"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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The following is a contemporaneous account of the battle at Merivale Street taken from the pages of the Brisbane Courier. The text from the scan is of poor quality and thus cannot be readily transcribed into text but it is legible enough to allow the contents to be satisfactorily read.
The ongoing Battle of Merivale Street, Queensland, from the account published in the Brisbane Courier, 31 March 1919.
[From: Brisbane Courier, 31 March 1919, p. 7, Demonstrations.]
Times, 24 November 1899, Account Topic: BatzB - Belmont
South Africa, 23 November 1899
Times, 24 November 1899, Account
Times, 24 November 1899, p. 5.
BRITISH VICTORY AT BELMONT.
The following telegram from the General Officer Commanding Lines of Commnnication, dated Cape Town, November 23, was received at the War Office at 10 o'clock last night:
Following telegram received from Lord Methuen:
(Begins.) Belmont, Nov. 23. - Attacked enemy daybreak this morning in strong position. Three ridges carried in succession, last attack being prepared by shrapnel. Infantry behaved splendidly and received support from naval brigade and artillery.
Enemy fought with courage and drill. Had I attacked later I should have had far heavier losses.
Victory was complete. Have taken 40 prisoners, and am burying good number of Boers, but the greater part of the killed and wounded have teen taken away by their comrades. Have large number of horses and cows ; have destroyed large amount of ammunition.
Following is a list of casualties :
3rd BATTALION GRENADIER GUARDS.
Dangerously wounded. - Lieutenant Blundell.
Wounded. - Second Lieutenants Leslie and Vaughan.
Slightly wounded. - Lieutenants Gurdon-Rebow end Russell.
And in addition the following officers are reported as wounded.-Lieutenants Lygon, Cameron, and Lieutenant-Colonel Crabbe.
Rank and file. - Killed 26, wounded 36, missing 13.
1st BATTALION COLDSTREAM GUARDS.
Officer wounded.-Lieutenant Grant.
Rank and file.-Killed 8, wounded 17, missing 5.
2nd BATTALION COLDSTREAM GUARDS.
Slightly wounded. - Lieutenant the Hon. Claude Willoughby.
Severely wounded. - Second Lieutenant Burton.
Rank and file. - Wounded 6.
1st BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS.
Severely wounded. - Major the Hon. North Dalrymple Hamilton.
Wounded. - Second Lieutenants Bulkely and Alexander.
Officers severely wounded. - Captain Freeland, Second Lieutenant Barton.
A later telegram reports Brigadier-General Fetherstonehaugh severely wounded through shoulder.
At 1 45 last night another telegram was received from the General Commanding Lines of Communication, Cape Town. It was despatched at 8 5 p.m. and was as follows :
Gatacre reports having yesterday encamped a battalion of infantry at Putters Kraal, and that reinforcements of mounted troops and half a battalion of infantry will be moved to same camp to-day.
Dutch rising continues in Broken Nail districts. Police at Molteno report armed Dutch left Cradock to join rebels at Broken Nail, taking armed natives with them.
French conducted reconnaissance towards Arundel, which he found held in strength, and withdrew with three men wounded - No. 1,996, Policeman L. Bawtree, thigh, dangerous; 3,084, Corporal Thomas, chest and arms, dangerous; 4,618, Private Willett, arm, serious, both of mounted infantry 1st Worcester Regiment.
Boers reported moving from Natal to vicinity of Bloemfontein. Telegraphic communication with Belmont reopened. Line inspector reports heavy engagement to the east of Belmont to-day.
Enemy utterly routed. No details yet received. Postmaster Hope Town reports Kuruman people have defeated North rebels.
(THROUGH REUTER's AGENCY.)
ORANGE RIVER, Nov. 23, 1 p.m.
Mr. J. D. Logan, a member of the Cape Legislative Council, who has just returned here from Belmont, states that the British troops have engaged the enemy on this side of Belmont.
The British artillery practice was magnificent, and the infantry carried the kopjes at the point of the bayonet, driving the Boers from their position.
(FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.)
ORANGE RIVER, Nov. 23.
There are Boers all round Witteputs. They are constantly sighted. It is reported that they are retiring on Belmont.
A reconnaissance with lancers was shelled yesterday morning by the Boers from Belmont Station at 600 yards. The shrapnel burst well, but we had no casualties. The enemy's force is estimated at 2,000 men with five guns.
605th Machine Gun Company War Diary - 1 to 4 June 1916 Topic: Gm - Bk - 605 MGC
German 605th Machine Gun Company (MGC)
War Diary, 1 June to 4 June 1916
605th Machine Gun Company War Diary - 1 to 4 June 1916
On the whole of our travels we saw no fields so well cultivated as they were here with German industry and labour.
