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"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess

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Sunday, 4 May 2008
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 4 May
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 4 May

Pro Gloria et Honore - For Glory and Honour

Regimental March -  Marching Through Georgia

 

 

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

 

The Diary

 

1914

Monday, May 4, 1914

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

 

1915

Tuesday, May 4, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Heliopolis Camp, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary -  No Entry.

Carew Reynell Diary - No Entry.

 

1916

Thursday, May 4, 1916
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Roadhead, Serapeum
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - "B" and "C" Troops, "B" Squadron to take over Post 58 from "C" Squadron and to assemble at Roadhead. Captain Ragless to be in charge of Post.
Lieutenant Pascoe to relieve Lieutenant McDonald at Serapeum (West).

 

1917

Friday, May 4, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Khan Yunis
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Ballot carried out for Federal elections.
At 1000 the Regiment proceeded to Khan Yunis for all kit to be disinfected.
Williams, Lieutenant H.; and, Hargrave, Second Lieutenant LMS, marched in from 3rd Light Horse Brigade Training Squadron, Moascar.
 

1918

Saturday, May 4, 1918
Es Salt Raid.
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - 1½ miles south east Auja ford.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0000 2nd Light Horse Brigade were passing through Es Salt on the Umm es Shert track and at 0030 the Regiment joined the rear of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, Sherwood Rangers and “A” Squadron and two troops of “C” Squadron joining in at rear of Regiment.
0130 The Regiment had passed through the 2nd Light Horse Brigade on the Umm es Shert Track which Brigade was detailed to do the rearguard.
The most critical stage of the withdrawal was now over and up to the present everything had gone smoothly. All ranks fully realised the difficulty of withdrawing from an aggressive enemy handicapped as we were by having to withdraw down rocky, single file tracks over very broken country. The 1st Light Horse Brigade picquetted the heights on either side of the Umm es Shert Track. From Es Salt to where the Umm es Shert track meets the plain country east of the Jordan River represents a drop of 4,000 feet in approximately ten miles. Shortages of rations were now very acute. Practically all ranks were without rations of any description and many had been without for 24 hours. Two head of cattle were requisitioned from the natives at Es Salt but the withdrawal prevented this being distributed. Our casualties for the 3rd May 1918, were as follows:
2 Officers wounded.
Killed - Baker, 373 Lance Corporal W; McGinty, 1159 Trooper SP; and, Medhurst, 1577 Trooper PW.
Wounded - eleven
Other Ranks. Missing - two Other Ranks.
Animals - killed - One ride, wounded four rides, missing one ride and one pack.
0400 At dawn arrived at a point where the Umm es Shert track leads down the final steep decline on to the plain country east of Jordan. Several well ranged shrapnel shells were fired on to the Regiment as it proceeded in single file down the narrow track fully exposed to the view of the enemy. No casualties. "B" and “A” Squadrons were diverted to side tracks.
0600 The Regiment was clear of the foothills and proceeded to a point 1½ miles south east of Auja Ford and bivouacked. Horses and men were thoroughly tired after the strenuous and anxious work of the past five days.
1930 The Regiment together with the remainder of Brigade moved via El Ghoraniyeh Bridge to old bivouac north east of Jericho arriving there at 2130.

 

1919

Sunday, May 4, 1919
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Zagazig
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0800, Tod, Lieutenant PA, with troop proceeded to El Abbasa to relieve Kildea, Lieutenant FJ; and, troop.
0900 voluntary church services at 10th Light Horse Regiment Lines.
1800 Kildea, Lieutenant FJ; and, troop marched into camp.

 


Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 3 May

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 5 May

 

Sources:

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

 

Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF

Bert Schramm Diary

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 4 May

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 23 July 2010 11:28 AM EADT
Saturday, 3 May 2008
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 3 May
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 3 May

Pro Gloria et Honore - For Glory and Honour

Regimental March -  Marching Through Georgia

 

 

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

 

The Diary

 

1914

Monday, May 3, 1914

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

 

1915

Monday, May 3, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Heliopolis Camp, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary -  No Entry.

Carew Reynell Diary - No Entry.

 

1916

Wednesday, May 3, 1916

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Serapeum, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - No Entry.

 

1917

Thursday, May 3, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - El Khudri
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Daylight patrols reported all clear at 0500. “B” Squadron continued digging on redoubts at wadi.
At 1030 the 10th Light Horse Regiment arrived and took over the line and at 1200 the Regiment less “B” Squadron returned and the Brigade bivouacked at Khan Yunis. “B” Squadron returning as the patrols were relieved.
 

