Divisional Ammunition Column. Transferred from the 52nd (Lowland) Division in March. 1918. 3rd and 4th Companies, 1st (King George's Own) Sappers and Miners. 522nd (London) Field Company, R.E. 7th Divisional Signal Company, R,E. 121st Pioneers.

7th Divisional Machine Gun Battalion (Nos. 134, 135, 136 Companies). 272nd Machine Gun Company (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 6/6/18). 7th Divisional Train (S. & T.). No. 2 Mobile Veterinary Section.

, Brief Record of Service.

The 7th (Indian) Division served in France (1914-15), in Mesopotamia (1916-17), landed in Egypt !n January, 1918, joined XXIst Corps and reheved 54th Division in the Coastal Sector of the front line. (from near Tel el Mukhmar to Arsuf), in March, taking over the Divisional Artillery of the 52nd Division in exchange for its own (see above), which went to France with the 52nd Division.

1918. May 28-29, Advanced the line one and a half mJep on a seven mile front. 2nd Leicesters and 53rd Sikhs (28th Brigcode) were prominent in this fighting, and took over 100 prisoners.

June 8-10. — 21st Brigade took the " Si-sters " after heavy fighting, in which 2nd Black VVatch and Ist Guides Infantry bore the brunt. As the re- sult of this engagement 250 prisoners were taken, and the enemy lost a valuable obser- vation post.

July 13. — A post in the enemy's front system was raided in daylight by Qurihas of the 1st Guides, who captured fifteen prisoners and three machine guns. it 27. — A company of 53rd Sikhs raided a portion of tho enemy tronchos and captured thirty-three prisoners and several machine guns.

(Much of the work in preparation for active operations had to be undertaken by the division, during August and the early part of September, for the divisions that could only be brought into the area immediately before the attack.) M 19. — Attack on the Tabsor system carried out by two columns. On the right, 92nd and 28th Punjabis were supported by 1st Seaforths and 125th Rifles (19th Brigade) ; on the left, 2nd Black Watch, supported by l/8th Gurkhas (21st Brigade). Front line objectives were quickly taken by the attacking troops, and tlie supporting battalions passed through and seized the support and reserve lines. During the further advance to the Felamieh-Taiyibeh line, the 20th Punjabis captured the village of K'elamieh, supported on the left by 2nd Black 1918. Sept.

19 Watch ; while the 92nd Punjabis captured El Mejdel and took a number of prisoners and two machine guns. Further north 56th Rifles and 53rd Sikhs (28th Brigade) stormed the village of Taibiyeh in face of considerable re- sistance.

20. — 19th Brigade met with most determined re- sistance during the advance on Beit Lid (Isl Seaforths and 125th Rifles). The village was finally rushed by tho Seaforths. 28th Brigade pushed on from El Burj, and seized 21. — Messudieh railway station at 0300. 53rd Sikhs were sent round to attack Samaria Hill from the west and occupy the town, while 5Ist Sikhs attacked the hill from south. Both hill and town were captured by 0500 after a sharp fight, in which 200 prisoners and four machine guns were taken.

21. — The division had fought and marched for forty-eight hours, and had covered thirty- four miles over diflSoult and rocky country, but all objectives had been reached, with the capture of over 2,000 prisoners and twenty guns.

23. — 19th Brigade marched to Anebta, 21st Brigade to Shuweikeh.

24. — 21st Brigade moved to Hudeira, 28th Brigade to north of Kakon. 2nd Leicesters left for Haifa in motor lorries, and arrived there on the following morning.

26. — Division marched in three brigade groups vid Zimmarin and Athlit, and on 29. — concentrated at Haifa.

Orders were received to continue the march to Beirut along the coast road. A section of EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 69 1918. Sept. 29 this road, upwards of half a mile in length, known as the " Ladder of Tyre," consisted of a narrow reeky track on the side of the cliW with a deep drop to the sea, and at ono point became a tiight of steps roughly hewn out of the rock. The Sappers and Miners and 121st Pioneers, assisted by infantry, by working continuously for 2 J days, made the road fit for armoured cars, motors, and 00-pounder guns. The division marched in three columns, as follows : — Col. "A." — XXIst Corps Cavalry and an Infantry Detachment. "B."— 28th Brigade, 8th Mountain Artillery Brigade, one and a half companies Sappers and Miners, 12l8t Pioneers, one Machine Gun Company, one Field Ambulance. " C." — Divisional Headquarters, 19th and 21 at Brigades, Com- posite Brigade, R.F.A., 15th Heavy Battery, R.G.A., No. 622 field Company, R.E., two sections Sappers and Miners, Machine Gun Battalion (less 1 Company), Divisional Ammunition Col- umn, and two Field Ambu- lances.

1918.

Sept.

Oct.

29 The first day's march was around the Bay of Acre, and, from the high ground near Haifa, the head of the column could be seen moving on to the new camping area, as the rear of the column left the old area, more than ten miles apart.

The division camped as follows : — Column " A." Column " B." Column " C." 3. — Ras Nakura. Acre. Haifa.

4. — Tyre. Ra.' Nakura. Acre.

C. — Ain el Burak. Ras el Am. Ra." Nakura.

6. — Sidon. 7. — Ed Damur. 8. — Beirut. 9.— Beiiut. 10.— Beirut.

(Column days.) 14._19th Brigade left Beirut for Tripolis (fifty-four miles) and 18. — reached the latter town five days later. 21. — Remainder of the division marched nortliward en ronte for Tripolis, and concentrated there on 28. — having marched about 270 miles in forty days. 31. — Divisional Headquarters at El Mina, 19th Brigade at Khan Abdi (twelve miles north- east of Tripolis), 2l8t Brigade at Ras el Lados, and 28th Brigade near Nahr Berid.

NahrelKasmiye. Ras el Ain.

El Khidr.

Ed Damur.

Beirut.

Beirut.

C " marched 90 N. el Kasmiye. Sidon. Ed Damur. Beirut, miles in eight 10th DIVISION.

Commander. — Major-Gen. J. R. Longley, C.B., C.M.G.

Commanding, Royal Artillery.— t. Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) W. B. Emery, C.B., C.M.G., R.A.

29th Infantry Brigade, Commander.— Bt. Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) R. S. Vandeleur, C.B., C.M.G., Seaforth Highlanders (relinquished, June, 1918). Bt. Lieut.-Col. (t«mp. Brig.-Gen.) C. L. Smith, V.C, M.C, Dxike of Cornwall's Light Infantry.

1st BattaUon Leinster Regiment, 1/The 101st Grenadiers, l/54th Sikhs (F.F.), 2/151st Indian Infantry. 5th Battalion Connaught Rangers, and 6th BattaUon Leinster Regiment (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 28/5/18). 6th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (disbanded, 20/5/18). 29th Light Trench Mortar Battery.

30th Infantry Brigade.

Commander.— \Ae\\t.-Qo\. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) F. A. Greer, C.M.G. , D.S.O., Royal Irish Fusiliers.

1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment, 38th Dogras, 46th Punjabis, Ist Kashmir I.S. Infantry. 6th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 2/7/18), 6th Battalion Royal Munster Fiisiliers, and 7th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 28/5/18). 30th Light Trench Mortar Battery.

31st Infantry Brigade. Commander. — Bt. Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) E. M. Morris, C.B., C.M.G., Royal Lancaster Regt.

2nd Battalion Royal Irish FusiUers, 2/42nd Deoli Regiment, 74th Punjabis, 2/The 101st Grenadiers. 5th and 6th Battalions Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 19/6/18 and 28/5/18 respectively), and 5th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers (ceased to belong fci E.E.F., 20/5/18). 31st Light Trench Mortar Battery.

60 THE ADVANCE OF THE Divisional Troops.

67th Brigade, R.F.A. (" A," " B " and " C " Batteries).

68th Brigade, E.F.A. (" A," " B " and " C " Batteries).

263rd Brigade R.F.A. (75th, 424th and " C " Batteries).

10th Divisional Ammunition Column.

18th Company, 3rd Sappers and Miners.

66th and 85th Field Companies, E.E.

10th Divisional Signal Company, R.E.

10th Divisional Machine Gun Battalion (Nos. 29, 30, 31 Companies).

10th Divisional Train (Nos. 475, 476, 477, 478 Companies, R.A.S.C).

25th Mobile Veterinary Section.

Brief Record of Service.

The 10th (Irish) Division, composed originally of Irish Battalions of the New Army (" First Hundred Thousand "), saw service in Gallipoli and Salonika and landed in Egypt in September, 1917. [t then consisted of three Regular Battalions (one in each brigade), and nine New Army Battalions. The Division joined XXth Corps during the concentration for the attack on Beersheba. Between May and July, 1918, the New Army Battalions were withdrawn for service in France, and their places filled by Indian units, with the necessary alteration in title.

1917. Oct. 30.- Nov. 1.- 6.— »> 10 to 9* 30 )ec . 2 to 5 ft 11.

„ 27.- „ 2f>.

1918 Mar. 9.

CoBoentrated in the Siisllal-Tel el Fara area.

0th Royal Inaiskilling Fusiliers (31st Brigade) captured Abu Irgeig.

After concentrating on a line north of Irgeig the division participated in the attack on the Kauwukah and Ruslidi trench .systems, on the left of 53rd Division who were attacking Tel Khuweilfeh. In this fighting, in" which 2nd and 5th Royal Irish Fusiliers (3 1st Brigade) were prominent, all objectives were gained during the afternoon.

Hareira U'epe Redoubt was stormed by 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers in face of stubborn resistance and heavy machinegim fire.

Division concentrated at Karm ; moved to Deir el Belah a week later ; raarclied northward via Beit Duras to Junction Station ; and then east- ward into the Judsean Hills via Latron.

Relieved 52nd Division and 229th and 231st I Brigades of 74th Division. -Occupied the line Beit Dukka-Beit Ur Et Tahta- Suffa. 1st Leinsters (29th Brigade) captured Deir Ibzia, while the whole line covering Jerusalem on the north and east was furiously engaged in repuls- ing the general Turkish attack. -Abu el Ainein and Kh. Rubin Ridge were ca]>- tured by 1st Royal Irish Regiment and 6tli Royal Munster Fusiliers (30th Brigade), while Cth and 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (31st TSrigade) seized Kefr Shiyan. -Et Tireh Ridge occupied and the line advanced to Batn Harasheh-Ras Kerker-Deir el Kuddis.

— After a winter spent in holding the positions gained, operations commenced on a front of 15,000 yards, with 3l8t and 30th Brigades forming the right column of attack, and 29lh Brigade the left column.

Might Attack. — A rapid attack by 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers forced the enemy to abandon strong positions on Sh. Kalrawany, near Bir cz Zeit and enabled 5th Royal Irish Fusiliers to capture Ras et Tarfu and Attara by 0920. In the evening the latter unit forced the crossing of the Wadi Jib and .seized tlic lower slopes of the hill forming the main defence of Jiljilia. Farther to the left 6th Royal Munster Fusiliers and 1st Royal Irish Regiment pushed back the enemy and captured Ajul.

1918. Mar. 9 „ 10.- 10.

Mar. 19.

April 9.— Aug.12-13 Sept. 18.— 19.

Left attack. — 5th Connaught Rangers occupied Neby Saleh at 0730, and 1st Leinsters also pushed forward ; but progress was slow owing to exceptional difficulties of terrain.

Hif/ht attack. — 5th Royal Irish Fusiliers, supported by two companies 5th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, captured the strong defences south of Jiljilia, and drove the enemy in disorder tlirough the village on to the slopes beyond. A small party, commanded by a German officer, held out to the last, when they were overwhelmed by a bayonet charge. 5th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers captured Kh. Aliuta against opposition ; while 1st Royal Irish Regiment and 6th Royal Dublin Fusiliers captured the ridge west of Jiljilia in f.ace of strong resistance.

Le/t attack. — Extraordinary difficulties were encountered in the attack on Arura and Holy- wood Hill, owing to precipitous nature of the Wadi Jib, which had to be crossed although swept by heavy oblique fire from numerous machine guns. In spite of this, however, Cth Royal Irish Rifles captured the lower slopes of Holywood Hill and Sh. Redwan by 0730. Dur- ing the night 5th Connaught Rangers repulsed a counter-attack, and the enemy witlidrew his line north of the Wadi Gharib -Kefr Tur occupied by 5th Connaught Rangers. (During the March operations thirty miles of new roads had to be constructed during the actual fighting, to enable supplies to reach tho advancing troops.) Kefr Ain and Kefr Ain Hill were captured to cover the right flank of attack by 75th Division. 1st Leinsters, l/54th Siklis, and 1/lOIst Grena- diers (29th Brigade) successfully raided tlij El Burj-Ghurabeh Ridge, and annihilated tho Turkish 33rd Regiment, while troops of COth Division carried out a demonstration on the right. In this o[)eration tha enemy was .sur- prised, and, though he put up considerable resistance, suffered about 450 casualties.

Division held the line Arura to Rafat (exclusive), with 53rd Division on the right and French Palestine Detachment on tho left.

1st Leinsters and 2/151st Infantry (29th Brigade) captured Furkhah Ridge and Topee Hill respec tively, while 74th Punjabis (31st Brigade) took Kh. Er Ras, Kh. Mutwy, and Mogg EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 61 1918. Vjjt. 20.- -2/I51st Infantry and 1/lOlst Grenadiers (29th Brigade) reached the line Kusr es Sanamoh- Selfit, where they were held up, but, supported by l/54th Sikhs captured all positions in face of determined resistance, and, by 1530, were established on high ground south-west of Iskaka in readiness for further advance.

2/42nd Deolis and 2/lOlst Grenadiers (31st Brigade) advanced to the line Ras Aish-Kefr Haris, Sh. Otliman falling to an attack by the Grenadiers en route. 2/42nd Deolis made six desperate but unsuccessful attempts to storm Ras Aish, and the 2/lOlst Grenadiers were equally unfortunate in their attacks on the Kefr Haris defences. 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers (31.st Brigade) finally rushed the village of right Haris and the enemy, realizing that his Kefr 1918. Sept. 20 flank was turned, withdrew rapidly from his positions.

During the night of Sept. 20-21, 30th Brigade, moving from Kh. El Mutwy thrpugh Huwarah, occupied Neby Belan Heights, north of Nablus, having covered twenty-one miles of very rough going in thirteen hours. 21. — 31st Brigade occupied Eslaraiyeh, and completed the capture of Nablus. The area Kh. Ferweh-Tubas-Ain Shibleh was cleared of the enemy, and the fighting was over so far as 10th Division was concerned.

(Between Sept. 19 and 24 6,000 prisoners. 130 guns, and masses of transport and materia were taken on the divisional front ; these figures including the captures by Corps Cavalry.) 22 to 24 52nd (LOWLAND) DIVISION (T.).

(Ceased to belong to E.E.F. 21/4/18).

Cummander.—Bt. Col. (temp. Major-Gen.) W. E. B. Smith, C.B., C.M.G. (relincjuished, Sept., 1917).

Major-Gen. J. Hill, C.B., D.S.O., I.A., A.D.C. Commanding, Roj/al Artillery.— Lieut-Col (temp. Brig.-Gen.) E. C. Massy, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., R.A.

153th Infantry Brigade.

¦Commander.— Ueut.-Col (temp. Brig.-Gen.) J. B. Pollok McCall, C.M.G., D..S.O. (R. of 0.) (relin- quished, April, 1918). Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) P. S. Allan, D.S.O., Gordon Highlanders.

l/4th and l/5th Battalions Royal Scots Fusiliers, l/4th and l/5th Battalions King's Own Scottish Borderers. 155th Machine Gun Company, and 155th Light Trench Mortar Battery.

156th Infantry Brigade.

Commander.— Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) A. H. Leggett, D.S.O. (R. of 0.).

]/4th and l/7th Battahons Royal Scots, l/7th and l/8th Battalions Scottish Rifles. 156th Machine Gun Company, and 156th Light Trench Mortar Battery.

157th Infantry Brigade. V >inmander.—Bt. Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) C. D. Hamilton Moore, C.M.G., D.S.O.. Royal Warwickshire Regt., p.s.c.

l/5th, l/6th and l/7th Battalions Highland Light Infantry, and l/5th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. 157th Machine Gun Company, and 157th Light Trench Mortar Batt«ry.

Divisional Troops.

52nd Divisional Cvclist Company. . , i . rri. ,t j- n 261st Brigade, R.F.A. (" A," " E " and " C " Batteries). Transferred to 7th (Indian) Division in March, 1918. ,,,,,., m t ¦ j t mu n a-„ 262nd Brigade, R.F.A. (" A," " B " and 438th Batteries). Transferred to 7th (Indian; Division in March, 1918. „ , . . m j- j j. m-u /t a- \ 264th Brigade, R.F.A. (422nd, 423rd and " C " Batteries). Transferred to 7th (Indian) Division in March, 1918. ,t j- n -r%- • • • a/t „v, S2nd Divisional Ammunition Column. Transferred to 7th (Indian) Division in March, 1918. 133rd and 134th (Medium), Trench Mortar Batteries, R.A. 410th, 412th, 413th (Lowland) Field Companies, R.E. 52nd Divisional Signal Company, R.E. Pioneer Battahon, 5th Royal Irish Regiment. 211th Machine Gun Company. 52nd Divisional Employment Company.

52nd Divisional Train (Nos. 217, 218, 219 and 220 Companies, R.A.S.C). I /1st Lowland Mobile Veterinary Section.

62 THE ADVANCE OF THE Brief Record of Service.

52nd Division, composed entirely of Lowland Territorial Battalions, served through the Gallipolt campaign, and took part in the advance across the desert from the Suez Canal. It fought in the battle of Romani, and the first and second battles of Gaza, in March and April, 1917.

The annihilation of Sea Post, a strong Turkish redoubt west of Gaza, in June, by l/5th King's Own Scottish Borderers, inaugurated the series of successful raids that did so much to harass the enemy during the four months prior to the winter canipaign.

As a Division of XXIst Corps it played an important part in the final overthrow of the Turks at Gaza and the subsequent advance ; but ceased to belong to the Egyptian Expeditionary Force on embarking for France in April, 1918. The Divisional. Artillery was transferred to the 7th (Indian) Division in March, 1918, and the Artillery of tb.;it Division accompanied the 52nd to France.

1917.

Oct. 31. — The Division held the left sector of the Hue from the Gaza-Cairo road and along Samson's Ridge to the Sea. Nov. l-2.-At 2300, after a heavy bombardment lasting six days, 156th Brigade (temporarily attached to 54th Division) stormed Umbrella Hill, a strong redoubt and the key of the Gaza defences. The position was stubbornly defended, bat after a stiff fight in which l/7th Scottish Rifles were prominent, it was captured and consolidated.

„ 5. — The whole of the defensive system at Gaza was in British hands, and 155th and 157lh Brigades advanced along the beach and seized the high ground north of the Wadi Hesi.

„ 8. — The advance was continued in co-operation with Imperial Service Cavalry, and after a trying march over soft sand, the high ground north- west of Deir Sineid was taken. The Turks launched a determined counter-attack froni the direction of Ascalou to retake this position and four times drove the Lowlanders off the hill, but at the fifth attempt it was held and consolidated.

„ 9. — The Division captured the line Deir Sineid-Beit .Jerjah-Ascalon with little opposition.

,, 10. — Advanced to the Esdud-Mejdel-Herbiah line. The ridge north of Beit Duras was stormed by 157th Brigade after a march of fourteen miles over heavy sand.

„ 12. — Enemy resistance stiffened considerably and a determined stand was made on a line through Brown Hill and Biirkah. Several assaults were launched and heavy fighting ensued in which 156th Brigade was heavily engaged. Eventually the whole hostile position was taken late in the afternoon, two battahons of 75th Division co-operating on the right in the last assault.

I, 13. — The enemy coni n icd to fight stubbornly and 155ih Brigade met severe opposition in the attack on the Katrah-El Mughar line. The attack had to cross over 4,000 yards of open ground swept by heavy shell and machine-gun fire. Yeomanry co-operation on the left flank, and an infantry charge on the right captured the positions late in the afternoon. King's Own Scottish Borderers dashed up the hill and captured the Mughar defences, while Royal Soots Fusiliers worked their way into Katrah by a series of flank attacks supported by bombers, &nd rushed the village.

The captures at Katrah included a Turkish infantry battalion, a company of machine- gunners with twenty-six guns, two field guns, and a large store of ammunition.

t, 18. — Division moved up to Ludd and Ramleh, where „ 19. — it turned to the east towards the Jud»an Hills, and occupied Kubab and Annaboh without opposition. The advance was continued with 75th Division on the right and Yeomanry Mounted Division on the left. The tracks were so bad that only throe sections of guns accom- panied the infantry and they had to be doublo- horsed.

I. 20. — Beit Dukka was captured by 157th Brigade.

1917.

Nov. 22. — 1 55th Brigade captured Beit Izza, and ISCth Brigade relieved 233rd and 234th Brigades (75tii Division) at Neby Samwil, where captured positions were extended during the night, in spite of considerable enemy resistance.

„ 24. — The Division attacked with the intention of getting astride the Jerusalem-Nablus road. The first step was to capture El Jib and Bir Nebala, but these commanding positions were strongl}' held, and the formation of the ground made it impossible to attack from the flanks. 155th Brigade attacked El Jib but could make no headway and the action was broken off.

„ 26. — GOth Division relieved 52nd, and the latter wer& ordered to march to Ludd, but the Turks com- menced a series of severe attacks that threatened to cut our communications along the Ramleh- Jerusalem road, and the Lowlanders wero hurried back into the line.

„ 28. — 15 5th Brigade took over on the left of the Yeomanry Division, and 156th Brigade went up in support.

l/7th Scottish Rides ( 150th Brigade) assisted 8th Mounted Brigade to repulse a strong attack.

„ 29-30.-157th Brigade relieved 22nd and 7th Mounted Brigades during the night, and the whole Division was engaged in stemming hostile attaijks. Dec. 1. — l/4th Royal Scots Fusiliers supported 8th Aus- tralian Light Horse Regiment which was attacked in the early morning by a Turkish Assault Bat- talion. A determined attack was made on the Tahta defences held by 157 th Brigade and it was compelled to give ground but recap'ured the original line after fierce hand-to-himd fighting.

,, 7. — 52nd Division, relieved by 10th, marched to Ramleh, and „ 12. — concentrated on the loft in the coastal sector, between Neby Tari and the sea, covering SeU meh and Sarona.

,, 20 1 The final advance by the Division in Palestine to \ was the crossing of the Auja. The river was „ 21 ) swift and swollen by recent rnin, and the foids wero few and difficult to find. The ground north of the river was entirely unreconnoitred, and the enemy held a strong entrenched line? along the high ground overlooking the wide belt of open country through which the river flowed. Light canvas rafts were constructed and concealed in orange groves. These were carried to the river after dark and lathed in position to form a bridge, over which i ifantry and guns crossed, sound being deadened by use of matting. Meanwhile, some infantry crossed in coracles; others found a possible ford, linked arms and waded over breast deep. Post after post was rushed in silence at the point of the bayonet without a shot being fired. Kh. Hadrah, Sh. Muannis, and Tel er Rckkeit were captured by 155th, 156th, and 157th Brigades respectively, and by dawn all objectives were taken with 316 prisoners and ten machine guns.

., 22. — The line was further advanced to a depth of one and a half miles by the capture of Tel el Mukh mar and Arsuf ; and the Division held this line with two brigades, and one in reserve at Sarona, until relieved by 7th (lodian) Division in March.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 63 53rd DIVISION.

Commander.— M&ioT (temp. Major-Gen.) S. F. Mott, C.B., r.j>., p.s.c. €ommcmding, Royal Arlillery.—Uevit.-Col (temp. Brig.-Gen.) R. E. A. Le Mottle, R.A. (relinquished, Oct., 1917). Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) J. W. Hope, D.S.O., R.F.A. (relinquished, Nov., 1917). Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) J. W. Walker, D.S.O., T.D., R.F.A. (T.F.).

lS8th Infantry Brigade.

Commander.— Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) C. S. Rome. C.M.G., D.P.O., 11th Hussars (relinquished, Sept., 1917). Major (temp. Brig.-Gen.) H. A. Vernon, D.S.O., King's Royal Rifle Corps (relinquished, Sept., 1918). ¦ Major (temp. Brig.-Gen.) E. H. Wildblood, D.S.O., Ist Leinstcr Regt.

n/Gth Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers (l/5th and l/6th Battalions amalgamated 3/8/18), 3/153rd Rifles (late Infantry) 3/154th Indian Infantry, 4/1 1th Gurkha Rifles. 1/lst Battalion Herefordshire Regiment (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 19/6/18). 1 58th Light Trench Mortar Battery. ? 159th Infantry Brigade.

'Commander.— Col (temp. Brig.-Gen.) J. H. du B. Travers, C.B. (relinquished, Oct., 1917). Major (temp. Brig.-Gen.) N. E. Money, C.M.G., D.S.O., Shropshire Yeomanry.