Early to-day we arrived at Bir-Es-Saba about 3 a.m. Last night we had to leave one of our Turkish interpreters at Ramleh. He was sick with malaria. We got 4 camels and 2 camel drivers for the carriage of our knapsacks, etc. from the camp some 30 minutes away. Our first work in camp was to pitch the tents we had brought with us. During the course of the day a portion of our baggage was brought into camp by camel. The rest of the company occupied themselves in digging out the inside of the tents. Pte. Stolz fell sick and was sent to the observation tent.
To-day a baggage fatigue was furnished which has to see to the movement of our boxes from the station to the camp. The rest of the company had to take part in digging out the tents. The tents have to be dug out about 4'6", first in order to be cooler, and secondly for protection against the awful sand drifts. Water has to be brought on camels in little wooden casks from a well 3 k.m. away. Today we received a portion of our Turkish ranks, 40 in all (privates, lance-corpls, and N.C.O.'s).
To-day the remainder of our tents were dug out. Our rations came in part from the supplies we brought with us, in part from the Turkish supply depot. Bread, fresh meat, some tea, some sugar, we got from the Turkish supply depot. Preserved supplies we took from our own supply.
1st Australian Armoured Car Section - Megiddo - Part 4 Topic: AIF - Cars
1st AUSTRALIAN ARMOURED CAR SECTION, AIF
THE BATTLE OF MEGIDDO
This is a transcription from a manuscript submitted by Captain E.H. James called "The Motor Patrol". It is lodged in the AWM as AWM 224MSS 209. This is Part 4.
THE BATTLE OF MEGIDDO - Part 4
One of our machine gunners found a sheep on the journey up and soon had it skinned and cut up in professional style. Nobody asked any questions as to how the sheep was found, but it certainly tasted all right.
Next day our orders were to push on to El-Kuneitra but to leave two gun cars with their crews at Tiberias to guard the town which was rather an important point in our line of communications. The road to El-Kuneitra was in very bad condition and the transport of the retreating Turks had not improved it, but we arrived there at dusk and camped for the night. Next morning, at daybreak, again we were off to Kaukab where we stayed the following night, but not to sleep as we were getting very close to our destination, the City of Damascus; the oldest city of the world; and a great Turkish stronghold. We placed our guns in position for the night but were undisturbed. The next day was a great day for our army. As soon as it was light enough to see we started on a road reconnaissance. We found a good track and proceeded with all vehicles to Kiswe, a few miles south of Damascus. Coming over the hills we got a magnificent view of the great city about ten miles away in the hollow. The morning mists were just rising and the view was beautiful. We could see the minarets and towers peeping through the green foliage. Numbers of streams of fresh water winding through the orchards and vineyards and in every direction could be seen thin columns of dust rising through the green trees as bodies of troops armoured cars transport, and cavalry were all converging along every possible road and track towards the one centre. Every now and then a puff of white smoke could be seen as a shell would burst in the distance. The night was a never-to-be forgotten one. Away on the horizon (always well out of range) were hoards of Lawrence's Arab "allies" hanging around for their share of loot when the city fell. Within an hour the leading regiments were in the city. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade secured positions above the Abana Gorge the night before where they inflicted terrible losses on the retreating enemy. This completed the enemy's discomfiture and at 11 a.m. we formed a grand procession through the city. The whole of the native population turned out to see us come in and expressed their feelings by firing their guns into the air; and, as every member of the city seemed to have a rifle or gun of some description, the row can be imagined. We drove through the street that is called Strait. By this time our other cars from Tiberias had joined us and we made a good show with the cars of the other armoured car batteries as we did the Conquering Hero Stunt up to the Town Hall where we stopped for a while for the chiefs to take over the keys of the Town etc. While waiting we did not forget to try the fruit and the other dainties on sale in the Bazaars. Damascus is certainly best from the distance; just far enough away not to notice the filth and smells. Most of us thought we knew enough of the east but Damascus certainly beat all the other cities that we had been in for smells.
We did not think it possible to get such a variety of stinks in one town.
The streets were certainly not made for motor traffic and our drivers had to keep their eyes open when moving about in the town. Holes full of filthy water abounded everywhere. Some of the streets were pitched, but the pitchers were laid anyway; some on top of each other. One of our drivers just missed a manhole in the street with the cover missing. The hole was a well about 10 ft. deep. An electric tram ran through the city but it puzzled everyone how it kept on the rails as these in some cases bulged nearly a foot above the level of the road and in other places were lost in a sea of mud. Our drivers had to give these rails a wide berth as they would drag the tyres off the wheels if caught in them.