1918

Friday, May 3 1918
Es Salt Raid.
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Es Salt.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0400, “B” Squadron moved forward and occupied Tel el Jaludi with right flank Sq 127 J3 central and left flank in Sq 127 J2a.3.1. Information now received that a strong enemy attack was being made on 8th Light Horse Regiment.
0800 Luxmoore, Captain EM, Officer in Command, “B” Squadron reported that this attack had been repulsed and that 8th Light Horse Regiment had captured 320 prisoners.
Hargrave, Lieutenant LMS, reported a strong enemy movement on his front endeavouring to work round his left flank towards Kefr Huda.
0915 The enemy attacked position held by left flank of “C” Squadron in Sq H11b.8.4 and H12 central. Advanced party of the enemy estimated at 50 to 60 men with about 150 in support. The enemy attack was pressed with great determination. A strong party of bombers advanced to within 15 yards of our post which was held by Masson, Lieutenant GG, one Sergeant, Lance Corporal and twelve Other Ranks including a Hotchkiss Rifle. These put up a plucky resistance but their casualties were severe, caused mostly by bombs. Masson, Lieutenant GG, was slightly wounded; Smith, 189 Sergeant HR, was believed to be badly wounded [now missing]; Baker, 373 Lance Corporal W; and, McGinty, 1159 Trooper SP, were killed and two Other Ranks severely wounded and two Other Ranks wounded. The Hotchkiss Rifle was smashed by a grenade. The enemy were reinforced from their support troops and kept pressing on forcing the post to withdraw about 500 yards. Morrison, 3241 Lance Corporal JR, with a great initiative and determination covered the withdrawal of the wounded. Smith, 189 Sergeant HR, was missed in the withdrawal
On information reaching Regimental Headquarters regarding this attack Daly, Major TJ, moved forward to the front line and on arrival there saw the withdrawal of this post in progress, immediately caused the two left flank troops of “B” Squadron to conform thus securing the line. The right flank troops of “A” Squadron withdrew about 500 yards. Whilst the attack was in progress all Headquarters batmen, grooms and artificers were quickly dispatched to reinforce “C” Squadron. At least twelve of the enemy were killed before “C” Squadron post withdrew.
1100, two extra machine guns arrived and were put into position in Sq h27b.9.7 also “A” Squadron of Sherwood Rangers arrived but were not used until the evening.
1200 Daly, Major TJ, with the Sherwood Ranger Squadron leader made a personal reconnaissance with a view to our recapturing post north east of Kefr Huda but in view of later orders this counter attack did not eventuate.
1600 Orders were issued to the Squadron that the present line running from J3 central - J7 central - H18a - H22 central would be held by night.
Verbal orders were received that the whole Division would gradually withdraw that night down the Umm es Shert track. All squadron leaders were brought to Regimental Headquarters when the Commanding Officer gave the following orders verbally reference the withdrawal of the Regiment tonight. Officer in Command of the Sherwood Rangers Squadron was to reconnoitre a line which he was to occupy covering the northern exits to Es Salt through J25a and b until relieved by 9th Light Horse Regiment. Snipers to remain on track until 2400. The withdrawal to commence at such time that the whole of the Regiment less snipers were to be on a line at H24 and J18 central at 2300. All packs to be sent immediately to Regimental Headquarters. Silence was to be maintained throughout withdrawal.
1730 Two troops of Sherwood Rangers were put into the line to fill a gap between A and “C” Squadrons.
1900 The 2nd Light Horse Brigade who was on the right of “B” Squadron withdrew to a position covering the eastern exits of Es Salt.
2015 Three right flank troops of “B” Squadron were withdrawn to J15d.1, J19b and d. Desultory artillery continued until withdrawal of Squadrons.
2200 All pack horses which had concentrated at Regimental Headquarters were sent forward under Stevens, Lieutenant WJ, to withdraw down the Umm es Shert Track. Sherwood Rangers left Regimental Headquarters to take up their allocated positions.
Regimental Headquarters followed by “B” Squadron withdrew along track to Es Salt. Remainder of Regiment falling in en route. Hahn, Lieutenant HJ, reported that shortly after his troop withdrew from the line the enemy attacked his position with bombs and grenades. Several shells were fired on to “A” Squadron as they withdrew from the line.
2345 “A” Squadron and two troops of “C” Squadron took over line J25a and J25b with the remainder of the Regiment in support in J25 central.
Baker, 373 Lance Corporal W; McGinty, 1159 Trooper SP; Medhurst, 1577 Trooper PW; and, Bockleberg, 101 Trooper FB, all killed in action.

3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary - As soon as it was dark the 8th Light Horse Regiment rejoined Brigade Headquarters, half mile north - west of Es Salt. The 9th Light Horse Regiment was ordered to retire to a position immediately north of Es Salt and remain there until midnight 3/4th May 1918, covering the tracks northwards from Es Salt, the Regiment then to retire by track No. 13. This Regiment left out small parties on its original outpost line until 2330, where they kept up a desultory fire.
They then fell back on to their Regiment and the Regiment retired by No. 13 track without interference, passing through the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, at 0130, on the No. 13 track. The 10th Light Horse Regiment was ordered to retire from the left flank in a southerly direction until they struck the No. 13 track.
This they did in conjunction with the 3rd Light Horse Regiment, which was holding a position on their left flank. The 10th Light Horse Regiment left out small parties on their original outpost line until 0030. About in hour before they finally left, the enemy made several mild attacks along their front, apparently feeling to see whether the positions were still occupied. They were met, however, with Mills bombs, rifle grenades, and rifle fire, and did not press the matter. At 0430 the Regiment moved on to the Umm es Shert, [No. 13] track, and moved in rear of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade and in due course reported to Brigade in the valley.
The Brigade, [less 9th and 10th Light Horse Regiments], moved from Es Salt at 1945, and got on to No. 13 track and moved on to the position without further special incident. It then came under the orders of the Anzac Mounted Division.
The Brigade remained during the day, as Anzac Mounted Divisional reserve about a mile east of the Auja crossing. From there it moved back to its bivouac near Tel es Sultan at 1900, arriving at the latter place at 2200 on the 4th May 1918. On the Brigade's arrival in the valley on the morning of the 4th, the 8th Light Horse Regiment and one section 3rd Machine Gun Squadron had been sent north along the foothills to reinforce the 4th Light Horse Brigade and remained there holding a portion of the line until that Brigade retired at 1900. The 8th Light Horse Regiment arrived at its bivouac at 0300, on the 5th May 1918.

 

1919

Saturday, May 3, 1919
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Zagazig
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0800, one mounted troop patrolled to El Ghar and Ku Abaza. Found all normal.
Received instructions from 234 Infantry Brigade to formulate scheme of defence in compliance with orders received from Headquarters, Egypt.

 


Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 2 May

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 4 May

 

Sources:

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

 

Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF

Bert Schramm Diary

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 3 May

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 23 July 2010 11:29 AM EADT
Friday, 2 May 2008
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 2 May
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 2 May

Pro Gloria et Honore - For Glory and Honour

Regimental March -  Marching Through Georgia

 

 

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

 

The Diary

 

1914

Sunday, May 2, 1914

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

 

1915

Sunday, May 2, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Heliopolis Camp, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary -  No Entry.

Carew Reynell Diary - No Entry.

 

1916

Tuesday, May 2, 1916

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Serapeum, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - No Entry.

 

1917

Wednesday, May 2, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - El Khudri
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Reveille 0430. All clear received from outpost Squadron at 0445.
"A" and “C” Squadrons continued work on forward line of redoubt.
At 0800 6 Officers and four senior non commissioned officers from each squadron left on a reconnaissance towards Bir el Esani. Tel Itweil was reached at 1030 and a few shots exchanged with enemy outposts holding the wadi at Bir el Esani.
At 1100 10th Light Horse Regiment arrived and worked on Redoubts Numbers one and 2 returning to Abasan el Kebir at 1600.
At 1730 “B” Squadron took over outpost line from “A” Squadron. "A" and “C” Squadrons, each finding one troop for Redoubts one and 2.
 

1918

Thursday, May 2, 1918
Es Salt Raid.