4/5th Battalion Welsh Regiment (l/4th and l/5th Battahons amalgamated 3/8/18), 3/152nd, l/153rd and 2/153rd Punjabis (late Infantry). l/4th and l/7th Battalions Cheshire Regiment (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 19/6/18). 159th Light Trench Mortar Battery. .

1 60th Infantry Brigade.

Commander.— Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) V. L. N. Pearson, D.S.O., Middlesex Regt. (relinquished, Oct., 1918). Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) F. H. Borthwick, D.S.O., 5th Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

l/7th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, l/17th Infantry, l/21st Punjabis, 1st Battalion Cape Corps.

2/4th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment (disbanded, 13/9/18), 2/lOth Battalion Mid- dlesex Regiment (disbanded, 20/8/18), 2/4th Battalion Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment and l/4th Battalion Roval Sussex Regiment (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 19/6/18).

160th Light Trench Mortar Battery.

Divisional Troops.

53rd Divisional Cyclist Company.

265th Brigade, R.F.A. (" A," " B " and " C " Batteries).

266th Brigade, R.F.A. (" A," " B " and " C " Batteries).

267th Brigade, R.F.A. (" A," " B " and 439th Batteries).

53rd Divisional Ammunition Column.

436th and 437th (Welsh), Field Companies, R.E.

72nd Company, 3rd Sappers and Miners.

53rd Divisional Signal Company, R.E.

53rd Divisional Machine Gim Battalion (Nos. 158, 159, 160 Companies).

l/155th Pioneers.

53rd Divisional Train (Nos. 246, 247, 248 and 249 Companies, R.A.S.C.).

53rd Mobile Veterinary Section.

6 THE ADVANCE OF THE Brief Record of Service.

The 53rd Division was composed originally of Territorial battalions, and landed in Erypt from Galhpoh as a Temtonal Division. It took part in the advance from the Suez Canal, the first and second battles of Gaza, and eventually joined the XXth Corps, on its formation in Au

1917. Oct. 31. — Division concentrated in the neighbourhood of El Buggar, and, Nov. 1. — after the fall of Beersheba, occupied the line north of the town, from Towal Abu Jerwal to Kh. el Muweileh. „ 3. — Orders were received to attack the heights of Tel Khuweilfeh, and three days and nights of almost continuous fighting ensued. 159tli Brigade were heavily engaged, particularly l/4tli and l/5th Welsh, and l/7th Cheshires ; tlio first-named carrying a rocky hill at the point of the bayonet. „ 4. — 160th Brigade, in an exposed position, suffered considerably from lack of water. „ 5. — 265th Brigade, R.F.A., were shelled incessantly throughout the day, but held their ground. „ 6. — 158th Brigade, with l/4th Sussex attached, stormed the Khuweilfeh Heights in the early morning, in conjunction with the main Corps operation, and reached all objectives by dawn. A Com- pany of 1/lst Herefords rushed nine field guns in a ravine, complete with personnel and teams, but had to abandon them later.

Five counter-attacks were launched during the ensuing twenty-four hours, and twice the enemy regained the summit for short periods, but were driven off with heavy losses by l/7th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, supported by accurate artillery fire. „ 8. — Division concentrated at Khuweilfeh. Dec. 4. — March towards Jerusalem commenced ; Hebron occupied on Dec. 5, and Bethlehem during the night of Dec. 8-9. >i 9. — The division was now in touch with 60th Division, attacking Jerusalem from the west, and the advance was continued at an early hour. Mar Elias was occupied by l/5th Welsh (159th Brigade) at 0800, and this Battalion was under the walls of the Holy City at 0845, and in action near the cemetery on the Jericho road at 0900. Later in the day l/4th and l/5th Welsh cap- tured the Mount of Olives, their advance being assisted by l/4th Cheshires on the right and troops of 60th Division on the left. „ 11. — Fighting continued, and a line from Abu Dis to El Aziriyeh, astride the Jerusalem-Jericho road was occupied. »> 13. — 159th Brigade captured Ras el Kharrubeh. f. 17.— l,'4th Sussex and 2/4th Royal West Kents (lOOtli Brigade) seized the ridge east of Abu Dis and took 126 prisoners and two machine guns. ,. 21. — Ras ez Zamby and White Hill were captured by 2/4th Queens and 2/lOth Middlesex (160th Brigade) after heavy fighting, and these posi- tions were held against a strong counter- attack. •> 27. — The Turks made a series of desperate attacks on the line covering Jerusalem, with the evident intention of retaking the city, but all attacks were repulsed with heavy losses. Deir Ibn Obeid, held by 2/lOth Middlesex, was subjected to particularly fierce assaults, but, though sur- rounded, the position was resolutely defended for several hours and eventually relieved by l/4th Sussex. ., 28. — A:iata was taken by 158th Brigade, and the line further advanced by the capture of Ras Aikub es Suffa (l/7th Royal Welsh Fusiliers) and Khamlit (1/lst Herefords).

Mch.

1917. Dec. 29.— 159th Brigade captured Hizmeli and Jeba. Feb. 13.— Karly in the year 53rd Division relieved 60th Division astride the Jerusalem-Nablus road (Et Tell-Sh. Abdallah-Arnutieh-Kh. Wady es Serah), 60th Division taking over the line east of Jerusalem in preparation for forthcoming operations towards Jericho. 1918. Feb. 14— The right of the line was advanced to Doir Diwan and Kh. Alia to protect the left flank of the attack by 60th Division. „ 19. — 2/lOth Middlesex captuicd Rummon, and on the following day, „ 20.— the line Rummon-Gardcn Ilill-Sh. Abdallah was occupied. 7.— Nejmeh was captured by I/7th Cheshires at 0500 after a rapid advance. 8-9. — A night advance over difficult ground resulted in the capture of .Munatir Ridge by l/4th Cheshires; and l/4th Welsh stormed Dar Jerir and Dmgo's Hill in face of strong oppr- sition. Tell Asur was captured by l/5th Royal Welsh Fusiliers at the point of the bayonet, and successfully held against three determined counterattacks ; while 1/lst Herefords carried Chipp Hill after heavy fighting. 10. — 158th and I59th Brigades captured important ridges in rapid succession and Kefr Malik was occupied at 1400.

11. — 159th Brigade reached the south bank of the Wady Kola by 0900.

11-12. — A night advance by the Division secured the line Nejmeh-Rbck Park-Kh. Abu Felah- Mezrah el Sherkiyeh. In an attempt to ad- vance beyond this line a company of 2/lOth Middlesex were heavily counter-attacked on the slopes of Kh. Amurieh, and this attack wa,a not pushed home.

/ 53rd Division remained in the same sector of ( the line throughout the summer.

18. — The general attack that was to smash the Turkish Armies in PaLjtine commenced at 2200, when l/17th Infantry (160th Brigade) moved north in the direction of Square Hill, followed by the rest of the brigade. Further to the left i59t!i Brigade captured Round Hill (overlooking Kh. Abu Fclah) at 2230. 19. — 4/5th Welsh (159th Brigade) captured Kew Hill and Pt. 2401 by 0045, and 160th Brigade took Valley View at 0215. Strong enemy positions at Sh. el Azeir, El Mughcir, Boulder Boil, and Pt. 2362, attacked from tlie rear by l/7th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, were in our hands by 0300, and the Cape Corps seized Square Hill at 0450. 159th Brigade captured Hindhcad (4/5th Welsh), and were heavily engaged near Kh. Abu Malul, where 3/ 1 52nd Infantry, after three unsuccess- ful assaults, stormed the defences at dusk. 20. — Kh. Jibeit and Gallows Hill were stormed by tho Cape Corps, but a fierce counter-attack by over- whelming numbers, covered by heavy shelling, forced them to withdraw. l/17th Infantry re- captured Kh. Jibeit at 1230, and took 150 prisoners.

2/1 53rd Infantry (159th Brigade) captured Ras et Tawil, but 158th Brigade were held np- Mch.

to Sept.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 65 1918. 1918.

Sept. 20 for a time by stubborn opposition south of Sept. 21 By nightfall the division had reached Beit Kh. Birket el Kusr. At midnight the division Dcjan and Beit Furik, having dislodged the continued the advance. enemy from positions of great natural strength „ 21. — 5/6th Royal Welsh Fusiliers and 4/1 1th Gurkhas and driven the remnant fifteen miles across (158th Brigade) seized Kh. Birket el Kusr and . jno.st difiBcuIt country on to the cavalry patrols Pt. 2906 respectively. 159th Brigade ad- of Desert Mounted Corps.

vanced rapidly capturing Kusrah (4/5th Welsh) „ 26. — Division concentrated in the Sinjil-Tell Asur and Akrabeh, at 0400 and 1000 respectively. area.

54th (EAST ANGLIAN) DIVISION (T.).

Commander. — Major-Gen. S. W. Hare, C.B.

Commanding, Royal Artillery. — laeut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-GeD.) D. B. Stewart, D.S.O., R.A.

16 1st Infantry Brigade.

Commander. — Bt. Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) W. Marriott Dodington, Oxford. & Bucks. Liglit Infantry, p.s.c. (relinqui.ihed, Feb., 1918). Major (temp. Brig.-Gen.) H. B. H. Orpen Palmer, D.S.O., Royal Irish Fusiliers.

l/4th, l/5th, l/6th and l/7th Battalions Essex Rcgt. 161st Light Trench Mortar Battery.

162nd Infantry Brigade.

Commander. — Bt. Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) A. Mudoe, C.M.G., Queen's Royal West Surrey Regt.

l/5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, l/4th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, 1/1 0th and 1/1 1th Battalions London Regiment. lC2nd Light Trench Mortar Battery.

163rd Infantry Brigade.

Com?wa«(/er.— Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) T. Ward, C.M.G., T.F. Reserve (relinquished, April, 1918). Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) A. J. McNeill, D.S.O., Lovat's Scouts Yeomanry.

l/4th and l/5th Battalions Norfolk Regiment, l/5th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, l/8th Battalion Hampshire Regiment. 163rd Light Trench Mortar Battery.

Divisional Troops.

270th Brigade, R.F.A. (" A," " B " and " C " Batteries).

271st Brigade, R.F.A. ("A," "B" and 440th Batteries).

272nd Brigade, R.F.A. ("A," "B" and "C" Batteries).

54th Divisional Ammunition Column.

484th and 486th (East Anglian), and 495th (Kent), Field Companies, R.E.

54th Divisional Signal Company, R.E.

54th Divisional Machine Gun Battalion (Nos. 161, 162, 163 Companies).

54th Divisional Train (Nos. 921, 922, 923 and 924 Companies, R.A.S.C.).

1/lst East Anglian Mobile Veterinary Section.

Brief Record of Service.

54th Division, composed entirely of Territorial Battalions, fought through the Gallipoli campaign ; landed in Egypt in December, 1915 ; and marched across the desert from the Suez Canal.

¦ It took part in the first and second battles of Gaza in March and April, 1917 ; held the left of the line in front of Gaza in June and July ; and eventually was included in XXIst Corps on its formation in August.

Throughout the Palestine campaign 54th Division fought unchanged in its order of battle.

66 THE ADVANCE OF THE 1917.

July 14-15. — The Turkish redoubt known as Beach Post was successfully raided by one company l/8th Hampshires (163rd Brigade), with one company 2/5th Hampshires (232nd Brigade), attached. „ 20-21.— 1/oth Bedfords (162nd Brigade) successfully raided Umbrella Hill, an important redoubt south of Gaza, and „ 27-28. — followed this up by a second raid. Nov. 2. — Tlie Division attacked Gaza with the 156th Brigade of the 52nd Division attached. In the enemy frontline system the 156th Brigade • captured Umbrella Hill ; l/5th Suifolks and l/8th Hampshires, assisted by l/4th and l/5th Norfolks, stormed El Arish Redoubt ; l/6th and l/5th Essex captured Beach and Sea Posts and Rafa Redoubt at the point of the bayonet. Zowaiid and Cricket Redoubts also fell to the Essex (161st) Brigade ; whilst the l/5th Bedfords and 1/1 1th Londons pushed on and seized Sheikh Hassan and Gun Hill respectively, strong points in the Turks' second line of defence. All positions were consolidated and held in spite of determined counter-attacks. „ 7. — The 1 62nd Brigade occupied Belah Trenot-Turtle Hill. Patrols through Gaza found it evacuated and a defensive line from Sh. Kedwan to the sea was occupied and linked up with the line held by 75th Division on the right. ,, 19. — The Division reached Ludd and proceeded to take over a portion 'of the new line covering Jaffa. ,, 27. — The Turks heavily attacked on the line Beit Nabala-Dear Tureif-Wilhelma, but were re- pulsed by the 162nd Brigade, particularly stout defence being put up by the l/4th Northamp- tons (162ud Brigade) at Wilhelma. ,, 28. — l/5th Essex raided the Turkish trenches on the south bank of the Auja. ,, 30. — l/5th Bedfords repulsed a Turkish attack on Zeifizfiyeh Hill. Dee. 2. — l/6th Essex repeated the raid on Turkish trenches. „ 11.— 1 /4th Norfolks (163rd Brigade) and " C " Battery 272nd Field Artillery Brigade repulsed a second determined Turkish attack on Zeifiz- fiyeh Hill. ,, 15.— The 163rd Brigade captured Kh. el Bornat (5th Suffolk Regt.) and Et Tireh on the fringe of the Judsean Hills. ,, 22. — The 161st and 162nd Brigades advanced the line to the River Auja, north of Mulebbis, the 1917. Dec, 22 1918.

Slarch 1/1 1th Londons storming Bald Hill, which was strongly held, in the course of this engagement.

12. — The 162nd and 163rd Brigades advanced the line further to a depth of four miles, capturing Mezeirah (l/5th Bedfords and 1/1 1th Londons) Kh. Dikerin (l/4th Northamptons), Mejdel Yaba (1/lOth Londons), and Ras el Ain (l/4th Norfolks).

Sept. 18.— leistBrigadeat Mejdel Yaba ; 162nd Brigade at Jlezeirah-Kuleh ; and 163rd Brigade, Kuleh- Kantieh.

„ 19. — 0420. — Division advanced on a front of 3,000 yards, and by 0700 had captured Crov.'a Hill (l/8th Hampshires), Kefr Kasim and Jevis Tepe (l/4th and l/5th Essex), strong resistance being experienced by the 101st Brigade at Kasim Wood.

1105.— Oghlu Tepe was stormed by the 1/lOth Londons and l/4th Northamptons.

During this action the 1/lOth Londons rushed and captured two 5"9-ineli howitzers on high ground overlooking the Wadi Kanah.

1115. — Sivri Tepe was captured by l/5th Essex, after stubborn resistance. 1516. — Kh. Sirisia was taken by l/4th Norfolks, supported by ]/5th Norfolks.

The Division had to advance over broken and difficult country, but all objectives were taken by nightfall, with 600 prisoners and eleven guns.

A feature of the day's fighting was the use made of captured enemy machine guns. l/8th Hampshires, in particular, used captured guns with satisfactory results. „ 20. — The 163rd Brigade occupied north and south line through Bidieh by 0300. „ 24. — The Division concentrated in the Hableh area; „ 28. — started the march to Haifa, and on Oct. 4. — concentrated at Haifa.

„ 23. — The advance northward to Beirut was continued and on „ 31. — the Division marched through Beirut at the hour that hostilities with Turkey ceased.

60th DIVISION.

Commander. — Major-Gen. E. S. Bulfin, C.B., C.V.O. (relinqui.shed, Auc, 1917). Major-Gen. Sir J. S. M. Shea, K.C.M.G., C.B., D.S.O., I.A., ji.s.c.

Commanding, Royal Artillery. — Bt. Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) H. A. D. Simpson-Baikie, C.B., Ti.A. (re- linquished, Aug., 1917).

Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) H. M. Drake, R.F.A. (relinquished, Oct., 1917).

Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) W. A. Robinson, C.B., C.M.G., R.A.

179th Infantry Brigade.

Commander.— Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) Fitz J. M. Edwards, C.M.G., D.S.O., I.A., A.D.C. (relinquished, Feb., 1918). Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.} E. T. Humphreys, D.S.O., Lancashire Fusiliers, p.s.c.

2/13th Battalion London Regiment, 2/19th Punjabis, 2/127th Baluch Light Infantry, 3/151st Punjabi Rifles (late Infantry), 2/14th, 2/15th, 2/16th Battalions London" Regiment (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 19/6/18.) 179th Light Trench Mortar Battery.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONAKY FORCE G7 180th Infantry Brigade.

Commander.— Kajov (temp. Brig.-Gen.) F. M. Carlkton, D.S.O. (R. of 0.), p.s.c. (relinquished, Aug., 1917). Bt. Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) J. Hill, D.S.O., I.A., A.D.C. (relinquished, Sept., 1917). Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) C. F. Watson, C.M.G., D.8.O., Queen's Royal West Surrey Regt. 2/19th Battalion London Regiment, 2nd Guides Infantry, 2/30th Punjabis, 1/Otli Kumaon Rifles. . , , , . _ _ _, ,„,„„„ 2/17th and 2/20th Battalions London Regiment (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 19/6/18 and 2/7/18, respectively), 2/18th Battalion London Regiment (disbanded, 10/7/18).

180th Light Trench Mortar Battery.

181st Infantry Brigade.

Commaiider.—Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) E. C. da Costa, C.M.G., D.S.O., East Lancashire Regt.

2/22nd Battahon London Regiment, l/30th Baluchis, 2/97th Deccan Infantry, 2/152nd Punjabis (late Infantry). 2/21st Battalion London Regiment (disbanded, 11/6/18), 2/23rd and 2/24th Battalions London Regiment (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 2/7/18). 181st Light Trench Mortar Battery.

Divisional Troops.

301st Brigade, R.F.A. ("A," "B" and "C" Batteries).

302nd Brigade, R.F.A. (" A," " B " and 413th Batteries).

303rd Brigide, R.F.A. ("A," "B" and "C" Batteries).

60th Divisional Ammunition Column.

No. 1 Company, 1st (King George's Own) Sappers and Miners.

519th and 521st (London) Field Companies, R.E.

60th Divisional Signal Company, R.E.

60th Divisional Machine Gun Battalion (Nos. 179, 180, 181 Companies).

60th Divisional Train (Nos. 517, 518, 519 and 520 Companies, R.A.S.C).

2/2nd London Mobile Veterinary Section.

Brief Record of Service.

60th (London) Division, composed entirely of London Territorial Battalions, served in France from June to December, 1916, was transferred to Salonika, and eventually landed in Egypt in June, 1917. It reached the front in Jidy, and joined XXth Corps in August.

The Division was reorganized in July, 1918, when seven Battalions were withdrawn for service in France and two were disbanded. The vacancies were filled by Indian units, and the Territorial title was dropped.

1917. 1917.

Oct. 30. — Concentrated about the Wadi Mirtaba, six miles Dec. 5. — 231st Brigade (74th Division) took over tlie Nebi south-west of Beersheba. Samwil-Beit Izza sector, and 60th Divison „ 31. — 179th and 181st Brigades attacked the Beersheba concentrated about Kustul for the attack on defences from south-west, on right of 74th Jerusalem.

Division. 2/14th and 2/l5th London broke „ 8. — 179th Brigade, with mountain batteries, crossed through by 1230, and twenty minutes later all the Vadi Surar during the night and seized the objectives were taken. 2/ 13th London were high ground south of Ain Karim at 0330. The ' shelled and machine-gunned from direction of right of the line thus secured, the main attack Beersheba, so the battalion advanced about a by the ISOtli Brigade began at dawn (0515) iu mile and captured two 77mm. guns. heavy rain, sxod by 0700 the defences on the No_ 6.— Attacked Kauwukah and Rushdi systems at formidable ridge overhanging the Wadi Surar 1230, with 74th on right and 10th on left. were captured Strong resistance was expen- 179th and 180th Brigades broke through, after "''''i ''V "'.'""V"' '"i .Yn f 11 ,. , .- J • J ou • the works at Deir Yesin ; and the left of the two hours sharp fightmg, and occupied Sheria. , ,,y p . 130 j . „ , „ ,°°", .,,,,, , , charge dislodged the enemv. The steep slopes „ 7.— Tel Esh Shena still held out but the enemy was to Lifta .j-e swent bv jiostile niaehine-gun dislodged after a sharp fight. fire, but 180th Brigade jjushed en and occupied „ 18. — Division concentrated at Gaza, and marched the village at dusk.

northward on the following day. „ 9.— The Turks evacuated Jerusalem during the 24 ) Relieved 232ud Brigade (75th Division) and 52nd night, and the city surrendered to General to > Division, in the Judsean Hills, on the line Shea at 0830.

„ 27 ] Soba-Kustul-Nebi Samwil-Beit Izza. Enemy rearguards were engaged and positions Deo. 1.— Three determined hostile attacks on Nebi Samwil were occupied »t Tel el Ful and Shafat, four were beaten off, with a loss to the enemy of ™il''s north of Jerusalem on the Xablus road, 500 killed. ,, H. — Division occupied the line Tel el Ful-Beit Hannina 68 THE ADVANCE OF THE 1917. Dec. 23. — 2/24th London advanced 800 yards on the left, and 2/18th London stormed Kh. Adaseh, but the main attack was postponed and this advanced position was abandoned.

„ 27. — The Turlis attacked along the whole line covering Jerusalem at 0130, and bitter fighting continued throughout the day. A particularly violent attack at dawn enabled them to gain a footing in a portion of our line, but 2/15th London counter-attacked and, in spite of heavy shelling, recaptured the lost ground. Thirteen costly attacks had been delivered by dusk with the net gain to the enemy of the advanced posts on Kh. Kas et Tawil and the quarry north of Tel el Ful, abandoned in the early morning to over- whelming numbers.

„ 28. — 181st Brigade occupied El Jib and Bir Nebala, and 180th Brigade took Kh. Adaseh at 1725. 2/20th London captured Er Ram, and the line Er Ram-Rafat was occupied at 1915. • „ 29. — Tel en Nasbeh and the hill north of Kefr Akab were taken by 2/19th and 2/20th London, respectively, and these battalions stormed Shab Salah at 1520. On the right 2/17th 2/18th seized the ridge immediately th-west of Burkah, and on the left the Tahuneh was carried by 2/22nd and 2/23rd. Beitin and Balua were taken during the night by 180th and 181st Brigades respectively, and the line carried on to near Kh. el Burj where junction was effected with 74th Division.

1918. Feb. 13.- Mar.

-The Division held the line Deir Ibn Obeid-Ras es Suffa-Hizmeh, taken over from 53rd Division.

14. — 1 8 1 st Brigade occupied Mukhmas and Tel es Suwan.

19.— 179th Brigade captured El Muntar ; 180th Brigade stormed Arak Ibrahim after severe fighting ; and 181st Brigade seized Splash Hill and Eas et Tawil.

20. — Jebel Ekteif and Talaat ed Dumm were captured by 179th and 180th Brigades, respectively, while 181st Brigade advanced four miles along the north of the VVadi Farah. Neby Musa was occupied by 2/14th London, in co-operation with New Zealand Moiiuted Brigade.

21. — The Division occupied the line Rujm esh Shema- liyeh-Kh. Kakun-Jebel Kuruntul, and, the object of the advance achieved, 22. — withdrew to the line Jebel Ekteif-Talaat ed Dumm -Ras et Tawil, with 144 prisoners and six machine guns. 9. — 181st Brigade advanced rapidly over rough country and El Madbeh and Kh. el Beiyudat were occu- pied by 2/24th and 2/22nd London, respec- tively. With 2/21st astride Wadi Aujah at 0930, 2/24th, sup[>orted by Light Armoured Car Batteries, captured Abu TcUul at 1630.

14. — The advance was continued and EI Musallabeh captured in spite of opposition.

22. — The first crossing of the Jordan, swollen and unfordable, was effected by swimmers of 2/19th London at Hajlah at 0100, and as the result of their efforts 2/19th and 2/18th Battalions were able to cross on rafts and a light pontoon bridge by 1200.

23.- — Swimmers reached the eastern bank at Ghoraniyeh at 1320 ; rafting and bridge construction com- menced, and 24. — The whole force detailed for the Amman raid had crossed the river by 0500.

1918.

Mar. 24 „ 25.

„ 28.- 30.- April 3.- » 30.- May3-4.- Sept. 17.- .. 19.- 20.- 21.- 25.- 179th Brigade captured El flaud, and 181st Brigade took Shunet Nimrin. 2/22nd London captured three guns in their attack on Tel el Musta.

-The advance was delayed by weather conditions but 179th Brigade occupied Es Salt at 2000.

-The first attack on Amman commenced at 1300. 2/23rd and 2/21st Battalions were held up 1,000 yards north-west of Amman by intense machine-gun and rifle fire, and 2/17th and 2/18th were ordered up from Es Sir in support.

-After thirty-six hours almost continuous fighting a night attack was launched at 0200. 2/22nd London captured 135 prisoners and four machine guns, but were held up 500 yards from their objective (the " Citadel ") at 0845. 2/18th on their right were also held up by a heavy frontal fire. 2/21st on the extreme left, though repeatedly counter-attacked, invariably held the advantage in the hand-to-hand fighting that ensued. 2/18th London again tried to storm the " Citadel " at 1500, but were cheeked by heavy fire from right flank, and shortly after orders were received to withdraw.