We received orders to proceed to the north end of the city to camp for the night. We tried to get through the gorge where Colonel Scott's Light Horsemen had their picnic the night before, but found it impossible to get along until we had spent an hour or so clearing the track of dead men and horses which were heaped across the road everywhere. We had to lever smashed up vehicles of all descriptions into the river while there were machine guns lying about in hundreds. The gutters literally ran with blood. Through the narrow gorge ran a railway line, a river and a road and there was no room for anything else. The railway was blocked with a smashed train of trucks. The river was a racing torrent full of debris and the road was a conglomeration of vehicles and bodies. Eventually we cleared a track through the mess and arrived at our camping position on a hill overlooking the town. Next day we had to patrol the road from Damascus back to El-Kuneitra as the Commander in Chief was motoring up to enter the city officially. We stayed at Damascus far a couple of weeks and took the opportunity to do a number of necessary repairs to our motor vehicles and equipment in between a lot of necessary road patrolling along the various routes, but chiefly between Beirut on the coast and Damascus.
In the meantime, the 5th Cavalry Division under General Macandrew had pushed on from Damascus and had reached Baalbek en route for a dash at Aleppo, the Headquarters of one of the Turkish armies and the junction of the Mespot and Syrian Railway systems on the main line from Constantinople. One of our cars had already been attached to this division for some days and on the 19th October orders were received for the whole unit to join the 5th Cav. Division. We accordingly pushed right away and arrived at Zahli (the Junction of the Beirut and Aleppo made) about midnight. We stayed here until daylight and rushed on with all speed to the north joining the division that afternoon.
And now began what was (from the motor unit's point of view) the most eventful part of the campaign, and it was probably the first time in history that a complete series of operations were carried out on motor vehicles against an opposing army.
The large scale of the Great War often gave people a sense of alienation from the activities of the government and the army. To overcome this, newspapers of the day commenced columns called Query Club or similar names, where ordinary people could clarify their understanding of the complex processes. They also provide us, the historians, an insight into witnessing first hand, the responses of the various bodies to public concerns. The end product is a window into a society now almost out of living memory.
This is the Query Club from the Sydney Mail, 21 July 1915, p. 46.
It is not known with what guns the latest British warships are armed. The biggest guns reported officially are 15-inch, but it is believed that 16.5-inch weapons have been tested, if not actually mounted. Previous to the introduction of the 13.5-inch, the 12-inch was the biggest British naval gun.
Whether a man is married a day or ten years before he embarks for the front, in the event of his being killed, the widow is entitled to a pension - varying from £52 a year for a private to £156 a year for an officer in receipt of 50s a day or over. A sergeant's widow would receive at least £70 a year. Applicants for pensions should fill in their claims on special application forms, to be had from the Pensions Office, 17 Blight Street, Sydney.
NAVAL ENGINEER OFFICERS
The universities of Australia are co-operating with the Minister for Defence in regard to the provision of engineer officers for our navy from the ranks of university graduates. The principle conditions approved by the Minister and the universities are:
All candidates to be nominated by the university, and to have completed a university course of not less than four years in mechanical engineering, exceptional cases to be considered on their merits.
Candidates to have not less than 12 months' workshop experience.
Age not to exceed 24.
Six candidates to be entered each year.
Candidates, on entry, to be given the rank (on probation) of engineer sub-lieutenant, with pay and allowances.
For further information write to the Registrar of the university in your State, or to the Navy Department, Melbourne.
Although many of the earlier stories circulated about the German atrocities in Belgium were subsequently found to be greatly exaggerated, the main charges of murder, brutality, rape and other actions of "frightfulness" were proved up to the hilt by the independent commission over which Lord Bryce presided. In reviewing the evidence Lord Bryce declared that there were in many parts of Belgium deliberate and sytematically organised massacres of the civil population, accompanied by many isolated murders and other outrages. Innocent men, women and children were murdered in large numbers, and many women were violated. Looting, house-burning, and the wanton destruction of property were ordered and countenanced by the officers of the German army as part of a system of general terrorisation. Women and children were used as a shield for advancing forces exposed to fire, wounded prisoners killed, and the Red Cross and white flags frequently abused. The conclusions of the independent commission of inquiry have been published in pamphlet form. You can get a copy from your bookseller for a few pence.
Every child born in Australia, even if his parents are foreigners, is regarded as a British subject.
A FATHER'S RIGHTS
"Motherless" is a girl, 16. On her mother's death her father broke in the home, all the children being taken charge of the relations. Now that "Motherless" is in service the father demands the money she is earning. She asks: Can he take my money? Can he prevent my living with an aunt who is pleased to have me? Can he compel me to go with him?
If your father failed in the past to provide for you as a father should, he is not entitled now to step in and claim your money or impose his will on you. Take no notice of his demands, and if he pesters you, inform the police.
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