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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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Thursday, 2 October 2008
2nd LHR, AIF, Walter Henry Thompson
Topic: AIF - 1B - 2 LHR

2nd LHR, AIF

2nd Light Horse Regiment

 Walter Henry Thompson

 

Walter Henry Thompson

 

A brief military biography of Walter Henry Thompson from The AIF Project:


Regimental number394
Place of birthHorfield, England
ReligionWesleyan
OccupationPlumber
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Next of kinFather, R.Thompson, 22 Falmouth Road, Bishopston, Bristol, England
Enlistment date22 August 1914
Place of enlistmentMount Morgan, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name2nd Light Horse Regiment, B Squadron
AWM Embarkation Roll number10/7/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A15 Star of England on 24 September 1914
Regimental number from Nominal Roll294A
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Light Trench Mortar Battery
FateReturned to Australia 9 March 1919

 

Further Reading:

2nd Light Horse Regiment, AIF

 


Citation: 2nd LHR, AIF, Walter Henry Thompson

Posted by Project Leader at 11:34 PM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 30 May 2009 6:54 PM EADT
Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 2 October 1918
Topic: Diary - Schramm

Diaries of AIF Servicemen

Bert Schramm

2 October 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, 2 - 4 October 1918

[Click on page for a larger print version.]


Bert Schramm

Wednesday, October 2, 1918

Bert Schramm's Location - Khan Kusseir

Bert Schramm's Diary - Encountered enemy's rear guard this morning and captured thirteen hundred prisoners. I think we will have a few days spell here now. We are camped at present about ten miles north east of Damascus along the Aleppo road. The official entry into Damascus takes place today.

 

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Khan Kusseir

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0515 Hogan, Lieutenant LR, reported a large column of infantry moving north one mile east of Regimental bivouac. Doubt existed as to whether they were enemy or part of Sherifian Army.

A mounted patrol from A Squadron was immediately dispatched to investigate and report and message signalled to Brigade headquarters reporting presence of column about 2000 strong and asking for information. B and C Squadrons were ordered to turn out in light fighting order mounted.

0530 A few shots were heard from direction of column and shortly after a galloper from 8th Light Horse Regiment standing patrol came in hurriedly along the road and reported that the column was enemy infantry. Remainder of Regiment less heavy packs was now ordered out. Reconnoitring patrol had now returned and confirmed 8th Light Horse Regiment galloper's report.

0545 The Regiment less heavy packs moved out to attack. Just after moving following messages received from Brigade Headquarters: - Believed to be Germans and move out at once and investigate 8th Light Horse Regiment and machine guns will be ready for support you if required." With B Squadron in advance and Sharp, Lieutenant RC; and, his troop from A Squadron as right flank guard the Regiment moved at 0545 at a fast trot north east along main road for about half a mile then swung towards the left through the vineyards. The rear of enemy column was now observed about one mile ahead on main road. The Regiment by increasing the pace and moving towards the foothills rapidly gained on the enemy who had by now mounted several machine guns and pushed out several small parties to his left flank to endeavour to hold up our advance. Although the Regiment came under machine gun and rifle fire the enemy failed to check the speed of our advance the Regiment soon reaching a favourable position about one mile from left flank and opposite centre of enemy column.

0700 Orders were now issued for A Squadron to move rapidly whilst B Squadron took up a position dismounted and brought fire to bear on to centre of enemy column. Regimental Headquarters was established about in Water Channel and touch gained by heliograph with Brigade.

0735 Regimental Headquarters moved to B Squadron position leaving a signal station to maintain touch with Brigade. A and C Squadron were now observed to be ahead of enemy cavalry advanced guard and to be swinging in towards main road to seize Khan Ayash and Khurbet i Asafur thus completely cutting off all chances of enemy retreat. About this time the head of main column of enemy seemed to be in a state of uncertainty and their leaders appeared to be conferring. Simultaneous with the final movement of A and C Squadron remainder of Regiment under orders from Daly, Major TJ mounted, drew swords and charged the main column detaching a small party from B Squadron to gallop around the rear of enemy. The combined movement was entirely successful. The main column surrendered before our troops reached them. A and C Squadron with drawn swords quickly charged the enemy advanced troops composed mostly of cavalry. A Squadron seized the pass and captured two 745mm guns near Khurbet i Asafur. The whole enemy force amounting to 91 officers, 515 cavalry, 1064 infantry, six Germans, 26 machine guns, one mounted gun [No. F7524], two 7.5 cm M15 GKM guns, twelve automatic rifles, 254 rifles, 285 animals was captured within one hour of the Regiment moving from bivouac at Khan Kusseir, approximately seven miles. Amongst the officers captured was the Divisional Commander who defended Shunet Nimrin against our attacks in May 1918. The Regimental Standard of the 46th Regiment was captured. Personnel captured belonged mostly to 45th Regiment.

The rapidity of movement contributed largely to the success of the operation but much credit is due to both Charley, Major WT; and, Bleechmore, Major C, for the skilful manner in which they manoeuvred their Squadrons in so quickly seizing Khan Ayash and the main road entering the pass at Khurbet i Asafur. Also Daly, Major TJ, for ordering charge and Shaw, Lieutenant OJ, for quick issue of orders.