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Es Salt.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0400 Dismounted patrols reconnoitred Sqs J7b and H11a reporting all clear.
0600 Information was received that the 10th Light Horse Regiment late the previous evening had been sent to intercept a force of enemy who were moving towards Es Salt along Jisr ed Damieh - Es Salt road.
0645 10th Light Horse Regiment reported having gained touch with 200 enemy infantry.
0730 Sharp, Lieutenant RC, with two troops of “A” Squadron were sent forward to fill the gap between 10th Light Horse Regiment and “C” Squadron 9th Light Horse Regiment.
0930 “A” Squadron reported having gained touch with “C” Squadron of the 8th Light Horse Regiment. This squadron had come into position on the right of the 10th Light Horse Regiment. The 9th Light Horse Regiment were now holding the line Sqs 127 J13d.8.7 - J13b and d - H12 central Kefr Huda Tomb to H22 central. Total length of line held by 9th Light Horse Regiment approximately 5,600 yards.
1000 Much enemy movement was observed moving towards 9th Light Horse Regiment Sector. Luxmoore, Captain EM, Officer in Command, “B” Squadron reported about 1000 enemy with guns observed at 0900 moving west on Es Salt - Amman Road about five miles distant. “A” Squadron reported 200 enemy infantry and cavalry advancing into 127 H5 and six from a north westerly direction. Several smaller bodies were located advancing along wadis two to three miles distant north west of 9th Light Horse Regiment sector.
1100 Most of enemy were observed moving back westwards thence northwards and again at 1300 they were reported moving east. From this it appeared as if the enemy force coming from the Jordan were endeavouring to join up with their forces which was moving from Amman towards Es Salt.
1500 Enemy artillery opened fire from the Amman Road on to A, B and “C” Squadron sections but no casualties were caused.
1600 Information received that the enemy were putting in a heavy attack on to sector held by 2nd Light Horse Brigade. About 1900 information received that the 4th Light Horse Brigade who were holding positions in vicinity of Umm es Shert and Jisr ed Damieh on the Jordan had been driven back thereby losing command of the Jisr ed Damieh to Es Salt Road thus giving the enemy a clear run from the Jordan River on to positions held by 3rd Light Horse Brigade north and west of Es Salt.
1930 Orders received to hold the following lines. Night outpost line 9th Light Horse Regiment Amman road exclusive thence westerly to Kefr Huda inclusive. 10th Light Horse Regiment Kefr Huda exclusive to present unction with 3rd Light Horse Regiment. Orders were issued for “A” Squadron to hand their sector over to 10th Light Horse Regiment and return to “C” Squadron command post and remain there during the night in support of the 9th Light Horse Regiment sector.
1945 Orders were received from 3rd Light Horse Brigade for 9th Light Horse Regiment to hold present day line as a night outpost line. This was done. Disposition of the night outpost line as follows: “B” Squadron on the right holding SQ j19b8.5 to j13 central with standing patrol in Sq J14e.8.6 and two troops in support at j19a.9.2, “C” Squadron J13 central to Kefr Huda exclusive four troops. “A” Squadron Kefr Huda inclusive to H22 central four troops. The great length of outpost line 5,500 yards necessitated its being lightly held. Fortunately the night was free from mist and visibility was fair. Standing patrols were placed in advance on all roads and tracks leading into sections held by Squadrons. The night passed quietly though very anxiously as the enemy were known to be in very close proximity and in large numbers. The hilly rocky nature of the country greatly favoured surprise tactics for an active enemy particularly against a line which was so thinly held as our own.
2100 Information received that 1,000 enemy were on the Amman road between Ain Hemar and J17.
The expenditure of ammunition on 30th April 1918, was 8,000 rounds SAA [small arms ammunition] 5,000 rounds drawn today from ammunition convoy which succeeded in getting through the Umm es Shert [Route 13] now the only road open to us from our base at Jericho. The Regiment was now beginning to feel the pinch for rations having marched out from Jericho on the night of the 29th April 1918, carrying two days special rations and iron rations. Owing to the tactical situation no ration convoys were able to get through. Luckily there was plenty of good grazing for the horses and a small quantity of barley had been requisitioned by Brigade.
3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary - Information was received from the Commanding Officer, 10th Light Horse Regiment, that the Turks were attacking his line and reinforcements consisting of one sub - section of machine guns and one squadron of the 8th Light Horse Regiment were sent to assist him, also one troop of the 10th Light Horse Regiment The Commanding Officer of the 10th Light Horse Regiment had placed a post of about a troop a mile down from the crest line. The Turks, before dawn, attacked this post and outflanked it on both sides. The Officer in Command of the post accordingly withdrew to the main position on the crest line.
Later on in the morning of the 2nd May 1918, instructions were received from Division that I was to send a Regiment and four machine guns to cooperate with the 2nd Light Horse Brigade against the expected attack from the direction of Amman. I accordingly despatched Shannon, Major HJ, DSO, with two squadrons of the 8th Light Horse Regiment, four machine guns and two guns of Hong Kong and Singapore Battery, and instructed him to collect the squadron of the 10th Light Horse Regiment, Hamlin, Major HB; and, his four machine guns on the Amman road on arrival. Shannon, Major HJ, found that Hamlin, Major HB, his squadron and four guns, 3rd Machine Gun Squadron had been in action with the enemy all the morning, holding up the enemy's patrols and advance parties. Hamlin, Major HB, held a position which was in some low foot hills, 1,000 yards in front of the main ridge running north and south, half a mile east of the first part of the Amman road which runs north. Shannon, Major HJ, instructed him to retire to the main position occupied by the 8th Light Horse Regiment. This he did without any casualties.
During the afternoon of the 2nd May 1918, the enemy were seen to be thickening up their part of their line in front of the 10th Light Horse Regiment position across the Jisr ed Damieh track. At 1530 they commenced to shell and kept up a continuous fire while their infantry worked up the hills, by dusk their advanced troops were within 100 yards of our line, and they were still climbing the steep terraced slopes. The 10th Light Horse Regiment on their part had not been idle, sagars of stone, machine gun and Hotchkiss gun positions were constructed, ammunition, bombs and flares brought up. As Light Horse Regiments only carry a few had grenades, [Mills], a plentiful supply of German stick bombs captured at Es Salt were brought up on pack horses and all ranks rapidly made acquainted with their use.
