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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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Saturday, 27 September 2008
Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 27 September 1918
Topic: Diary - Schramm

Diaries of AIF Servicemen

Bert Schramm

27 September 1918

 

Bert Schramm

 

2823 Private Herbert Leslie SCHRAMM, a 22 year old Farmer from Whites River, South Australia. He enlisted on 17 February 1916; and at the conclusion of the war Returned to Australia, 10 July 1919.

During part of the course of his military service with the AIF, Bert Schramm kept a diary of his life. Bert was not a man of letters so this diary was produced with great effort on his behalf. Bert made a promise to his sweetheart, Lucy Solley, that he would do so after he received the blank pocket notebook wherein these entries are found. As a Brigade Scout since September 1918, he took a lead part in the September Offensive by the Allied forces in Palestine. Bert's diary entries are placed alongside those of the 9th Light Horse Regiment to which he belonged and to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade to which the 9th LHR was attached. On this basis we can follow Bert in the context of his formation.

 

The Diaries

The complete diary is now available on the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre Site at:

Bert Schramm Diary


Finding more about a service person. See:

Navigating the National Archives Service File 

 

 

Bert Schramm's Handwritten Diary, 23 - 27 September 1918

[Click on page for a larger print version.]

 

Bert Schramm

Friday, September 27, 1918

Bert Schramm's Location - El Mejdel; Jisr Benat Yakub

Bert Schramm's Diary - Left Tiberias at 7.30 this morning and struck some pretty sharp fighting along the banks of the Jordan. Enemy defended the bridge head stubbornly but we secured a crossing at 8 pm and we are now on the eastern bank astride of the Damascus road.

 

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - El Mejdel; Jisr Benat Yakub

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0745 Moved from El Mejdel arriving Rosh Pina at 1130 where Brigade halted and 9th Light Horse Regiment pushed forward with orders to force the Jordan.

1215 joined A Squadron who were in position about 123B4. Early in the morning this Squadron had received orders from 3rd Light Horse Brigade to push forward and reconnoitre for fords across Jordan. This was accomplished. Bleechmore, Major C, subsequently reporting that the enemy were holding an entrenched position on eastern banks commanding the river from where it flowed out of the Lake Huleh to just south of the bridge. Strength of enemy estimated at 1,000 with one or two small guns. Strong patrols had been despatched by Bleechmore, Major C, north and south which has been destroyed and into Mishmar Hayarden. Hannaford, Lieutenant E, later reported a crossing not held by the enemy about two miles south of the bridge.

1230 The Regiment received orders not to become involved with the enemy as Division intended altering their plans. By this time a battery of our artillery opened fire on enemy positions personally indicated to forward observation officer by Bleechmore, Major C. This battery did some remarkably good shooting knocking the enemy gun out of action with the second shot.

1430 Orders received that a combined effort would be made to force the crossing. 5th Light Horse Brigade to force a crossing south of the bridge. 9th Light Horse Regiment to make a demonstration attack with right on bridge and left on clump of trees at ford in Sq 123 P19o. 10th Light Horse Regiment to rush forward mounted supported by covering fire from 8th and 9th Light Horse Regiments and 3rd Machine Gun Squadron.

1500, C Squadron advanced mounted to a favourable position than dismounted with right on left of village near bridge and left on white house near ford. A Squadron followed C Squadron subsequently taking up a position n the left of C Squadron.

1530 A and C Squadrons were in position overlooking the River Jordan ready to support the 10th Light Horse Regiment in their crossing the ford.

1600 5th Light Horse Brigade observed crossing unopposed at El Min. The ford in front of 3rd Light Horse Brigade Sector was still strongly held by the enemy.

1730 The 10th Light Horse Regiment crossed the ford followed by the 8th Light Horse Regiment.

1915 A Squadron was withdrawn to Brigade Headquarters in Sq 123 O35c and rationed. The regiment together with 3rd Machine Gun Squadron concentrated at Regimental Headquarters then moved by main road to Mishmar Hayarden thence followed up western bank of river and crossed at the ford Jisr Benat Yakub and joined Brigade Headquarters about 2045. Our casualties for the day: Wounded: Wastell, Lieutenant MF; and, four Other Ranks.