0800 Freebairn, Lieutenant DT, with troop escorted the prisoners to Brigade Headquarters. After the past strenuous fortnight the horses responded to this additional test with wonderful vigour. Ground over which the Regiment advanced was fairly rough and covered with small loose stones. Except for a few small dry wadis the line of advance was devoid of cover. When main column surrendered Smyth, 902 Signaller RN; and, Halliday, 1258 Signaller NC, were moving back to Regimental Headquarters signal station when they encountered a party of the enemy composed of three Germans and 35 Turks taking up a position within a few hundred yards of the signal station. A German officer was mounting an automatic rifle when Smyth and Halliday with great gallantry under bomb fire rushed the German officer taking his pistol and fired into the enemy and seized the automatic rifle. The enemy were so surprised that they surrendered in a body. This promptness of action prevented the enemy obtaining reverse fire on to the portion of the Regiment guarding the main column of prisoners.

0900 After collecting the captured war material into one dump the Regiment returned to bivouac at Khan Kusseir.

1400 A Squadron moved out to reconnoitre country for stragglers six miles east of bivouac. They returned at 1700 reporting country clear of enemy. Our casualties for the day - one man accidentally injured [crushed by his horse which was shot under him] Animals - one ride killed, four rides wounded.

 

3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary

Shortly alter 0600 a local inhabitant reported to Brigade Headquarters that there was a party of two hundred Turks asleep five kilos to the east of our camp. Instructions were at once sent to the 8th Light Horse Regiment [with four machine guns] to go and collect them. Before the 8th Light Horse Regiment had left it's lines however, [it was bivouacked about a mile towards Damascus] the night outpost of the 10th Light Horse Regiment [the forward Regiment] observed at 0615 a column of infantry moving north, one mile east of Regimental bivouac. The Regiment at once saddled up. Brigade was asked if it were known who they were, Brigade replied that believed to be enemy and to move out at once and investigate, and that the 8th Light Horse Regiment and four machine guns would support. It will be remembered that the 8th Light Horse Regiment and four machine guns had been warned some time previously to move out. The 9th Light Horse Regiment moved at 0645. It was apparent that the enemy column was making for the pass, where the Aleppo road enters the hills at Khurbet i Asafur. The 9th Light Horse Regiment had tried to intercept the enemy there tin' previous afternoon, so knew exactly what to do and the country over which they would be required to pass. The remainder of the Brigade was ordered to saddle up and follow. The Brigadier and Staff went by motor car along the Aleppo Road. The 9th Light Horse Regiment moved out at a gallop. It was imperative that they should get to the pass before the enemy could occupy it with machine guns and hold us off. The Regiment then pushed along the road for half a mile then left it wand swung to the left under the foothills. At this time the rear of the enemy column was about one mile ahead on the main road, The Regiment soon gained on the column which had now mounted several machine guns and pushed out small left flank guards. Although the Regiment came under rifle and machine gun fire its pace was not checked and it soon reached a favourable position about one mile from left flank and opposite the centre of the enemy column. A Squadron then raced for Khan Ayash and C Squadron for Khurbet i Asafur. The remaining squadron, B, dismounted and opened fire on the centre of the column with a view to throwing it into disorder. By 0735 the two leading squadrons had got level with the cavalry advanced guard of the column and was swinging on to the main road. The head of the enemy column now appeared to be in a state of uncertainty and their leaders appeared to be conferring. Simultaneous with the final movement of the two advanced squadrons the remainder of the Regiment drew swords and charged at the main column. The combined movement was entirely successful. The main column surrendered before our troops reached them and the Hotchkiss Rifles which were covering this advance were ordered to cease fire. A and C Squadrons, with drawn swords, quickly charged the enemy advanced troops composed mostly of cavalry. A Squadron at Khan Ayash rushed a machine gun just as it was mounted and ready to fire. C Squadron seized the pass and captured two 75mm guns near Khurbet i Asafur. The whole enemy force amounting to 91 officers, 318 cavalry, 1064 infantry, eight Germans, 26 machine guns, one mountain gun two - 75mm - GKN guns, twelve automatic rifles, and 285 animals were captured within one hour of Regiment moving from bivouac at Khan Kusseir, approximately seven miles.

Amongst the officers captured was the Divisional Commander who defended Shunet Nimrin against our attacks in May 1918. The Regimental Standard of the 46th Regiment was captured. Personnel captured belonged mostly to the 46th Regiment.

When main column surrendered Smyth, 902 Signaller RN; and, Halliday, 1258 Signaller NC, were moving back to Regimental Headquarters Signal Station when they encountered a party of the enemy composed of three Germans and 85 Turks, taking up a position within a few hundred yards of the signal station. A German officer was mounting an automatic rifle, when Smyth, 902 Signaller RN; and, Halliday, 1258 Signaller NC, with great gallantry rushed the German officer, taking his pistol, fired into the enemy and seized the automatic rifle. The enemy were so surprised that they surrendered in a body. Both these signallers were awarded the DCM.

Our force suffered one casualty in this engagement.

9th LHR AIF War Diary, 2 October 

 

Darley

Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924, pp 158 - 162.

The Fall of Damascus

At 6.15 a.m. on the 2nd October 1918, Hogan, Lieutenant LR, Officer in Command outpost, reported that a large force of enemy infantry were moving north, one mile east of his post. Doubt existed as to whether the advancing troops were actually enemy or Sherifian troops, and a mounted patrol of B Squadron was rushed out to investigate and report. A message was despatched to Brigade Headquarters reporting the presence of approximately 2,000 infantry, and asking for information.

