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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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Tuesday, 6 May 2008
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 6 May
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 6 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

Wednesday, May 6, 1914

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

 

1915

Thursday, May 6, 1915

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

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary -  No Entry.

Carew Reynell Diary - No Entry.

 

1916

Saturday, May 6, 1916
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Roadhead, Serapeum.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - No entry.

 

1917

Sunday, May 6, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Khan Yunis
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Church Parade at 1000.
At 1415 the Regiment moved out from Khan Yunis bivouac for an attack on El Buggar at 0400 on 7th May 1917 as part of the Brigade.
Brigade reached Bir el Esani at 2300 and rested for one hour, moving off at 2400.
 

1918

Monday, May 6, 1918
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Auja Bridgehead defences
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Stood to arms at 0345.
A patrol, one troop in strength, moved out at 0400 with orders to patrol to the east to as near the foothills as possible. This patrol moved out about two miles when they were held up by enemy fire. A line of observation posts was put out and the patrol returned to led horses at dark 1900.
1800 Two patrols moved out and remained in position all night.
2200 Information received that the enemy had attacked the 5th Mounted Brigade west of the Jordan River. Regiment stood to arms until 0100 when information was received that situation had cleared.

 

1919

Tuesday, May 6, 1919
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Zagazig
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Daily routine.

 


Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 5 May

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 7 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, 6 May

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 23 July 2010 11:19 AM EADT
Monday, 5 May 2008
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 5 May
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 5 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

Tuesday, May 5, 1914

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

 

1915

Wednesday, May 5, 1915

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

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary -  No Entry.

Carew Reynell Diary - No Entry.

 

1916

Friday, May 5, 1916
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Roadhead, Serapeum.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Until further notice the Regiment to stand to arms daily at 0345 until daylight. All ranks to "saddle up" and stand to their horses but not lead off the lines.

 

1917

Saturday, May 5, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Khan Yunis
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - The Regiment left bivouac at 0700 and proceeded to the beach for the day returning at 1800.
 

1918

Sunday, May 5, 1918
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - 1½ miles north west of Jericho
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 1300 Order received form Brigade to turn out mounted and reinforce New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade at Auja Bridgehead at once.
The Regiment moved off independently at 1345 leaving the camp standing. Proceeded mostly at the trot and arrived at Auja Bridgehead at 1445.
The New Zealanders reported that earlier in the day there had been much enemy movement along the foothills but the situation was now quiet. Horses were now handed over and Charley, Major WT, left in charge.
1530, the Regiment dismounted leading all packs and crossed over newly erected pontoon bridge to east side of the Jordan River and commenced taking over sector from the Auckland Mounted Rifles. This Regiment held the line from the Jordan River - 113J18c.6.5 - J18d.8.3 - 127O13a.8.8 to 127O13b.1.9. “A” Squadron held the right sector, “B” Squadron the left with the 10th Light Horse Regiment holding the left. “C” Squadron was in reserve with Regimental Headquarters at 127O13a.3.5.
1900 All except three men per troop were brought up from led horses and reinforced their respective Squadrons. Two reconnoitring detachments moved out mounted strength of each one Officer and three Other Ranks with orders to reconnoitre ½ mile in advance of Regiment's sector. Several parties busy during night bringing up ammunition and bombs from river up to the front line. Men on the posts worked all night consolidating their positions.

 

1919

Monday, May 5, 1919

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Zagazig

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Scott, Lieutenant Colonel WH, CMG DSO; and, Darley, Major TH, motored to Cairo. Commanding Officer was on Historical Records Duty.

A troop of “A” Squadron proceeded to Belbeis Station and relieved Nankervis, Lieutenant LF, who with troop reported to “B” Squadron, Zagazig.

Amended orders regarding Road and River control issued today.

 


Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 4 May

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 6 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, 5 May

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 23 July 2010 11:20 AM EADT
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

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