After crossing the ford a halt was made for ½ an hour. B and C Squadrons furnishing the advanced and flank guards Brigade Headquarters followed by remainder of Regiment moved in easterly direction across country with the intention of surrounding Deir es Sarass before dawn. The going here was particularly bad country being very stony, hilly and trackless. Horses were led up steep rocky hills for a distance of about 1½ miles until a table land was reached where moving became much better.

 

3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary

Shortly after midnight orders were received that Division would move at 0600 with the object of relieving Damascus on the 29th September 1918. At 0730, 3rd Light Horse Brigade moved off, following 5th Light Horse Brigade as far as Rosh Pina, after which the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, with 9th Light Horse Regiment - Regiment and six machine guns as advance guard, took the lead. It had been reported that the Jordan River bridge at Jisr Benat Yakub had been blown up. Orders had therefore been given for the squadron 9th Light Horse Regiment at Rosa Pina to push forward at dawn and reconnoitre the fords as far as Lake Huleh. The 3rd Field Troop were pushed on ahead to collect material and repair the bridges. Our orders were to reach the high ground overlooking Kuneitra before dark. At 0030 while on the march a message was received from advanced squadron, 9th Light Horse Regiment that the enemy were holding Jisr Benat Yakub and the Jordan River crossings with machine guns and at least one field gun and were entrenching. Aeroplane reconnaissance confirmed this - the total enemy force facing was estimated at 600 - 800. The Division halted at Rosh Pina, the balance of the 9th Light Horse Regiment with Notts Battery, Royal Horse Artillery being sent on to clear up the situation. It soon became apparent that the enemy were determined to vigorously dispute the crossing of the river. Hannaford, Lieutenant E, reported a crossing not held by the enemy about two miles south of the bridge, at El Min. The enemy no doubt recognised that every hour he could hold the Division it was of vital importance. His 4th Army was now in full retreat from Deraa towards Damascus. He no doubt hoped that if those 20,000 fugitive's could get a little rest at Damascus, he could organise a defence of that place against our purely cavalry force. It was imperative that they should not get that rest and chance to reorganise. The Divisional Commander therefore decided on an immediate general attack. The 5th Light Horse Brigade were to cross the river to the south of Jisr Benat Yakub bridge at El Min and work round the enemy's flank while the 3rd Light Horse Brigade were to engage the enemy in front, and if possible gain round his right flank by crossing immediately south of Lake Huleh. The 9th Light Horse Regiment moved and engaged the enemy between the lake and the bridge, pinning him to his ground and forcing him to disclose his dispositions and strength. The Notts Battery early in the fight silenced the enemy guns, obtaining a direct hit upon one of them, and effectively kept down the fire of enemy machine guns which had been located by the 9th Light Horse Regiment. The 3rd Machine Gun Squadron took up positions along the western bank from which effective covering fire could be given to troops crossing the river. Vigorous reconnaissances under heavy rifle and machine gun fire for a crossing of the river was carried out by the 10th Light Horse Regiment, and a ford was located half a mile south of the southern end of the lake. 8th Light Horse Regiment were sent to join the 9th Light Horse Regiment, the plan being for the 8th and 9th Light Horse Regiments 3rd Machine Gun Squadron and Notts Battery, Royal Horse Artillery to give covering fire while 10th Light Horse Regiment crossed. After this Regiment had established itself on the eastern bank, the remainder of the Brigade would cross. It was expected that the operation would be facilitated by the fact that the 5th Light Horse Brigade at 1630 were reported to be crossing the river at El Min without opposition and would therefore soon make themselves felt on the enemy's flank. It turned out, however, that the country to the east of the 5th Light Horse Brigade crossing place was so rough that they were unable to get on to the main road until after daylight next morning. Up to 1700 the enemy hung on to his positions with determination, at times developing considerable rifle and machine gun fire, causing us a few casualties. By 1730 all covering troops were in position and the 10th Light Horse Regiment moved forward to cross at the ford previously located under heavy covering fire from the remainder of the Brigade. The water was about 2'6" in depth. The 10th Light Horse Regiment were all across by 1915 and were followed at once by the 8th Light Horse Regiment. These two Regiments were directed to make for Deir es Sarass, the 10th Light Horse Regiment detaching B squadron to move south along the river to clear up any enemy still in position. This squadron encountered a party of enemy in the dark who opened fire at a few yards range causing casualties. Without hesitation the leading troop under Macnee, Lieutenant MH, flung themselves off their horses - it was too rough to charge mounted - and with fixed bayonets rushed the flashes. A sharp fight took place and for a time the enemy fought with great determination inflicting several casualties on us. The balance of the squadron soon supported the leading troop and the enemy surrendered. The post included twelve Germans, 41 Turks, one field gun and one machine gun, and one motor lorry. During these operations it was apparent that the enemy were extensively using motor lorries as a means of withdrawing the troops, comprising their rear guard on this sector. In the morning a large, number of these had been seen .moving down to the river positions. Similar tactics were two days later adopted by them at Sasa.
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 27 September