The Regiment was at breakfast when the report from Hogan, Lieutenant LR, was received, but within ten minutes horses had been saddled and the Regiment paraded ready to move. At 6.30 a.m. a few shots were heard from the direction of the column, and shortly afterwards a galloper from the outpost reported that the column was composed of Turkish infantry.
Orders were at once issued, and the Regiment moved out to the attack, and as the head of the Regiment cleared the olive grove the following message was received from Brigade Headquarters; "Party believed to be Germans; move and investigate at once; 8th Light Horse Regiment with four machine guns will be ready to support, if required."

With B Squadron in advance and Sharp, Lieutenant RC; and, his troop of A Squadron as right flank guard, the Regiment moved at a rapid pace north-east along the main road for about half a mile, then swung to the left among the vineyards. The rear of the enemy column was now observed about one mile along the road.

By increasing the pace and moving towards the foothills the Regiment rapidly gained on the enemy, who had now mounted several machine guns, and pushed out several small parties to their left flank, in an endeavour to hold up our advance. In spite of the heavy machine gun fire the Regiment pushed forward and reached a favourable position about one mile to the left, and opposite the centre of the enemy column.
Orders were given to A Squadron to move rapidly and seize Khan Ayash, and to C Squadron to seize the main road in the vicinity of Kubbet i Asafur. C Squadron immediately galloped forward, followed by A Squadron, under heavy fire, whilst B Squadron dismounted and opened a heavy fire on the centre of the enemy column. Regimental Headquarters established themselves near the water channel and gained touch with Brigade Headquarters by heliograph.

The two squadrons who had been sent forward were now seen to be well ahead of the enemy advance guard, and to be swinging in towards the main road to seize the villages, thus cutting off all chances of escape for the enemy. The head of the main body of the enemy seemed to hesitate as if doubtful of its next move, and their leaders appeared to be holding a conference.

As the two squadrons swung round the remainder of the Regiment under orders from Daly, Major TJ, mounted, and with drawn swords, charged the main enemy column, detaching a small party of B Squadron to move round the flank. This move had the desired effect; the main body of the enemy promptly hoisting the white flag before the charging troops reached them.

In conjunction with this move, A and C Squadrons drew swords and charged the enemy cavalry advance guard. This was the first time the Light Horse, armed as cavalry, had the chance to try conclusions with the Turkish cavalry who were armed with sword and lance, and it was expected that they would put up a fight. The determined front shown by our men must have taken all the heart out of the enemy cavalry, as they surrendered without the slightest show of resistance.

A Squadron, moving forward, rushed a machine gun just as it was mounted and ready to open fire, whilst C seized the pass into the hills, and captured two 75 cm. guns near Kubbet i Asafur.

The Regiment collected together the various portions of the enemy force and proceeded to take stock of the bag, which gave the following totals: 91 officers, 318 cavalry, 1,064 infantry, eight German machine gunners, 26 machine guns, one mountain gun [No. F 7524], two 75 cm. [M 15, G.K.N.] guns, twelve automatic rifles, 264 rifles, and 285 animals. This force was captured within one hour of leaving the bivouac at Khan Kusseir, seven miles distant.

Amongst the officers captured was the General who commanded the Turkish Division defending Shunet Nimrin in the Jordan Valley, against our attack in May, 1918. The standard of the 46th Regiment was also captured, and is believed to be the only enemy standard captured during the war. That such a force could be taken in open country in such a short time and with so few casualties, appears astounding, but the fact must not be lost sight of that they had been driven from pillar to post for the past three weeks, with no rest and little food, facts which had, no doubt, taken the heart out of them.

The rapidity of our movements contributed largely to the success of the operations, but great credit is due to both, Charley, Major WT; and, Bleechmore, Major C, for the manner in which they manoeuvred their squadrons, in seizing the pass and main road ahead of the enemy columns. Daly, Major TJ, who conducted the operations, deserves special mention for his quick decisions and plan of operations, in which he was ably seconded by Shaw, Lieutenant OJ, the Adjutant,

In spite of the hard work of the past three weeks, the horses responded bravely to this additional call, and covered the ground in fine style. The ground passed over was devoid of cover and fairly rough, being covered with stones and broken by numerous small wadis.

When the main column surrendered Smyth, 902 Signaller JM; and, Halliday, 1458 Signaller NC, who were moving to the Regimental signalling station, in galloping over a rise were suddenly confronted by a party of the enemy composed of three Germans and 85 Turks, who were taking up a position within a few hundred yards of the signal station. A German officer was mounting a machine gun when Smyth, 902 Signaller JM; and, Halliday, 1458 Signaller NC, with great gallantry, and under a shower of bombs, rushed at the officer and snatched his revolver, which he had hastily drawn, from his hand. With this revolver they fired into the enemy and seized the machine gun, the prompt action so surprising the enemy that they surrendered.

Smyth, 902 Signaller JM; and, Halliday, 1458 Signaller NC, were both awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for this gallant act, which prevented the enemy establishing a post from which a destructive fire could have been turned on the rear of the Regiment.