Meanwhile the Battalions left to hold Es Salt defeated an enemy attack from the direction of Kefr Huda.

The Division started to withdraw during the night, and -the rear units re-crossed the Jordan.

-The troops detailed for the Es Salt raid crossed to east of Jordan. 180th Brigade attacked Shunet Nimrin and captured some advanced positions, but the enemy were strongly posted and no further progress was possible. 179th Brigade attacked El Hand but met with no better success.

-The force withdrew west of Jordan after heavy fighting, covered by 181st Brigade, who formed an extended bridgehead.

-180th Brigade relieved 28th Brigade 7th (Indian Division) in the coastal sector, and the Division concentrated north and north-east of Arsuf.

-180th Brigade attacked on a front of 1,500 yards at 0440, with l/50th Kumaon Rifles (supported by 2/97th Infantry of 181st Brigade) on the right and 2nd Guides Infantry on the left. The objective of this attack was the strong trench system on the extreme right of the Turkish line, consisting of three lines of pre- pared positions. These were all carried by 0540, and by 0650 2/1 9th London had forced the Nahr el Falik and established a bridge- head to cover the advance of the cavalry. ISlst Brigade / pushed forward and 2/22nd London, 130th Baluchis and 2/1 52nd Punjabis reached a north and south line through Umm Sur at 1400. This Brigade advanced sixteen and a half miles in twelve and a half hours, and 2/22nd London and 2/1 52nd Punjabis captured Tulkeram and Irtah, respectively. _ with 835 prisoners. The Punjabis captured seven 77mm. guns in this last engagement, knocking out the teams with Lewis gun-fire.

-The Division advanced at 0500 and 3/151st Punjabi Rifles (179th Brigade) captured Anebta and the Bir Asur tunnel.

-The line Jebel Bir Asur-Bc!ah -Shuweikeh was occupied, -and the Division concentrated at Rantieh in Army Reserve, less 181st Brigade, which remained " at Kakon for escort duty.

74th (YEOMANRY) DIVISION.

(Ceased to belong to E.E.F, 7/5/ia) Commander.— Bt. Col. (te;np. Major-Gen.) E. S. Girdwood, C.B., Scottish Rifles. Commanding, Royal Artilkrif. —LieuL-Coh (temp. Brig.-Gen.) L. J. Hext, C.M.G., R.A.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 69 229th Infantry Brigade.

Commander.— o\. (temp. Brig.-Oen.) R, Hoarb, D.S.O., late 4th Hussars.

16th (Royal 1st Devon and Royal North Devon Yeomanry) Battalion Devonshire Regiment.

12th (West Somerset Yeomanry) Battalion Somerset Light Infantry.

14th (Fife and Forfar Yeomanry) Battalion Black "Watch.

12th (Ayr and Lanark Yeomanry) Battalion Royal Scots Fusjliers.

4th Machine Gun Company.

229th Light Trench Mortar Battery. • 230th Infantry Brigade.

Commander.— lAmt.-Col (temp. Brig.-Gen.) A. J. McNeill, D.S.O., Lovat's Scouts Yeomanry (re- linquished, Dec, 1917). Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) H. B. H. Orpen-Palmer, D.S.O., Royal Irish Fusiliers (relinquished, Feb., 1918). Major (temp. Brijr.-Gen.) W. J. Bowker, C.M.G., D.S.O., Somerset Light Infantry.

10th (Royal East Kent and West Kent Yeomanry) BattaHon East Kent Regiment.

16th (Sussex Yeomanry) Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment.

15th (Suffolk Yeomaniy) Battalion Suffolk Regiment.

12th (Norfolk Yeomanry) Battalion Norfollc Regiment.

209th Machine Gun Company.

230th Light Trench Mortar Battery.

231st Infantry Brigade.

Commander.— 3i.]0T (temp. Brig.-Gen.) W. J. Bowker, C.M.G., D.S.O., Somerset Light Infantry (re- linquished, Sept., 1917). Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) C. E. Heathcote, C.M.G., D.S.O., Yorkshire Light Infantry.

10th (Shropshire and Cheshire Yeomanry) Battalion King's Shropshire Light Infantry.

24th (Denbighshire Yeomanry) Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

25th (Montgomeryshire and Welsh Horse Yeomanry) Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

24th (Pembroke and Glamorgan Yeomanry) Battalion Welsh Regiment.

210th Machine Gun Company.

231st Light Trench Mortar Battery.

Divisional Troops.

117th Brigade, R.F.A. (" A," " B," 366th and " D " Batteries).

44th Brigade, R.F.A. (340th, 382nd, 425th and " D " Batteries).

74th Divisional Ammunition Column.

X 74 and Y 74 (Medium), Trench Mortar Batteries, R.A.

No. 5 (Royal Monmouth), No. 5 (Royal Anglesey), 439th (Cheshire) Field Companies, R.E.

74th Divisional Signal Company, R.E.

Pioneer Battalion l/r2th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

261st Machine Gun Company.

74th Divisional Employment Company.

74th Divisio-nal Train (Nos. 447, 448, 449 and 450 Companies, R.A.S.C).

59th Mobile Veterinary Section.

Brief Record of Service.

74th (Yeomanry) Division was formed in January, 1917, of eighteen dismounted Yeomanry regiments, including twelve that had served in Gallipoli. The newly-formed Infantry battalions were brought up to strength with drafts, and reached the front in time for the second battle of Gaza in April.

As an Infantry Division it joined XXth Corps on its formation in August, and, during August and September, Brigades were employed alternately in holding portions of the line and constructing new defences in the left sector.

70 THE ADVANCE OF THE After taking part in the attack on Beersheba, the capture of Jerusalem, and the subsequent hill- fighting during the winter months, the Division embarked for France in May, 1918, and ceased to belong to the EgjT)tian Expeditionary Force.

1917.

Oct. 30. .. 31.

1917.

Concentrated south-west of the Wadi Saba. Dec.

231st and 230th Brigades attacked Beersheba at 0830 on the left of OOtli Division, 10th Ea.st Kents (BufiFs) and 12th Norfolks leading the attack. Their objectives were t)ie main Turkish trench-line immediately south of the Wadi Saba. Stubborn resistance was met with but all objectives were fnken by 1330. Later „ in the day 230th Brigade crossed the Wadi Saba and rolled up all hostile defences as far north as the Beersheba-Tel el Fara road, while „ a brigade of 53rd Division threatened them from the west. Nov. 6. — 230th and 229th Brigades attacked the system of „ trenches and redoubts covering Sheria at dawn, with yeomanry on the right and GOth Division on the left. Stubborn resistance was encoun- tered, but all positions east of the railway were stormed by 1515, and the Division moved to the high ground north of Sheria Several guns and „ machine guns were captured and a way cleared for the advance of the cavalry.

„ 17. — Division marched to north of Deir el Belah, and „ 23. — via Gaza towards Mejdel and Latron. „ „ 28. — A composite Artillery Brigade was sent forward from Latron in support of the Yeomanry Mounted Division, who were heavily attacked on „ the Beit Urel Foka-Beit Uret Tahta-Suflfa line.

„ 29.— 23lst Brigade relieved 8th and 6th Mounted Brigades, „ 30. — and, throughout the day, was heavily engaged repulsing strong Turkish attacks between Et Tireh and Beit Ur el Foka, 191 Dec. 3. — 16th Devons (229th Brigade) recaptured Beit Ur Mar. el Foka, which had been abandoned to the enemy on Nov. 28. Seventeen prisoners and three machine guns were taken in this engage- ment and several very determined counter- „ attacks were repulsed with heavy losses to the Turks who left fifty dead in the village alone. The village was again abandoned in the after- noon as it was dominated by high ground and was continually swept by hostile machine-gun lire.

„ 6. — 'I he Division took over the Nebj' Samwil-Beit Izza Sector from 60th Division, and „ 7. — extended the line southward to Sh. Abd el Aziz, one mile south-east of Beit Surik.

„ 8. — A general attack along the XXth Corps front was launched just before dawn. 230th Brigade captured Beit Iksa by 1 100, but further advance to the Kh. el Burj Ridge was held up by heavy shelling and' enfilade machine-gun fire from the right flank.

9. — 229th Brigade completed the capture of the Neby Samwil Ridge before dawn, and the right of the line, swinging north towards Beit Hannina linked up with GOth Division astride the Jerusa- lem-Nablus road. Enemy resistance weakened considerably and the line was advanced to four miles north of Jerusalem.

11. — The Division moved to the left to conform with Corps redistribution, and took over the Neby Samwil-Beit Izza-Beit Dukka line.

20.— 24th Welsh Regiment (231st Brigade) stormed Hill 1910, one mile north of Beit Dukka, and beat off a heavy counter-attack.

27.— 24th Royal Welsh Fusiliers (231st Brigade) cap- tured Kh. Ed Dreihemoh at 1015, and beat off a counter-attack after withdrawing slightly. 229th Brigade was heavily engaged on the Zeitun Ridge, where the last objective was rushed after dark.

28.— 24th Royal Welsh Fusiliers and 24tl! Welsh Regi- ment took Hill 2,450 and Kh. El Jufeir respec- tivelj', and 229th Brigade captured Beitunia at 1550 against strong resistance.

29. — 'J'lie enemy made determined efforts to hold Ram Allah, but it was taken, after a stiff fight, by 230th, supported by 229th Brigade.

30. — A night attack by 230th Brigade resulted in the capture of the Kh. Et Tireh-Kh. El Burj line. The captured positions were consolidated, the Division having advanced over five miles in three days, through rugged and diflicult country, and against continual and stubborn opposition.

8. — The Division advanced astride the Jerusalem- Nablus road, with 5,3rd and 10th Divisions on right and left respectively. Ain .Sinia was captured by 230th Brigade after a stiff fight. 9. — 231st Brigade rushed hostile defences at Selwad by 0525, but two assaults on Yebrud by 230th Brigade were unsuccessful.

10. — The precipitous ridge of Burj el Lisaneh was stormed at 0300 and successfully defended against three counter-attacks, while 230th Brigade reversed the verdict of the previous day by capturing Yebrud and Burj Bardawile after heavy fighting. This Brigade again advanced to a depth of nearly two miles against considerable resistance.

11.— 231st Brigade captured Sh. Selim, while 230th Brigade occupied the ridge overlooking Sinjil. This was the final operation of the 74th (Yeomanry) Division in Palestine, and after a few weeks spent in holding the captured line the Division was withdrawn for service in France.

75th DIVISION.

Commander— M'd]ov-Gen. P. C. Palin, C,B., C.M.G., LA.

Commanding, Royal Artillery. — Lieut.-Col, (temp. Brig,-Qen.) H. A. Boyce, D.S.O., R.A.

232nd Infantry Brigade. Commander. — Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) H. J. Huddleston, C.M.G. D.S.O., M-.C, Dorset Begiment.

l/4th BattaUon Wiltshire Regiment, 72nd Punjabis, 2/3rd Gurkha Rifles, 3rd Kashmii I.S. Infantry. 2/5th Battalion Hampshire Regiment (disbanded, 17/8/18), 2/4th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, and l/5th Battalion Devonshire Regiment (ceased to belong to E,E,F., 28/5/18), 232nd Light Trench Mortar Battery.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 71 233rd Infantry Brigade.

Commander.— Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) Hon. E. M. Colston, C.M.G., D.S.O., M.V.O., Grenadier Guards.

l/5th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, 29tli Punjabis, 2/154th Indian Infantry, 3/3rd Gurklia Rifles.

2/4th Battalion Dorset Regiment (disbanded 17/8/18), 2/4th Battalion Hampshire Regi- ment (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 28/5/18).

233rd Light Trench Mortar Battery.

234th Infantry Brigade.

Commander. — Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) F. .7. Anley, C.B., C.M.G. (relinquished, Nov., 1917).

Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) C. A. H. Maclean, D.S.O., Argyll & Sutherland High- landers (relinquished, Oct., 1918). Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) F. P. H. Keily, C.M.G., D.S.O., 125th Napier's Rifles, I.A.

l/4th Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, 58th Vaughan's Rifles (F.F.), 123rd Outram's Rifles, l/152nd Punjabis (late Infantry;. 2/4th Battalion Devonshire Regiment (disbanded, 17/8/18). 234th Light Trench Mortar Battery.

Divisional Troops.

37th Brigade, R.F.A. (389th, 390th and 405th Batteries.) 172nd Brigade, R.F.A. (391st, 392nd and 406th Batteries).

Ist South African Field Artillery Brigade (" A," " B " and " C " Batteries).

75th Divisional Ammunition Column.

496th (Kent) Field Company, R.E.

Nos. 10 and 16 Companies, 2nd (Queen Victoria's Own) Sappers and Miners, 75th Divisional Signal Company, R.E.

75th Divisional Machine Gun Battalion (Nos. 229, 230, 231 Companies).

2/32nd Sikh Pioneers.

75th Divisional Train (Nos. 925, 926, 927 and 928 Companies, R.A.S.C).

60th Mobile Veterinary Section.

Brief Record of Service.

»» 8.

>f 9.

• » 10.

I» 12.

Nov. 20 21 The 75th Division, made up of units (Territorial and included in XXIst Corps on its formation, and on 1917. 1917.

Oct. 31. — was concentrated in the Mansura area, Nov. 6-7. — During the night the 233rd Brigade captured Out- poat and Middlesex Hills in the trench system south of Gaza, and on the morning of Nov. 7 captured Green Hill, and occupied Australia and Fryer's Hills. The 232nd Brigade had captured The Labyrinth and Ali Muntar, and occupied The Quariy and Delilah's Neck by 1330. -Tank and Atawineh Redoubts were occupied by 234th Brigade and Composite Force. -The advance northward was commenced with 232nd BrigJide leading, and this -Brigade occupied Suafir el Gharbiyeh by 1900. -2/5th Hampshires and 2/3rd Gurkhas (of 232nd Brigade) co-operated with 52nd Division in attack on, and capture of, Burkah and Brown Hill . „ 13. — The 233rd Brigade captured El Mesmiye and, with 232nd Brigade advancing through Yasur, pushed back Turkish rearguards covering Junction Station, taking 292 prisoners and seven machine guns. „ U.— 123rd Rifles, supported by 58th Rifles (234th Brigade), captured Junction Station. „ 19. — 232ad Brigade captured Amwas and Latron by noon, and, with 58th Rifles attached, pushed on through difficult hill country in face of con- siderable opposition to within one mile of Saris. „ 20. — While 2/3rd Gurkhas and l/5th Devons advanced eastward along the steep hills north of the road, 22.

23.

23-25.

Indian) recently arrived from India, was the 2/5th Hampshires and 58th Rifles envelo'ped Saris, wliich was stormed by the 2/4th Somer- sets at 1415. Subsequently, 3/3rd Gurkha.s overcame fresh resistance from the enemy ; and at 1700 the 2/3rd Gurkhas of 232nd Brigade, with l/5th Scmerset Light Infantry and l/4th Wiltshires (233rd Brigade), assaulted and carried the final defences of Kuryet el Enab.

—232nd Brigade captured Kustul (1130), and 234th Brigade, after occupying Soba, El Kubeibe, and Biddu, sent forward l/4th D.C.L.I. and 123rd Rifles to attack Neby Samwil. The 2/4th Hampshires and 3/3rd Gurkhas (233rd Brigade) co-operated in the last-named engagement, and this strong position was stormed late in the day — Noby Samwil heavily counter-attacked. Severe fighting around El Jib by l/5th Somersets and l/4th Wiltshires of 233rd Brigade, with l/5th Devons and 2/3rd Gurkhas of 232nd Brigade attached.

— Attack on El Jib by the same units, in face of heavy shell and machine-gun fire. -233rd and 234th Brigades relieved by 52nd Divi- sion, and 232nd Brigade by 179th Brigade of 60th Division. Intermittent fighting continued during this relief. Attack on Sh. el Gharbawy repulsed by 2/4th Hampshires supported by one company 3/3rd Gurkhas (attached 54th Division).

72 THE ADVANCE OF THE 1917. 1918.

Dee. 11. — Occupied line Midieh-Zebdali-Kh.Hamid-Budriis- April 10. — Severe fighting around Berukiii, Arara, and Rafat, Sh. Obeid Rahil (232nd BHgade). in which units of 232nd and 233rd Brigades „ 15. — Captured Kibbieh (2/3rd Curkha.s); Dathrah were heavily engaged against German and (2/5th Hampshires) ; Kh. Ibanneh (.58th Rifles). Turkish troops.

Kh. el Bomat occupied by 2/4th Somersets. 11.— 123rd Rifles of 234th Brigade were involved in „ 22.— Kh. el Beida and Kh. el Bireh occupied by 232nd .severe fighting on Tliree Bushes Hill.

Brigade, with 58th Rifles attached. „_ ,,. . j -j , ,ai r>,~.TT . t, r i j ,„,Q *" „ 27. — .Attempted raid on I /4th D.C.L.I. at Rafatrepulsed.

nr o o/o J n 1 u /.100 1 T> • 11 1 T\ ¦ Au Determined night attacks on 2/4th Dorsets (Tin Mar. 8. — 2/3rd Gurkhas (232nd Brigade) captured Deir Abu ' Aleshal, Abud and Abud Ridge. •• 30/ HatHill)and 58th Rifles (Rafat), and an attcmp- ,,11-12.— 2/4th Somersets (232nd Brigade) occupied Rentis. *Iay 1 ( ted raid on 2/oth Hampihires (Toogood Hill) „ 12.— Fightng in Wadi Ballut ; 232nd Brigade occupied were beaten off.

Rijal Siifah, and captured Mughair Ahmeh (2/4th July 1 3. — Attack by German assault troops on 3/3rd Gurkhas Somersets) ; Bciiat Biirry (2/3rd Gurkhas) ; Deir at Rafat, after an intense bombardment, was Kulah (2/5th Hampshires) ; Kh. el Emir (l/5th broken up and heavy casualties inflicted on the Devons); 2/3rd Gurkhas captured sixty enemy enemy.

who had fortified a cave and were holding up . oi ' After having been continuously in the line since the attack with machine guns. 234th Brigade .°" / April, the division was relieved by the French (cooperating with 54th Division on their left), o ,<, ( Palestine Detachment and iOth Division, and occupied the Kh. Bara'aish-Kefr Insha ridge, ¦- P ¦ • • ) moved to Beit Nabala and thence to Mulebbis.

crossed the Wadi Ballut and seized the Ballut „ 19. — 0700. — l/4th Wiltshires of 2.32nd Brigade captured ridge, the l/4th D.C.L.I. capturing Ballut vil- Miskeh.

lage at 1430. 0800.— 58th and 123rd Rifles (234th Brigade) cap- April 9. — El Kefr, Sh. Nafukh-Toogood Hill, Berukin, and tured enemy defensive system west of Tin Hat Hill were stormed by 2/3rd Gurkhas, Et Tireh.

2/5th Hampshires, l/5th Devons, and 2/4th 1100.— 232nd Brigade, assisted by l/152nd Pun- Somersets respectively, in face of considerable jabis of 234th Brigade, carried Et Tireh opposition. The l/5th Somersets, and 2/4th after stubborn resistance. Dorsets subsequently reinforced by 123rd " A " Squadron, XXIst Corps Cavalry, and No. 2 Rifles, carried Rafat village and Three Bushes L.A.C. Battery, under orders of G.O.C., 75th Hill respectively, while l/4th D.C.L.I. cap- Division, pressed on and attacked Turkish col- tured Kafat Ridge. Later in the day, 2/4th umns retreating on Tiil Keram. Dorsets and 123rd Rifles were heavily counter- At midnight the division came into Corps Reserve, attacked on Three Bushes Hill. concentrated about Et Tireh and Miskeh.

BRIGADES (Non-Divisional).

IMPERIAL CAMEL CORPS BRIGADE.

Commander. — Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) C. L. Smith, V.C, M.C, D.C.L.I. (relinquished, June, 1918). Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) C. S. Rome, D.S.O., 11th Hussars.

1st (Anzac) BattaHon. Four AustraHan Companies.

2nd BattaHon. Four British Companies.

Grd (Anzac) Battalion. Four Australian Companies.

4th (Anzac) Battalion). Two Australian and t\yo New Zealand Companies.

Two Detached Companies (British).

No. 26 Machine Gun Squadron (late Scottish Horse).

Hong Kong and Singapore Mountain Battery, R.G.A.

Brigade Amnmnition Column.

Field Troop, R.E.

Signal Section, R.E.

Detachment, R.A.S.C.

Australian Camel Field Ambulance. ¦ Brief Record of Service.

The Imperial Camel Corps Brigade, which had been engaged at Maghdaba, Rafa, and in the 1st and 2nd Battles of Gaza, constituted as above, took part in the attack on Beersheba ; the subse- quent advance into Philistia ; the Amman Raid ; and eo-oi)erated in the Es Salt Raid. It was reorgan- ized as a cavalry force at the end of June, 1918, Headquarters and six companies (later reduced to four) being retained, and joined the Australian Mounted Division as the 5th Australian Light Horse Brigade on ;\ng. 22. 1918.

1917. 1917.

Oct. 31.— Engaged near the Wadi Saba, west of Beersheba. Nov. 12.— Occupied Yebnah in conjunction with Veomanry ., , T • i m 1 A L T 1 • i- Mounted Division.

Ivov. 1. — In action at lowal Abu Jerwal in co-operation m n * i it v„ ~ n- • ¦ • »u , , ,, . ,. J T.T r, , J n , .J .. 15. — Co-operated with Yeomanry Division in the with the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division.

attack on, and capture of, the Abu Shusheli Ridge. 6. — Engaged in repulsing a determined counter-attack „ 27 near Tel Khuweilfeb to [> Engaged in operations around Jaffa.

Dao. 1 EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. 73 191S. 1918.

Mch. 27. — The brigade, having crossed the Jordan at Hajlah, April 9 I The eueray launched a series of strong attacks moved directly on Amman, over difficult coun- to > (led by a German storm battalion), after a try rendered almost impassable by bad weather. „ 111 heavy artillery bombardment, against the posts „ 28.— The enemy, holding Amman in strength, checked in '<' Musallabeh salient, held by 1st (Anzac) the advance, but demolition parties were able Battalion, but they were repulsed after hard to destroy a section of the line near Libben. fightmg, with considerable losses to the enemy.

„„ „ ., , ,, . , , , it ,i , May 1 i Co-operated in the Es Salt Raid by carrying out „ 29.-Heavily engaged on the right of the attack on demonstrations on the west bank of the Jordan.

Amman and, „ j „ 30.— captured two trenches, but were held up by en- jjy | Headquarters and two companies carried out filade fire. to > operations in northern Hejaz including capture „ 31. — The withdra war having been ordered the brigade Aug. ) of Mudawara station with 133 prisoners. This reached Es Sir at 0715, and eventually withdrew force returned to Beersheba on Sept. 6 having to the west bunk of the Jordan. covered 930 miles.

20th INDIAN INFANTKY BRIGADE.

Comtnamler.— Co], (temp. Brig.-Gen.) H. D. Watson, C.M.G., C.I.E., M.V.O., I.A. (relinquished, Jan.,' 1918). Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) E. R. B. Murray, 90th Punjabis, I.A.

110th Mahratta Light Infantry.

Alwar I.S. Infantry.

Gwahor I.S. Infantry.

Patiala I.S. Infantry.

Signal Section (British), R.E.

20th Indian Infantry Brigade Train.

Brief Record of Service.

The 20th (Indian) Infantry Brigade arrived in Egypt from India in Nov., 1914 ; was engaged in repelling the Turkish attacks on the El Ferdan Sector of the Suez Canal in 1915 ; and took part in the advance into Palestine in 1917.

The Brigade operated in the Gaza-Mendur sector during Oct. and Nov., 1917 ; held the Ghoraniyeh Bridgehead from April to Sept., 1918 ; and, finally, took part in the advance on Amman in September as part of Chaytor's Force {q.v.).

49th INDIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE.

Commander. — Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) E. R. B. Murray, 90th Punjabis, I.A.

1/The 101st Grenadiers. 2/The lOKt Grenadiers. Signal Service (British), R.E.

Brief Record of Service.

The 101st Grenadiers landed in Egypt from East Africa on Sept. 4, 1016, and joined 29th (Indian) Infantry Brigade on Canal Defences. The battalion was formed into two battalions on Feb. 3, 1917, and the Brigade became 49th (Indian) Infantry Brigade (two battalions only), on April 15.

The brigade was in support to 54th Division on Samson's Ridge (April 1917), and, later, took over the Canal, and Rafa, defences.

In Jan. 1918, the brigade was disbanded and the battalions composing it joined 20th (Indian) Infantry Bfiade, and, on May 1, 29th Infantry Brigade of 10th Di\asion (q.v.).

PALESTINE LINES OF COMMUNICATION.

HEADQUARTERS.

Commander. — Bt. Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) E. N. Broadbent, C.M.G., D.S.O., King's Own Scottish Borderers.