  

Darley

Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924.

No Entry

 

 

Previous:  Bert Schramm's Diary, 26 September 1918

Next:  Bert Schramm's Diary, 28 September 1918


Sources Used:

Bert Schramm's Diary

National Archives Service File.

Embarkation Roll, AWM8.

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour

Nominal Roll, AWM133, Nominal Roll of Australian Imperial Force who left Australia for service abroad, 1914-1918 War.

 

War Diaries and Letters

All War Diaries and letters cited on this site should be read in conjunction with the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy which may be accessed at:

Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy 

 

Further Reading:

Bert Schramm Diary

Bert Schramm Diary, Album

Bert Schramm's Photo Album

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, AIF

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, War Diary, Day by Day Account

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 27 September 1918


Posted by Project Leader at 1:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 6 June 2011 11:15 AM EADT
Colonel Husnu, Yildirim, Page 82
Topic: Tk - Bks - Yildirim

Another entry from the book written by Lieutenant Colonel Hüseyin Hüsnü Emir, called Yildirim. Every day, one page of the book will be posted. This is Page 82.



Colonel Hüsnü, Yildirim, Page 82.

[Click on page for a larger print version.]


Citation: Colonel Hüsnü, Yildirim, Page 82

Posted by Project Leader at 1:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 28 September 2008 9:08 PM EADT
Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook - Page 42
Topic: Wp - Hotchkiss PMG

The following weeks will see the various pages from the Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook, the official manual issued by the company for the use of troops in the field. The Hotchkiss Gun was introduced in the Light Horse formations during the early months of 1917. The introduction of this robust and portable gun gave the Light Horse Regiments additional mobile fire power which considereably added to their ability to sustain light combat situations and defend against vastly numerically superior forces. Apart from being an excellent weapon, it was in much demand by the Turkish forces who considered the capture of a Hotchkiss Gun well worth any risks involved in the process. This is a manual produced in 1917 and illustrates the method by which the Hotchkiss Gun was packed and moved throughout the Palestine campaign.


Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook - Page 42

[Click on page for a larger print version.]


Citation: Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook - Page 42

Posted by Project Leader at 1:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 28 September 2008 10:54 PM EADT
551 Private Robert McAleese
Topic: AIF - 1B - 2 LHR

551 Private Robert McAleese, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, "C" Squadron

551 Private Robert McAleese

 

Robert McAleese, a brief military biography from The AIF Project:

Robert McALEESE
Regimental number551
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationFarmer
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Next of kinW.G. McAleese, Te Kowai, Mackay, Queensland
Enlistment date26 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name2nd Light Horse Regiment, C Squadron
AWM Embarkation Roll number10/7/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A15 Star Of England on 24 September 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Light Horse Regiment
FateReturned to Australia 15 November 1918

 


Citation: 551 Private Robert McAleese

Posted by Project Leader at 1:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 1 October 2008 7:10 PM EADT
9th LHR AIF War Diary, September 27
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 27 September

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, September 27, 1914

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

 

1915

Monday, September 27, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Rhododendron Hill

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - No Entry.

3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary - General Godley (General Officer Commanding Division) inspected Area and Trenches and was very pleased with progress made. Saw men recommended for commissions - 8th Light Horse, Squadron Sergeant Major McGrath, Trooper C. S. Austin.

Very heavy shelling heard N. around Suvla Bay from 1900 (hours) for an hour and unusual stir about Anafarta, star shells and small arms fire.

Lieutenant Fisher CO Engineers away enteric, also 8 men from usual sickness. Lieutenant Oliver sent to 7th Brigade to instruct in Mortar and Bombs.