Freebairn, Lieutenant DT, with one troop, escorted the prisoners to Brigade Headquarters, where they were handed over. After collecting the captured war material into one dump, which was placed under a guard, the Regiment returned to bivouac to finish its breakfast, which had been so rudely interrupted. At 2 p.m. A Squadron was sent out to reconnoitre the country six miles east of the bivouac for stragglers, returning at 5 p.m. and reporting "all clear."

 

Previous:  Bert Schramm's Diary, 1 October 1918

Next:  Bert Schramm's Diary, 3 October 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, 2 October 1918


Posted by Project Leader at 11:05 PM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 7 June 2011 7:34 AM EADT
Colonel Husnu, Yildirim, Page 87
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 87.



Colonel Hüsnü, Yildirim, Page 87.

[Click on page for a larger print version.]


Citation: Colonel Hüsnü, Yildirim, Page 87

Posted by Project Leader at 10:42 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 2 October 2008 10:47 PM EADT
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 2 October
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR


9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 2 October

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, October 2, 1914

Formation of the 7th Light Horse Regiment "B" Squadron at Morphettville Race Course, South Australia.

The 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade was accepted and was to be raised from the Southern and Western states.

 

1915

Saturday, October 2, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Rhododendron Hill

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Lieutenant White GWW reported back from hospital. Second Lieutenant Wilkinson R and 33 men for reinforcements for A and B Squadrons arrived, also 18 men for D Squadron.

 

1916

Monday, October 2, 1916

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Bir el Abd

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Order received from Brigade for Regiment to take over the Front Line from 7th Light Horse Regiment.

 

1917

Tuesday, October 2, 1917

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Um Urgan

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Regiment left camp at 0630, watered and formed the column at 0830 and proceeded towards Point 860 arriving at 1200. Remained in support in vicinity of Point 860 throughout the day. Watered horses at pools one mile north east of Point 860 at 1600. Withdrew with the Brigade headquarters at 2000 reaching camp at Um Urgan at 0300. Throughout the day the enemy were quiet.

 

1918

Wednesday, October 2, 1918

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Khan Kusseir

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0515 Hogan, Lieutenant LR, reported a large column of infantry moving north one mile east of Regimental bivouac. Doubt existed as to whether they were enemy or part of Sherifian Army. A mounted patrol from A Squadron was immediately dispatched to investigate and report and message signalled to Brigade headquarters reporting presence of column about 2000 strong and asking for information. B and C Squadrons were ordered to turn out in light fighting order mounted.

0530 A few shots were heard from direction of column and shortly after a galloper from 8th Light Horse Regiment standing patrol came in hurriedly along the road and reported that the column was enemy infantry. Remainder of Regiment less heavy packs was now ordered out.

Reconnoitring patrol had now returned and confirmed 8th Light Horse Regiment galloper's report.

0545 The Regiment less heavy packs moved out to attack. Just after moving following messages received from Brigade Headquarters: - Believed to be Germans and move out at once and investigate 8th Light Horse Regiment and machine guns will be ready for support you if required." With B Squadron in advance and Sharp, Lieutenant RC; and, his troop from A Squadron as right flank guard the Regiment moved at 0545 at a fast trot north east along main road for about half a mile then swung towards the left through the vineyards. The rear of enemy column was now observed about one mile ahead on main road. The Regiment by increasing the pace and moving towards the foothills rapidly gained on the enemy who had by now mounted several machine guns and pushed out several small parties to his left flank to endeavour to hold up our advance. Although the Regiment came under machine gun and rifle fire the enemy failed to check the speed of our advance the Regiment soon reaching a favourable position about one mile from left flank and opposite centre of enemy column.

0700 Orders were now issued for A Squadron to move rapidly whilst B Squadron took up a position dismounted and brought fire to bear on to centre of enemy column. Regimental Headquarters was established about in Water Channel and touch gained by heliograph with Brigade.

0735 Regimental Headquarters moved to B Squadron position leaving a signal station to maintain touch with Brigade. A and C Squadron were now observed to be ahead of enemy cavalry advanced guard and to be swinging in towards main road to seize Khan Ayash and Khurbet i Asafur thus completely cutting off all chances of enemy retreat. About this time the head of main column of enemy seemed to be in a state of uncertainty and their leaders appeared to be conferring. Simultaneous with the final movement of A and C Squadron remainder of Regiment under orders from Daly, Major TJ mounted, drew swords and charged the main column detaching a small party from B Squadron to gallop around the rear of enemy. The combined movement was entirely successful. The main column surrendered before our troops reached them. A and C Squadron with drawn swords quickly charged the enemy advanced troops composed mostly of cavalry. A Squadron seized the pass and captured two 745mm guns near Khurbet i Asafur. The whole enemy force amounting to 91 officers, 515 cavalry, 1064 infantry, six Germans, 26 machine guns, one mounted gun [No. F7524], two 7.5 cm M15 GKM guns, twelve automatic rifles, 254 rifles, 285 animals was captured within one hour of the Regiment moving from bivouac at Khan Kusseir, approximately seven miles. Amongst the officers captured was the Divisional Commander who defended Shunet Nimrin against our attacks in May 1918. The Regimental Standard of the 46th Regiment was captured. Personnel captured belonged mostly to 45th Regiment.

