Topic: BatzP - Rafa
The Battle of Rafa
Sinai, 9 January 1917
Anzac Mounted Division, Secret Special Instructions
The following is a transcription of the War Diary of the Anzac Mounted Division of their role at the Battle of Rafa, Sinai, 9 January 1917.
Special Instructions to each Brigade and Commander Royal Artillery reference to forthcoming operations.
1. Each Brigade will detail one officer and two orderlies, who should all be well mounted to report to Division Headquarters at the position of Assembly. They must come prepared to stay with Division Headquarters during the operations.
2. To assist in the watering of horses as late as possible, the General Officer Commanding, 52nd Infantry Division has placed the troughs of his Division at the disposal of the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade and 3rd Light Horse Brigade. Part has been allotted to each Brigade.
An officer from each Brigade will be prepared to guide the Brigades to the troughs allotted them.
The Brigades will then water on the way to the position of Assembly and feed on arrival there.
The Somerset and Inverness Batteries will water with their Brigades.
3. The Officer Commanding, Field Squadron will have reservoirs taken to Sheikh Zowaiid to store drinking water for the men to be available on their return to Sheikh Zowaiid from Rafa.
He will also be responsible, under the Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General, Anzac Mounted Division for the development of the water at Sheikh Zowaiid in the areas allotted to Brigades.
Each Brigade will leave on half of its Field Troop at Sheikh Zowaiid. This party will report to the Officer Commanding Field Squadron at the position of Assembly, and act under his orders.
4. Brigade Ammunition Columns will march at the head of the 1st Line Transport.
On arrival at Sheikh Zowaiid, half of each Brigade Ammunition Columns will follow the Anzac Mounted Division under and escort of one troop provided by the 3rd Light Horse Brigade. Arrangements will be made by the Commander Royal Artillery to have them guided to their destination.
The remainder of each Brigade Ammunition Column will remain parked at Sheikh Zowaiid.
5. The following escorts will be provided:-
(a) For the part of the Brigade Ammunition Columns following the Anzac Mounted Division, after it leaves Sheikh Zowaiid - one troop from 3rd Light Horse Brigade.
(b) Escort to the guns. One Squadron (less the troop with the Brigade Ammunition Columns) from 3rd Light Horse Brigade.
Both the above escorts to report to the Commander Royal Artillery at the place of Assembly.
(c) Escort of convoy. One troop from 1st Light Horse Brigade.
This escort will report to the Officer Commanding, Division Army Service Corps at Anzac Supply Depot at an hour which will be notified to them later.
Each Brigade will detail a small escort to accompany its own 1st Line Transport.
6. One days rations, one iron ration, and unconsumed portion of the day of departure will be carried by each man.
One days forage and unconsumed portion of day of departure will be taken on each horse in nose-bag and sand-bag.
Half a gallon of water per man will be taken on the 1st Line Camels. The remainder of the 1st Line water camels will carry extra forage for the horses.
7. The attention of all is drawn to para 7 Desert Column Order where reference is made to bivouac areas. All must understand that, failing other orders the Force will bivouac the night following the operation at Sheikh Zowaiid.
8. With reference to para. 7.
As soon as the operations finish and the Brigades receive orders to return to Sheikh Zowaiid, each Brigade and Commander Royal Artillery will send back a party under a responsible officer to report to the Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General, Anzac Mounted Division at Sheikh Zowaiid to find out:-
(a) The area in which the Brigade will bivouac.
(b) Place of watering.
A guide will then be sent back by the officer to meet the Brigade, and guide it to the bivouac area.
Australian & New Zealand Mounted Division
6th January 1917
All War Diaries cited on this site should be read in conjunction with the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, AIF War Diaries of the Great War, Site Transcription Policy which may be accessed at: