"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, 28 March 1919.
[From: Brisbane Courier, 28 March 1919, p. 7, Fighting Bolshivism.]
605th Machine Gun Company War Diary - 19 to 26 May 1916 Topic: Gm - Bk - 605 MGC
German 605th Machine Gun Company (MGC)
War Diary, 19 May to 26 May 1916
605th Machine Gun Company War Diary - 19 to 26 May 1916
Here we spent the night in the temporary station buildings. At 6 p.m. the mounted men under the company commander rode from Mamure to Kassan Bey which they reached at midnight. The remainder of the company travelled at noon by the field railway (narrow gauge) to Airan, which they reached at 5.30 p.m. and spent the night at the entrance to the tunnel.
Early this morning the boxes which had arrived here were transferred to the broad-gauge line from the narrow gauge railway and proceeded at 11.30 a.m. to Islahic. We arrived here at noon. The march of the mounted men was continued at 4 a.m., reaching Islahic at 9 a.m. The remainder of the company which had spent the night at Airan, railed at 6 a.m. through the tunnel and arrived at Entili at 10 a.m. and halted till noon. The field railway then took them to Kurt Bagsche which they reached at 2 p.m. They left here at 4 p.m. and arrived at Islahije at 4.30 p.m.
To-day we got our food again from the field kitchen, and what was really dinner we got this evening. Otherwise nothing new.
Company strength 1 officer, 10 N.C.O's., 19 men. Supplies (meat, bread, etc.) from the Turkish supply Depot.
Supplies from the Turkish Supply Depot. The water here was very good but unfortunately flat.
Company Sergeant Major Flugel fell sink of dysentery to-day and was sent to the L. of C. hospital at Aleppo. Supplies from the Turkish Supply Depot.
Supplies from the Turkish Supply Depot.
Pte. Reinhardt fell sick of tonsillitis and was handed over to the 213th Field Ambulance here. Supplies from the T.S. Depot.
1st Australian Armoured Car Section - Megiddo - Part 1 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 1.
THE BATTLE OF MEGIDDO - Part 1.
It was the morning of the 19th September, 1918. Our orders were to stand to at 3.30 a.m. and have everything ready to move off at a moments notice. We were attached to the 11th Cavalry Division for these operations and we were to protect and convoy the whole of the divisional motor oars and transport. Our starting point was to be one mile east of El Jeliel. The bombardment on the enemy's front line began at 4.30 a.m. and it was the best thing in the way of a bombardment that any of us and ever seen.
Every gun, howitzer and mortar in existence seemed to be going off at once and all the batteries from the 13 pounders up to the big sixtys seemed to be working overtime. For about an hour or so the air appeared to be filled with fire and shrieking shells, after that there was a lull and in a little while the sound of cheering could be heard in the distance as the infantry did their part of the job and cleared a gap through the trenches.
At 8 o'clock the road was clear mid we got the word to go. Every horse in the division went forward at the trot with the motors alongside them. The barbed wire entanglements were trampled down by hundreds of hoofs and wheels, the trenches filled in and crossed; and away went the whole division complete into the North via Tabsor never slowing down once until after midday when a brief stop for half an hour for lunch and a spell for the horses was made.
Then on again till 6 p.m. when Kakon was reached where another brief stop for tea was made. The division then pushed on with all speed throughout the night as it was very important to get through the Mus Mus pass before the enemy had time to collect reinforcements and hold us up there. This we were able to do and the dawn breaking found us through the hills with the plains of Esdraelon at our feet.
At 7 a.m., 20th Sept. we entered Leggun, where the division rested for a couple of hours. The night travelling had been more trying for the motor drivers than for the horsemen. The only light we had was what we got from the moon and it was impossible to see the ground owing to the clouds of dust from the horses hoofs. The motor drivers had to just drive blindly on and trust to luck which generally was with us. Both our motor cyclists came to grief early the first evening and smashed their machines on rough ground and they had to drop out of the chase. Shortly afterwards one of our gun cars crashed on to a huge boulder in the dark which went through the sump of the engine making a complete stop. We hastily transferred the gun and ammunition off this car on to one of our transport vehicles and left our corporal mechanic with the driver and his assistant to make the best repair possible while we pushed on with the division. The cyclists and this car overtook us a day or two later, so they must have made good use of their time in repairing their machines which were all working again. After a couple of hours at Leggun we pushed on towards El Afule an important Railway town and Junction, also signal station and German Aerodrome. Here we met our first serious opposition.
The enemy had hastily rushed some troops forward with machine guns but they had not received enough notice of our coming to entrench properly.
The division halted momentarily while the 11th Light Armoured Motor battery was rushed forward. This battery was equipped with Rolls Royce Armour plated cars and Light Vickers Machine Guns. The battery drove down the main road and simply mowed down all the machine gun sections sent up to oppose the advance. A detachment of Indian Lancers then went forward at the gallop to mop up what was left. That ended the opposition and the enemy machine guns were all abandoned in the fields. Shortly afterwards we drove into Afule where everything was in a state of chaos.