The rapidity of movement contributed largely to the success of the operation but much credit is due to both Charley, Major WT; and, Bleechmore, Major C, for the skilful manner in which they manoeuvred their Squadrons in so quickly seizing Khan Ayash and the main road entering the pass at Khurbet i Asafur. Also Daly, Major TJ, for ordering charge and Shaw, Lieutenant OJ, for quick issue of orders.

0800 Freebairn, Lieutenant DT, with troop escorted the prisoners to Brigade Headquarters. After the past strenuous fortnight the horses responded to this additional test with wonderful vigour. Ground over which the Regiment advanced was fairly rough and covered with small loose stones. Except for a few small dry wadis the line of advance was devoid of cover. When main column surrendered Smyth, 902 Signaller RN; and, Halliday, 1258 Signaller NC, were moving back to Regimental Headquarters signal station when they encountered a party of the enemy composed of three Germans and 35 Turks taking up a position within a few hundred yards of the signal station. A German officer was mounting an automatic rifle when Smyth and Halliday with great gallantry under bomb fire rushed the German officer taking his pistol and fired into the enemy and seized the automatic rifle. The enemy were so surprised that they surrendered in a body. This promptness of action prevented the enemy obtaining reverse fire on to the portion of the Regiment guarding the main column of prisoners.

0900 After collecting the captured war material into one dump the Regiment returned to bivouac at Khan Kusseir.

1400 A Squadron moved out to reconnoitre country for stragglers six miles east of bivouac. They returned at 1700 reporting country clear of enemy. Our casualties for the day - one man accidentally injured [crushed by his horse which was shot under him] Animals - one ride killed, four rides wounded.

3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary - Shortly alter 0600 a local inhabitant reported to Brigade Headquarters that there was a party of two hundred Turks asleep five kilos to the east of our camp. Instructions were at once sent to the 8th Light Horse Regiment [with four machine guns] to go and collect them. Before the 8th Light Horse Regiment had left it's lines however, [it was bivouacked about a mile towards Damascus] the night outpost of the 10th Light Horse Regiment [the forward Regiment] observed at 0615 a column of infantry moving north, one mile east of Regimental bivouac. The Regiment at once saddled up.

Brigade was asked if it were known who they were, Brigade replied that believed to be enemy and to move out at once and investigate, and that the 8th Light Horse Regiment and four machine guns would support. It will be remembered that the 8th Light Horse Regiment and four machine guns had been warned some time previously to move out. The 9th Light Horse Regiment moved at 0645. It was apparent that the enemy column was making for the pass, where the Aleppo road enters the hills at Khurbet i Asafur. The 9th Light Horse Regiment had tried to intercept the enemy there tin' previous afternoon, so knew exactly what to do and the country over which they would be required to pass. The remainder of the Brigade was ordered to saddle up and follow. The Brigadier and Staff went by motor car along the Aleppo Road. The 9th Light Horse Regiment moved out at a gallop. It was imperative that they should get to the pass before the enemy could occupy it with machine guns and hold us off. The Regiment then pushed along the road for half a mile then left it wand swung to the left under the foothills. At this time the rear of the enemy column was about one mile ahead on the main road, The Regiment soon gained on the column which had now mounted several machine guns and pushed out small left flank guards.

Although the Regiment came under rifle and machine gun fire its pace was not checked and it soon reached a favourable position about one mile from left flank and opposite the centre of the enemy column. A Squadron then raced for Khan Ayash and C Squadron for Khurbet i Asafur. The remaining squadron, B, dismounted and opened fire on the centre of the column with a view to throwing it into disorder. By 0735 the two leading squadrons had got level with the cavalry advanced guard of the column and was swinging on to the main road. The head of the enemy column now appeared to be in a state of uncertainty and their leaders appeared to be conferring.

Simultaneous with the final movement of the two advanced squadrons the remainder of the Regiment drew swords and charged at the main column. The combined movement was entirely successful. The main column surrendered before our troops reached them and the Hotchkiss Rifles which were covering this advance were ordered to cease fire. A and C Squadrons, with drawn swords, quickly charged the enemy advanced troops composed mostly of cavalry. A Squadron at Khan Ayash rushed a machine gun just as it was mounted and ready to fire. C Squadron seized the pass and captured two 75mm guns near Khurbet i Asafur. The whole enemy force amounting to 91 officers, 318 cavalry, 1064 infantry, eight Germans, 26 machine guns, one mountain gun two - 75mm - GKN guns, twelve automatic rifles, and 285 animals were captured within one hour of Regiment moving from bivouac at Khan Kusseir, approximately seven miles.

Amongst the officers captured was the Divisional Commander who defended Shunet Nimrin against our attacks in May 1918. The Regimental Standard of the 46th Regiment was captured. Personnel captured belonged mostly to the 46th Regiment.

When main column surrendered Smyth, 902 Signaller RN; and, Halliday, 1258 Signaller NC, were moving back to Regimental Headquarters Signal Station when they encountered a party of the enemy composed of three Germans and 85 Turks, taking up a position within a few hundred yards of the signal station. A German officer was mounting an automatic rifle, when Smyth, 902 Signaller RN; and, Halliday, 1258 Signaller NC, with great gallantry rushed the German officer, taking his pistol, fired into the enemy and seized the automatic rifle. The enemy were so surprised that they surrendered in a body. Both these signallers were awarded the DCM.

Our force suffered one casualty in this engagement.