Patrols sent out to try and locate Turkish watering places and bivouacs, no success.

Sent list of officers and men away from Brigade, they number 55 officers, 1209 others.

 

1916

Wednesday, September 27, 1916
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Hod Amara
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Lieutenant Linacre, FJ, evacuated sick.

Routine work. About 1 hours rifle exercise and marching done in morning. Lewis Gun teams on firing practice.

 

1917

Thursday, September 27, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Um Urgan
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 1300 to 1420, Musketry instruction and range finding.
Hogan, Lieutenant LR; and, 30 Other Ranks road making.
Legate, Captain Chaplain, marched out to 14th Australian General Hospital.

 

1918

Friday, September 27, 1918
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - El Mejdel; Jisr Benat Yakub
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0745 Moved from El Mejdel arriving Rosh Pina at 1130 where Brigade halted and 9th Light Horse Regiment pushed forward with orders to force the Jordan. 1215 joined “A” Squadron who were in position about 123B4. Early in the morning this Squadron had received orders from 3rd Light Horse Brigade to push forward and reconnoitre for fords across Jordan. This was accomplished. Bleechmore, Major C, subsequently reporting that the enemy were holding an entrenched position on eastern banks commanding the river from where it flowed out of the Lake Huleh to just south of the bridge. Strength of enemy estimated at 1,000 with one or two small guns. Strong patrols had been despatched by Bleechmore, Major C, north and south which has been destroyed and into Mishmar Hayarden. Hannaford, Lieutenant E, later reported a crossing not held by the enemy about two miles south of the bridge.
1230 The Regiment received orders not to become involved with the enemy as Division intended altering their plans. By this time a battery of our artillery opened fire on enemy positions personally indicated to forward observation officer by Bleechmore, Major C. This battery did some remarkably good shooting knocking the enemy gun out of action with the second shot.
1430 Orders received that a combined effort would be made to force the crossing. 5th Light Horse Brigade to force a crossing south of the bridge. 9th Light Horse Regiment to make a demonstration attack with right on bridge and left on clump of trees at ford in Sq 123 P19o. 10th Light Horse Regiment to rush forward mounted supported by covering fire from 8th and 9th Light Horse Regiments and 3rd Machine Gun Squadron.
1500, “C” Squadron advanced mounted to a favourable position than dismounted with right on left of village near bridge and left on white house near ford. “A” Squadron followed “C” Squadron subsequently taking up a position n the left of “C” Squadron.
1530 A and “C” Squadrons were in position overlooking the River Jordan ready to support the 10th Light Horse Regiment in their crossing the ford.
1600 5th Light Horse Brigade observed crossing unopposed at El Min. The ford in front of 3rd Light Horse Brigade Sector was still strongly held by the enemy.
1730 The 10th Light Horse Regiment crossed the ford followed by the 8th Light Horse Regiment.
1915 “A” Squadron was withdrawn to Brigade Headquarters in Sq 123 O35c and rationed. The regiment together with 3rd Machine Gun Squadron concentrated at Regimental Headquarters then moved by main road to Mishmar Hayarden thence followed up western bank of river and crossed at the ford Jisr Benat Yakub and joined Brigade Headquarters about 2045. Our casualties for the day: Wounded: Wastell, Lieutenant MF; and, four Other Ranks.
After crossing the ford a halt was made for ½ an hour. B and “C” Squadrons furnishing the advanced and flank guards Brigade Headquarters followed by remainder of Regiment moved in easterly direction across country with the intention of surrounding Deir es Sarass before dawn. The going here was particularly bad country being very stony, hilly and trackless. Horses were led up steep rocky hills for a distance of about 1½ miles until a table land was reached where moving became much better.
3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary - Shortly after midnight orders were received that Division would move at 0600 with the object of relieving Damascus on the 29th September 1918. At 0730, 3rd Light Horse Brigade moved off, following 5th Light Horse Brigade as far as Rosh Pina, after which the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, with 9th Light Horse Regiment - Regiment and six machine guns as advance guard, took the lead. It had been reported that the Jordan River bridge at Jisr Benat Yakub had been blown up. Orders had therefore been given for the squadron 9th Light Horse Regiment at Rosa Pina to push forward at dawn and reconnoitre the fords as far as Lake Huleh. The 3rd Field Troop were pushed on ahead to collect material and repair the bridges.
