"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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Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 31 October 1918 Topic: Diary - Schramm
Diaries of AIF Servicemen
31 October 1918
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 complete diary is now available on the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre Site at:
Bert Schramm's Handwritten Diary, 27 - 31 October 1918
[Click on page for a larger print version.]
Thursday, October 31, 1918
Bert Schramm's Location - Masie, Syria
Bert Schramm's Diary - Left Nebk at 6 am and came on about nine miles to a village called Kara and watered. We are travelling all night tonight and expect to reach Homs early tomorrow morning, We have heard officially today that Turkey has been granted a five day armistice and hostilities ceased at noon today. I feel sure Turkey will get peace. Twelve months ago today we were fighting at Beersheba.
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:
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.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Daily State shows 18 Officers, 374 Other Ranks, total 392. Bayonet strength 262. The health of the camp is good.
Tuesday, October 31, 1916
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Bir Etmaler
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - A Squadron to Mahamadiyah for swimming. Each squadron to take it in turns daily. Party of Non Commissioned Officers and 37 Other Ranks for two days leave to Port Said via Mahamadiyah.
Wednesday, October 31, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - On the road to Iswaiwin.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - From Asluj to Iswaiwin the roads were in a fair order. Nature of country hilly and very stony in places. Arrived in vicinity of Iswaiwin at 1000. Half an hour prior to reaching this point Ayliffe, Lieutenant SH; and, his troops were dispatched north west and Mueller, Lieutenant GLH; and, his troop were dispatched due north. Their orders were to locate the enemy and report enemy's dispositions. Within one and half hours Ayliffe, Lieutenant SH, reported enemy holding Ras Ghannam in strength. Mueller, Lieutenant GLH, pushed further north than was anticipated and was unable to return within time thereby failing to rejoin the Regiment until 1830.
At 1400 Brigade Headquarters and 9th Light Horse Regiment moved from Iswaiwin to support New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade in their attack on Tel el Saba. On moving towards Bir Salim Abu Irgeig the Brigade came under enemy shell barrage but reached their first halting place Bir Salim Abu Irgeig without casualties. By this time 1500 the battle of Beersheba was developing. Our right flank consisting of mounted troops kept closing in on Beersheba from the east and south. All along the right flank now presented a wonderful sight. Mounted troops and horse artillery everywhere galloping for positions. Our artillery bombardment of enemy positions was intense. At Bir Salim Abu Irgeig the Regiment saw Tel el Saba surrender to the New Zealanders.
At 1515 the Regiment received orders to move to the right of the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade and take up position at 1060 5 of V in Butein. Daly, Major TJ went forward to get in touch with New Zealand Headquarters. Nature of country between Bir Salim Abu Irgeig and 1060 was open slightly undulating and broken by two small wadis. The Regiment moved across this country in line of troop columns [column of Squadrons each Squadron in line of troop columns] at a steady trot jinking here and there to evade the shrapnel which was being fired at fairly short range. A small gully just south of 1060 was reached without a casualty at 1530. The enemy shelled this gully for 11/2 hours but failed to cause a casualty.
At 1700 orders were received to move and occupy the line 1040 and 960 east of Beersheba. When nearing the Tel el Saba redoubt an enemy aeroplane flying at about 800 feet bombed C Troop of C Squadron killing Leahy, 2815 Trooper CM; Morrison, 2939 Trooper DJ; and, wounding severely Linacre, Lieutenant FJ; and, Williams, Captain H; and, wounding nine Other Ranks. 19 horses were killed and 6 wounded. Many casualties were also inflicted on New Zealanders and No 1 Sub - Section of 3rd Machine Gun Squadron who was close by. At this point we learned that Beersheba had fallen. Heavy explosions were heard which afterwards proved to be the blowing up of the Beersheba wells.
The Regiment watered in pools in Wadi Saba and took up and held an outpost line from 1040 to Tel el Saba which A and two troops of B Squadron held all night.
The distance from Khalasa to Iswaiwin is 32 miles and from Iswaiwin via Bir Salim Abu Irgeig - 1060 - Tel el Saba - 1040 is about nine miles. The horses and men stood this severe test splendidly. The last 8 miles owing to enemy artillery fire were particularly strenuous.
3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary -
Shortly after 0530 our advanced troops gained touch with the Anzac Mounted Division in the vicinity of Iswaiwin. Here water in shallow pools was discovered and many of the horses were given a short drink, although time would not permit all horses being watered.
The Australian Mounted Division shortly afterwards concentrated. Final orders for the Division were to be received at the point of concentration. The Division would be called upon for either one or two tasks by the Desert Mounted Corps, whose double mission was,
[a]. To attack Beersheba, from the east, and envelope the enemy's left rear; and, [b]. To seize as much water supply as possible in order to form a base for field operations.
The 20th Corps would cooperate with Desert Mounted Corps by attacking Beersheba defences from the west and south west. The capture of Beersheba being primary object of the army.
The Australian Mounted Division was to be prepared at Iswaiwin for a quick move either north westward on Beersheba or northwards to assist Anzac Mounted Division, who were moving to attack Tel el Saba.
From the rear of the Anzac Mounted Division, 8th Light Horse Regiment, under Maygar, Lieutenant Colonel LC, VC DSO, was detached at 0630 to take up the line 1280 - 1180 - 1210, and get signalling communication with 7th Mounted Brigade [operating on right of 20th Corps], on the left, and New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade [operating on the left of Anzac Mounted Division], on the right.
8th Light Horse Regiment was linked up with right and left by 1800. Enemy positions and works at Ras Ghannam were reconnoitred vigorously and discovered to be very strongly held.
After receipt of reports of the patrols, who had been reconnoitring enemy positions east south east, south and south west of Beersheba, during the morning, orders were received that the main attack would be launched against the enemy's position at Tel el Saba.
The Anzac Mounted Division were pushing the attack now on the right, and at 1400 the Brigade [less the 8th Light Horse Regiment] received orders to move to assist the Anzac Mounted Division at Tel el Saba, being temporarily attached to the Division for this purpose.
On moving across open country immediately towards Bir Salim Abu Irgeig, the Brigade came under heavy shell fire. The formation of the Brigade in this movement was Squadron column in line of troop column, with double interval and distance.
On the arrival of the Brigade at the point of deployment Bir Salim Abu Irgeig at 1500, the 9th Light Horse Regiment under Scott, Lieutenant Colonel WH, DSO was ordered into the attack on the right of the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade, supported by the rest of the Brigade, less the 8th Light Horse Regiment. The 9th Light Horse Regiment moved forward across the open ground to the north of the main wadi where it came under intense enemy shelling, but suffered very few casualties. The movement was carried out with the Regiment in column of squadrons, each squadron in line of troop column, with 100 yards interval and distance between troops. The determination with which the movement was executed undoubtedly had a moral effect on the enemy which was now being closed in on. The balance of the Brigade moved in support along the bed of the main wadi.
The enemy's position at Tel el Saba was at 1530 captured with the garrison by the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade before the 9th Light Horse Regiment dismounted for action.
The 10th Light Horse Regiment at 1630 was ordered to seize the positions 1020 and 970, and cut off any enemy retreat along the Beersheba - Hebron Road.
The 9th Light Horse Regiment was now ordered to move from 1080 to Tel el Saba, and take up a second line 1040 - 960, to cooperate with the 10th Light Horse Regiment holding the line 1020 - 970, in cutting off an enemy's retreat [from Beersheba towards] Hebron.
When nearing Tel el Saba the 9th Light Horse Regiment was bombed by two enemy aeroplanes flying at the extremely low altitudes of 800 feet, and suffered very heavy casualties in both men and horses. Including the sub - section Machine Gun Squadron attached to 9th Light Horse Regiment, casualties sustained were: - 13 other ranks killed, and three Officers and 17 other ranks wounded, 20 horses wounded and 32 horses killed.
The 8th Light Horse Regiment had received orders from Headquarters, Anzac Mounted Division to rejoin 3rd Light Horse Brigade Headquarters. When so doing they were also bombed by enemy aircraft flying at a very low altitude. The CO, Maygar, Lieutenant Colonel LC, VC DSO, was here mortally wounded, and died the following day.
At about 1900 news was received that Beersheba had been captured. The enemy had been taken by surprise; they had not expected a serious attack on this flank. Information of the movement in force of the mounted troops towards Asluj was not gained by the enemy. The enemy aeroplane which did detect the movement of troops to the south failed to return.
The 10th Light Horse Regiment was meeting strong opposition from an enemy rear guard, who advanced against one squadron and entrenched themselves in front of the 10th Light Horse Regiment position. The opening up of machine gun and rifle fire at about 2130 drove the enemy back. 10th Light Horse Regiment advanced troops had now entered Beersheba from the north east. All Regiments and the machine gun squadron of the Brigade had during the day taken part in the attack. The casualties in the Brigade incurred for the day's operations were: 13 killed and 33 wounded, with 36 horses wounded and 32 killed.
There were captured by the mounted troops nearly 2,000 prisoners, 14 guns and huge quantities of booty of all descriptions.
During the night the Brigade was continually sniped at from a ridge north of Beersheba. 25 prisoners, chiefly snipers, were taken by the 9th and 10th Light Horse Regiments during the night.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0400 Reveilled and at 0545 moved off on final stage of trek. Arrived Kara at 0830 where horses were watered and march resumed at 1015. Arrived at Masie 1550 where a halt was made to feed up. Information was received that an Armistice had been completed with Turkey, hostilities ceasing at 1200 on 31 October 1918.
1700 Resumed march towards Homs for a distance of six miles then halted, off-saddled and fed.
2330 March was resumed.
Friday, October 31, 1918
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Adelaide
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Regiment disbanded.
The Battle of Beersheba, Palestine, 31 October 1917, 4th LHR, AIF, Charge at Beersheeba Topic: AIF - 4B - 4 LHR
The Battle of Beersheba
Palestine, 31 October 1917
4th LHR, AIF, Charge at Beersheeba
4th Light Horse Regiment men who charged at Beersheba
The following list comprises the men from the 4th Light Horse Regiment who were possibly at Beersheba on 31 October 1917 and may have been available to have taken part in the famous Charge at Beersheba.
The reason for the uncertainty, except for those wounded or killed in action arises from the situation that no roll was ever taken of the men who did charge. The historian is then left to search through the individual service records to ascertain if the man was likely to have been at Beersheba on the appropriate date. The exercise required examining many hundreds of records from potential candidates and narrowing down to the likely candidates whose files show no reason not to be at Beersheba.
The absence of a reason in itself does not mean that the person actually charged. A person may have reported sick in the morning and spent a couple days at the Field Ambulance. If the stay at the Field Ambulance was less than 14 days, generally it would not be recorded on the service record unless it was a reportable illness. Thus, the absence of a reaqson not to be at Beersheba is not evidence that a person was at Beersheba but it is more than likely that the person was at Beersheba.
The following list was researched and constructed by Steve Becker and is reproduced with his permission.
The Battle of Beersheba, Palestine, 31 October 1917, Cameron Account Topic: AIF - 4B - 12 LHR
The Battle of Beersheba
Palestine, 31 October 1917
12th ALHR Beersheba Post Battle Report, 31 October 1917.
After the victory at Beersheba on 31 October 1917, the Commanding Officer of the 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Donald Cameron wrote his post battle summary which is transcribed below.
Report of the assault on Beersheba on 31 October 1917
1545 - Received orders to saddle up and get ready to move immediately. The Regiment had previously moved into the concentration area of Iswaiwin with the Brigade at 1130 and off saddled, fed horses and men.
1600 - General Officer Commanding 4th LH Brigade sent for Commanding Officers and Seconds in Command. On reporting to Brigade Headquarters orders were received that the 4th and 12th LH Regiment would attack Beersheba commence at once.
1630 - The 4th and 12th LH Regtiments deployed from a point 1 mile N of Pt 1280. The 12th Regiment moved with "A" Squadron in advance in line extended to 5 yards with right flank in vicinity of and south of flank track W and connecting with the 4th LH Regiment. "B" Squadron moved in the same formation 300 yards in rear of "A" Squadron. Headquarters, "C" Squadron and 1 sub-section of Machine Gun Squadron moved in line of troop column 300 yards in rear of "B" Squadron. The Regiment moved on Beersheba at the gallop. Heavy enemy rifle and machine gun fire developed on the left flank from the vicinity of 1180. This fire was silenced by artillery. The leading Squadron came under very heavy rifle fire and machine gun fire from the trenches in (see note at foot). On reaching a point about 100 yards from these trenches one Troop of "A" Squadron dismounted for action, and the remainder of the Squadron galloped on, leaving the trenches on the right. "B" and "C" Squadrons followed this route. The trenches were left to the Troop that dismounted. The Regiment, less 1 troop, kept straight on to Beersheba. Headquarters and "C" Squadron were halted about 1 mile from Beersheba and held in support in a Wadi under cover. "A" and "B" Squadrons less 1 troop entered Beersheba along the Asluj - Beersheba road. At the crossing of the Wadi Saba the pace of the leading file was checked to enable an accommodation of pace. Both Squadrons entered Beersheba in a body. When reaching the red brick building in the vicinity of the Mosque the greater portion of the force under Captain Jack Rupert Cyril Davis moved to the right leaving the mosque on the left thence to a point about 200 yards south of railway station. Thence across railway line making a turning movement to the right finishing in the vicinity of a building with an oval roof on the northern outskirts of Beersheba. A party of 6 men galloped in front General Headquarters (Turkish). One troop under Lieutenant Rodney Keith Robey and Second Lieutenant Edward Alfred Mulford skirted the town on the left. The whole rallying in the main body while Captain Jack Rupert Cyril Davis on the northern outskirts turned about checked and held up the enemy force which was escaping in a northerly direction. The greater part of the enemy immediately surrendered. 9 Guns attempted to escape but were retaken complete.
One troop under Major Eric Montague Hyman (after half an hours action) and and cleared the enemy in the trenches east of Beersheba. About 60 of these enemy, including 3 officers tried to escape by were intercepted by a troop of our "C" Squadron and taken prisoners. "C" Squadron then moved up to the angle of the railway into the vicinity of the viaduct.
All prisoners were rounded up in the angle of the above railway and counted. Defensive positions were taken up at the pumping station and preparations made for all round defence. Major Eric Montague Hyman consolidated the redoubt east of Beersheba in anticipation of a counter attack from the south-west and held the positioons all night. The picquets in the vicinity of the pumping station were withdrawing at 2300 when Brigade Headquarters arrived and took over. A patrol of 1 NCO and 8 men was sent out at 2300 and made a reconnaissance in a south-west direction returning a 0300 bringing in 23 prisoners and reporting "All clear."
In all, 38 Officers and 700 Other Ranks were taken, 9 guns, 3 machine guns and a large quantity of various war material including rolling stock, transport vehicles and animals were captured.
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