 

1919

Thursday, October 2, 1919

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Adelaide

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Regiment disbanded.

 

 

Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 1 October

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 3 October

 

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 October

Posted by Project Leader at 1:01 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 16 September 2010 12:49 PM EADT
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 1 October 1918
Topic: Diary - Schramm

Diaries of AIF Servicemen

Bert Schramm

1 October 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, 27 September to 1 October 1918

[Click on page for a larger print version.]

 

Bert Schramm

Tuesday, October 1, 1918

Bert Schramm's Location - Dumar; Damascus; Marista el Basal; Khan Ayash

Bert Schramm's Diary - A day to be remembered, the fall of Damascus. We came through the village we were firing into last night and I never saw such an awful sight in my life. The streets were blocked with dead and wounded. We then came on through the main town and received a great welcome from the civilian people. We travelled pretty fast through the town and are pursuing the enemy who are retiring along the Aleppo road. Several thousand prisoners were taken today also artillery etc. The total number of prisoners taken since we started is something over sixty thousand.

 

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Dumar; Damascus; Marista el Basal; Khan Ayash

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0500 The Regiment joined remainder of 3rd Light Horse Brigade crossed the Barada by bridge at Dumar thence proceeded along main road towards Damascus.

The road was strewn with enemy dead and wounded and in places dead animals and abandoned transport and guns, almost completely blocked the roadway. The road for about a mile presented a horrible sight amidst such charming surroundings. The devastating effect of accurate machine gun and rifle fire was everywhere apparent. Many of the vehicles had overturned into the Barada River. About one thousand prisoners were collected in the vicinity of Dumar railway station. A complete train was taken between Dumar and Damascus side of gorge. A few Germans made a slight stand here but were soon overpowered by advanced Regiment

[10th Light Horse Regiment.]

The Brigade continued to advance along main road towards Damascus unopposed entering the city near the Victoria Hotel at about 0700 Large crowds of enthusiastic inhabitants lined the streets offering gifts of fruit, cigarettes etc and at several places residents from the upper stories of shops and houses sprinkled scent on to our troops passing along the roadway below. This part of the operation was more like a triumphal march and quite a new experience to most of our troops. The Brigade continued to push on through the narrow bazaar alleyways between Salaniys and Amara until the main Aleppo Road was reached. The Brigade then advanced north east along main Aleppo Road. Horses were watered near Jobar and a halt made for half an hour, then the advance continued. The advanced Regiment gained contact with enemy rearguard in vicinity of Marista el Basal. 9th Light Horse Regiment trotted forward in close support.

1300 B and C Squadrons less heavy packs were placed on either flank of the 10th Light Horse Regiment and half an hour later A Squadron less heavy packs moved to left flank of 10th Light Horse Regiment. Information now received that a large force of enemy with a strong rearguard were retreating north east along main Aleppo Road.

Daly, Major TJ, with Regimental Headquarters moved to the left flank and pushed forward rapidly to within one mile south west of Khan Ayash and with C Squadron at Khan Ayash. 10th Light Horse Regiment were astride the main road 11/2 miles south west Khan Ayash with advanced troops at Khan Ayash. The enemy were now moving up the pass leading into the hills just north of Khurbet i Asafur thus securing their retreat.

1800The Regiment less A Squadron concentrated on main road two miles south west Khan Ayash and withdrew to bivouac at Khan Kusseir, A Squadron rejoining en route. Hogan, Lieutenant LR; and, ten Other Ranks mounted as night outpost near the Khan at Khan Kusseir. Scott, Lieutenant Colonel WH, rejoined Regiment. Following members of 9th Light Horse Regiment taken prisoner of war 29/9/18 now reported to be in hospital Damascus: - King, 552 Sergeant AE; Betteridge, 226 Corporal AL; Down, 921 Corporal AC; Clark, 1528 Lance Corporal GB; Hanrahan, 2116 Lance Corporal EP; O'Donnell, 2148 Trooper DB; and, Adams, 702 Corporal MG.

 

3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary

The situation in Damascus at this time, it was afterwards ascertained, was as follows: Djemal Pasha, Commander of the Turkish 4th Army arranged to hold a meeting of the Notables of Damascus at the Municipal Gardens at 4, p.m., on 30th September, 1918 for the purpose of handing over to Shukri Pasha Ayoubi the Military Governorship of the City. The last mentioned person was an Arab, formerly in the Turkish army and favourable to the Sheriff of Mecca. There was in the city at this time a person of Algerian birth named Emir Said. This man had been for some time past employed by the Turkish Government in raising a volunteer force of Arabs to fight against the Sheriff. Emir Said's sympathies were really in favour of the Sheriff, but he had disguised the fact and drew arms, and ammunition and money from the Turks.

Some time prior to 2 p.m. on the 30th September 1918, news was received in the city that the British Cavalry were approaching. A report was also circulated in the city that the Germans intended to burn the city before they left. Shukri Pasha Ayoubi and Emir Said then went to Djemal Pasha and informed him that they would not allow the city to be burned and advised Djemal Pasha to leave the city forthwith and stated that if he would not, he would be attacked by the local Arabs.

In Djemal Pasha's presence these produced the Sheriff's flag displayed it on the Town Hall, and declared for the Sheriff, Djemal Pasha then, at 2 p.m., left the city by the Beirut Road.