Our orders were to reach the high ground overlooking Kuneitra before dark. At 0030 while on the march a message was received from advanced squadron, 9th Light Horse Regiment that the enemy were holding Jisr Benat Yakub and the Jordan River crossings with machine guns and at least one field gun and were entrenching. Aeroplane reconnaissance confirmed this - the total enemy force facing was estimated at 600 - 800. The Division halted at Rosh Pina, the balance of the 9th Light Horse Regiment with Notts Battery, Royal Horse Artillery being sent on to clear up the situation. It soon became apparent that the enemy were determined to vigorously dispute the crossing of the river. Hannaford, Lieutenant E, reported a crossing not held by the enemy about two miles south of the bridge, at El Min. The enemy no doubt recognised that every hour he could hold the Division it was of vital importance. His 4th Army was now in full retreat from Deraa towards Damascus. He no doubt hoped that if those 20,000 fugitive's could get a little rest at Damascus, he could organise a defence of that place against our purely cavalry force. It was imperative that they should not get that rest and chance to reorganise. The Divisional Commander therefore decided on an immediate general attack. The 5th Light Horse Brigade were to cross the river to the south of Jisr Benat Yakub bridge at El Min and work round the enemy's flank while the 3rd Light Horse Brigade were to engage the enemy in front, and if possible gain round his right flank by crossing immediately south of Lake Huleh. The 9th Light Horse Regiment moved and engaged the enemy between the lake and the bridge, pinning him to his ground and forcing him to disclose his dispositions and strength. The Notts Battery early in the fight silenced the enemy guns, obtaining a direct hit upon one of them, and effectively kept down the fire of enemy machine guns which had been located by the 9th Light Horse Regiment. The 3rd Machine Gun Squadron took up positions along the western bank from which effective covering fire could be given to troops crossing the river. Vigorous reconnaissances under heavy rifle and machine gun fire for a crossing of the river was carried out by the 10th Light Horse Regiment, and a ford was located half a mile south of the southern end of the lake. 8th Light Horse Regiment were sent to join the 9th Light Horse Regiment, the plan being for the 8th and 9th Light Horse Regiments 3rd Machine Gun Squadron and Notts Battery, Royal Horse Artillery to give covering fire while 10th Light Horse Regiment crossed. After this Regiment had established itself on the eastern bank, the remainder of the Brigade would cross. It was expected that the operation would be facilitated by the fact that the 5th Light Horse Brigade at 1630 were reported to be crossing the river at El Min without opposition and would therefore soon make themselves felt on the enemy's flank. It turned out, however, that the country to the east of the 5th Light Horse Brigade crossing place was so rough that they were unable to get on to the main road until after daylight next morning. Up to 1700 the enemy hung on to his positions with determination, at times developing considerable rifle and machine gun fire, causing us a few casualties. By 1730 all covering troops were in position and the 10th Light Horse Regiment moved forward to cross at the ford previously located under heavy covering fire from the remainder of the Brigade. The water was about 2'6" in depth. The 10th Light Horse Regiment were all across by 1915 and were followed at once by the 8th Light Horse Regiment. These two Regiments were directed to make for Deir es Sarass, the 10th Light Horse Regiment detaching “B” Squadron to move south along the river to clear up any enemy still in position. This squadron encountered a party of enemy in the dark who opened fire at a few yards range causing casualties. Without hesitation the leading troop under Macnee, Lieutenant MH, flung themselves off their horses - it was too rough to charge mounted - and with fixed bayonets rushed the flashes. A sharp fight took place and for a time the enemy fought with great determination inflicting several casualties on us. The balance of the squadron soon supported the leading troop and the enemy surrendered. The post included twelve Germans, 41 Turks, one field gun and one machine gun, and one motor lorry.
During these operations it was apparent that the enemy were extensively using motor lorries as a means of withdrawing the troops, comprising their rear guard on this sector. In the morning a large, number of these had been seen moving down to the river positions. Similar tactics were two days later adopted by them at Sasa.

 

1919

Saturday, September 27, 1919

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Adelaide

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Regiment disbanded.

 

 

Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 26 September

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 28 September

 

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, 27 September

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 16 September 2010 11:08 AM EADT

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