Canal Zone. Commander. — Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) A. H. 0. Lloyd, C.B., C.M.G., M.V.O., Shropshire Yeomanry.

Australian and New Zealand Training Centre (Moascar).

74 THE ADVANCE OF THE Mounted Troops.

"C" Squadron Royal Glasgow Yeomanry (less one troop).

Camel Coastal Patrol.

Nos. 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 Companies, Imperial Camel Corps.

Nos. 1, 3, 6 Companies, Bikanir Camel Corps.

Arab Scouts (taken over by F.D.A.).

1st Squadron Cavalry, Egyptian Army (employed under O.E.T.A.).

No. 1 Company Egyptian Camel Corps (employed under O.E.T.A.).

Indian Cavalry Base Depot.

Artillery.

Anti- Aircraft Group, RA.

Nos. 30, 38, 85, 96, 102, 103, 119, 120, 122, 124, 125, 126, 151, 152 Anti- Aircraft Sections, R. A.

No. 204 (Calcutta) Battery, R.G.A.

Armoured Trains.

Nos. 1 and 3.

Machine Gun Corps.

221st, 262nd, 264tli Machine Gun Companies (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 7/5/18).

Engineers.

3otli A.T. Company, R.E.

357th, 359th, 360th Companies, R.E. (Water Units), 555th (Lancashire), 569th, 570th, 571st (Devon), AT. Companies, R.E; Nos. 1 and 2 Egyptian Sapper Companies.

Infantry.

1st Garrison Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 1st Garrison Battalion Devonshire Regiment, 1st Garrison Battalion Essex Regiment. 1st GarrisonBattahon Northampton- shire Regiment, 2nd Garrison Battalion Cheshire Regiment, 19th (Western) Bat- talion The Rifle Brigade, T.F.

2nd Battalion West India Regiraent, 2/18th Infantry, 2nd (Reserve) Half Battalion Cape Corps, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Egyptian Infantry Battahons, Egyptian Detachment Palestine Gendarmerie (2 Companies employed under O.E.T.A.).

Nos. 1, 2, General, and Indian Infantry, Base Depots.

Royal Army Veterinary Corps.

Nos. 16 (Acts as Base Depot) and 31 Veterinary Hospitals.

Advanced Depots of Veterinary Stores, Ludd and Jerusalem.

No. 3 Base Depot, Veterinary Stores.

Nos. 2, 3, 4 Camel Hospitals.

Nos. 1 and 2 Field Veterinary Detachments, and No. 23 (Indian) Field Veterinary Section Royal Army Service Corps.

(a) Mechanical Transport : — No. 7 (Egypt) Mobile Repair Unit.

493rd M.T. Company (Supply Column).

1080th M.T. Company (No. 3 Motor Ambulance Transport Company).

Advanced M.T. Sub-Depot, Kantara.

(6) Horse Transport : — No. 900 Company A.S.C. (23rd Auxiliary H.T. Company).

(c) Supply Companies : — Nos. 18 and 27 Field Bakeries.

Nos. 18, 19, 20, 21, 36, 37 L. of C. Supply Companies, No. 17 Field Butchery (ceased to exist 21/3/18).

(d) Camel Transport Corps : — " 0," " Q " and '• S " Companies, EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. , 7S Area Employment Groups.

No. 3 Group : — No3. 809, 810, 811, 812, 813 Companies.

No. i Group : — No. 808, 814 and 815 Companies.

Postal Units.

British :— Advanced Base Army Post Offices, SZ 8 and SZ 9.

Army Post Offices— SZ 2, SZ 7, SZ 14, SZ 17, SZ 18, SZ 23, SZ 27, SZ 32, SZ 34, SZ 38, SZ 43, SZ 47, SZ 48, SZ 49, SZ 57, SZ 58, SZ 59. Travelling Post Offices (Railway Trains)— DAL, KAL, LAD, LAK, LAP, PAL, RAB, BAR, JAP PAJ.

LINES OF COMMUNICATION UNITS.

(Controlled by General Headquarters.) COMMAND DEPOT. Mounted Troops.

Headquarters and Administrative Centre Imperial Camel Corps (Abbassia).

Engineers.

389tli Advanced Park Company, R.E.

46th Base Park Company, R.E.

5 Railway Transportation Sections, R.E.

Railway Operating Division.— Nos. 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 94, 95, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104 and 105 Sections, R.E. 98th Light Railway Train Crew Company, R.E. 115th, 116th, 265th, 266th Railway Companies, R.E. 272nd Railway Construction Company, R.E. Light Railway Survey Section, R.E. 299th (Indian) Railway Construction Company.

Signal Service.

L. of C. Signal Companies, R.E. " M," Sinai, South Palestine, North Palestme.

Airline Sections, R.E. Nos. 12, 62, 68, 69 and 105 (Indian).

Northern W/T Section, R.E.

No. 6 Light Railway Signal Section, R.E.

Egyptian Construction Section.

Base Signal Depot, R.E.

Schools of Instruction.

Imperial School of Instruction (Zeitoun).

Senior Officers School (Heliopolis).

Officer Cadet Battalion, Egypt.

Branch School (El Arish).

School of Cookery (Ismailia).

Central Gas School (Rafa).

M.T. Drivers Training School (Lorries).

Royal Army Service Corps.

(a) Horse Transport : — 137th Company (2nd Base Horse Transport Depot), Kantara. 973rd Company (Advanced Horse Transport Depot), Ludd. Indian Transport Depot, Richon-le-Zion.

(6) Camel Transport Corps : — No. 1 Camel Depot, Kantara, No. 2 Camel Depot, Ramleh, 76 THE ADVANCE OF THE (c) Harbour Transport : — R.A.S.C. Motor Boat Company.

(d) Supply Companies :— Nos. 22, 34, 35 (L. of C.) Supply Companies, 19th Field Bakery (less detachment).

Labour.

{a) Inspectorate of Recruiting (Cairo) : — Recruiting Camps (Sohag, Assiut, Cairo).

(b) Military Labour Bureaux (Alexandria, Port Said, Cairo, Ismailia, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Haifa).

(c) Egyptian Labour Corps : — Headquarters and Advanced Depot. Ludd.

Base Depot, Kantara.

Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, •59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120 Companies.

Remounts.

No. 1 Remount Depot (40th and 47th Squadrons).

No. 2 Remount Depot (44th Squadron).

No. 3 Remount Depot (46th Squadron).

No. 4 Remount Depot (Australian Remount Unit).

Nos. 1 and 2, Camel Remount Depots.

Nos. 1 and 2, Field Remount Sections.

No. 1 Camel Field Remount Section.

No. 1 Syce Remount Corps.

Royal Army Veterinary Corps.

Veterinary Hospitals Nos. 20, 21 and 26.

Convalescent Horse Depot.

Advanced Base Depot of Veterinary Stores.

No. 1 Camel Hospital.

Indian Veterinary Hospital.

Ordnance.

Nos. 9, 11, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31, 123, Detachment 136, 138 and 139 Companies R.A.O.C.

and Detachment No. 140 Boot Repairing Companv. Nos. 16, 32, 38, 39, 44, 56, 113, and 141 Companies, R'.A.O.C. and Headquarters No. 140 Boot Repairing Company, R.A.O.C. (employed with R.A.O. Base Depot). Nos. 22, 23, 24 (Medium), and No. 39 (Light) R.A.O. Mobile Workshops. Nos. 1 and 2, Ammunition Depots, L. of C, R.A.O.C. Nos. 1, 2 and 3, Advanced Ammunition Railheads, R.A.O.C.

Postal Units.

British: — Base Army Pest Offices K., T., Z.

Advanced Base Army Post Office SZ 10.

Army Post Offices— SZ 4, SZ 5, SZ 6, SZ 11, SZ 12, SZ 15, SZ 16, SZ 20, SZ 22, SZ 24 SZ 25, SZ 26, SZ 50, SZ 55, SZ 56. Travelling Post Offices (Railway Trains)— CAT, TAC.

Australian : — / Base Army Post Office SZ 3.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FOECE. 77 New Zealand : — . Base Army Post Office SZ 1.

Indian : — Base Army Post Office " E." Miscellaneous.

H.Q. Army Printing and Stationery Services (Egypt and Salonika). Commission of Graves Eegistration and Enquiries. Central Claims Bureau.

FORCE IN EGYPT.

HEADQUARTERS.

Comtmnder.Col (temp. Major-Gen.) H. D. Watson, C.B., C.M.G., C.I.E., M.V.O., T.A, Sollam Section.

Commander. — Lieut.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) E. M. Yorke, C.M.G., D.S.O., Gloucestershire Regiment.

Mounted Troops.

Royal Glasgow Yeomanry (One Troop " C " Squadron). Imperial Camel Corps (No. 6 Company). Bikanir Camel Corps (No. 7 Company).

Infantry.

1st Garrison Battalion Notts, and Derby Regiment, 1st Garrison Battalion Liverpool Regiment, 1st Garrison Battalion Royal Irish Regiment, 2nd Garrison Battalion Royal Welsh Fusihers, 20th Garrison Battalion Rifle Brigade, 21st Garrison Battalion Rifle Brigade (to India, 28/9/18), 40th (Palistinian) Battalion Royal Fusiliers, 3rd Egjtian Infantry Battalion, one Company. . v Machine Gun Corps.

Machine Gun Corps, Base Depot. Machine Gun Section, Egyptian Army.

Armoured Cars.

Light Armoured Car Brigade (less 3 Batteries) : — Headquarters.

No. 3 Light Armoured Car Battery. Nos. 5, 6, 7, 9. Light Car Patrols (Ford Cars), Heavy Armoured Car.

Armoured Trains.

No. 2 Armoured Train.

Royal Army Service Corps.

(a) Meciianical Transport : — H.Q. and Solium Detachment, 790 Company (Western Force M.T. Supply Column).

No. 1079 M.T. Company (No. 2 Motor Ambulance Transport Company).

Nos. 14 and 15 (Egypt) Mobile Repair Units.

Advanced M.T. Sub-Depot, Cairo.

Traming School for M.T. drivers (Lorry), Helmioh.

78 THE ADVANCE OF THE (6) Horse Transport : — 313 H.T. Company (6th Auxiliary Horse Company).

Matruh Detachment, 671 Company (Auxiliary Horse Transport Company), (c) Supply Companies : — 23rd L. of C. Supply Company. 2/3rd " D " Supply Company. Detachment No. 19 Field Bakery. No. 26 Field Bakery.

(d) Camel Transport Corps : — Detachment from No. 1 Camel Depot.

Area Employment Group. (No. 2.) Nos. 804, 805, 806 and 807 Companies.

Miscellaneous.

Command Depot (Abbassia).

Egyptian Army Transport Corps (Tel-el-Kebir).

ALEXANDRIA DISTRICT.

HEADQUARTERS.

Coimnander.— Col (temp. Brig.-Gen.) E. C. Boyle, C.B., C.M.G.

Mounted Troops.

Eikanir Camel Corps, Nos. 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 Companiea.

Coast Defence Artillery.

103rd (Local) Company, R.G.A. Royal Malta Artillery Detachment.

Royal Engineers.

loth Base Park Company, R.E.

Infantry.

1st Garrison Battahon Royal Scots (2 Companies), 5th (Reserve) Battalion British West India Regiment, l/70th Burma Rifles.

Royal Array Service Corps.

(a) Mechanical Transport : — No. 8 (Eypt) Mobile Repair Unit.

No. 303 M.T. Company (Divisional Ammunition Park).

No. 500 M.T. Company (Base M.T. Depot).

No. 644 M.T. Company (Heavy Repair Workshop and Stores Branch).

No. 1078 M.T. Company (No. 1 Motor Ambulance Transport Company).

(6) Horse Transport : — No. 671 Company (9th Auxihary Horse Transport Company). No. 930 Company (24th Auxiliary Horse Transport Company).

• " (c) Camel Transport : — Detachment No. 1 Camel Depot.

(d) Supply Companies : — Nos. 24 and 25 L. of C. Supply Companies, H.Q. and l/3rd " D " Supply Company.

Area Employment Group. (No. 1.) Nos. 800, 810, 802 and 803 Companies.

Miscellaneous.

Command Depot (Sidi Bishr).

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. 79 DELTA AND WESTERN FORCE.

(Ceased to exist, April 8, 1918.) Commander.— Col (temp. Brig.-Gen.) H. G. Casson, C.B., C.M.G.

25th Motor Machine Gun Battery (disbanded, 18/1/18).

ARMY MEDICAL SERVICES.

DIVISIONAL FIELD AMBULANCES.

4th Cavalry Division.

10th Cavalry Brigade Combined Field Ambulance (formerly 6th Moimted Brigade Field Ambulance, formerly l/2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance).

11th Cavalry Brigade Combined Field Ambulance (formerly 8th Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance, formerly 1/lst London Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance).

12th Cavalry Brigade Combined Field Ambulance (formerly 22nd Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance, formerly 1/lst North Midland Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance).

Slh Cavalry Division.

13th Cavalry Brigade Combined Field Ambulance (formerly 5th Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance, formerly 1/lst South Midland Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance).

14th Cavalry Brigade Combined Field Ambulance (formerly 7th Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance, formerly 1/lst Notts and Derby Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance).

15th Cavalry Brigade Combined Field Ambulance (formerly 124th Indian Cavalry Field Ambulance).

Australian Mounted Division.

3rd, 4th, and 5th (formerly AustraHan Camel Brigade Field Ambulance) Light Horse Field Ambulances.

Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division.

1st and 2nd Light Horse, and New Zealand Mounted Brigade Field Ambulances.

3rd (Lahore) Division.

110th, 111th, and 112th Indian Combined Field Ambulances.

7th (Indian) Division.

128th, 129th, and 130th Indian Combined Field Ambulances.

10th Division.

154th Indian Combined Field Ambulance (formerly 32nd Field Ambulance). 165th Indian Combined Field Ambulance (30th Field Ambulance disbanded). 166th Indian Combined Field Ambulance (formerly 31st Field Ambulance).

52nd Division.

1/lst, l/2nd, and l/3rd Lowland Field Ambulances (ceased to belong to E.E.F,, 21/4/18).

53rd Division.

1/lst Welsh Field Ambulance.

113th, 170th (formerly l/2nd Welsh), and 171st (formerly l/3rd Welsh), Indian CombiBed Field Ambulances.

54th Division.

2/lst, l/2nd, and l/3rd East Anglian Field Ambulances; 60th Division.

121st Indian Combined Field Ambulance (2/4th London Field Ambulance disbanded). 160th Indian Combined Field Ambulance (formerly 2/5th London Field Ambulance). 179th Indian Combined Field Ambulance (formerly 2/6th London Field Ambulance).

80 THE ADVANCE OF THE 74th Division.

229th, 230th, and 231st Field Ambulances (ceased to belong to E.E.F., 7/5/18).

75th Division.

123rd Indian Combined Field Ambulance (formerly 147th Field Ambulance). 127th Indian Combined Field Ambulance (145th Field Ambulance disbanded). 163rd Indian Combined Field Ambulance (formerly 146th Field Ambulance).

20th Indian Infantry Brigade.

157th (formerly 110th) Indian Field Ambulance..

Palestine Lines of Communication.

Scottish Horse Field Ambulance, CASUALTY CLEARING STATIONS AND CLEARING HOSPITALS. Palestine Lines of Communication.

26th, 35th, 66th, 74th, 76th Casualty Clearing Stations (35th Casualty Clearing Station.

ceased to belong to E.E.F., April, 1918). 24th Indian Clearing Hospital.

31st Indian Clearing Hospital (formerly 31st Combined Clearing Hospital). 15th Combined Clearing Hospital.

32nd Combined Clearing Hospital (formerly 75th Casualty Clearing Station), 33rd Combined Clearing Hospital (formerly 77th Casualty Clearing Station), 34th Combined Clearing Hospital (formerly 65th Casualty Clearing Station), STATIONARY HOSPITALS, etc.

Palestine Lines of Communication, 24th, 26th, 36th, 43rd, 44th, 45th, 47th, and 48th Stationary Hospitals (43rd Stationary Hospital disbanded, 45th Stationskry Hospital ceased to belong to E.E.F., April, 1918). No. 2 (Australian) and 137th (Indian) Stationary Hospitals.

Medical Store Depots.

Levant Medical Store Depot (Alexandria).

No. 5 Base Depot Medical Store (Alexandria).

Base Depot Medical Stores (Abbassia).

No. 8 Base Depot Medical Stores.

Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 Advanced Depots Medical Stores.

Laboratories.

Military Bacteriological Laboratory (formerly Central Bacteriological Laboratory) Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 Field Laboratories. 32nd, 37th, and 38th Mobile Laboratories. Anzac Field Laboratory (Desert Mounted Corps).

Sanitary Sections.

5th Cavalry Division (formerly 5th Indian Cavalry) Sanitary Section.

18th, 19th, 24th, 29th, 30th, 31st (formerly 4th Indian Cavalry), 52nd, 53rd, 54th, 60tii, 80th, 85th, 87th, 88th, 89th, 90th, 91st, 92nd, 93rd, 94th, 9.5th, 107th, 108th, 113th 114th, 115th, 116th, 121st, 122nd, 123rd, and 124th Sanitary Sections (52nd and 87th Sections ceased to belong to E.E.F. on 21/4/18 and 7/5/18 respectively).

7th and 8th Australian Sanitary Sections.

11th and 12th Indian Sanitary Sections.

Hospital Trains.

(Former numbers shown in brackets).

Nos. 40, 44 (1), 45 (2), 46 (3), 47 (5), 48 (43), 50 (45), 51 (46), 56 (47). Nos. 49 (44) and 57 (11) (Egyptian).

Hospital Barge.

" Niagara." . EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. 81 HOSPITALS AND CONVALESCENT DEPOTS. Palestine Lines of Communication.

69th and 78th General Hospitalg.

No. 14 Australian General Hospital.

Nos. 5, 30, 32, 39, 41, 44, 50 (formerly " Indian Base Hospital"), 54th, and Mhow, Indian General Hospitals. Nos. 3, 4, and 5 Prisoners-of-War Hospitals.

Nos. 1 (formerly No. 6), 2, 3, and 4 Egyptian Stationary Hospitals. Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 Egyptian Detention Hospitals.

Force in Egypt.

27th, 31st, and 71st General Hospitals.

Nos. 31 and 45 (formerly 70th General) Indian General Hospitals Citadel and Nasrieh Hospitals.

Infectious Hospital, Choubra, and Orthopaedic Hospital, Helwan.

Nos. 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9 Prisoners-of-War Hospitals.

No. 13 Egyptian Detention (formerly No. 1 Egyptian Stationary) Hospital; Alexandria District.

15th, 17th, 19th, 21st, and 87th General Hospitals (15th General Hospital 'ceased to . belong to E.E.F. April, 1918). Ras el Tin Military Hospital. No. 10 Prisoners-of-War Hospital. Nos. 2 and 14 (formerly No. 5 Egyptian Stationary) Egyptian Detention Hospitals, Convalescent Depots.

Abbassia, Boulac, Montazah, Mustapha. Aotea New Zealand Convalescent Home. Indian Convalescent Depot. Reception Station, Mustapha.

82 THE ADVANCE OF THE THE ANTI-AIRCRAFT SECTIONS.

In July, 1917, there were in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force only seven Anti-Aircraft Sections, of which two had only lately arrived. Owing to the small number of sections available, it was im- possible to do more at that time than protect points of vital importance, such as railheads, dimips, and aerodromes.

With the arrival in October and November of eight new sections, equipped with more modem guns (two additional sections were formed later for the protection of important bases) and the formation of Anti-Aircraft Group Headquarters to co-ordinate the work of the sections, it became possible for a more comprehensive scheme of defence to be formulated. During the operations of Nov, and Dec, 1917, Anti-Aircraft Sections followed up the advance as closely as transport facilities and the state of the roads would permit.

When the Une had been stabilized, a front Hne barrage was established — except on a few miles of front where the country, on account of its mountainous and broken character, became unsuitable for anti-aircraft positions — with the object of preventing hostile aircraft from crossing our hne without being observed and engaged. Secondary, but most important considerations in estabhshing this barrage, were the protection of our front hne trenches and the prevention of co-operation between enemy artillery and their aircraft. {See inset Plate 52.) In the earher months of the present year, there was a considerable amount of hostile air activity, and most of the sections were kept pretty fully occupied. For example, in April one section was in action seventy-six times and fired an average of just under 100 rounds per day.

A more elaborate seheme of co-operation with the Royal Air Force was gradually evolved, and with a view to giving immediate warning of the approach of enemy machines, wireless telegraphy stations were placed at the positions of several of the more advanced sections. A system of directional shots was arranged to point out the position of hostile machines to our air patrols, ground arrow signals were put out, and the course of every aeroplane, from the time it appeared till it finally went out of sight behind its own Unes, was charted and reported.

The result of this, together with the increasing number and improved types of our own machines, was that enemy planes crossed our lines at an ever-increasing height until very few flew lower than from 14,000 to 18,000 feet. There was also a gradual decrease in the number of hostile 'planes seen, and from Sept. 6 to 17 inclusive, only two machines crossed our Unes, and these were at too great a height to get information of any value, as their reports, which have since been captured, show.

The last machine to be engaged was one which flew over the Jordan Valley on Sept. 21. The section which engaged it were immediately shelled out of their position by artillery fire — an interesting sidelight on the absence of knowledge on the part of the enemy forces in that area as to the true posi- tion of affairs on that date. {See Plate 45.) Owing to the entire absence of enemy machines during the September (1918) advance, the Anti- Aircraft Sections took no active part in the operations. Sections were, however, pushed forward rapidly in case they should be required. By Oct. 31 three of them had made the long journey to Beirut by road. One of these was on its way north from there when the Armistice came into effect and it was recalled.

Protection has also been afforded throughout the whole campaign to the more important points on the lines of communication.

That anti-aircraft did something towards fulfilling its functions on this front is testified to by the constantly recurring entries in the captured diaries of the enemy Flying Corps Headquarters and squadrons, which shew that machines were continually being damaged and reconnaissances prevented by anti-aircraft fire. The following are typical extracts : — " 20/3/18. Machines hit at Eamleh at height of 4,700 metres." " 13-19/4/18. Anti-aircraft defence still very strong and makes things difiScult for our working machines in the near reconnaissances." " 20/5/18. Wadi Auja. 1240. Reconnaissance here was impossible in spite of much turning, in consequence of a storm and extraordinarily lively anti-aircraft fire. Shooting extraordinarily violent." " 2/6/18-8/6/18. Enemy anti-aircraft fire was lively and as good as ever." " 19/7/18. Machine of 300 Squadron was seriously damaged in the elevator* by anti-aircraft hits. Glided down to 500 metres and broke up on the ground." -»¦ " 22/8/18. Machine of 301 Squadron considerably damaged by anti-aircraft fire." *' " 27/8/18. Very strong anti-aircraft fire over Bamleh, whereby there were several hits in the machine and petrol tank shot through." •The "elevator" here referred to is part of the lifting gear iii the wings of tlie machine.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 83 THE ROYAL ENGINEERS.

1.— Water Supply.

The army, which crossed the Sinai Desert into Palestine and then deploying on a broad front> enveloped the Turkish position extending from Beersheba to Gaza, demanded much of its engineers.

During its deliberate advance it was followed by a broad guage railway and a piped supply of filtered water from Kantara, on the Suez Canal, into the field of battle near Beersheba, a distance of 147 miles.

It would be an exaggeration to say that there is no water in the Sinai Peninsula, which separates Egypt from Palestine, but the supplies are so scanty and bad that the desert has always been a very formidable obstacle to the passage of troops.

The only practicable route across the desert runs along its northern edge where scanty supplies of wat'Cr are found in small wells on the caravan route, or by digging new wells in the sand dunes, but, nearly all water in these wells is brackish and unpalatable and as a supply it is quite inadequate for a large force, followed by an array of labourers constructing a railway. It was therefore necessary to provide the army with water from a source outside Sinai.

The water supply system, as originally planned, was only intended to supply 500,000 gallons a day for a force of one mounted and two infantry divisions detailed to recapture the Egyptian town of EI Arih, which was in the hands of the Turks, but, as it as extended beyond there and proved to be an important factor in subsequent operations it must be briefly described.

On the west bank of the Suez Canal, at its northern end, runs the Port Said branch of the Sweet water Canal which carries the water of the Nile to that town. In the autumn of 191G, plant to filter 600,000 gallons of water per day was installed on this sweet water canal at Kantara, and the purified water was pumped through syphons under the Suez Canal into masonry reservoirs on the east bank. From Kantara East a water supply main of twelve inch, ten inch, and eight inch steel screw-jointed pipes was laid into El Arish, in four sections each about twenty-four miles long. DupUcate engines and pumps drove the water from the reservoir at Kantara to a reservoir at the end of the first section and thence it was again pumped forward through the next section of pipe and so forward, section by section, until it reached El Arish.

To explain the work done on water supply it is necessary to describe briefly the system adopted for the distribution of water by rail and camel convoys and the clearest way to do this is to start from the beginning.

Before the pipe-line from Kantara was laid and supplying wat'r, the army had started on the march forward covering the railway construction parties and water had to be carried forward in trains of water trucks.