By 0500 this Brigade was on the move the 10th Light Horse Regiment [Todd, Lieutenant Colonel TJ, DSO], forming the advance guard, with Timperley, Major LC, [C Squadron] commanding the Vanguard. The column descended to the main road at Dumar and moved along it north easterly into Damascus. Some delay was caused by the road being blocked by enemy transport and animals; the result of machine gun fire the night before. The head of the enemy column had been utterly overwhelmed, dead and wounded strewed the road and filled the houses on either aide. In one place a flock of sheep which had evidently been accompanying the column had all been killed and a dog attempting to cross the road had perished. At Dumar station a train with troops aboard was captured. 483 prisoners were taken here together with fifteen machine guns, two 77mm field guns and large amount of gold and silver coin and further along the road six more guns and fifteen machine guns were found abandoned. On entering the north west suburbs a good deal of rifle shooting was indulged in by the inhabitants. Some of the shooting was sniping at the column. In a few cases the snipers were observed and the fire was returned. To discourage the sniping the vanguard moved on at the gallop until it arrived in front of the Town Hall where it halted. The time was between 0630 and 0700. Olden, Major CAN, Second in Command of the 10th Light Horse Regiment was up with the vanguard. Accompanied by Timperley, Major LC, he entered the Town Hall. A large assembly of notables and people in uniform were in attendance. The civil Governor was asked for. Emir Said came forward and said: "In the name of the civil population of Damascus I welcome the British Army." Then he made a speech of welcome. A guide to the North East or Aleppo Road was asked for. Emir Said detailed an officer called Zeki Bey to act as such. This Officer stopped with the Brigade until the following morning but was more inclined to parade the column through the streets of Damascus than expedite our pursuit of the enemy along the Homs Road, so that shortly afterwards the offer of an English speaking resident of Jaffa, Tadros, Mr DN, to guide us through the intricate and narrow streets of the city to the north east was gladly accepted. This gentleman had been exiled from Jaffa some time previously by Djemal Pasha owing to the former's English sympathies.

The advanced guard then moved on, followed on by the remainder of the Brigade, passed through the city and moved on to the north east road passing the English Hospital en route.

The 3rd Light Horse Brigade were thus the first Allied troops to enter Damascus. I understand that it appeared in the press that the Sherifian Army was the first to enter. This is not so. His force had been moving up from Deraa with the 4th Cavalry Division, Lawrence, Colonel TE, of the Sherifian Army with an escort pushed on to Damascus on the morning of 1st October 1918, and were seen to enter the city a few minutes before 0800, the absence of any British Troops may have given rise in the minds of the Sherifians to the erroneous belief that they were the first to enter the city. Up to the time [about 0700] that this Brigade completed its passage through the city thereby closing the only available exit for the enemy, no member of the Sherifian army was visible in any part of the city within view of the Brigade.

As the main body of the Brigade marched through large numbers of the enemy were observed on our right about the Government Buildings and the Baramkie Barracks. They showed no signs of opposition or hostility. All lines of retreat were closed to them, moreover it was essential that this Brigade should gain the Homs road and press on in pursuit of the enemy retreating along it with all speed possible. The enemy in the town was therefore passed by and left to be dealt with later. Eventually it was reported that the 4th Light Horse Brigade had collected upwards of 12,000 there. As the Brigade passed through the streets the crowd gave vent to loud acclamations and every sign of joy, and distributed flowers and fruit amongst the troops. When the advance guard readied the north - east outskirts, information was received that the Bridge over the Wadi Maraba was held by Germans with machine guns. The 10th Light Horse Regiment pressed on and cleared up the situation by dismounted action, taking twelve prisoners and two machine guns. As the advance guard approached Duma the enemy again brought machine guns into action. One squadron of the 10th Light Horse Regiment, however, most ably assisted by four machine guns under the command of Lieutenant Patterson worked round and attacked the enemy's right flank with due dash, capturing 500 prisoners, [including 40 Germans and 37 machine guns]. The enemy made another stand at Khan Kusseir but again were vigorously routed after some street fighting, in which our machine guns, [6] under Bryant, Captain GH, took very prominent part. Forty Germans, 120 Turks and more machine guns were taken. The country from Damascus to a mile past Khan Kusseir is densely covered with vineyards and olive groves, admirably adapted for rear guard action with machine guns, The enemy tactics appeared to be to fight the machine guns in a rear guard action to the last moment, and then to abandon them and ride off to the next portion, bringing fresh guns into position there. From Khan Kusseir about 2,000 enemy cavalry and infantry were seen heading for the pass into the hills north of Khan Ayash. The enemy had now reached the plain and were extended across it on a mile frontage across the road. They were here again aiding the retreat by the use of machine guns, which they would bring into action a few at a time and if necessary abandon. They mounted two guns in a house about a mile from the pass but abandoned one complete and the mountings of the other but not before they had done their work. A large portion of their force was mounted but our machine guns kept in action at ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 yards by frequently pushing on. Attempts were made by mounted attack to cut off the enemy from the pass. A Squadron of the 9th Light Horse Regiment was sent up on the left under the foothills to cut him off, but heavy and skilfully directed machine gun fire from guns already in position held them up. The hills on the left were impassable. The whole of the 9th and 10th Light Horse Regiments and the machine guns squadron were now engaged, the rear of the enemy column was being pressed across the open country between Khan Kusseir and Khurbet i Asafur. At this stage the Commanding Officer, 10th Light Horse Regiment received a report from his right flank patrol that a force of some 3,000 cavalry was moving towards us from the north east and then about four miles away. This occasioned me much concern. Some of the machine guns were down to their last belt. Their limbers could not possibly join up for hours. A force of 3,000 mounted men within half an hour of my flank had to be considered. The 10th Light Horse Regiment accordingly ceased the pursuit and was got in hand. A strong squadron of the 8th Light Horse Regiment together with the Brigade Scouts were sent out to the right to reconnoitre the reported cavalry. In due course they reported that it was an enormous camel convoy consisting of thousands of camels with armed riders, being the big annual caravan from Aleppo to Mecca; they caused us no further anxiety but in the meantime the enemy whom we had been pursing were safe in the hills. During the day's fighting amongst the olive groves and vineyards north of Damascus and across the open land towards the hills the Brigade had taken 744 more prisoners and 80 machine, guns. The Notts Battery had not accompanied us on this day's march, being left in the valley near El Mezze, being unable to accompany us over the hills towards Dumar on the Beirut Road. We were also unfortunate with our Field Ambulance. Without reference to the Brigade it had been popped some miles to the south west of Damascus, and put on to the job of collecting sick and wounded Germans and Turks. The result was that we had not even a stretcher to give our men wounded on the 1st of October 1918. Wounded men were carried in to bivouac on the front of horses and later on in two dilapidated buggies, which were seized locally for the purpose - some ambulance wagons turned up in the afternoon of the 2nd October 1918, after my strong remonstrance that I thought the Brigade's wounded should have first call on its own ambulance.