Much war material was captured including a number of German motor lorries which we put out of action by dismantling the magnetos etc. We promptly pushed forward to the Aerodrome as petrol was a very important item for us. Our tanks were getting low and we did not wish to wait for the supply train which was following. Fortunately we managed to get enough to fill all the tanks of the Patrol and Armoured Cars.
While we were engaged on this a German aeroplane unsuspectingly landed in the aerodrome and the pilot was promptly made a prisoner to his surprise and anger. Shortly afterwards another plane was seen to be landing but just as he reached the ground something aroused his suspicions and he rose again. One of our Armoured Cars promptly opened fire on him then and the pilot was killed. The observer was wounded in the head and taken prisoner. He told us afterwards that it was the felt hats of the Australians in the Aerodrome that made them suspicious that something was wrong.
As soon as we had got enough petrol, oil and water for our cars, we had a hurried lunch at the German Officers mess where the late occupants had very obligingly set the table for us before they left for other parts. After lunch a couple of us wandered down the road for a few hundred yards to stretch our legs when we noticed a number of motor lorries coming along and we remarked that our supply column must have made wonderfully good time in following up so soon. Just then the vehicles drew up alongside us when we found that they were filled with armed Germans who immediately jumped out of their vehicles and held up their hands as a token of surrender. We did not know what to do with such a large number of prisoners so we jumped up into the leading vehicle and directed the driver to drive into the town where we had plenty of men to disarm them.
We signalled the remaining vehicles to follow which they did. On arriving in the town we handed over the convoy to the APM who was responsible for collecting the prisoners of war. I don't suppose any haul of prisoners was so easily made before. The prisoners seemed to be quite contented with their lot and were apparently not looking for any fight.
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, 30 June 1915, p. 30.
"Gaba Tepe" asks what steps she should take in regard to the sudden stoppage, without explanation, of the allowance her husband instructed to be paid to her while he is away on active service.
You should call on or write to the Paymaster at Victoria Barracks, Sydney. There may be some misunderstanding, or there may be a reason; in any case, you have a right to know the cause.
"G.A." asks if the Ashmead Bartlett who is acting as official British press representative at the Dardanelles is a British or an American subject.
He is a British subject, but was born in America (in 1851). He has been a member of the British Parliament for Westminster for twenty years. He first came to prominence in 1877, when he went to the Russo-Turkish war as special commissioner of the Baroness Burdett-Coutts Compassionate Fund. Four years later he married the Baroness and assumed her name. In the South African war he acted as the "Times" special correspondent with regard to the sick and wounded, his work leading to the appointment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry and the institution of a drastic reform of the Army Medical Service. His full name is William Lehman Ashmead Bartless-Burdett-Coutts.
POISONOUS GASES "Queenslander"
It is absolutely untrue that the British used poisonous gases during the Boer War; it is equally untrue that they used them against the Germans prior to the latter's use of them in the present campaign. The Germans certainly stated in a report issued before the gases had been hear of that the British were using them: but that was done only to satisfy their own people and to delude the neutrals who they knew would be shocked at the diabolical innovation. It is questionable if, even now, the British have resorted to their use. All shells used by the combatants, especially lyddite, give off fumes or gases which are more or less poisonous; but they are approved munitions of war; gases as employed by the Germans are expressly banned by the Hague Convention. In regard to the French asphyxiating Turpinite shells, which were used early in the war, but for some reason have been discontinued, the difference between them and the German was that Turpinite caused instantaneous death; the other causes a painful, lingering death.
Bert Schramm's Diary, 13 March 1919 Topic: Diary - Schramm
Diaries of AIF Servicemen
During part of the course of his military service with the AIF, 2823 Private Herbert Leslie Schramm, a farmer from White's River, near Tumby Bay on the Eyre Peninsular, 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 1918 breakout 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.
Bert Schramm's Diary, 13 March 1919
Bert Schramm's Handwritten Diary, 11 - 14 March 1919
[Click on page for a larger print version.]
Thursday, March 13, 1919
Bert Schramm's Location - Moascar, Egypt.
Bert Schramm's Diary - Things have quietened down somewhat in Cairo. According to the papers, things are normal again.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Usual routine.
Parsons, Major HM, DSO commanded the Regiment from 22nd February 1919 to 12 March 1919 during the temporary absence of Scott, Lieutenant Colonel WH, CMG DSO, commanding Australian Divisional Group Advance Australian Divisional Headquarters and 3rd Light Horse Brigade.
Scott, Lieutenant Colonel WH, CMG DSO, resumed command of the Regiment 13th March 1919.
10th Australian Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 57 mules were taken over for use in transport.
The usual swimming parade held in the morning.
An inlying piquet of 11% found to be ready to turn out at a minutes notice should there be any trouble at Ismailia
Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924.
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