These water trains were filled at a special siding, where twenty or more trucks could be dealt with simultaneously, and on arrival at railhead were emptied into a long row of canvas reservoirs laid beside the rails. Here small camel tanks, called fantasaes, were filled up and these were carried forward by camel convoys for distribution to the troops beyond railhead.

"When the first section of pipe-line was completed a new water siding was provided and the railway was relieved of carrying water for the first stage and so on until water was finally pumped to railhead.

Once El Arish had been reached the army passed into a country where, within certain limits, the troops could be supplied with water from local resources. The railway engineers, however, rejected local water as unfit for use in its locomotives on account of its salinity and hardness : the railway, therefore, became the principal consumer of the piped supply : it was, however, also used by the troops to a considerable extent to supplement local supphes and in the final operations was a very valuable asset.

The army continued its advance from El Arish to Khan Yunis on a narrow front, along the caravan route, near the coast where the only water which can be found in the district is from wells in the sand dune area and in the villages of El JBurj, Sheikh Zowaid, Rafa, and Khan Yunis. At Khan Yunis two good wells about 100 feet deep and at Beni Sela, an adjoining village on a higher site, a well 210 feet deep were found.

These three wells, when provided with pumps and engines, eventually supplied 130,000 gallons a day.

From Khan Yunis forward it became possible to extend on to a wider front, as water can be got in some parts of the bed of the Wadi Ghuzze and in its tributary valleys, from springs or in pools or by sinking shallow wells, while further to the right lay Beersheba, whose wells have been famous since the days Abraham watered his flocks there.

On the left front lay the village of Deir el Belah, with several good wells twenty to thirty feet deep, the Wadi Ghuzze, and, further forward, the town of Gaza with abundant supplies of water from deep wells.

The Turks abandoned to us? Deir el Belah and Shellal, where the best supplies of water in the Wadi Ghuzze are found, but held on to Gaza and Beersheba.

84 THE ADVANCE OF THE For a time the army advanced no further but utilised the next few months in preparations and during this period much useful work was done in the development of local suppUes and in laying pipelines forward and to the right flank to enable troops to be concentrated where required.

The railway was extended to Rafa and thence to Gamli and Shellal on the right and to Deir el Relah on the left. The water from Kantara followed the railway to Rafa, in six-inch and twin four-inch pipes, and to Shellal, supplying the requirements of General Headquarters and El Fukhari on the way. A pipe-line was also laid from the wells at Khan Yunis, vid Abasan el Kebir and Abu Sitta, to Abu Bakra, and this was cross-connected from Abu Sitta to Abu Khatli so that water could be distributed either from Rafa or Khan Yunis to any point. (See Plate 2.) At Shellal spiings, yielding about 14,000 gallons per hour, of somewhat saline water, had been cleaned out, covered in, and the water was led through pipes to a water distributing area. A natural rock basin had been improved by a masonry dam and provided storage for some 500,000 gallons of water. A pipe- line had been laid forward from Shellal to Imara and three sets of twenty-five horsepower engines and centrifugal pumps were installed tor local distribution and to pump water forward if required. The capacity of each of these pumping sets was 4,800 gallons per hour against a 200 feet head and the pumps were arranged so that any two sets could work " in series " to pump against a 400 feet head, keeping one set spare in reserve.

At Abu Bakra several miles of piping were held ready to extend the pipe-line beyond the Wadi Ghuzze if required.

At Mendur and at Dorset House deep bore wells had been sunk and provided with pumping engines.

The Deir el Belah wells were connected up and, from these, water was pumped into the trenches south of Gaza, while further to the left there was another smaller piped supply from the Red House wells. Along the Wadi Ghuzze and in the sand dunes near the coast wherever water could be got and was required wells had been dug.

Between March and Oct., 1917, the force in this area gradually grew to three mounted divisions, a brigade of the Imperial Camel Corps, seven infantry divisions, and a composite brigade of Allied and Indian Imperial Service troops. General Headquarters moved into the area in Aug., 1917, and preparations were made for an enveloping attack on the Turkish position at Beersheba, combined with a frontal attack on Gaza.

On Plate 31 {see Inset) an attempt has been made to indicate the arrangement of the water supply up to and during the operations which commenced on Oct. 22.

The supply of water which could be brought into the area by rail and delivered at Shellal or Gamli was some 100,000 gallons.

The El Arish-Rafa pipe-line, after meeting railway reqiiirements at Rasum, could supply some 156,000 gallons per day to Rafa, whence 60,000 gallons per day could be delivered through Fukhari and Sheikh Nuran to Shellal or Abu Sitta.

The Khan Yunis well and pumping station could supply some 100,000 gallons per day to Abu Sitta and thence by the cross line to Sheikh Nuran and Shellal, or direct to Abu Bakra.

These transferable supplies from the rear, amounting to 260,000 gallons were controlled by General Headquarters during the course of the operations and dehveries at the various watering points were regulated according to the daily movements of the troops.

The development of water supplies east of Esani was allotted to the Desert Mounted Corps, but could not be commenced until the date fixed for the first movement of troops into the area (Oct. 22).

Preparations had to be made at once to collect suitable engines, pumps and plant to restore and develop water supplies in an area which had not yet been occupied.

The development of water supplies in the Sheikh Nuran-Gamli-Shellal-Heseia area, and east, including the improvement and restoration of the water supplies in Beersheba, when captured, was allotted to the XXth Corps, but no work east of the Wadi Ghuzze was to be taken in hand imtil Oct. 22.

The arrangements for the distribution of water in the Gamh-Shellal-Hiseia area, from which three mounted and four infantry divisions, accompanied by large convoys of camels for carrying water, were to start for the attack on the Turkish position, was of first importance.

There is a considerable amount of water in springs and in pools in the bed of the Wadi Ghuzze within the limits indicated, but to make it available for rapid distribution involved a great deal of preparatory organization and work.

At intervals along the valley a total of over 3,000 running feet of masonry and wood troughs were provided for watering horses and camels.

In addition to the main road crossings, for u.se by transport, and roads for use of the troops moving out from the concentration area, special tracks across the wadi had been arranged for animals going to and returning from water and others again for camel convoys carrying fanatis to and from the fantasso filling areas. AH these soads were placarded with notice boards showing what formations had to use them, and where they led to.

j- EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 85 At Shellal, a fantasse filling area, in which 2,000 fanatis could be filled and loaded on camels every hour, was organized, and the piping for the line to be laid forward, canvas tanks, watering troughs, and everything which was likely to be required for water distribution forward, was also collected here.

At both Gamli and Hiseia pumping engines were erected to fill high level storage tanks, supplying water by gravity to fantasse filling areas, capable of filling 250 fanatis per hour.

The engines, pumps, and plant for work in Beersheba had to be collected, loaded on tractor trains and held ready to push forward without delay when the town had been captured.

The maintenance and enlargement of the water supply in the area Mendur to Sheikh Ajlin, on the sea, and back to Deir el Belah, was allotted to the XXIst Corps.

Until Oct. 22 no troops or animals watered east of the Wadi Ghuzze. After this date troops began to move eastward to take up their position for the attack on Beersheba.

The follo\wng is a brief summary of the work done between Oct. 22 and Nov. 1 : — Desert Mounted Corps.

Ahu Ohalyun was occupied at dawn on Oct. 22 and work in by the enemy. These parties, relieved every two hours, on water development started at once. An old well was worked continuously until finally the wells had been cleaned cleaned out but failed to produce a satisfactory supply. Work out to a depth of forty-two and thirty -six feet respectively. on a second well was started but was abandoned. Mean- Pumps and engines with a capacity of 4,500 gallons per while, an officer of the Australian Engineers " divined " hour were installed and water sufficient tor a division ot water in the wadi bed not far away. Two wells, sunk at mounted troops was stored.

the places indicated by him, reached an abundant supply Asluj was occupfed on the night of Oct. 25-26 and work of water at 13ft. depth. started at once on the restoration of wells which the enemy Malaga was occupied the same day and here trenches had thoroughly destroyed. After a great deal of heavy work dug in the wadi bed provided a good supply. including the installation of machinery, Asluj on the Khalassa was occupied by the Camel Brigade on the night 30th was in a position to water a mounted division, Corps of the 22ud/23rd and working parties started at dawn of the Headquarters, and a considerable concentration of friendly 23rd to restore two wells which had been effectively blown Arabs.

XXth Corps.

Esani. — -Was occupied by one mounted brigade and one started on the 23rd. On this day, five kilometres of pipe were infantry brigade on the night of Oct. 22-23. A party of laid out and screwed up in ten sections. On the 24th, these 1 ,000 men of the Egyptian Labour Corps accompanied this ten sections were connected through the pipe, was tested and force for work under the Royal Engineers, and work began washed out and storage tanks and distribution arrangements on the morning of the 23rd. Two portable power-driven were completed at Karm. During the night of the 24th- pnmping sets, with a combined capacity of 8,000 gallons per 25th the water was being pumped from Shellal through hour, canvas storage tanks with a capacity of 150,000 gallons, Imara to Karm and was available on the morning of the and water distribution gear were installed. Two hundred 25th, for the use of the troops. Later, additional storage and wood horse troughs filled by lift and force pumps were also a second water distribution area were provided at Karm for provided in the wadi bed. Work was completed within three water brought by the rail from El Arish, and when the railway days, when a yield of 100,000 gallons per day had been extension had been completed, 80,000 gallons per day were attained. delivered for some days.

Imara — On Oct. 25, storage capacity for 80,000 gallons Khasif. — At Khasif, the cisterns were cleaned out and filled was erected at Imara, and the water was pumped forward to with 60,000 gallons of water, carried there by two camel Imara, from Shellal. convoys of 1,000 camels each on Oct. 29 and 30. This pro- Karm. — Work on the pipe-line from Imara to Karm was vided an additional advanced reserve of water.

The water problem at Beersheba, after its capture, was not confined to the immediate provision of water sufficient for the minimum daily needs of the cavalry corps and two infantry divisions, in itself a large order, but it was necessary, with as little delay as possible, to make such preparations as would allow the second phase of the operations to begin. This could only happen when it was possible for the force to march out with a day's rations of water in hand for troops, and every animal to drink its fill before starting.

The water question ahead of Beersheba was, at best, a doubtful one, and it was essential that when the advance from Beersheba began, the force employed should be in a position to face a long waterless period.

The Turks only destroyed a few of the wells before leaving, though all the principal wells had been prepared for demolition. This neglect, while most fortunate for us, was not creditable to the Turkish engineers, for, however sudden the attack, it was only the work of a moment to light the fuses which were ready in position.

Of the seventeen wells in Beersheba, only two were thoroughly demolished, and two partly damaged. In three wells the pumps were in a workable condition though the engines had been put out of action. In three other wells, saqqias* were found in at least a workable condition, and though two of these saqqias were discarded as unprofitable and replaced by pumps and engines, the third was put in good working order in a few hours and was able to cope with the full yield of the well. In addition, the Turks had left intact two reservoirs containing some 90,000 gallons, a very useful legacy.

It was at once clear that the source of water in Beersheba was a large one and likely to provide nearly the whole needs of that part of the force which was temporarily based on the town — a force requiring in all about 400,000 gallons per day.

• * A Saqqia is a wheel fitted with buckets for raising water. It is worked as a rule by an animal pacing round in a circle on the principle of an old fiuhioned mill.

86 THE ADVANCE OF THE It was not to be expected that this volume of water would be available at once, but horses can subsist without water for forty-eight hours, and men can do with less than a gallon per day if the weather is at all favourable as one might hope it would be in the beginning of November.

However, the three or four days after the capture of Beersheba were among the hottest of the year — a strong khamsin wind blew without intermission, and the whole of the district was enveloped in fine dust.

Of the plant carried by the tractor train, five engines and three pumps were erected and parts of the sixth engine were used to replace similar parts in a duphcate engine left by the Turks. The three pumps left by the Turks were put in good working order. Four pumping sets brought in from Asluj were erected, one saqqia was put in order and used continually, and from two wells water was raised by bucket and rope.

Several of the wells were concealed in houses and gardens ; two were not found until the third day and one on the fourth day. On the third day, in the afternoon, the water situation was most acute. Every available gallon of water stored during the previous night having been consumed.

The output was just equal to the demand and it was expected that watering animals for the day would be finished by midnight.

At 1600 a mounted brigade of some 2,000 men and horses with forty-eight hours thirst, arrived unexpectedly.

A new well, with saqqia, had fortunately been found about noon on this day, the saqqia was being repaired and troughs were being erected, but there was no means of knowing what the yield of the well would be. This well was at work by 1700 and proved a good one, yielding about 1,500 gallons per hour, just enough to provide water by midnight for the mounted brigade.

During the first two days, some water had been found in shallow pools and in pits dug in the wadi bed to the west of the town. This supply; however, was nothing more than surface water left from a storm which had occurred about a week before, and it was soon exhausted.

By the morning of the fourth day, the water development had reached its maximum, the total output was about 390,000 gallons per day. After this there was no further great anxiety.

As an extreme measure, an attempt was made to cut dowR the ration of water to horses by imposing a time Umit for each batch of horses as it came to the troughs. Such rationing might be efi'ective where the control of the watering area was very perfect and where animals had not been without water for an undue time. In the exceptional circumstances at Beersheba, the famished horses got out of control and rushed the troughs as soon as they got near them and then while some drank greedily, it was a difficult matter to get others to drink. There is no difficulty in limiting the ration of water for camels, as the camel habitually d.ink in two " bouts " with an interval of about ten minutes.

The provision of a stout guard rail to every line of troughing was well worth the extra time and labour, as it prevented animals from breaking down the troughing in their eagerness to drink.

{See text facing Plate 39 for continuation of above.) 2.— Signal Service.

A branch of the Eoyal Engineers that merits a separate chapter is the Signal Service. The nature of the operations, the rapid and wide movements, and the great distances traversed, which have been special features of our operations in Palestine, made the problems of intercommunication peculiarly difiicult. The sharp changes from soft sandy deserts to rolling pasture land passable by wheels, and then to moun- tain tracks where fines could be laid only by hand, and material conveyed by pack animals, called for much elasticity in transport, and ingenuity in methods of building telegraph lines. The necessity for long distance speech from the front to the base required the provision of telephone trunk fines as long as from London to Aberdeen. The volume of traffic to be dealt with has involved the use of delicate apparatus for high-speed automatic telegraphy, under very trying conditions of dust and damp ; and its successful employment is entirely due to skilful handling by the telegraphists, and to the watchful tending of the instrument mechanics.

An expeditionary force operating in such varying circumstances necessarily has to undergo many changes in organization, and each alteration in the orgaiuzation of a force involves corresponding changes in the means of commurucation. Not only does this apply to actual lines and offices, but to the organization of signal personnel. On the formation of the XXth and XXIst Corps, new companies and sections to meet the demands of these headquarters were necessary, and to a great extent were improvised locally. This improvisation has certain advantages, e.g. the officers and men are accustomed to local conditions but, on the other hand, the older units have to s\ifier from the withdrawal of officers and men. Besides these major changes in organization, there are alwa}'s others going on, due chiefly to an ever- extending fine of communication, but also to additional means of signalling such as pigeons or "trench" wireless and to the re-grouping of units and formations. This all means, that, while the Signal Seryice is functioning as a whole, the parts are constantly being altered and improved, and the smooth working of the machine must go on owing to elasticity of the organization and the adaptabifity of individual members.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 87 The system of intercommunication built up to July, 1917, consisted of : (1) the tactical cable and airlines between East Force Headquarters and the battle front, which included special artillery, Royal Flying Corps and other circuits ; (2) the main backbone of semi-permanent lines connecting East Force Headquarters (near Deir el Belah) with the Kantara base (about 140 miles away) ; (3) the permanent lines within Egypt connecting Kantara to Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said, Suez, and to our cables to Europe, India, and Australia.

During September and October of 1917, with the prospect of an advance, signal units were very busy — in addition many had only recently been formed, and still had to continue training. Behind the battle area, the increase in administrative services and the doubling of the railway line entailed an ex- pansion of the Lines of Communication Signals. Not only were the local telephone systems continually growing, but means of maintaining telephonic communication with Egypt as the force advanced required the previous building of heavier trunk wires. To economise men, as the lines lengthened, the old Turkish desert telegraph lines had to be replaced by new lines along the railway, where maintenance is easier. Forward units with the assistance of infantry and artillery were engaged on elaborate buried telephone systems in the shelled areas. Alternative routes were so developed that any battery, for example, could always ring up any observation post or artillery commander, even if some of the main lines were cut. Preparations for the attack on Beersheba and the maintenance of communication with the cavalry on their long march of envelopment also involved much careful preliminary work and training. Material for airlines and cables was laid out and concealed ready for rapid laying when the flag fell. Three cables accompanied the cavalry and these were patrolled constantly by horsemen left at test points every five or six miles. Although, the lines were cut one or more of the three were always in working order and communication was preserved throughout the enveloping attack.

When " Z " day arrived and Beersheba was captured, rapidly erected permanent wires were sub- stituted for the long cable lines which had been laid round by way of Asluj. A network of cables spread out from Beersheba to the north and north-west as the flank attacks on the main Turkish positions progressed. When mounted troops advanced, wireless communication came into use to keep touch with the rear. When Gaza fell, lines were rapidly extended up the main road and along the railway. Gaza, Beit Hanun, Deir Sineid, Mejdel, each in turn became, railhead where local telephonic systems were rapidly installed. Among the troops advancing, divisional and corps signal units were ever at work coping with the constant forward jumps of their headquarters. For two months this process continued in difficult country and during severe climatic changes. Then, as warfare became less mobile, more elaborate forms of forward communications grew, involving alternative means of all sorts. In rear the railway and its telegraphs advanced, and as Ludd became railhead there grew up the usual telephone system. Jerusalem, Ramleh, and Jaffa were all linked up, and became important centres ; while Jericho served as the focus of intercommunication for the operations across the Jordan.

During the summer of 1918. while big changes in the constitution of the force were in progress some signal units had largely to help units of other arms who were short of trained signallers in maintaining their telephonic systems. Assistance was also given in the training on a large scale of regimental signallers in Corps Signal Schools. A very large increase in the number of signallers was effected in Indian Army units. The more prosaic side, such as the improvement, and in some instances multiplication of lines in rear, and the transmission of masses of telegrams, numerous telephone calls, and messages by despatch rider went on continuously through 1918.

Early in September, preparations had to be made for the final battle of the war with the Turk. The wonderful secrecy of all the prehminary arrangements necessitated limitations to the amount of work that could be done in certain directions. On the other hand, considerable scope to ingenuity was given by opportunities for misleading the enemy. For instance, the leaving of signal stations in their old places, the continuation of work as usual and the building out of dummy lines, and special telephone exchanges built only for purposes of deception, helped to mask our intentions.

Finally, when the cavalry had moved across to the left flank and all was ready, the " break through " was effected. As is well known, the advance of the cavalry averaged some sixty miles during the first twenty-four hours. As soon as the cavalry divisions got to their positions across the fine of retreat of the Turks at Afule and Beisan, telegraphic communication was established between these points and General Headquarters near Ramleh by rapid building and repairs to Turkish lines. Thus, the move- ments of cavalry working northwards from Ghoraniyeh and southwards from Beisan — closing the ring — could be co-ordinated. It must not be forgotten that other forms of telegraphy — visual and wireless — and motor cyclist despatch riders were also playing their important part.

To resume, after the major portion of the Turkish army had been surrounded the freer movements of the cavalry made still greater calls on their signal units. One day's march from Afule led to the capture of Haifa, and, though this was an advance of about thirty miles over new territory the capture was re- ported from just outside the town by telephone to the Deeert Corps Headquarters at Megiddo (Lejjun) the same afternoon.

R8 THE ADVANCE OF THE During the subsequent advances to Damascus and Aleppo, telegraphic communication to advanced troops was usiially obtained as soon as these halted. The method employed was to mount parties of linemen in motor cars with the necessary material and implements, and so effect rapid repairs to existing wires. Subsequently, the patched-up lines have to be thoroughly overhauled, and for many weeks after the army is at rest the cable and airline sections of the Signal Service are kept hard at work re-building and adding to the telegraph system in the occupied territory.

For those who appreciate figures, it may be of interest to picture the *' traflSc " dealt with at various places : — Average number of words ttelegraphed daily at (a) Divisional Headquarters 12,000 ,, ,, ,, ,, (b) Corps Headquarters ... 25,000 ., ., ., „ ,, „ (c) General Headquarters .. . 90,000 ,. „ (d) Kantara 60,000 3.— Survey Company.

The work of the 7th Field Survey Company, Royal Engineers, may be summarized under the headings : Field survey, compilation and reproduction of maps and photographs and letterpress printing, sound ranging sections and observation group, meteorological section.

A series of contoured maps on the scale of 1 : 40,000 of the coastal belt of Northern Sinai up to Rafa had been issued before July, 1917. Work on this scale was continued up to the Gaza-Beersheba line, and a series on the scale of 1 : 10,000 was started, showing the enemy trenches, barbed wire, and gun positions in greater detail. The work of the field parties consisted chiefly of triangulation, detailed survey with plane tables showing contours, intersecting points in and beyond the enemy's lines, and fixing battery positions and datum points for the artillery. Survey parties also accompanied all recon- naissances in force towards the more easterly trench systems and Beersheba, and did such survey work as time permitted on these occasions, fixing points ahead which were of great use to the artillery and in the compilation of the maps from aeroplane photographs. Officers in charge of sections in the field also kept in close touch with divisions and brigades and supplied them with advanced tracings of new or special areas surveyed.

The Royal Air Force and Australian Flying Corps took aeroplane photographs regularly over the enemy trench lines and country beyond. Copies were supplied to the Field Survey Company, and from these many maps were compiled wholly ; intersected points or good detail on the existing maps forming the basis. An officer was appointed under G.S.I, to study all photographs and indicate all enemy defence works and details of military importance which were then plotted by the Survey Company on the maps. Enemy battery positions and other important targets were plotted at once, and co-ordinates supplied to this officer for communication to the artillery.

The compilation of maps from survey and photographs, and fair drawing ready for reproduction were done at headquarters, and in June, 1917, a power-driven lithographic printing machine was installed at Rafa for printing maps with a minimum loss of time. In this way up to about the middle of Aug., 1917, all the country from the sea near Gaza to south of Beersheba was mapped in more or less detail, including all enemy trenches, and published in nine sheets on the 1 : 40,000 scale, and seventeen sheets on the 1 : 10,000 scale, in all thirty-seven editions.

Owing to the large number of 1 : 10,000 scale sheets required to cover the whole line of trench systems the scale of 1 : 20,000 was adopted and eighteen sheets were prepared, and twenty -eight editions printed, nineteen of them by the Survey Company, Printing Section, and nine by the Survey of Egypt, Cairo. Of the area covered by these sheets, 282 square miles were surveyed, and 403 square miles were compiled from aeroplane photographs. Over 3,000 photographs of the Gaza area and its communications were dealt with.

When the Turks evacuated their Gaza-Beersheba positions and retreated to the Jaffa-Jerusalem line, the survey parties continued the triangulation through the intervening country in two belts, one through the coastal plain and thence to Jerusalem, the other along the Beersheba-Hebron-Jerusalem road in the hills. Points were thus established for the continuation of detailed ground survey along the new lines of defence, and for laying out new bases for sound ranging sections without delay. At the same time a limited amount of contoui-ed detailed survey of immediate importance was done.

The rate of advance of our troops during periods of open warfare was too great to allow detailed eurvey of all the country traversed at the time, but as soon as the enemy held a defensive line again, detailed survey was resumed by the field sections and continued with the gradual British advances, comprising a belt across the front from the sea to the River Jordan averaging fifteen miles in depth. This survey was carried practically up to the enemy's lines and a large number of points such as prominent hills, trees, and buildings in and beyond the enemy line were fixed by intersection. A check base line measured near Jaffa, and connected with the triangulation, showed that a satisfacFory standard of accuracy was being maintained.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 89 The scale of 1 : 20,000 was continued for a time, but in consideration of the extent of the country to be mapped and the steep mountainous character of the greater part of it, the scale of 1 : 40,000 was adopted again for the general map, while shortly before the British attack in September, five sheets were printed on the more open scale of 1 : 20,000, covering those areas where the enemy trench and communi- cation systems were most comphcated and extensive — that is, upon the coastal plain and the foothills. The operations maps of the 1 : 40,000 scale series were printed in four colours ; the wadis, roads, rail- ways, villages, wells, and such topographical features, the lettering and also the numbered reference wrid, were in black, contours in brown, trees in green, and enemy trenches, gun emplacements, barbed wire, and such works in red over black. Different classes of roads were also indicated in red. Contours were surveyed at twenty metres (about sixty-six feet) vertical interval in the hilly country and at ten metres on the plain, with spot heights on the hills. A small number of sheets were also ON-rprinted with a special grid sub-division and enemy battery numbers in blue, for the use of the artillery in counter-battery work.