As the last feed issued had been eaten at dawn, and as the Brigade had as yet had no time to requisition for more, it was necessary to return to Duma to draw feed by requisition. The Brigade bivouacked for the night about two miles north of the village, orders bring issued for a strong patrol of 8th Light Horse Regiment to push out along the road towards the foot hills at dawn and for each of the Regiments to put out an outpost line to protect their bivouac from the east.

 

10th Light Horse Regiment War Diary

At 0400 the 10th Light Horse Regiment was detailed to take up the duties of Advanced Guard to the Brigade with orders to push out to the Aleppo Road which leads out of Damascus in a north east direction and to get astride it near Duma. Sheet Syria - Beirut 1/250000 Sq F2. Regiment moved out at 0500. C Squadron, under Timperley, Major LC, as vanguard A Squadron in support and B Squadron in reserve. The track from bivouac area to Dumar Road was very rough and steep and the advanced guard was not forward up with the Regiment had watered and reached Dumar village Sq E2. The advance troops then pushed on at the trot to Dumar Railway Station where a troop train loaded with troops but without engine was standing in the station. On the main road immediately opposite the station about 800 Turks were formed up. These with the troops on the train threw up their hands when called upon to do so by Macgregor, Lieutenant FJ, MC, who with troops was advancing with drawn swords. A small guard was placed over the prisoners and the advance resumed but was soon checked on account of the road being blocked for several hundred years by dead and wounded Turks and Germans, stock, transport animals and abandoned transport and equipment of all kinds with which the road was thickly strewn as the Machine Guns were playing on the road and made havoc with a column that was trying to escape. A Squadron were sent forward, dismounted to assist in clearing the road. The advance way delayed here for about 45 minutes. A further batch of prisoners mostly Germans were captured in a store house by the river. The total captives along this road included two batteries of field guns, one battery of mountain guns, one battery of galloping Maxims and a motor car were marked 10th Light Horse Regiment. On entering Damascus huge cosmopolitan crowds were pushing about cheering and firing rifles. Olden, Major ACN, who was riding with the advanced troops was met by an Arab representative who conducted the column to the Arab Municipal Chambers where Emir Said who had taken over the city the previous day from Djemal Pasha formally surrendered Damascus. Emir Said detailed the chief of Gendarmes to guide the column to the north east road where our objective lay. Pushing through the crowded streets the populace gave every indication of their great joy at the occupation of the city by British troops. The troops were sprayed from the balconies with champagne, perfumes, rose leaves and confetti. On leaving the city through the suburb Amara information was received that a force of Germans were holding a bridgehead where the Wadi Maraba crosses the main road Sq F2 about four miles south west of Duma. Olden, Major ACN, with advanced troops pushed forward to clear up the situation which gradually developed into and attack by the whole regiment. C Squadron were on the right flank, A Squadron in the centre and B Squadron on left. The enemy after a determined resistance in which machine guns played a large part was forced back and B Squadron who had swung well out to the left and behind the village of Duma Sq F2 captured 81 Officers and 452 Other Ranks with 31 machine Guns. The prisoners were sent to the rear under one troop as escort and the Machine Guns destroyed. C Squadron on the right of the road captured two Machine Guns and twelve prisoners. The enemy were pursued to Khan Kusseir where they made another attempt to hold up our advance. This position was soon captured.

9th LHR AIF War Diary, 1 October

  

Darley

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

No Entry

 

 

Previous:  Bert Schramm's Diary, 30 September 1918

Next:  Bert Schramm's Diary, 2 October 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, 1 October 1918


Posted by Project Leader at 10:36 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 6 June 2011 7:38 PM EADT

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