At 2000 the enemy launched an attack against the line held by the 10th Light Horse Regiment across the Jisr ed Damieh track. The enemy got within 20 yards on the right and about 200 yards on the left centre, when he was driven back by rifle and Hotchkiss fire. At 2030 he attacked again, but was again repulsed. Except for desultory rifle fire all was quiet until 0200, when he launched a most determined attack, getting to within 100 yards on the left and centre, and 15 yards on the right. This attack was stopped by fire, but the enemy held his position under the rocky ledges and terraces with which the country abounds. At 0400 he again attacked. The right flank of the 10th Light Horse Regiment was reinforced with a troop and the enemy was driven back with great loss. Our men followed him down with bombs and stones.
About 150 dead were counted in front of the position and there were probably a good number further down the hill. A few prisoners were also taken. The enemy retired to a position about 1,000 yards west of our line, where they remained during the 3rd and 4th May 1918. These last named operations and those hereafter mentioned against the 9th Light Horse Regiment at Kefr Huda to the right are those, no doubt, referred to by Djemal Pasha in his reports to his Commander - in - Chief where, in paragraph 3, he states that "the Turkish 66th Infantry Regiment had come to a complete standstill at noon on the 3rd May, and encountered energetic resistance" also in Von Papen's report; where he says [paragraph 1], that, "These heights are covered with the dead of the 66th infantry regiment."
That afternoon Division reallotted the outpost lines, the 2nd Light Horse Brigade was to take the line from El Awab, north to the Amman road inclusive. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade from that point through Kefr Huda south - west and southerly to the junction with the first Brigade about H34. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade was to detach to the 2nd Light Horse Brigade two squadron and four machine guns. Hamlin, Major, with his squadron of the 10th Regimen was to return to the Brigade reserve. That evening, prisoners were taken in the neighbourhood of the 8th Light Horse Regiment's left flank, near the Amman road. The prisoners stated that that the enemy intended to attack there early next morning.
Accordingly Hamlin, Major HB, was instructed to remain at the Amman Road and connect up with the 9th Light Horse Regiment.
The 8th Light Horse Regiment [Shannon, Major HJ, DSO], less one squadron, and plus one squadron of the 10th Light Horse Regiment, was placed under the orders of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade and held a line Khirbit el Fokan, [J21], through point J.15d.8.2., and along the ridge of high ground running north to J9d88. A force of the enemy advanced to within 800 yards of this position and remained hidden in dead ground and high grass all day. At dawn the following morning, 3rd May 1918, the enemy advanced to the attack. During the night he had crept up close in the long grass. The attack was launched against the whole front of the 8th Light Horse Regiment. “A” Squadron of the 5th Light Horse Regiment rendered valuable assistance with cross fire from the right. The enemy attacking the right squadron were driven lack into the dead ground. The firing died away about 0630 and Walker, Major, who was in charge of the left squadron of the 8th Light Horse Regiment reported that the enemy were then lying in dead ground within 30 yards of his position. Two machine guns were placed in such a position that they enfiladed the ground in front of the squadron, and it was owing to this that the enemy could not retire, they having passed inside the zone of fire during the darkness. A troop was then sent round their flank. When this troop appeared at the enemy's rear; the whole of them surrendered - 319 in all, including several Germans and a battalion Commander. A further enemy force was then observed advancing about the same route as that taken by the first and halted in the dead ground above mentioned. They were still in this position when we withdrew at dusk under orders for the general retirement. During the action two guns of the Hong Kong and Singapore Battery rendered valuable assistance.
On the morning 3rd May 1918, the Turks made a determined attack on two of our posts on the Kefr Huda ridge. The post near Kefr Huda was attacked by fifty or sixty Turkish infantry well supplied with grenades. Our post consisted of Masson, Lieutenant GG, one sergeant one corporal and twelve other ranks. The Turks got to within 15 yards of the post before the post retired. By that time Masson, Lieutenant GG, had been wounded, his corporal and one other killed, and five wounded, including his sergeant, and the Hotchkiss rifle destroyed by bombs. The survivors of the post retired to an adjoining post. The Turks then endeavoured to advance along the ridge, but were held up. Shortly afterwards, from 200 to 300 Turkish infantry were seen in the captured position. The question of counter attacking to recover the lost post was considered, but was postponed until a decision had been arrived at as to whether the general outpost line should not be shortened, and thereby strengthened. A fresh column of 3,000 enemy infantry had now arrived from the west of Kefr Huda and further bodies of Turkish troops could be seen moving west, along the Amman road. The extended outpost as then held had been quite safe for the first two days that it was in position. The tactical situation was, however, now altering owing to the large enemy reinforcements which had arrived and were further likely to arrive. The Brigade had no troops in hand to support the front line if a break occurred. I accordingly recommended to the Divisional Commander that our front line fall back on to the line held by the infantry when they occupied Es Salt in March last. This would shorten the Brigade line by half and bring our line back 2,000 yards south of Kefr Huda. Kefr Huda did not appear to me of any special tactical importance. The enemy could not bring wheeled artillery into that locality. As an observation post it was of no use to observe the Shunet Nimrin road. The Divisional Commander approved of my suggestion and orders were issued by me for the necessary withdrawal. Before same, however, could be effected, orders were re issued for the retirement of the whole of the force at Es Salt.
The infantry that had attacked the Shunet Nimrin position from the valley had not made much headway and the Turks refused to attempt to evacuate their strong position. The force sent down the Shunet Nimrin road from Es Salt by the 5th Mounted Brigade did not put any appreciable pressure on the rear of the enemy infantry position. The enemy infantry at Shunet Nimrin refused to surrender or run. On the other hand, the enemy forces around Es Salt were becoming hourly stronger. There was only one mountain track, [No. 13] still open for the retirement of several mounted Brigades. The track itself was threatened. If the enemy could push the 4th Light Horse Brigade another mile down the valley, or push the 1st Light Horse Brigade off the ridge, covering that track on the north - west, that means of return to the valley would be closed. It would have been remained for the mounted forces in the hills to reopen one of these tracks by force, or to march south east of Shunet Nimrin position and gain the Jordan Valley, just north of the Dead Sea.