The Royal Air Force photographed the whole of the enemy trench line, and country in the rear of it to a distance of roughly twenty-five miles, and in addition the main roads and railways leading into this area from the north. From Jan. 1, 1918, to the cessation of hostilities, 15,690 photographs were dealt with, and the topographical information published in map form.

The Photographic Section of the Royal Air Force has shown the greatest wilUngness to co-operate with, and meet the somewhat exacting requirements of, the Survey Company in the matter of aeroplane photographs, with the result that these photographs have been used in the compilation of topographical detail maps in this force to a relatively greater extent, perhaps, than on any other front.

After the survey in the neighbourhood of the line had been completed, a number of topographers were available for surveying the country passed over in the rapid advance from Gaza. The area between the sea and three miles east of the Jerusalem-Beersheba road, and back to the area surveyed before the Gaza-Beersheba line, has now been completed for the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration. This area covers 1,473 square miles. After the British advance in September field sections continued the triangulation northwards, one party along the Nablus road, another along the plain and foothills to near Messudieh railway junction, whence a single belt was continued beyond Nazareth to Damascus, thus connecting Damascus with the Survey in Egypt.

Astronomical observations have been made at Baalbek, Hama, and Aleppo, determining the latitudes and longitudes of these places.

A small party proceeded to the Hedjaz and determined by star observations the geographical positions of several places, including Maan and Shahm on the railway. The wireless time signals of Paris and Berlin were received.

In addition to the regular sheets of the principal series of maps a considerable number of other mis- cellaneous maps were produced and new information from aeroplane photographs added to sheets of the one inch to one mile series. Maps showing the disposition of enemy forces to accompany " Intelligence Summaries " were printed periodically. During active operations these maps showing the situation up to 1,800 or 2,200 were printed at night for despatch to units in the field before the commencement of following day's operations. These maps were issued for some sixty days.

Sun printing and photography were also used for reproducing maps and plans when small nimibers only were required.

Twenty-six telephoto panoramas were taken from a number of positions commanding good views over the enemy's ground, and enlarged copies supplied to the corps and divisions concerned.

Two Topographical Sections were formed in Aug., 1918, to work in closer touch with the headquarters of the XXth and XXtst Corps, and to compile and print small maps of the enemy's defence line as required, showing information from the latest air photographs and Intelligence reports, more frequently than the regular full sheets of the Survey Company could be issued. The maps of the Survey Company were used as a basis, and new work was added or enlargements of limited areas were made to show smaller details. Maps measuring fourteen and a half inches by nine inches were reproduced in five colours if necessary, on duplicators, and in this way several hundred copies could be produced within twenty-four hours of the taking of the photographs. The short time required to get out a map with a suitable amount of detail, made this a very useful supplementary method, especially in the case of raids. In the short period of seven weeks, during which the topographical sections were in action, thirty-two of these sketch maps in all were produced, and over 8,800 copies diiatributed.

The Letterpress Section of the Company.

Peri

90 THE ADVANCE OF THE Sound Eanqinq Sections.

Two Sound Ranging Sections were added to the establishment of the Field Survey Company in Aug., 1917. Their work was to locate enemy guns and bursts of shells by sound, and also to conduct shoots on certain of the more active gun positions located. It should be noted that the sound ranging here spoken of is carried out by an appUcation of advanced electrical science, and should not be confused with what are known as " sound bearings " — a rough and ready method, where direction is judged by hearing. On the Gaza-Beersheba line two bases were surveyed and occupied, one by each section, between the coast and Mendur. In this way the whole of the enemy's front line from the sea to Atawineh was covered — approximately ten miles. In this position 629 gim locations were made and twenty-four shoots conducted.

With open warfare these sections came out of action, but with the commencement of trench warfare bases were once more established and occupied. The sections moved with the advance of our line until the Arsuf-Sinjil line was reached, where three bases were occupied by one section on the hills and two bases by the other section on the plain. In Aug., 1918, a third sound ranging section was formed locally to occupy a sixth base on the foothills. In this way the whole of the enemy line, approximately thirty-six and a half miles in length to a depth of five miles, was covered.

Sound ranging sections are able to locate guns by day or night with considerable accuracy, except in strong adverse winds, and at the same time to give the calibre of the guns located. In conjunction with aeroplane photographs sound ranging succeeded in locating practically all the enemy gun positions, and shoots on the majority of the locations were so effective that the enemy was forced to vacate occupied pits or their guns were silenced at will by our artillery.

From Sept., 1917, to Sept., 1918, over 3,000 gun locations were made, and over seventy shoots by our artillery were conducted.

Observation Group.

This group came into action in the foothill area in Aug., 1918. Its work consisted in locating enemy guns by flash spotting and reporting enemy activity behind the line, for example, concentration of troops, movements along roads, etc., The group required four accurately fixed observation posts, for which the necessary survey was done by the field sections of the company. During the short time the group was in action, however, enemy artillery activity on its front was sUght, and very little opportunity was given for locating guns in this way.

Meteorological Section.

Regular meteorological observations have been made by this section of the company. Readings of maximum and minimum temperatures, humidity, barometric pressure, evaporation, wind, and rain- fall were recorded four times a day. A daily weather report was issued comprising the observations at General Headquarters and at Jerusalem, and also a weekly summary of the observations at these two places. The necessary observations were telegraphed every morning to the Physical Service, Cairo, where they were combined with data from other places and used in making the forecast for the Palestine front. This forecast was issued daily except during the settled summer season. Recently a daily report has been issued giving weather and road conditions at a number of places throughout Syria.

Measurements of the direction and velocity of upper air currents were made by the observation of the flight of small pilot balloons. From these observations corrections were computed for the use of the artillery and communicated usually once daily. During artillery activity balloon flights were observed at intervals of four hours during the day and night. These upper air reports were also issued to the Royal Air Force, and to the Sound Ranging Sections. Special balloons flights were observed, when required by the Royal Air Force, before long distance aeroplane flights.

The second meteorological station was established at Jerusalem in April, 1918, and later pilot balloon work was conducted there and the results sent to the artillery on that part of the front.

The Meteorological Section also undertook the checliing and calibration of instruments, such aa aneroid barometers, compasses, thermometers, etc., for other units as required.

4. — Military Railways.

Previous to the operations against the Gaza position in 1917, the main line had been laid to kilometre 226'2 and was operated as far as Belah Station.

From Rafa (kilometre 200), a branch line had been laid in the direction of Beersheba as far as kilometre 28 from Rafa, and was operated as far as Shellal Junction from which point a short line of about seven kilometres in length ran southwards to Gamli.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 91 During the same period the double tracking of the naain line from Kantara East to Rafa had advanced as far as kilometre 137 "5, that is to say, to Maadan Station. This length of double line enabled considerable economies to be effected in time, engines, trucks, and operating staff.

In order to economise transport immediately in front of Belah, for the purpose of increasing the amount available in the Beersheba area, a two-foot six-inch gauge light railway was rim from Belah Station to various points but little west of the Wadi Ghuzze. Before operations commenced this line had attained a length of nineteen kilometres and was eventually extended another four kilometres. A large part of this line was in direct view from the Turkish position, but no material damage resulted. This line enabled large reserves of supplies and ammunition to be placed before-hand well up towards the front line and proved to be of considerable value.

In connection with the Gaza operations the following programme was arranged. The Beersheba branch was to be extended to Karm Station at kilometre 36-8. This necessitated track being laid at a rate approaching two miles per day. At the same time it was arranged to extend the main line in front of Gaza, across the Wadi Ghuzze, and then construct a dummy station on the west side of the wadi. In spite of heavy rains both parts of the programme were carried out successfully ; Karm Station being opened for traffic one day ahead of the scheduled date, viz. Oct. 28. During the operations the Beersheba line was extended to about kilometre 39.

In view of the successful development of the attack, work was stopped on the Beersheba line, and the construction of the main line towards Gaza was recommenced on Nov. 10.

Up to this date the light railways were constructed and operated by the Railway Operating Division of the standard gauge. Owing to the rapid advance after the capture of Gaza and the necessity for operating the captured Turkish railways (at this time isolated from the standard gauge system), a Light Railway Organization was formed which moved up to Deir Sineid to take over and operate the three-foot six-inch lines taken from the Turks. The useful part of this line extended from Beit Hanim to Jerusalem (eighty-nine kilometres), with a branch from Junction Station (Wadi Surar Jvmction) to Ludd (nineteen kilometres). At first the line was only available for use as far as Artuf on the Jerusalem line on account of the destruction of bridges. On the branch towards Ludd the bridge over the Wadi Surar had been destroyed, but a temporary deviation was soon constructed which made this line available for traffic.

On the line between Artuf and Jerusalem four steel bridges had been destroyed, viz. : two of thirty metres span, one of ten metres span, and one of sixteen metres span. The work of reconstruction was inamediately commenced.

Further advances by our troops and the possibility of unloading stores at Jaffa rendered the con- struction of railway commimications with that port necessary. The light railway staff was therefore transferred to Jaffa about the middle of December and construction commenced on lines north of Jaffa and towards Ludd to coimect with the existing three-foot six-inch line. To enable this to be done the three-foot six-inch lines were taken over by the Railway Operating Division.

The reconstruction of the bridges on the Jerusalem line was much hammered by the narrowness and rocky nature of the gorge which prevented much material being taken forward to any bridge until those in rear were completed.

The four bridges were finally completed and the whole of the line to Jerusalem opened to traffic on Jan. 27, 1918.

During this period the narrow gauge suffered severely from rains. The line from Dcir Sineid to Tineh was constructed on new earthworks with inadequate drainage. Numerous washouts occurred, and the line was closed on this account on several occasions for periods varying from three to ten days. Meanwhile, the standard gauge was progressing northwards through Gaza, and Deir Sineid Station, with ample facilities for transhipment to the three-foot six-inch line, was opened for traffic on Nov. 28, 1917. The opening of this station enabled additional rolling stock for the narrow gauge to be brought up with consequent increase of capacity.

North of Deir Sineid the standard gauge line runs through long stretches of brown cotton soil which caused endless trouble during the winter. The heavy rains caused subsidences of the new earthwork and washouts were frequent. The imfavourable nature of the soil not only caused trouble on the rail- way but greatly hampered the camel transport during wet weather. Indeed movement of any sort of transport was at times impossible. Considerable relief was afforded when the raiiwa} reached the sandy hills which stretched from south of Jaffa towards Wadi Surar Junction. To effect this a temporary supply railhead was opened at Deiran (kilometre 293) on Jan. 8, 1918. Besides taking supplies for troops to the north, this station was used for supplies to the Jerusalem region, as Ramleh (about seven miles distant) was connected to Jerusalem by a fairly good metalled road and by the older portion of the three- foot six-inch line, which was made available for through traffic by the completion of the bridges on Jan. 27, 1918. Ludd Station, with extensive railway facihties, and unloading sidings for all departments, was opened for traffic on Feb. 4, 1918. Ample transhipment facihties to the three-foot six-inch line were soon available for all services, which reduced the handling of goods destined for Jerusalem to a minimum. , 92 THE ADVANCE OF THE Construction of the line north of Ludd was continued as far as kilometre 315, just beyond Rantieb Station, which was as far as the military situation then permitted.

It soon became evident that traffic demands to Jerusalem could not be met by the narrow gauge line. The first stage of relief was the laying of the standard gauge from Ludd to Artuf and the construc- tion of transhipment sidmgs at the latter place. This portion of the line was laid with three rails, so as to allow the narrow gauge trains to run at night while construction work was not in progress. This work was commenced on Feb. 27, 1918, and finished on March 31. It was then possible to concentrate all the narrow gauge rolling stock on the Artuf -Jerusalem section, thus increasing the capacity of the line.

Shortly after this, it was decided to push the standard gauge on to Jerusalem and, as the amount of rockwork necessary to permit the passage of the larger rolling stock was not excessive, the work was put in hand on April 22. Except for eight hours per day, while construction work was in progress, the narrow gauge line was open for traffic, and was worked to its maximum capacity. The daily programme of work consisted of taking up a length of narrow gauge, levelling and removing the ballast, laying the standard gauge, laying the narrow gauge rails inside the new ones and finally joining up the narrow gauge to permit traffic to continue. This is probably the best laid and most permanent section of the whole system. During the alteration of this section the average daily tonnage taken into Jerusalem by rail exceeded 740 tons, and as a maximum reached 1,051 tons on May 24. Jerusalem was reached on June 9, and the station opened for standard-gauge traffic on June 15.

The construction of the standard gauge line to Beersheba had been going on intermittently during the spring and was finished on May 3, 1918.

In accordance with the demands of the military situation the standard gauge was laid on the old Turkish formation between Irgeig, on the Beersheba line, and Wadi Surar Junction, thus giving an alternative line north of Rafa to Ludd, Wadi Surar, and Jerusalem. This was carried out between Mav 14 and July 8.

The construction of the double line, which was temporarily stopped near Maadan, was recommenced by a small construction party on Nov. 1, 1917, and was completed through to Rafa on April 17, 1918.

Following up the successful operations of Sept., 1918, railway construction was again commenced on the 20th. On Sept. 28 the standard gauge aUgninent swung on to the old Turkish formation north of Ras el Ain, thus enabling construction to be carried out at an increased rate (two kilometres per day).

Tul Keram Station was reached on Oct. 15, enabling direct transhipment ,to take place between the standard gauge and the narrow gauge running towards Haifa and Damascus. Continuing northwards from Tul Keram, by way of Tanturah and the western end of Mount Carmel, the line reached Haifa, and was opened for traffic early in Jan., 1919.

From Dec, 1917, light railways were constructed and operated for the supply of our more advanced lines : — From Jafia to Ludd. „ Sarona to Jelil. „ Sheikh Muannis to Carrick Hill.

a total of some 115 kilometres, exclusive of sidings.

From Ludd to Bas el Ain. „ Kafr Jinnis to Lubbaii, „ Jerusalem to Bireh.

The following figures are of interest in connection with the standard gauge lines : — Total length of track laid kilos. 1,009 Number of locomotives (includes Haifa Station). Number of wagons Number of turnouts laid 748 Number of passenger vehicles Number of stations 86 Number of hospital coaches 169 2,573 50 93 The Units which have taken part in the construction and operation of military railways of all gauges are : — Railway Operating Division, R.E. (eighteen sections, about 5,500 all ranks). 96th Light Railway Operating Company, R.E. 98th Light Railway Train Crow Company, R.E. 115th Railway Construction Company, R.E. 116th Railway Construction Company, R.E. 265tb Railway Construction Company, R.E. 266th Railway Construction Company, R.E. 272nd Light Railway Construction Company, R.E.

Ist Bridging Company, Canadian Railway Troops.

299th (Indian) Railway Construction Company.

l/23rd Sikh Pioneers.

2/23rd Sikh Pioneers.

2/32nd Sikh Pioneers.

12 Ist Sikh Pioneers.

Egyptian Army Reserve (about 2,800).

Egyptian Labour Corps (eventually about 26,000).

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 93 5.— The Army Postal Service.

The Army Postal Service of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force was formed of British, Australian, New Zealand, and Indian sections, and served an area stretching from Mersina to Assiut, and from Solium to Amman, through 140 army post offices. The personnel of all sections totals : British, twenty- five officers, 564 men ; Australian, one officer, fifty-seven men ; New Zealand, twelve men ; Indian, eighteen British officers, twenty -nine other ranks, and 257 Indian officers and other ranks. The average number of bags received weekly for the troops from overseas reached : — Letters. Parcels. Total.

British bags 2,500 ... 2,350 ... 4,850 Australian New Zealand Indian 632 130 20 1,339 270 20 1,971 400 40 The maximum number of bags received in one calendar week at one port totalled 24,810 bags. Every bag, from its despatch to this force to its receipt at railhead, has to be handled and re-handled not less than twenty-five times.

The average number of letters sent weekly to the home countries was : British, 500,000 ; Australian, 42,000; New Zealand, 8,400; Indian, 15,000. The totals for the period are: British, 36,000,000; Australian, 3,000,000 ; New Zealand, 600,000 ; Indian, 950,000. Letters received from home are re- ceived in sealed bags and amount for the period to many milhons, exceeding these figures. 173,V50 letters circulate weekly within the forces, and 47,000 letters are posted weekly by the Egyptian Expedi- tionary Force for Egypt. The combined Army Returned Letter Offices dealt with 4,548,000 items. Registered letters dealt with by the combined services during the period total 600,000 received and 297,000 despatched.

Postal Orders and Money Orders have been issued to a value of £476,000 and paid to a value of £165,000 by the British post offices, while the Indian post offices have issued Money Orders to a value of £256,250. War Savings Certificates recently issued total £4,180.

In addition to normal Army post office work, Egyptian civil mails have been embarked and disembarked, and mails in transit from India, China, and the East, to England and the Continent, have been handled over land and re-embarked.

Civil Mails in Occupied Enemy Territory.

In the Occupied Enemy Territory, postal services for civilians have been carried on at fifteen post offices. Postal Orders have been issued and paid to a value of £12,000 in each case, and Money Orders to a value of £2,250 and £3,900 respectively.

Special stamps were issued on Feb. 10, 1918, for use in this area. At first only one piastre and five milliemes overprinted on one piastre were available ; but other values were added from time to time, and the complete set now consists of the issues described hereimder : — Current Stamps.

All these are gummed and perforated, numbers : — They were printed in England and have no control ' Denomination.

Date oi Issue.

Colour.

• 1 mil heme .. July 16, 1918 .

brown.

2 milliemes .. July 16, 1918 .

gieen.

3 .. Dec. 17, 1918 .

pale chocolate 4 .. July 16, 1918 .

scarlet.

' 5 „ .. 8ept. 25, 1918 .

orange 1 piastre .. Nov. 9, 1918 .

dark indigo.

2 piastres ¦ .. July 16, 1918 .

olive.

5 „ .. Julv 16, 1918 .

purple.

9 .. Dec". 17, 1918 .

bistre.

10 „ .. Dec. 17, 1918 .

blue.

20 „ .. Deo. 27, 1918 *.

giey- Obsolete Stamps Denomination.

Date of Issue.

Colour.

Description. Control Number Where Number.

Issued.

Printed.

5 milliemes (a) ...

Feb. 16, 1918 ...

blue ... rouletted and ungummed ... B 18 A ..

6,000 .

• Egypt.

(5) ...

March 5, 1918 ...

blue ... rouletted ... C18B ..

55,560 .

. Egypt.

., (e) ...

May 13, 1918 ...

blue ... rouletted . . D 18 C ..

54,120 .

¦ Egypt.

1 piastre (a) ...

Feb. 10, 1918 ...

dark inligo ... rouletted and ungummed .. A 18 21,000 .

¦ Egypt.

„ (6) ...

March 5, 1918 ...

blue ... rouletted ... C 18 338,000 .

• Egypt.

04 THE ADVANCE OF THE ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS.

1.— Establishment and Supplies.

NlBffiER OF R.A.S.C. OFFICERS IN THE EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. The Royal Army Service Corps in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force is divided into four main branches, viz. : mechanical transport, horse transport, supply, and camel transport, and the number of officers employed with these branches is as under : — Mechanical transport, 273 ; horse transport, 174 ; supply, 256 ; camel transport, 234:. In addition there are the following : — Supply and transport Directorate, 23 ; Staff of 6.H.Q., corps, divisions, etc., 19 ; attached to Infantry, 76 ; attached to R.A.F., 12 ; duty with O.E.T.A., 17 ; duty with Egyptian Army, 2 ; miscellaneous (non-R.A.S.C. duties), 8. In all, 1,094. This total of 1,094 officers comprises the following : — Regulars, 39 ; Indian S. & T. Corps, 33 ; Territorials, 110 ; Australians, 49 (serving with C.T.C.) ; Anglo-Egyptians, 51 ; New Army, 783 ; Regular Quartermasters, 29.

CIVIL PROFESSIONS. Of the 168 recorded professions followed by New Army officers in civil life, the chief are as under : — Acoountants (inoludos 1 1 Chartered) Assurance and Insurance Auctioneers and Valuers ...

Agents and Travellers Bankers, Bank Managers, etc Brewers and Distillers Brokers Civil Servants Clerks Clergymen Commercial Directors and Secretaries Contractors and Builders Egyptian Ministry Officials Carritd forward 50 16 6 59 19 11 16 35 73 3 22 13 20 342 Brought forward Engineers Farmers, Graziers, Cattle and Sheep Men Journalists and Lecturers Manufacturers Merchants Planters Schoolmasters and Educational Officials Solicitors Students Surveyors ., Theatrical Managers and Actors Total 342 154 75 U 16 51 15 32 30 21 10 6 763 STRENGTH OF OTHER RANKS IN THE EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE.

BRITISH.

INDIANS.

EGYPTIANS.

H.T.

Driver Class.

i o i w -< B « IK Pi H C a: X p ¦< c >9 < o So Egyptian Camel Drivers.

GRAND TOrAl.

(1) Horse Transport (2) Supply 4705 218 56 6558 685 1298 734 1354 1752 20 4 433 6390 4273 7856 238 60 2725 3677 47'J9 977 19423 3868 8476 977 19423 3868 16.-i91 4273 (3) Mechanical Transport (4) Camel Transport (5) Donkey Transport ...

8833 19661 3928 Total 4979 6558 1983 734, 1354 1776 433 17817 2725 3677 5776 23291 32744 63286 SUPPLIES— EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. (1) Approximate Ration Strength Sept. 19, 1918: — British Indians Egyptians ...

Total 226,900 111.800 128,950 467,650 Horses ... Mules ... Camels Donkeys Total 74,800 39,100 35,000 11.000 159.900 The daily cost of feeding the above Ration Strength amounts to £43,385.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 95 (2) Sources of origin of principal supplies : — Article.

&Ieat Frozpn or Meat preserved Flour Atta, or ... Biscuit Bacon Cheese Jam Tea Milk Sugar Salt Rice Dried fruit Fuel wood Sheep and goats Origin. Daily requirements.

Australia, South Africa, 1 -„ .

. .. ' ¦ 70 tons Argentine ) America, Australia 62 „ Australia, India, Canada ... 00 „ India 230 „ England and Egypt 250 „ England, Australia 24 „ Australia 20 „ Australia, Egypt 24 „ Ceylon t> „ England, America 17 „ Egypt 25 „ Egypt 7 ,.

Rangoon 31 „ Cyprus, Egypt, India, Basra 8 „ Egypt and Cyprus 250 „ Sudan and Cyprus 300 head Article.

Potatoes Lentils and beans Onions Matches Barley Maize Gram Millet Tibben Bboosa Hay ...

Dries Sucre paille Green forngo Petrol Kerosene Origin.

Egypt and Cyprus Egypt Egypt •..

Japan Egypt and India Egypt India Sudan Egypt India India Egypt Egypt Egypt Sumatra, Red Sea wells (refined at Suez) Daily requirements. 25 tons 16 „ 25 „ . 100,800 boxes grain 800 tons Haystuffs 900 tons Avtn. 8,000 galls. Tspt. 15,000 „ 5,000 „ (3) Supplies produced and Establishments managed by R.A.S.C., or under R.A.S.C. supervision: — Compressed forage Compressed tibben Compressed dries Biscuit Margarine Rum ...

Piokles Jam Cured fish Ice Flow mill? In cotton presses at Alexandria.

In cotton presses at Alexandria, Zagazig, Mansura, Barrage, and Assiut. Cairo, Alexandria. Cairo. Alexandria. Cairo. Alexandria. Port Said, Kantara. Port Said, Jafia, Jerusalem. Cairo and Zagtzig.

Grain crushers Dairy farm Bakeries Cold storage premises Kantara, Port Said, and Cairo. Wilhelma, Palestine — milk, butter, ogg»- Alexandria, Cairo, Port Said, Bir Salem, Ludd, Jerusalem, Haifa, Beirut, Tripoli, Rayak. Three at Port Said. One W.D.

property with capacity for 4,500 tons ,¦ two requisitioned premises, each with capacity of about 500 ton*.

(4) Average daily tonnage of supplies despatched hy rail via Egypt, Port Said, and Kantara to Palestine :— June, 1,615 tons ; July, 2,026 tons ; Atig., 2,317 tons ; Sept., 1,732 tons ; Oct., 806 tons ; 2.— Mechanical Transport.

The great value of mechanical transport in this force may be said to have commenced in connection with the operations resulting in the capture of Beersheba and Gaza, and the advance through Southern Palestine to the Jaila-Ramleh-Jcrusalem line in the months of Nov. and Dec, 1917.

Prior to this date mechanical transport was almost entirely localized in station transport in Egypt, with the exception of a certain number of Ught ambulances and Ford vans and Light Car Patrols, used in the Western Desert and in the advance across the desert to Sinai, it being impossible at this stage of the proceedings to use heavier types of vehicles, except caterpillar tractors of which there were tben only some half dozen, and these were engaged in pipe laying.

Once the desert was crossed, it was possible to use heavy transport in the Palestine operations. The roads in most cases were bad — little more than tracks — but nevertheless, with care, it was possible to make use of lorry transport. The immediate result of this change was that units, hitherto, only equipped with horse and camel transport, had their War Establishments amended to provide for the use of mechanical transport, resulting in a greatly increased mobility on the part of the whole force in Palestine, and enabling operations to be carried out at a much greater distance in advance of railhead.

To give some idea of the great increase in mechanical transport in this force subsequent to July, 1917, it ii only necessary to point out that between that date and Nov. 30, 1918, the mechanical transport of the whole force had more than doubled, and if that portion which has been employed in the Palestine operations were taken alone, it would be safe to say that, whereas, in the summer of 1917 we had only a few hundred mechanical transport vehicles in Palestine, we have now thousands.

06 THE ADVANCE OF THE Just before the Armistice the following mechanical transport vehicles were employed in this force, these figures being exclusive of Eoyal Air Force vehicles and those of Allied contingents, which if included would considerably augment the numbers shewn : — Motor cycles 1623 Touring cars 617 Motor ambulances 586 Lorries, including gun, workshop, store lorries, etc 1579 Vans 670 Caterpillar tractors 281 Caterpillar trucks and other trailers 612 Motor boats 37 Total 5905 There are in the force between sixty and seventy distinct Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport Units, in addition to which must be added mechanical transport which is attached to almost every other branch of the service, e.g. Corps, Divisional and Brigade Headquarters, Heavy Artillery, Light Car Patrols, Armoured Batteries, Signal Companies, Sanitary Sections, Postal Service, Bridging Com- panies, Ordnance Workshops, Army Troops Companies, R.E., Railway Construction and Operating Companies, Hospitals, and Casualty Clearing Stations, etc.

Mechanical transport may be divided into various branches, of which the following are a few : — Workshops. — Those at the Base being for heavy work, while others, which are mobile, follow the troops from place to place and are employed for carrying out repairs in the field.

Stores. — This branch deals with the demand for spare parts from the United Kingdom, with the local purchase of parts which can be obtained in Egypt, and with the distribution of spares to all units employing mechanical transport.

Convoy Work. — Embracing supply convoys, transport of ammunition for heavy artillery, Ordnance, and Royal Engineer material and troops. Convoys have largely been made up of lorries, but caterpillar tractors have also been used where the nature of the ground precludes the use of lorries and Ford van convoys also have been run.

Motor Boats. — There is attached to this force what I believe is a unique unit in the Army Service Corps work, viz. : Motor Boat Company, A.S.C. This unit consists of thirty-seven motor boats of different sizes, the bulk of which are employed on the Suez Canal and ports, but with detachments at Cairo, Alexandria, Dead Sea, and the Palestinian ports. Subsequent to the operations in the autumn of 1917, it was decided to send motor boats to the Dead Sea. The only means of transport from railhead, then at Ludd, was by hauling the boats on specially constructed drngs from Ludd to the Dead Sea, a work of no small magnitude when one realizes the excessive gradients to be negotiated, the hair-pin bends and, in many cases, the narrowness of the roads at such bends but still four boats were safely taken to the Dead Sea. After the recent advance it was decided to send two boats to Lake Tiberias, the larger of the two boats selected being forty feet in length, standing sixteen feet from the ground, and weighing twenty-one tons with its drag. The journey from the Dead Sea was commenced on Sept. 29 vid Jerusalem, Nablus, Jenin, Nazareth, Tiberias being reached on Oct. 12. Shortly after the boats had been launched, the rapidity of the advance made their retention on the Lake of Tiberias unnecessary. Orders were therefore given for them to be withdrawn and taken by caterpillar tractor to Haifa. The difliculties of the transport of these boats were very great. They were accompanied by a guard of British West Indians and by Egyptian Labour Corps personnel. In many cases the sides of the roads had to be built up to permit the passage of the boats. In other cases culverts had to be strengthened en route. Wadis with from three to four feet of water had to bo crossed. In other places abandoned German lorries had to be pushed over the side of the road. In some sections difficulties of travelling were so great that only three miles were accomplished in the twenty-four hours, t Fighting Units. — These are principally comprised of Armoured Car Batteries and Light Car Patrols. These units perform important functions in scouting and reconnaissance work, particularly in the case of an advance such as those which took place in 1917 and recently. They were also employed in out- lying work on the Western Desert along the Tripqjitan frontier. Practically the whole of the Heavy and Siege Artillery of this force is moved by caterpillar tractors. During the operations which resulted in the capttire of Jerusalem the strain on this branch of the service was extremely heavy. Owing to it being the winter season, the country was largely composed of one vast bog through which the tractors had to haul the guns ; and they had also to get the ammunition up to the dumps once the gtms were in position. Notwithstanding the difficulties the caterpillar tractors had to contend with the heavy guns, throughout the operations, were kept up with the advance.

Tyre Presses. — These form an important adjunct to the mechanical transport in this country. The standard life of a lorry tyre is based at 10,000 miles. Needless to say owing to the difficulties under which lorries have to work in Palestine (in many cases over roads, which are roads in name only), the heavy gradients, etc., the life rarely, if ever, exceeds 2,000 miles, and in some instances, such as the run from Samakh to Damascus, the life of a lorry tyre does not exceed 700 miles. Tyres are taken off and new ones put on by means of hydraulic presses, which work at a pressure up to eighty tons. In order to cope with the difficulties of retyring lorries during the recent advance, two tyre presses were built on to German lorries (captured in the Beersheba operations of 1917), and followed the lorry companies throughout the advance, thereby reducing the time the lorries were kept off the road to a minimum.

Man Power. — During 1918 it has been with the greatest difficulty that personnel has been foimd for the ever-growing needs of transport. Early in the year the question of substitution of the "A" class personnel by men of lower category was considered by the War Office. In view of the climatic conditions, the length of the journeys to be performed, the dust, etc., it was considered by this force EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 97 that it was of the utmost importance that as many of the personnel in Palestine should be " A " class, and that substitution was inadvisable. This was finally agreed to by the War OflSice, and it is safe to say that the heavy and continuous work which has devolved on the mechanical transport in Palestine during the summer and autumn of 1918 has fully upheld the action taken some twelve months ago. Even in spite of the fact that as many '' A " class personnel as possible were employed, the number of men in hospital has increased from about four per cent in June, 1918, to ten per cent at the present time. In order to assist the supply of drivers, War Office was informed early in 1918, that as far as possible, this force would be self-contained as regards drivers and artificers. In consequence of this in Jan. 1918, a School of Instruction for lorry drivers was formed at Cairo for training Egyptians. Recruits were given ten weeks training in the school and then drafted into lorry companies employed in Egypt and the Canal Zone, the British personnel thereby released being sent to Palestine to take over additional lorries, etc., which were being received from the United Kingdom, and also to replace casual- ties. Further Egyptians were trained at the garages in Cairo, Alexandria, and Kantara as drivers for light cars and motor ambulances in Egypt. Egyptian artificers have been also taken on in the work- shops in Egypt and trained and given instruction in mechanical transport shops. At the present time there are upwards of 800 Egyptian drivers and about 200 Egyptian artificers employed in this force in the mechanical transport. In order to further assist matters, in the autumn of this year a certain number of Jewish women were taken on at the Advanced Base M.T. Sub-Depot, Palestine, to release men and were employed in the stores department, vulcanizing shops, and on clerical work. Another source from which drivers were provided was by obtaining " B " class personnel from the infantry and other branches of the service for instruction in mechanical transport ; in fact every possible source from which drivers could be obtained was tapped.

Repairs. — At times great difficulty has been experienced in keeping mechanical transport on the road owing to the lack of spare parts. This arose from various causes. Some of the principal makes of vehicles employed in this force, e.g. Peerless lorries. Ford cars, van and ambulances, Holt caterpillar tractors, are American, and the spares for these vehicles had to be brought first from America to England and then sent on to this force. Also the supply was curtailed owing to the demands from other theatres of war. Again in many instances transports with consignments of spare parts were sunk owing to enemy action, causing delay often of months before the spares could be replaced. Various expedients had to be resorted to, the chief being the manufacture of parts in the Army Service Corps workshops, local purchase of parts made by engineering firms in Egypt, adapting parts for other uses than those for which they were originally intended ; and temporarily disassembling vehicles and employing the parts removed to keep other vehicles on the road.

During all the operations east of Gaza, the mainstay of the army for suppUes has been the mechanical transport, until the broad gauge railway had been built or the narrow gauge Turkish lines repaired. In the case of the operations in 1917, the troops were fed over sixty miles ahead of railhead by means of mechanical transport. Ever since the occupation of Jericho all troops in the Jordan Valley and on the east of the Jordan at Es Salt and Amman have been fed by means of mechanical transport.

In the recent operations resulting in the capture of Damascus, Aleppo, and Alexandretta, the whole of the suppUes and ammunition were taken from railhead by the mechanical transport, until such time as Syrian ports at Haifa, Beirut, Tripolis; and Alexandretta were opened. To give instances how the troops were maintained, it is only necessary to point out that troops were fed at Tiberias by lorries working from Has el Ain, a distance of some eighty miles, and that until the Turkish railways could be put in order they were fed at Damascus from lorries based at Samakh, the return journey occupying three to four days. Again in the advance on Aleppo, the troops were fed and ammunition conveyed by lorries based at Beirut and Tripoli?. In fact, without the extensive employment of mechanical transport, it is difficult to see how the services of maintenance could have been carried out in the opera- tions which resulted in the capture of Jerusalem in 1917, Damascus and Aleppo in 1918.

The whole work of the mechanical transport officers and men of all ranks has been consistently maintained at a very high standard. In order to maintain vehicles on the road and to meet the demands made on them during the last eighteen months, the strain on the workshop and store personnel has been exceptionally heavy. To maintain the troops at the front the drivers of lorries, cars, and caterpillar tractors had continuously to work long hours under trying conditions of heat and dust or wet, according to the season of the year. Every branch of the service however, rose to each emergency as it came along, and it is impossible to appreciate too highly the work done by this branch of the service during the past eighteen months.

Jamels.

Duty. , 8,000 _..

1st line transport.

8,000 1st line transjiort.

8,000 Convoy.

4,000 ..

Convoy.

98 THE ADVANCE OF THE 3. — Camel and Donkey Transport.

In July, 1917, the Camel Transport Corps consisted of sixteen companies and two depots, the total strength of burden camels being 32,712. Eleven of these companies (2,000 camels per company) were heavy burden camels and were attached to East Force. Five hght burden companies (2,000 camels per company] were employed on lines of communication with detachments on the western front at Matruh, Solium, and Baharia.

During the following months of August and September, the companies of the Corps were allocated to the army formations as follows : — XXth Army Corps - XXIst Army Corps Desert Jlounted Corps General Headquarters The remaining camels of the corps were employed on lines of communication and the western front.

In October a further re-distribution of camels was made to the formations. The XXth Corps had 20,000 camels allotted, 8,000 being attached to divisions for first line work and the remaining 12,000 were employed on convoy duty.

The XXIst Corps had 6,000 camels allotted to divisions for first line work and Desert Mounted Corps received 6,000 for convoy duty.

The total strength of burden camels including those working on lines of communication and those on the western front was 35,000. Transport work during the preceding months had been comparatively light and the camels were remarkably fit when operations commenced.

During the actual period of operations, i.e. from October to December all companies were very hard worked. The troops were operating in areas in advance of the railheads and long convoys were necessary to maintain them in water, rations, and ammunition.

In the Beersheba area large convoys marched out daily from the railhead, but as the tracks were suitable for camels and the weather remained mild and open, camel wastage was very low.

In early December severe weather set in. Heavy rain storms made the going difficult and the piercing cold had a telling effect both on animals and personnel. In the XXth Corps area the condi- tions were particularly bad. The troops were then operating in the hills. To keep in touch, long camel convoys had to wind their way over the stony hill sides where there were no definite tracks, the roads up the valleys being reserved for other forms of transport. Camel camps were frequently pitched on the wind-swept hills, often at an altitude of 3,000 feet. The biting night winds and the showers of ice-cold rain militated severely against the camels and their drivers, both of which were entirely new to such climatic conditions.

In the central area the conditions were equally difficult. Desert Mounted Corps convoys were work ing from the railhead at Deir Seneid, Esdud, and Sukereir to Ramleh. The intervening country consisted of tilled land across which there were no permanent roads. The heavy rains soon reduced the whole area to one vast spongy quagmire, crossed here and there by broad wadies, which were difficult to negotiate. In places camels sank up to the girth in the mud and many had to be abandoned. This was probably the first occasion on which camel transport had been called upon to work under such adverse conditions.

The XXIst Corps camels operating in the sandy area along the coast worked under much easier conditions.

The camels in the XXth and XXIst Corps areas were very short of forage during the period Dec, 1917, to Feb., 1918 ; five pounds of grain being the maximum ration for long periods and during this period full rations of grain and tibbin were exceptional.

Towards the end of January conditions as to forage for animals, and clothing and equipment for personnel were much improved.

The following table gives a list of casualties (from all causes) sustained in animals and personnel during the 1917 operations : — British ... Egyptians Camels ... Horses ...

lied.

Died of Wounds.

Wounded.

Missing.

Died of Exposure.

Captured.

Total — 1 6 — — — 7 38 8 ... 158 .. 125 209 1 ... 539 574 27 ... 310 29 ... 2090 3 ... 3033 1 — 1 4 — 6 EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 99 During the months of Feb. and March, 1918, camel transport was reorganized on a basis of 1,200 camels per company. The reasons for this change were : — (a) A reduction in size of command for despite standard of efficiency maintained, competent authorities were convinced that a 2,000 camel unit was too big for continuous efficient control.

(b) As only 1,200 camels were required for the first line transport of infantry divisions, that number constituted a complete unit.

(c) Uniformity of organization and consequent interchangeabiUty of first line transport and convoy companies. The strength of the Corps at latter part of March, 1918, was 29,000 camels. Distribution was a3 follows : — XXth Army Corps . 13,200 camels XXIst Army Corps 6,000 „ Desert Mounted Corps 1,200 ,, Lines of Communication 2,400 „ The remaining camels were at kilo. 298 in reserve and employed on convoys at Ramleh. Camels with the XXth Corps were doing heavy convoys from railhead and depots to various points. The tracks and weather conditions were still very bad.

During the Amman operations (from March 23) in practically every instance the ground over which the camels worked was of the worst possible nature, being extremely hilly and stony. The Anzac convoys marched by routes which were simply goat tracks in the sides of the hills — only wide enough in many places for one string of camels to pass at a time. {See Plate 35.) At Ain Sir village three broad rough terraces had to be crossed. The country was everywhere difficult, time was limited and officers in charge of convoys had to exercise the greatest care in negotiating the hiUs. The stony nature of the ground injured the camels' feet and the heavy rains rendered the narrow tracks down the inclines very difficult. Nos. 1 and 2 convoys, 1,100 camels, based on Shunet Nimrin worked to Ain Sir, a distance of sixteen miles. No. 3 convoy working from Ain Sir forward, had to traverse extremely bad and difficult ground, which was in many places marshy. The camels were often long hours under their loads owing to existing situation and fluctuation of battle, and coupled with this fact they had to work at night. This same convoy had a most trying time during the with- drawal marching from 1600 on March 31 until 1400 on April 1 when they reached Shunet Nimrin. The most difficult part of the journey had to be done in complete darkness with heavy rain falling and the ground thick with mud and exceedingly shppery. The convoy was greatly harassed and broken by other units of the retiring column on the single track. In all convoys fifty per cent of the camels were overloaded owing to nature of supplies and size of bales and sacks. The good work performed was fully recognized and appreciated by the' XXth Corps and the divisions concerned. Two thousand camels were used in the two convoys out of which number, 100 were killed in action and ninety-two had to be destroyed on account of injuries received on the march.

In the latter part of April, 1918, the strength of the Corps was 27,800 camels.

XXth Army Corps had 3,600 with divisions.

XXIst Army Corps had 2,400 with divisions.

Desert lounted Corps and General Headquarters had the remaining camels on convoy excepting 3,800 on Palestine Lines of Communication and in depots.

In May, strenuous work was done by camels in the second Amman operations. Weather con- ditions had improved and tracks were better.

The months of June, July, and August were comparatively quiet, the camels worlcing on ordinary duties of first line with divisions and convoys from railhead to Wadi Surar and Latron. Rations and water were good, and camels. recovered condition.

Camels have also been supplied for work in the Hejaz. In March, 1918, 700 hght burden camels fully equipped were sent from " Q " Company to Akaba to operate with the Egyptian army in the Hejaz. These camels were under the command of, and worked by. Camel Transport personnel.

In April, 1918, a further detachment of 2,000 camels was despatched from No. 2 depot at kilo. 298 to Beersheba, where they were handed over to the representative of the Hejaz forces.

At the commencement of the operations in Sept., 1918, the strength of the Corps in camels was 25,700.

They were allotted to formations as follows : — Formation. No. of Camels XXth Corps, 1st Line with divisions Convoy XXIst Corps, 1st Line with divisions Convoy Desert Mounted Corps, Convoys Palestine Lines of Communication, W.F.F. and Depdts 3,600 1,400 3,600 9,60<> 2,6(X) 4,000 100 THE ADVANCE OF THE Four of the convoy companies working with the XXIst Corps were used for carrying watei and the remaining four carried rations.

Compared with the 1917 operations the work of the camels was exceedingly light.

The distances covered were very small ; the weather conditions were excellent, the coxintry in which the majority of the companies were working was fairly open. Consequently casualties were very few.

The following table shews the total casualties sustained in animals and personnel : — lied.

Wounded.

Missing.

Died of Exhaustion and exposure.

TOTAI 7 19 38 — 64 25 5 15 37 82 Egyptians Camels In the later stages of operations when the troops moved up country north of Haifa, seven of the XXIst Corps camel companies were employed on convoy duties until Beirut and Tripolis were reached.

Donkeys. — During Sept. and Oct., 1917, the formation of donkey transport companies was hi progress, the estabhshment being 2,000 donkeys to a company. In November of 1917 the first of the donkey transport companies. No. 1 D.T.C. moved from Rafa to the front and this company was employed during the whole of the winter under the most arduous conditions.

No. 2 D.T.C. moved up early in 1918 followed by Nos. 3 and 4. These companies comprised 2,000 donkeys in each and during the summer of 1918 were largely employed in road making and were dis- tributed over the whole forward area from Jericho to Jaffa. The donkeys, allowing for the casualties in No. 1 Company caused by abnormal conditions of work in the winter of 1917) and lack of proper rations at times have been kept in remarkably good condition.

The following table shews the casualties sustained by the donkeys during the operations : — 1917 , • 1918 Total ... 14 ... 17 ... 2 ... 235 ... 268 It will thus be seen that the camel transport drivers whose sky blue galabiehs added a very welcome touch of colour to the drabness of our khaki and of the coimtry side, together with their trusty " oonts", besides increasing our knowledge of natural history, took a very considerable share in operations, and were not wanting in pluck when occasion required. The camel, by the way, proved to be impervious to shell-fire and the drivers stood their ground repeatedly under difficult circumstances, shelving them- selves well-endowed with the fataUstic courage of the East. The same may be said of the Donkey Corps, and, in addition, these plucky little beasts made fast friends of all who had to deal with them.

led.

Wounded.

Died of Wounds.

Died of Exposure.

TOTA 5 5 2 233 245 9 12 — 2 23 ORDNANCE WORK IN THE PALESTINE AND SYRIA CAMPAIGNS.

A Brief Review.

The work of the Axmy Ordnance Department, with its scale of supply to a fighting force, ranging from big guns to bootlaces, has been arduous and interesting during the Palestine and Syria campaigns. Many problems have been encoimtered, in addition to routine duties, since warfare in the desert, combined with an advance into enemy country at a pace unequalled in any other theatre of war, has presented many special difficulties. Seemingly small things tell ; and it is not too much to say, for instance, that had not many thousands of fanatis, or water-tanks, of different sizes, been provided for the Expeditionary Force, its advance across the Sinai desert from the Canal and onwards into Palestine would not have been possible.

If departmental responsibilities may be roughly defined, it should be understood that while other authorities feed the soldier and his animals and consider both in sickness, the Eoyal Army Ordnance Corps provides a fighting force with its guns, rifles, and ammunition, the clothes it wears, the tentage that shelters it, the vehicles for its transport, the oil and grease for the maintenance of its implements, its sanitary and cooking utensils, its office furniture, its soap and dubbin, its pails, spades and shovels, its tools, timber, metals, repair material of all kinds, signalling implements and telephones, its harness and saddlery, its entrenching tools and dial sights— in fact, the full eqmpment of a fighting force which enables it to fight. And, whatever the special conditions of campaign, the speed of advance, the nature of country or weather, these stores must be adequately supplied, and guns, vehicles, tents, rifles, harness, and so forth, must be kept in repair. To achieve this was the first principle of Ordnance policy in the Palestine and Syria campaigns.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 101 The position of Ordnance services by the late summer of 1917 may be briefly defined. The summer months had been busy with expansion in men, arms, guns, transport, ammunition, aeroplanes, hospitals. The chamiel of Ordnance supplies was simple and as expeditious as the Desert Railway could make it. Alexandria was, as always, the Base. A Depot at Cairo, working hand in hand with the Base, looked after the troops in Egypt, the Western Frontier, the stores for the Hejaz operations, the rapidly increasing training camps, cadet schools, hospitals, and flying grounds, which Egypt with its wide areas, its good railways and its healthy climate was so admirably adapted to entertain. On the Canal itself were useful Ordnance posts at Port Said, Suez, and Moascar (Ismaiha), while the main work of Ordnance supply for the fighting force was done by the Field Depot at Kantara, on the east bank of the Canal and at the terminus of the Desert Railway.

The development of the Ordnance Depot at Kantara has been characteristic of the general activity of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force and of its Ordnance Services. A bare patch of sand in the autumn of 1916, this area has now become a highly organized Ordnance Depot covering in all many acres, with a working personnel little short of 3,000, extensive ofiices, areas for the different " groups " of stores, for salvage and transit, large workshops, armoiuries, and magazines, sidings from the broad gauge railway and an internal narrow gauge system. It has wharves on the Canal itself, at which in one month alone fifteen ocean-going steamships and nineteen Inland Water Transport craft were discharged. In the autumn of 1918 no fewer than 976 Royal Army Ordnance Corps troops were at work, while over 700 men of the Egyptian Labour Corps and over 700 prisoners-of-war were daily employed on unskilled work, and no fewer than 558 Egyptian Labour Corps, civilian, and prisoners-of- war tradesmen, tentmenders, carpenters, saddlers, tinsmiths, wheelers, blacksmiths, were kept busy in the big workshops. Here, too, in one autumn month, over 19,000 indents for Ordnance stores for iinita were dealt with and over 19,000 tons of ammunition handled.

During 1917, up the Une, and in preparation for operations, advanced posts had been estabhshed at El Arish, Rafa, Deir el Belah, and later at Karm. {See Plate 2.) These were steadily fed by Kantara, and in order to make for greater efiiciency the El Arish Depot was closed down and pushed forward on Oct. 27, 1917, to make contact with the Light Railway that led from Deir el Belah directly to our troops ij\ the positions before Gaza. Thus, at Deir el Belah and Karm, emergency depots were quickly established, holding for urgent issue to troops during the earlier stages of the operations such stores as clothing and boots, picketing gear, horse-shoes and nails, mess-tins, nose-bags, dubbin, soap, oil and grease for rifles and guns, ground sheets and blankets. On Oct. 27 the operations against Gaza began.

It may be well to record that the wide scope and variety of Ordnance supply had now to embrace the daily needs of a force of some 250,000 British and over 18,000 Indian troops, together with 100,000 Egyptians, and some 150,000 horses, mules and camels, and that, from the Ordnance standpoint, the position was complicated by the fact that the force was very heterogeneous, so that special stores of many kinds, over and above stores pecuhar to Egyptian and desert conditions, had to be provided for French and Italian contingents, Indians, units of the Egyptian Army, British West Indian regiments, natives of the Egyptian Labour Corps, and Camel Transport personnel.

When, after the successful onslaught on the Gaza-Beersheba positions, the force was advancing rapidly into Palestine, new problems at once presented themselves. Of these the chief were transport and the weather. The troops had left the railway behind and practically every available channel of motor or pack transport was required for food, while ammunition was hastened forward by coastal steamer. Great difficulty was experienced in getting important stores up to the troops, for the Turkish railway was constantly breaking down under stress of weather, and roads became impassable. Nevertheless a Railhead Ordnance Post was estabhshed as early as Dec. 6 at Junction Station, and a depot was formed temporarily at Deir Sineid, to be pushed forward to Ludd and greatly expanded directly the broad gauge railway giving direct communication with Kantara was available. Railhead Ordnance posts kept pace with the broad gauge railway as it advanced, and on Feb. 6 the Ordnance post at Junction Station was moved up to Jerusalem itself. Throughout these very difficult weeks of the quick dash of the fighting force up to the Jaffa-Jerusalem fine the heavy wear and tear on Ordnance stores of many kinds gave a great deal of hard work to depots and workshops. The line of communications, it must be remembered, began in the hot, dry sand of Sinai and extended through the moist lowlands of Gaza and Deir Sineid to the arid and barren highlands of Judaea. It is not easy to conceive more exacting contrasts of climate and natural conditions than those of Kantara and Jerusalem. It is easy to realize the strain upon troops passing through such varied condi- tions in so short a time in the wet season. The wear and tear of material in a swift campaign over such varied areas — especially, for instance, of wheels, harness, clothing, and boots — is necessarily very great.