 

1919

Friday, May 2, 1919
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Zagazig
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Tod, Lieutenant PA; and, Lawrence, Lieutenant R, with party returned from escorting Turkish prisoners of war to Alexandria.
They brought back the original banner of the Regiment which from the time the Regiment embarked for Gallipoli until now has been under the care of Mrs Cornish. [Waterworks Alexandria]

 


Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 1 May

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 3 May

 

Sources:

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

 

Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF

Bert Schramm Diary

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 2 May

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 23 July 2010 11:30 AM EADT
Thursday, 1 May 2008
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 1 May
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 1 May

Pro Gloria et Honore - For Glory and Honour

Regimental March -  Marching Through Georgia

 

 

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

 

The Diary

 

1914

Friday, May 1, 1914

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

 

1915

Saturday, May 1, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Heliopolis Camp, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary -  No Entry.

Carew Reynell Diary - No Entry.

 

1916

Monday, May 1, 1916

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Serapeum, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Owing to weather becoming extremely hot, the routine changed as under -

Reveille 0500
Morning Tea 0510
Stables 0530 - 0615
Dismounted Parade 0630 - 0730
Breakfast 0800
Mounted Parade 0900 - 1015
Watering horses and unloading camels 1030
Stables 1130
Dinner 1230
Stables 1600
Tea 1715
Retreat and Guard Mounting 1800

A series of lectures also to be given during afternoons.

 

1917

Tuesday, May 1, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - El Khudri
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Saddled up at 0200 and at 0300 RHQ and “A” Squadron moved to Gamli to command post being established on east bank of wadi.
By 0400 B and “C” Squadron were in position in forward line of trenches - “A” Squadron remaining in reserve in the wadi.
At 0415 an officer patrol left for Khirbit el Far and one Sergeant and 8 Other Ranks for Sharaq.
At 0530 the patrol reported all clear and at 0600 RHQ and “A” Squadron returned to El Khudri. Digging was continued by the three Squadrons at 0800.
At 1730 “A” Squadron took over outpost line and “C” Squadron returned to camp.
Carey, 1098 Corporal LH, drowned.
 

1918

Wednesday, May 1, 1918
Es Salt Raid.
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Es Salt.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0400 Stood to arms 0400 when verbal orders were received from 3rd Light Horse Brigade Headquarters to move immediately and occupy high ground to the north and north west of Es Salt and to gain touch with the 8th Light Horse Regiment. On our right who were holding a position astride the Es Salt - Amman Road.
0415 The Regiment with Hardy, Lieutenant; and, subsection of machine guns attached moved through Es Salt and occupied tactical features in Sqs 127J 19 d and b, J 13 b.5.2 J 13 a 2.9 H 12 a and d H 11 c by 0800 without opposition. Sharp, Lieutenant RC, with small patrol from “A” Squadron captured one Turkish Officer one Sergeant and one Corporal.
Regimental Headquarters was established near a large cave in J 19 a.9.2. One prisoner was taken here who was being roughly handled by the natives. The natives around Es Salt were of a very different type to those we had been used to. They were mostly armed with modern rifles of both English and Turkish pattern and were in the habit of firing suddenly into the air as a means of showing their pleasure. This was rather puzzling to us at the commencement of our occupation and at times we were inclined to look upon their actions as hostile. The country here was fairly thickly populated although very few native houses were to be seen actually outside Es Salt which was a well built town mostly stone buildings situated at the head of a valley. Nature of the country here very hilly and stony but well grassed and with good crops and vineyards everywhere. Several good wells were located in vicinity of 9th Light Horse Regiment Sector which supplied all needs during our term of occupation.
0800 Small parties of enemy were observed on ridges from 2,000 to 3,000 yards in advance of our line but no shots exchanged.
0900 Information received from natives that 20 Turks with 50 Camels and 40 Pack Mules and a dump of ammunition were hidden in vineyard two miles to the north. Smith, Lieutenant PT, with his troop was sent to reconnoitre with a view to our making an attempt to capture. He reported back to Regimental Headquarters at 1130 reporting that he had located the position and that it could be captured with two troops.
1145 Information was received that this party of enemy together with all pack animals had moved north.
1120 A patrol of ten Turkish cavalry approached under cover of thick mist to within 500 yards and between two posts of “A” Squadron east of Kefr Huda. “A” Squadron posts opened fire killing one horse, wounding one man and one horse. The patrol including the wounded man escaped being greatly assisted by the heavy mist which prevailed. Situation remained quiet during the day. Many natives together with their stock were sent back from our position on Es Salt.
2000 The following outpost line was taken up and held during the night. Night sector Sq 127 J19d.8.6 to J13b. Left sector “C” Squadron Sq J13b central to H 17d “A” Squadron in reserve in Sq J19a.9.9. Subsection of machine guns were mounted 500 yards south west Regimental Headquarters and with night lines set on roads in Sq 127 J13d and J13a. “B” Squadron was in touch with 8th Light Horse Regiment on right but “C” Squadron was unable to gain touch with 10th Light Horse Regiment on left. All roads leading into B and “C” Squadron sectors were picquetted with mounted patrols. At midnight a thick mist came up and continued for remainder of night and early morning. The atmosphere became bitterly cold and after the heat of the Plain of Jericho all ranks felt the sudden change severely. Objects were only visible at three to four yards in advance consequently sentries had to be particularly active. No enemy movement was observed during the night. McDonald, Lieutenant JM, joined from Cavalry School.

3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary - The following day when the 2nd Light Horse Brigade arrived, the enemy were attacked by the 5th Light Horse Regiment and our two squadrons. The enemy retired and point 2000 was occupied by our forces. No further matters of interest developed until the afternoon of the next day, 1st May 1918, when information was received that the 4th Light Horse Brigade had been forced to withdraw about six miles from their position, north of the Wadi Es Sidr, to a line near to Wadi El Abyad, and that several columns of enemy had been observed entering the foothills by the Jisr ed Damieh - Es Salt track. Earlier in the day the Division had ordered me to support the 2nd Light Horse Brigade at point 2900. At the time that news of the Turkish advance from Jisr ed Damieh was received, the 8th Light Horse Regiment and four machine guns were moving to the point 2900 to support the 2nd Light Horse Brigade and the two squadrons of the 10th Light Horse Regiment and four machine guns there were moving back to Brigade Headquarters. Two troops of “C” Squadron of the 10th Light Horse Regiment were on escort and guard duly in Es Salt. I had thus only two troops of the 10th Light Horse Regiment available to despatch westwards to occupy a position on the Jisr ed Damieh track and to hold up the advance of the Turks from that direction these two troops were at once despatched. Shortly afterwards instructions were issued by Division that the 2nd Light Horse Brigade and the 8th Light Horse Regiment should retire from point 2900, the 8th Light Horse Regiment to rejoin this Brigade and one squadron to remain on the Amman road, four miles from Es Salt. One Squadrons of the 10th Light Horse Regiment under Hamlin, Major HB, was there.
At 2100 the first of the two squadrons sent to point 2900, rejoined the Brigade. It was immediately sent out to reinforce the two troops on the Jisr ed Damieh track. About 0200 on the 2nd May 1918 the 8th Light Horse Regiment, returned to Brigade Headquarters.