Jaffa had fallen on Nov. 16, 1917. Jerusalem had surrendered on Dec. 9. The later operations, while establishing ouj positions- north of both places, and securing the lateral communications from east to west and working into, and across, the Jordan valley, so as to get into touch with the Sherifian troops and protect our extended right flanlc, did not involve any great advance, but enabled the railway to get up to the troops and the Ordnance to reorganize its system of supply. So far as general stores 103, THE ADVANCE OF THE were concerned, the Advanced Base Depot at Kantara, the depot at Ludd, and the Railhead post at Jerusalem constituted a quick and accurate channel. A similar policy had been adopted for two most essential Ordnance duties, the supply of ammunition and the never-ending task of salvage and repair.

The principle adopted in every branch of Ordnance work has been that supply must keep pace with the troops, whatever the difficulties of transport and local conditions. During the summer of 1917 ammunition was steadily concentrated near the scene of operations. Magazines at El Arish and Rafa covered each some 26,000 square feet. Large stocks were massed at these places, at Belah and at Kami. During operations approximately 250 tons of ammunition were sent daily up the Une. During the summer of 1918 advanced magazines were estabhshed at Ludd, Jerusalem, and Sarona, to meet the requirements of the campaign which was to come and the minor but important operations which estabhshed our preliminary positions and safeguarded our earlier gains.

Immediate work of repair to guns, vehicles, etc., is done by Light Travelling Workshops, while heavier jobs are sent back to medium shops or down to depots, or the Base, where larger plant has been established and greater facilities exist. The Mobile Workshops advance on the heels of troops and are thus immediately ready for any task that offers. A line of these shops had, by the end of Dec. 1917, reached Jaffa, Ramleh, Junction Station, Latron, and Jerusalem. They were subsequently pushed further forward still and then concentrated into two groups centring upon Jerusalem and Jaffa, thus meeting the requirements of each flank.

These travelluig workshops had by no means an easy time during the stormy winter months in Palestine. They had been thrown almost entirely on their own resources in motor lorries and cars as it was quite impracticable, on the one hand, to get spare parts, and so forth, up to the shops near the line by any other means ; or, on the other hand, to send guns, etc., needing heavy repair, to shops farther back. It is not to be wondered at that on arrival at captured cities such as Jerusalem and Jaffa the Ordnance workshops made the most of everything that could be requisitioned in the way of plant and premises. At Jerusalem, Turkish armourer's, blacksmith's, and instrument shops were promptly absorbed and plant was taken over in various parts of the city, including a spacious and well-equipped shop in a Franciscan Monastery. Shops were established for bootmakers since boots had suffered severely in the change from use in summer on the hot desert sand to winter conditions_among the wet and rocky mountains of Judaea. To help in these new Ordnance workshops, on whose capacity very heavy demands were at once made, native tradesmen of several trades were brought in.

A great deal of work was thus at once undertaken in repairs to guns, vehicles, etc. The busy activity and elastic scope of the Jerusalem Ordnance workshops was reproduced at Jaffa. It is interesting to record that at Jaffa a foundry was estabhshed and captured Turkish gun cartridge cases were used for casting pipe boxes of wagon wheels .... a development which illustrates the extreme technical isolation of the whole front of the force in the earher part of the year. In advance of these workshops at Jerusa- lem and Ludd mobile shops were suitably posted. Behind them were well-equipped shops at Ludd and the large, still steadily expanding shops at Kantara.

The thoroughness of this workshop organization, as it got into its stride for the summer, enabled it to cope effectively with the serious situation which arose owing to the effect on vehicles in summer of the great heat and dryness of the Jordan Valley. A vehicle repair shop was established in Jericho and did good work under very trying conditions. In the ten weeks prior to the autumn operations the mobile shops forward of Kantara repaired no fewer than 2,500 vehicles and, including Kantara, over 14,000 wheels.

The reconstruction of the fighting force which took place in the summer of 1918, involving the despatch to France of many British troops and their replacement in Egypt and Palestine by Indian units from India, Mesopotamia, and France, gave more work to the Ordnance authorities than is per- haps fully realized. Arrangements had to be made for troops leaving the country to hand in large quantities of stores and vehicles, and the units arriving had to be equipped according to the Egyptian scale, while suitable provision had to be made for them to be regularly supplied with the stores peculiar to their race or rehgion. All this, on a considerable scale, meant careful organization ; a marked extra strain was thrown upon the Ordnance organizations at Ludd and Kantara ; and to meet the needs of Indian units a busy temporary depot was opened at Tel el Kebir.

The time now approached for the beginning of a second autumn campaign. Ordnance preparations of all kinds — the establishment of ammunition suppUes, the repair of guns and vehicles, the expansion of hospitals, and the supply of tentage for reinforcement camps — were accelerated. For various reasons it had been decided to close down the Ordnance Depot at Ludd and the channel of supply now ran direct from Kantara to railheads. Both depot and railway proved adequate to the emergency. The develop- ment of sea-going traffic direct to Kantara from England, Taranto, Alexandria, and India, must be noted as having an important bearing on the supply and handling of stores during and after the Syria opera- tions. Nor must the bridging of the Suez Canal itself be ignored, establishing direct railway com- munication with Egypt, for the first through train from Jerusalem to Cairo left on July 15.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONAEY FORCE 103 The autumn operations presented problems very similar to those of the preceding campaign. Again troops went " into the blue " and means of supply to them, over difficult country, became sparse and uncertain. But this time the weather held and the very rapidity of the advance into Syria enabled a new system of supply to be quickly brought into operation. This was supply by sea from Kantara direct to such ports as Haifa, Beirut, Tripohs, and Alexandretta, as they successively came within the area occupied by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. Thus the curious, but thoroughly economical phenomenon was now witnessed of important Ordnance stores which had been collected in Palestine being sent all the way down the Une again to Kantara for shipment to S3aian ports. Ordnance per- sonnel was promptly sent up to these ports and new channels of supply were thus established ; while such divisions as were later on returned down the line to Egypt found the old system ready to meet their needs. Meanwhile a similar policy had been followed with the Mobile Workshops which had been promptly moved up in accordance with their accepted principle of working as near as practicable to the troops. {See Plate 54.) Next, the Ordnance system again confronted two of the great problems which successful operations in war always involve. These are salvage and the accomriiodation of prisoners-of-war. Salvage in these operations was immense in quantity and much of the material was very difficult to get at and bring to the collecting depots at railhead. So salvage posts were at once established at important centres, such as Jehl, KalkiHeh, Ras el Ain, Tul Keram, Rana Allah, Afule, and Damascus, and the disposal of salved stores, thousands of tons in bulk, will come under the final control of Kantara and Alexandria. Exten- sive areas have been prepared for the reception not only of captured and salved stores from the last operations but also of an immense amount of Ordnance stores, including especially, camp equipment from hospitals and standing camps in Egypt. In Palestine itself large quantities of vehicles have been sold through the O.E.T.A. to the local population at reasonable prices. The salvage of guns necessarily depends on the capacity of the broad gauge railway, and it is only fair to record that, at every point and throughout their system, the railway authorities have always endeavoured to ineet Ordnance re- quirements as fully and fairly as possible.

A further task was that of providing accommodation for the thousands of prisoners-of-war who now thronged into Egypt and had to be provided with camps and hospitals, the latter, especially, calhng for urgent attention as the percentage of sickness was very high ; and that not only amongst the prisoners-of-war, but also amongst our own British and Indian troops and Egyptians. It should be noted that the ration strength of the fighting force had steadily increased from the figures above-quoted for 1917, until, at the time of the Armistice it amounted to : British and Indians, 341,000 ; Egyptians, 133,000; animals, 160,000; and in addition some 90,000 prisoners-of-war Ordnance work consequently a'; this stage was greatly extended, the strain falling chiefly upon Cairo, Kantara, a'nd the Base. Tentage, camp equipment, and clothing had to be provided — for example, at Belbeis for 30,000 prisoners-of-war, at Tel el Kebir for 19,000, and at Salhia for 10,000 — whilst five large hospitals had to be formed and six hospitals largely expanded, as the condition of the prisoners on arrival was generally deplorable.

We have now traced the main current of Ordnance Services during the two campaigns and the intervening summer of 1918. The full scope of Ordnance work can, indeed, only be outlined — the im- mense developments at Kantara ; the gun-repair work done at Jaffa and Jerusalem ; shipping, ammuni- tion and railhead work up and down the line ; the establishment of laundries, boot and clothing-repair shops ; experimental work on pack-saddlery, covers for machine guns in the desert, ped-rails and caco- lets ; the steady provision of desert stores, involving a trustworthy and absolutely indispensable water supply ; the fine work on dial sights and range-finders ; the exacting work on vehicles which had suffered so severely under the rough Palestine conditions — all these and a hundred other daily tasks have been duly and painstakingly performed. There have been difficult questions of personnel, of local labour, of health, and above all of the extremely heavy strain thrown upon Ordnance organization at a period of such great pressure in a hot summer by the substitution for their trained personnel of vitterly inexperienced men generally less capable and always of inferior physique. It is hoped, however, that in general, whatever the conditions, the daily job has been done and the very wide Ordnance requirements of the troops fully and fairly met.

104 THE ADVANCE OF THE THE WORK OF THE MEDICAL SERVICES.

The arrival of General Sir Edmund Allenby in July, 1917, was followed almost immediately by a reorganization of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. This necessitated considerable changes in the medical service. The front line had been for some months on the southern boundary of Palestine, and our field ambulances were already provided with motor ambulances, sand-carts and camel cacolets. A motor ambulance convoy arrived in time for the Gaza operations, and from then until now has done excellent service. The expansion of the force necessitated the addition of five new casualty clearing stations and one Indian clearing hospital — previously there had been but two all told. Five new stationary hospitals were provided, making eight in all, and four 1,040 bedded general hospitals were added to the seven already in the country. With these new medical units to hand, the extensive preparations for the Gaza-Beersheba operations were commenced. Three casualty clearing stations, with a total accom- modation for 3,000 patients were allotted to serve the right flank and these were placed at Imara ; the two at Belah dealt with the evacuations from the Gaza sector.

Imara was in full, though distant, view of the Turkish positions and orders forbade the pitching of any tents until after dusk of the evening preceding the attack. Many readers will remember the appearance next morning of the erstwhile bare plain with its whole town of tents. To these advanced hospitals extra surgeons were sent up from the Base so that there should be no delay in surgical treatment, and hospital trains were able to evacuate the wounded direct to El Arish and Kantara.

The casualties daring these early operations, though not as heavy as had been prepared for, were quite enough to keep the medical department busy in all its branches. From Oct. 28 to Nov. 11, 1917, Desert Mounted and XXth Corps had 245 officers and 4,674 other ranks wounded, and XXIst Corps 126 officers and 2,947 other ranks. During the same period an equal mmaber of sick was dealt with.

The pursuit taken up by the Desert Mounted and XXIst Corps, which did not cease until Jaffa had been taken and Jerusalem was in sight, taxed the medical services to their utmost. All medical transport which could be spared from XXth Corps was temporarily transferred to the other two Corps to enable them to get their sick and wounded away. As it was impossible to move forward a casualty clearing station for some time, two field ambulances were also lent them to string out their long Une of evacuation, and to provide resting and feeding places for the patients coming down. The weather during this period of the fighting was very bad and greatly increased the difficulties of the medical service. The work of the front fine units, especially the field ambulances of the 52nd, 74th, and Yeomanry Divisions in the Judaean Hills, was at this time very arduous.

The pause which occurred before the attack on Jerusalem enabled three casualty clearing stations to be brought up ; one to Gaza, another to Deir Seneid, and the third to Junction Station, to which point the Turkish railway was by this time fitfully running. On the capture of Jerusalem it was necessary to hold up the sick and wounded there in order to save them the long journey in the bad weather which still persisted. A casualty clearing station was soon opened in Jerusalem, to be followed later by two others. Meanwhile, a fourth had been opened at Jaffa, and on the arrival of the railway at Ludd, this latter place became the centre for evacuation from the whole front.

The strain was not confined to the front fine and lines of communication, and mention must be made of the good work done by the hospitals at the Base, which, although depleted of many of their staff in order to fill gaps in the front line, were called upon to work for a time at very high pressure.

The raid on Es Salt and Amman was from the medical point of view exceptionally arduous. The closely-pressed retirement from Amman, over ground so deep in mud as to be almost impassable for camels and wheeled transport, made the evacuation of the wounded a task of considerable magnitude.

In April came the reorganization of the force owing to the demands for man-power from France. The substitution of Indian for British regiments necessitated a complete remodelling of the Divisional field ambulances, which became combined units capable of dealing with both British and Indian troops. Casualty clearing stations were similarly converted into combined clearing hospitals. Five new Indian general hospitals were opened, two British being at the same time closed. These alterations entailed drastic changes in the personnel. India were able to supply but a very hmited nimiber of medical officers, and many of the units, on arrival, consisted simply of equipment and very partially-trained Indian personnel. The few weeks remaining before operations began were devoted to " intensive training ", and it is greatly to the credit of all concerned that, when put to the test, these hastily-formed units fulfilled their functions with credit to themselves and their service.

In the final operations, the casualties from wounds were fortunately not heavy and well within the numbers anticipated. The speed of the pursuit and the consequent rapid lengthening of the line of evacuation accentuated the transport difficulties. With the capture of Haifa the pressiue was relieved by the opening of a casualty clearing station there which was able to despatch cases by hospital ship direct to Alexandria. Later on, this hospital ship service was extended to the other Syrian ports, where casualty clearing stations have been opened. Damascus also was supplied with a casualty clearing station the moment transport became available. The total number of wounded in these operations has been 239 officers and 4,854 other ranks.

EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONAEY FOECE 105 No sooner had we reached a breathing space in dealing with our own wounded than we were overwhelmed with sick and wounded prisoners- of -war. The captured Turks were in a deplorable con- dition of health, owing to prolonged shortage of food, to malaria, and finally to a serious epidemic of influenza. Of the 100,000 captured, more thMn 20,000 passed into medical charge. For their accom- modation three large 2,000 bedded hospitals were rapidly prepared in Egypt and the permanent prisoners- of-war hospitals were also greatly expanded. Several of the Egyptian Hospitals — a service which has done splendid work throughout the campaign — were also devoted to their treatment, and for a shork time the British General Hospital at Giza was set free for the accommodation of the more serious cases.

The flood of prisoners had subsided, and now a new trouble had to be faced. Our own sick rate began to show an alarming increase, the daily average of hospital admissions rising from 600 to 1,000 and even to 1,400 per day. This was mainly due to malaria contracted in the newly-occupied districts and to influenza. Superhuman efforts were made in Cairo and Alexandria to open new hospitals and expand existing ones. By these means it was found just possible to keep pace with the increasing sickness.

From a medical point of view, the most important problem of this campaign — as of all previoua campaigns in this country — has been that of malaria. During. 1917 this disease was easily controlled by dealing with the localized mosquito-breeding areas in the Wadi Ghuzzee. In 1918 it was a very different story. Palestine is notoriously malarious, and, during the summer months some localities such as the Jordan Valley, the coastal plain, and the Vale of Esdraelon have the reputation of being barely habitable. Practically all the perennial streams produce marshes which are infested with mosquitoes, including many anopheline varieties. Even the hill country is by no means free, and every well, cistern, and streamlet is a potential breeding place for these pests.

Directly our front Kne was definitely, established in the early spring, the campaign against mos- quitoes began in earnest. Each division was made responsible for its own areas. Their sanitary sections soon got to work, and with the aid of the Royal Engineers and Egyptian labour, marshes were drained, streams canalised, and wells and cisterns oiled. Each regiment was further expected to provide a malaria squad to deal with the vicinity of its own camp. By mid-summer, the result of this combined offensive became apparent, and the mosquito had been driven even from areas which in early summer had been its most formidable strongholds. The sUghtest relaxation of effort was immediately followed by a counter-offensive on the part of the anophelines, who missed no chance of re-estabUshing their position in any unguarded water area. Even the Jordan Valley was so satisfactorily dealt with that troops were enabled to live through the worst season of the year in this poisonous locality without any alarming amoimt of sickness. In order to assist in the early detection of malaria cases, small " diagnosis stations " were scattered along the front line in easily accessible positions. Each consisted of one medical oflficer and two trained orderlies with microscopes and a diagnosis was made on the spot. No less than 40,000 blood slides were examined in these units and have been the means of saying hundreds of lives.

With the advent of active operations and the passage of the troops into an untreated area, it was inevitable that the incidence of malaria should rise for a time. Within a fortnight of the opening day . the nimiber of malaria admissions began to increase, most of the cases being of the malignant type. The average sick rate, which had been 2'85 per cent for the four weeks preceding operations, increased to 5"51 per cent for the period of the third to sixth week of operations. This was a proof, if any were needed of the efficacy of our previous anti-malarial measures. There is little doubt that had not the problem been energetically grappled with from the first, and had malaria been allowed to exact its toll throughout the summer months, the efficiency of the troops would have been very seriously taxed. What effect such a state of affairs might have had upon the campaign gives opportunity for interesting speculation.

Typhus, enteric, relapsing fever, and cholera have been kept in check by inoculation, cleanliness and sanitation. It may well be said that the incinerator and disinfector have helped to win this war. A small outbreak of cholera among the civil population at Tiberias was soon got imder control with only a single case of infection among the troops. The only other epidemic of any serious aspect has been that of pellagra among the Turkish prisoners. This obscure disease has been responsible for many deaths among them and is at present the subject of an exhaustive enquiry by a special medical commission. No case has occurred among British troops and only one German prisoner has been found suffering from it.

Ophthalmia, which in Napoleon's Egyptian and Palestine expeditions proved so formidable a bug- bear, has, thanks to the cleanly habits of the British soldier, been practically absent from our ranks. In the case of the Turks, however, both before and after capture, its ravages have been severe.

With the arrival of the armistice, fmrther problems await the medical service. Sick repatriated prisoner? have to be looked after, and, in this " half-way house," from India, no doubt many sick will find a hospital lodging on their way to and fro.

Within the limits of a short article it is possible to enumerate but a few of the multifarious activities of a medical service called upon to safeguard the health and tend the sick and wounded of a force larger than the peace-time British Army. Altogether the force may be congratulated on the state of its health during the campaign, and the short period following the opening of operations which provided so much sickness may perhaps be considered part of the inevitable price to be paid for one of the most complete victories in the history of British arms.

106 THE ADVANCE OF THE ROYAL ARMY VETERINARY CORPS.

At the beginning of the period now under review, the veterinary service of the force found itself already organized and equipped on a basis which provided for the efficient performance of its duties at the moment, and at the same time permitted of considerable expansion, if necessary, without dislocating existing arrangements.

To its formation, Australia, New Zealand, India, Egypt, and the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, had contributed varied units, and to these had been added two veterinary hospitals originally intended for another theatre of war ; but the organization and equipment of the various components' differed, and even the British units were not uniform in either particular.

It had been at once evident that satisfactory service could hardly be rendered under such conditions and a complete reorganization had been carried out ; a reorganization which was rendered comparatively easy by the enthusiasm and co-operation of all concerned. The adherence of the Australian and New Zealand authorities to the idea of a universal organization was especially fortunate, and in consequence all Colonial divisions which were transferred to France, landed in that country with a veterinary organi- zation similar to the other formations of the British Expeditionary Force.

While speaking of Australian and New Zealand units it may here be remarked that the high profes- sional standard of veterinary officers of the forces of these Dominions, their devotion to duty and loyalty to the Directorate, has been a marked and pleasing feature in the veterinary history of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.

Veterinary hospitals were established at centres where rail connection and the possibility of obtain- ing green fodder combined to make transit easy and the forage supply suitable for sick animals. In these line of communication establishments Egyptians were employed as much as possible in order to economise British personnel. Field veterinary units with divisions were brought to a uniform estab- lishment and equipped similarly to those in France, the possibility of their being required overseas having been realized.

So far as horses, mules, and donkeys were concerned it was also necessary to establish a trustworthy system of mallein inoculation throughout the army in order to detect cases of glaiiders and endeavour to prevent extension of the disease when introduced. This equine scourge may easily become one of the great sources of loss among the animals of armies in the field, and consequently every animal ui the force was tested. Subsequently every entry to a veterinary hospital or issue to a remount depot was retested, and, although many isolated cases and local outbreaks occurred, the disease has always been kept under control, and the losses have been very slight. More cases indeed were detected among captured Turkish animals than occurred among the entire army during the campaign.

The raising of Camel Corps on a large scale naturally called for a special organization on the part of the veterinary service. However successful previous camel campaigns may have been from the miUtary point of view, they have generally resulted in the rapid extinction of the animals, and the main- tenance of numbers has only been possible by renewing them in toto.

In one of the Central Asian campaigns of the Russian Army for instance, a force imder General Skobeleff, with a transport of 12,000 camels, returned after some months with one camel only; and in our own Afghan campaign of 1879-80 we lost 70,000 transport animals of which a high proportion were camels, the necessary numbers of which could hardly have been maintained for a longer period. The animal mortality of a camel corps, therefore, might be confidently anticipated at a very high figure, and the large numbers it was proposed to employ called for special effort to keep losses at the minimum possible.

In its endeavours to assist in the creation and maintenance of this branch of the army the veterinary service was again fortunate : its recommendations received due consideration and the spirit in which the camel veterinary duties were undertaken both by officers and other ranks was worthy of every commendation. Camel hospitals were established for the reception of serious casualties, and a consider- able veterinary personnel was specially trained to deal with cases which could be retained with theii units. This included a comprehensive scheme for the treatment of camel mange, a disease which, if allowed to run its course unchecked,- will destroy a camel corps on service in from three to six months. Since practically every adult camel in Egypt has the disease, and as all suitable Egyptian camels were employed, it is easy to understand that extensive preparations were necessary in order to combat its ravages successfully. The losses in camels have proved to be about thirty per cent per annum. This is, of course, a high percentage, but when it is considered that an average of some 40,000 camels has been maintained in the field for between two and three years it represents a great advance on previous sunilar campaigns. Many factors which do not come altogether within the purview of this article were naturally concerned in the successful accomplishment of the work of the camel corps with this force, but the efficient manner in which the veterinary duties were carried out imdoubtedly contributed to the result. The operations which began in Oct., 1917 (Beersheba -Gaza -Jerusalem) were of the most strenuous nature for all animals of the army. The weather conditions varied from a heat wave to frost, and from a drought to torrential rain. During the heat many horses were without water for forty to eighty hours, EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 107 while military requirements combined with floods and mud prevented the regular supply of full quanti- ties of forage. The resulting casualties were perforce heavy, and only the unremitting attention of all formations and all ranks concerned prevented more serious loss. During this period the work of the Mobile Veterinary Sections and Field Veterinary Detachments calls for special notice, and through their agency very many animals which would otherwise have perished were saved and subsequently restored to the service.

The continuous work demanded from all animals of the army during the summer and autumn of 1918 was such as to keep veterinary hospitals full ; and although they were organized and prepared to deal with a further increase had it been necessary as a result of the operations, viz. the advance from Haifa to Aleppo, this was not requisite. Though considerable casualties were sustained during this advance they were the unavoidable outcome of war, out of all proportion small, when compared with the results achieved, and the general health of animals remains good up to the period of writing.

In such a brief review it is impossible to give statistics of the contagious diseases encountered and dealt with, but glanders, anthrax, mange, piroplasmosis (tick fever), and epizootic lymphangitis, may be mentioned as affecting horses and mules, while trypanosomiasis (surra, debab), and mange, have been the most frequent among camels.

The last-mentioned conditions combined with insufficient food supply are said to have been the cause of the breakdown of the Turkish camel transport in 1916-17, their losses of these animals during that period in the Jordan Valley, being estimated by their own officers at 40,000. Whatever may have been the real nmnbers, the skeletons everywhere in evidence on our arrival in the area mentioned, warrant its being placed at a very high figure.

During the period under review (July, 1917-Oct., 1918), over 63,000 horses, mules or donkeys, and 31,000 camels were received into veterinary hospitals, while the number of less serious casualties attended to in the field greatly exceeded these figures.

The percentage of animals returned from hospitals to the Remount Department as fit for re-issue to the service has been eighty per cent in the case of horses, and seventy per cent in the case of camels.

The total losses during the entire campaign calculated on the average strength of the animals of the army have not exceeded sixteen per cent of horses, mules and donkeys, and thirty per cent of camels, per annum.

 

 

Previous: General Allenby's Despatches, Part 2 

Next: General Allenby's Despatches, Part 4 

 

Further Reading:

Desert Mounted Corps

The Desert Mounted Corps, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Desert Mounted Corps (DMC), General Allenby's Despatches, Part 3

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Sunday, 26 September 2010 4:46 PM EADT

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