 

1919

Thursday, May 1, 1919
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Zagazig
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Usual camp routine. Driscoll, Lieutenant LS, evacuated to hospital.

 


Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 30 April

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 2 May

 

Sources:

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

 

Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF

Bert Schramm Diary

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 1 May

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 23 July 2010 11:31 AM EADT
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 30 April
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 30 April

Pro Gloria et Honore - For Glory and Honour

Regimental March -  Marching Through Georgia

 

 

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

 

The Diary

 

1914

Thursday, April 30, 1914

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

 

1915

Friday, April 30, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Heliopolis Camp, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary -  No entry.

Carew Reynell Diary - No entry.

 

1916

Sunday, April 30, 1916

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Serapeum, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - No entry.

 

1917

Monday, April 30, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - El Khudri
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Digging continues on redoubts 1, 2, and 2d. Also on a forward line about one mile east of wadi.
“C” Squadron took over night outpost from “B” Squadron at 1800. “B” Squadron remaining in wadi south of El Gamli.
Order received from 5th Mounted Brigade reference dispositions to be taken up toward expected enemy attack. The Regiment to be responsible for the line Goz Mabruk to Khirbit el Far and to occupy the forward line of redoubt with two Squadrons at 0400. The third Squadron and Regimental Headquarters to be in the wadi near El Gamli.
Enemy aeroplane flew along position very low.
Two days mobile pack rations dumped at 5th Mounted Brigade Headquarters thus giving the Regiment 26 more men and horses for fighting strength.
The usual patrols and outposts were supplied during month.
 

1918

Tuesday, April 30
Es Salt Raid, April 30 - May 3, 1918
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - El Ghoraniyeh Bridge.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Regiment arrived at Square O2 and O3 and arriving at 0230. “C” Squadron supplied two troops as right flank guard. Horses were fed at area of concentration Square O2 and O3. and at 0315 the Regiment preceded by the 4th Light Horse Brigade and 3rd Light Horse Brigade headquarters moved in a northerly direction in a column of sections along the valley of the Jordan through difficult scrubby country mostly at the trot.
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Advancing up Jordan Valley
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - At dawn 0445 the column cam under shrapnel fire. The flat country between the foothills and the west of the Jordan River now presented a stirring sight with the 4th Light Horse Brigade in the lead closely followed by the 3rd Light Horse Brigade and numerous guns and weapons, the whole trotting steadily forward to their objective. Several small enemy posts were galloped by the leading Brigade.
At 0800 the 3rd Light horse Brigade Headquarters and 9th Light Horse Regiment reached the Es Salt - Jisr ed Damieh Road in Square 127 A5b. Orders were now received for the 9th Light Horse Regiment to rush forward along this road to Es Salt. “A” Squadron was sent forward to piquet the first sector of heights and the Regiment followed in the following order - 9th Light Horse Regimental Headquarters, “B” Squadron and “C” Squadron. From Square 127 H18d, “B” Squadron continued to piquet the heights. The road of advance was merely a rough mountainous rocky goat track necessitating the Regiment to advance in single files and even then oft times with great difficulty. 1030, No opposition was met until “B” Squadron captured and enemy post of three [shooting one] in Square 127 H27 central whilst another enemy post was observed in position astride the Es Salt Road 800 yards in advance. On “C” Squadron coming around towards enemy right flank the post retired and the Regiment continued its advance along the road.
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Jisr ed Damieh - Es Salt Road
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - At 1200 the Regiment came into contact with a strong Turkish position in Square 127 H30a. The Regiment dismounted and took up a semicircular position astride the road Square 127 H29c. An enemy cavalry patrol was observed 1,200 yards south east. A patrol from “B” Squadron was dispatched to deal with this. The enemy patrol, when fired on, abandoned their horses and occupied a commanding position which gave them enfilade fire onto the position held by “B” Squadron.
At 1430, Dunkley, Major CG; and, his Squadron from the 10th Light Horse Regiment and two troops of “C” Squadron, 9th Light Horse Regiment moved to our right flank and drove the enemy off the position and occupied it. “B” Squadron continued to hold the ridge in Square 127 H29c. One subsection of 3rd Machine Gun Squadron was attached to “B” Squadron and two more guns were brought into action on the left flank of “B” Squadron. “B” Squadron and 3rd Machine Gun Squadron section at about 600 yards range brought a heavy fire to bear onto the enemy position. At about 1500, two guns of the Hong Kong and Singapore Battery came up and opened fire.
At 1600 orders received that all available men of the 9th Light Horse Regiment would assist two Squadrons of the 10th Light horse Regiment in a dismounted attack at 1730 on enemy main position 600 yards in advance of “B” Squadron.
At 1715 the attacking troops formed up in the rear of “B” Squadron line in three lines, 10th Light Horse Regiment on the right and 9th Light Horse Regiment [numbering four Officers and 72 Other Ranks] formed up on the left flank of each line. 1730 heavy covering fire from all machine guns, Hong Kong and Singapore Battery, “B” Squadron and position of A and “C” Squadron under Bleechmore, Major C, was brought to bear onto enemy position and attack was down a steep rocky slope and up a similar slope. Conformation of the ground thus presenting an unusually favourable opportunity for covering fire allowing our men to get within 15 to 20 yards of the enemy line before it ceased. Our men advanced with great deliberation and confidence carrying out the final charge with great dash and enthusiasm. The left flank of the enemy position was occupied by the 10th Light Horse Regiment and shortly afterwards the enemy right flank was occupied by the 9th Light Horse Regiment. As soon as the attack was observed to succeed, the 8th Light Horse Regiment who were waiting in readiness on the road in the rear of “B” Squadron position moved forward and captured Es Salt taking about 200 prisoners and much war material.
At 1945 the 9th Light Horse Regiment collected on the road near “B” Squadron and moved to a position 800 yards west of Es Salt and bivouacked for the remainder of the night putting out 2 troops as local protection for the 3rd Light Horse Brigade.
The Regiment's casualties for the day were as follows:
Killed -
Farmer, Lieutenant MO; and,
Fleming, 1216 Signaller NM.
Wounded -
Kildea, Lieutenant FJ;
Gandy, 856 Sergeant H;
Hankin, 1483 Trooper WW;
Dickson, 1356 Trooper S; and,
Concussion - Brooksby, 3167 Trooper HL.
Enemy prisoners taken -
two Officers and eleven Other Ranks.
3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary - In accordance with this plan, on the night of 29th April and infantry force of about 4,000 to 5,000 moved over the Jordan River by the El Ghoraniyeh Bridge and attacked the Shunet Nimrin position.
The role of the Desert Mounted Corps was to envelope the right of the enemy's main force about Shunet Nimrin, capture Es Salt and advance line to Kusr [142 T 9u] point 2900 [142 O35.
The role of the Australian Mounted Division was to advance rapidly northwards east of the Jordan, place one Brigade facing north - west at the junction of the Umm es Shert - Jisr ed Damieh and the Es Salt - Jisr ed Damieh tracks, and block any enemy reinforcements from moving from west to east of Jordan River by the Jisr ed Damieh ford and the remainder of the Division move on Es Salt from the west and north west. When Es Salt was captured dispositions to be made to protect it from the north. One Brigade to move on point 2000 on the Es Salt - Amman road, 142 O35 and a detachment to move towards Shunet Nimrin. To the 4th Light Horse Brigade was given the duty of getting astride the Jisr ed Damieh tracks. To the 3rd Light Horse Brigade was given the duty of moving in close support of the 4th Light Horse Brigade until that Brigade had gained its above mentioned objective, and then to seize the entrance to the hills on the Es Salt - Jisr ed Damieh track, and then to move on Es Salt as rapidly as possible. The 5th Mounted Brigade was to move to Es Salt via the track No. 13 which left the valley near Umm es Shert. The 4th Light Horse Brigade left it's bivouac near Tel es Sultan at 2130 on the night of 29th April near the point of concentration on the east side of the Jordan about three miles north of El Ghoraniyeh bridge.
As part of the route to be taken by the Brigade, was reported as being unfit for wheels, no wheels of any sort accompanied this formation. .Extra pack horses were made available for ammunition and signalling equipment. Each man carried 230 rounds of ammunition, for each Hotchkiss rifle there was 3,100 and for each Vickers maxim there was 5,000 rounds. In lieu of the Notts Battery which was detached to the 4th Light Horse Brigade, the Hong Kong and Singapore Battery, six 12 pounders carried on camels was attached to this Brigade. Their camel ammunition column accompanied them - about 360 camels with battery in column. In lieu of the ordinary ambulance wheeled transport, 29 camel cacholets accompanied the Brigade. The Brigade duly arrived at the point of concentration at about 0145 on 30th April, where it halted for 1½ hours. Whilst there, word was received from the General Officer in Command, 4th Light Horse Brigade that he would move on 0315. This he did. His Brigade moved in line of troop column at extended intervals and distances, northwards up the valley at the trot. As the 3rd Light Horse Brigade had no opposition to expect unless the 4th Light Horse Brigade was held up it moved in column of sections with distances between columns. I considered this the safest formation, as all fire to be expected would come from the flank, and it would be particularly hard for the enemy to estimate the range in the bad light. This Brigade followed the 4th Light Horse Brigade at the trot. Certain parts of the track had to be followed at the walk, owing to the broken state of the ground but where practicable the pace was at the trot. About 1½ miles south of Red Hill the enemy opened on the Brigade with artillery, and shortly afterwards they also opened with machine guns, whose range, however, was extreme, and their fire did no harm. The fire of the artillery and machine guns continued until the Brigade arrived at the point where the Jisr ed Damieh - Es Salt track cuts the northern track from El Ghoraniyeh. It was estimated that the enemy employed eight guns firing both high explosive and shrapnel. This Brigade had no casualties on its march up the valley.
The Brigade arrived at the Jisr ed Damieh - Es Salt track at 0630, where it was formed up. The 9th Light Horse Regiment was derailed as advanced guard, with instructions to piquet the heights as the Brigade moved up the track towards Es Salt. This track proved to be an indifferent mountain track, impassable to wheeled traffic of any sort, but passable, with difficulty in most places, to horses, packs and camels in single file. For the whole way the track was dominated by hills on either side and a few determined riflemen or machine guns could hold up a column until action was taken to outflank the holding up force. The Brigade took the right hand track which branches off to the right at 127 B12 central. No enemy was observed until the advance guard arrived at the steep ascent about B.19. Here, a scout noticed a saddlery horse near the track, creeping up towards the horse he came on a post of three men and observed a troop of 15 cavalry some 300 yards further on. The three man post was evidently the advanced post of the cavalry troop. Two of our scouts got to within 25 yards before they were observed. Finally one of the Turks was killed and the other was captured. Our scouts then fired on the Cavalry troop, six of these Turks then abandoned their horses and escaped on foot, the remainder escaped on their horses. Two miles from Es Salt the enemy were found in occupation of a sangared position astride the road. We were now on the edge of the Jebel Jelaad [Gilead]. We had climbed over 2,000 feet in the ten miles from Jisr ed Damieh. The valley is over 1,000 feet below sea level, this range and plateau is over 3,000 feet above it. His position consisted of a high ridge about 1,000 yards long. On his right and slightly to his front there was a detached ridge about 1,200 yards away, this ridge was held by him. On his left flank there was another detached hill 1,400 yards distant; this was also occupied by him. The enemy held these positions with rifles and machine guns. Troops opened fire with rifles against these three positions, supported by machine guns, without apparent effect. I decided to make a frontal attack on his position, first clearing up his two flank positions. Time was getting on, the camel guns were particularly slow in movement, any flanking movement would have had to be dismounted - horses could not be taken off the track - such dismounted flanking movements are necessarily slow - darkness would have been on us before anything definite had been accomplished. The country was unknown; time was of the greatest importance.
I intercepted a wireless from Desert Mounted Corps to Australian Mounted Division that Es Salt must be taken that evening.
I sent “A” Squadron of the 9th Light Horse Regiment dismounted, against his right flank position. The enemy were cleared out and the position occupied by us. Enfilade fire was now brought on to his main position from this point. One Gun of the Hong Kong and Singapore Battery then opened on his left flank position, Under cover of its fire and our machine guns, “A” Squadron of the 10th Light Horse Regiment with two troops of the 9th Light Horse Regiment took possession of his left flank position. Under cover of three guns of Hong Kong and Singapore Battery and twelve machine guns, a dismounted attack on his main position was organised. It was impossible to move against it mounted - as his position was on a steep rocky hill with terraced sides. Before the attack was made I had the 8th Light Horse Regiment standing to their horses with instructions that the moment the 9th and 10th Light Horse Regiments got into the enemy's position, the 8th Light Horse Regiment would, mounted, push along the track, collect any fugitives they could find, press on to Es Salt and hold the roads from Es Salt to Shunet Nimrin and from Es Salt to Amman, where these two roads meet about half a mile south - east of Es Salt. The attacking troops, two squadrons of the 10th Light Horse Regiment on the right and five troops of the 9th Light Horse Regiment on the left, formed up in three lines on the ridge about six hundred yards in front of the enemy's position. Five minutes heavy fire from the three available guns and twelve machine guns were opened at the enemy. At the end of that time I gave the signal to advance. The guns and machine gun opened up rapid fire, the stormers [under Timperley, Major LC, 10th Light Horse Regiment] sprang forward down the steep rocky slopes and up a similar slope towards the enemy, the conformation of the ground thus presenting an unusually favourable opportunity for covering fire, allowing the men to get within fifteen to twenty yards before it ceased. Many of the enemy bolted to the rear as the assaulting troops neared them, but a good number, amongst whom were German Officers and men, fought till the last and were bayoneted on the spot. The attack with the bayonet was successful - 28 prisoners being taken, a number of whom were Germans. As the assault troops arrived on the crest of the enemy position, I ordered the 8th Light Horse Regiment to advance. This they did at the gallop. I may state from this point on to Es Salt the track was much better as we were now on the plateau. The ridge behind the Turkish position was occupied and from this the enemy opened a brisk rifle fire. This the 8th Light Horse Regiment ignored. A little further on, a party of 50 or 60 Turks in sangars were met. A troop was at once despatched to get behind them and the enemy fled.
The Regiment then galloped on to Es Salt. Es Salt was entered at 1830.
A German Staff Officer, [afterwards captured], who spoke English was endeavouring to organise resistance in the streets. This Staff Officer afterwards explained that 50 men were sent out from Es Salt early in the afternoon to reinforce the Turkish position, but they failed to arrive. He, the Staff Officer, then took out “A” Squadron which arrived just as our attack was being made. This squadron refused to stop. Subsequently he tried to rally them in the streets of Es Salt, but our advanced regiment rode them down, passed through the town and occupied the junction of the Es Salt, Shunet Nimrin and Amman roads. I would here place on record the very excellent work done by Foulkes-Taylor, Second Lieutenant C, 10th Light Horse Regiment, attached 8th Light Horse Regiment. This Officer was in charge of the advanced troop of the 8th Light Horse Regiment on entering Es Salt. This Officer raced up to the German Staff Officer, above mentioned, who was then trying to rally his men, demanded his surrender, and told him to stop his men. The German Officer surrendered.
Foulkes-Taylor, Second Lieutenant C, look his Mauser pistol, he had previously used 14 rounds from his own automatic, emptied two clips of the German's pistol into the retreating enemy and then smashed the pistol over the head of another. Foulkes-Taylor, Second Lieutenant C, and his troop were using their bayonets as swords. One sergeant got two on the point, [sword in line]. The general opinion was that they wore not good for melee fighting - too blunt. They used them for striking. Swords would have been invaluable here.
The men with revolvers - Hotchkiss gunners were using them freely. The streets and roads were full or mounted and dismounted enemy, 300 cavalry and 200 infantry, the latter escaping on motor lorries and limbers. A large motor lorry full of enemy was escaping along the Amman road, firing as they went. Foulkes-Taylor, Second Lieutenant C; and, his troop raced after this lorry and stopped it. Two limbers were also seen escaping along the road, one of the drivers was shot and the two teams forced off the road, rolling down a 20 or 30 foot bank. Foulkes-Taylor, Second Lieutenant C, then pursued the retreating' enemy a distance of two miles along the Amman road, collecting prisoners as he went. He could go no further than this as the enemy put up an organised resistance with machine guns, and Foulkes-Taylor, Second Lieutenant C, had only five men left. It was not possible for more of the Regiment to have been up in time to assist Foulkes-Taylor, Second Lieutenant C, as it was only practicable to pass through the town in single file. This rapid pursuit was the means of capturing a further 200 prisoners. The 8th Light Horse Regiment for the night took up a position covering the junction of the Shunet Nimrin and Amman roads. The 9th Light Horse Regiment was detailed to provide the outpost line protecting Es Salt from the north east to the north west.
The original divisional instructions were that when two Brigades reached Es Salt the senior Officer would send one Regiment along the Amman road to point 2900, about seven miles, to cover the track which leads from the south and cuts the Es Salt - Amman Road near that point. The 5th Mounted Brigade had not yet arrived, but I considered it important that the above point should be secured as early as possible, as that is a track that fugitives, [if any], from Shunet Nimrin would take.
Accordingly as soon as it was moonlight - about 2200 - two squadrons of the 10th Light Horse Regiment and four machine guns under Olden, Major ACN, were ordered to proceed to point 2000, [O.30], to block the track from Ain Es Sir where it joins the Es Salt - Amman road at that point. These two squadrons were held up 2,000 yards short of their objective by a Turkish force. Enemy infantry and. cavalry were observed in position; local inhabitants stated that Djemal Pasha was in Suweileh with a body guard of 300 Circassian cavalry, and some infantry. Our two squadrons were far too few in number to attack the enemy's positions, so remained in position, exchanging rifle and machine gun fire with the enemy and patrolling to the flanks. This detachment kept touch for some time with Brigade Headquarters at Es Salt by telephone, per wire laid by our signallers and by the Turkish wire but both these means were cut by some unauthorised person.

 

1919

Wednesday, April 30, 1919
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Zagazig
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0630 two Officers 50 Other Ranks “B” Squadron ten Other Ranks Headquarters proceeded by train to Tel el Kebir where a large party of Turkish prisoners of was for repatriation were taken over and escorted to Alexandria and handed over to the ship's escort there.
One officer and 72 Other Ranks evacuated to hospital during the month, 18 Venereal Disease Cases and the remainder mostly with recurrent malaria.
Owing to the disturbances amongst the civil population demobilisation of the AIF in Egypt was now at a standstill. The conditions of affairs was fully realised and all ranks carried on cheerfully. Discipline of the Regiment during the month was good.

 


Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 29 April

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 1 May

 

Sources:

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

 

Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF

Bert Schramm Diary

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 30 April

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 23 July 2010 11:31 AM EADT

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