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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

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre aims to present an accurate history as chroniclers of early Australian military developments from 1899 to 1920.

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Monday, 20 April 2009
Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times Account, 8 February 1915
Topic: BatzS - Suez 1915

Suez Canal Attack

Egypt, January 28 - February 3, 1915

The Times Account, 8 February 1915.

The Times, 8 February 1915, p. 8.


The account is transcribed below.


The Times, 8 February 1915, p. 8.




The Turkish retreat from the vicinity of the Canal is diversely interpreted. It is held in some quarters that the enemy has fallen back to the nearest good water supply owing to inability to maintain himself near the east bank of the Canal, where wells are few. Others believe that the failure of the attempt to break through the Canal defences has so dispirited the troops as to render immediate withdrawal, with or without an intention of returning to the charge, inevitable.

The latter theory is, perhaps, supported by the surrender of Turkish deserters, and still more by the curious discovery, of which the official  communique has already spoken, of a white flag I with rings and halyard complete in a special case on the body of a slain German officer. if the flag was to be used only for its legitimate purpose-that of announcing a surrender - its presence betokens a great lack of confidence, to say the least, among the German officers, who have been credited with the entire direction of the Turkish operations.



Further Reading:

Where Australians Fought, Sinai, 1916-1917

Light Horse Battles

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times Account, 8 February 1915

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 24 April 2009 12:02 AM EADT
Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times, 4 February 1915
Topic: BatzS - Suez 1915

Suez Canal Attack

Egypt, January 28 - February 3, 1915

 The Times, 4 February 1915


 The Times, 4 February 1915, p. 8


The account is transcribed below.





The Turks have at Last, made a serious attempt to crows the Suez Canal.

On Tuesday night they arrived opposite Tussum which lies at the southern end of Lake Timsah. Earlier in the day they had been near Ismailia, at the northern end of the lake, where they were driven off after a skirmish. At Tussum they had brought bridging material. They were allowed to start bridging operations, and the British force then opened an attack which proved irresistible. The Turks precipitately fled, leaving the whole of their bridging material in our hands.

Yesterday morning he enemy also attacked further north at El Kantara, the scene of last week's encounter) but were repulsed without difficulty.

This is the first noteworthy encounter between the British and the Turks in the neighbourhood of the canal. As the Turks had guns, it must be presumed that: they have arrived in some force. The place of their appearance suggests that after leaving El Arish they have followed a south westerly course across the desert, probably passing near Bir Matha. It has always been expected that they would strike at Ismailia, where the railway branches off to Cairo.

A map showing the lines of approach to the Suez Canal will be found on the previous page.


An official communiqué states that last night the enemy attempted to cross the Canal near Tussum.

They were allowed to bring their bridging material to the bank unmolested. When the bridging operations had actually started tea attacked them. Our attack was completely successful. The enemy fled in disorder, leaving the whole of their bridging material in our hands, and some of the enemy were drowned in the Canal.

The enemy also attacked us on the El Banters front at daylight to-day, but were easily repulsed.

The loss of the enemy was 16 killed and wounded, and 40 prisoners. Our casualties were three wounded.


Yesterday British forces met the enemy in the vicinity of Ismailia, near the centre of the Suez Canal. A sandstorm checked the enemy's ardour. Their shooting both with guns and rifles was bad. The enemy retreated.

The British losses were six men wounded. Reuter.



Further Reading:

Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, Contents

Where Australians Fought, Sinai, 1916-1917

Light Horse Battles

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times, 4 February 1915

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 25 April 2009 10:01 PM EADT
Bert Schramm's Diary, 20 April 1919
Topic: Diary - Schramm

Diaries of AIF Servicemen

Bert Schramm


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, 20 April 1919


Bert Schramm's Handwritten Diary, 19 - 22 April 1919

[Click on page for a larger print version.]


Bert Schramm

Sunday, April 20, 1919

Bert Schramm's Location - Zagazig, Egypt.

Bert Schramm's Diary - Easter Sun. Things are quiet and we have had an easy day. Received a batch of letters today, four from Lucy. I was jolly pleased to get them. Also had several letters from home. They were all doing well. Fred had arrived home and they were all very excited.



9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Zagazig, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Voluntary church services.



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

No Entry

Previous: Bert Schramm's Diary, 19 April 1919

Next: Bert Schramm's Diary, 21 April 1919


Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF War Diary - Complete day by day list

Bert Schramm Diary 

Bert Schramm Diary - Complete day by day list


Additional Reading:

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


Citation: Bert Schramm's Diary, 20 April 1919

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 9 May 2009 7:22 PM EADT
Sunday, 19 April 2009
Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook - Summary Page
Topic: Wp - Hotchkiss PMG

Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook

Summary Page


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


Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook - Summary Page

[Click on page for a larger print version.]


Further Reading:

Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook, Contents 

Weapons, Contents  


Citation: Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook - Summary Page

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 21 April 2009 12:10 AM EADT
Driefontein, South Africa, The Town and Country Journal, 17 March 1900
Topic: BatzB - Driefontein


South Africa, 10 March 1900

The Town and Country Journal, 17 March 1900


The Town and Country Journal, 17 March 1900, p. 13.


The account is transcribed below.



LONDON, March 12, 4.40 a.m.-

Colonel Breadwood, disrovering the enemy in strength on the Driefontein kopjes, posted his mounted troops on a kopje facing the enemy's centre, and awaited the arrival of Major-General Kelly- Kenny's division.   

The enemy, with three guns and two Vickers-Maxims, shelled freely, and fought obstinately.

The Essex Regiment, the Yorkshires, the Gloucesters, and the Buffs were conspicuous in the attack.

The 1st Australian Horse, with the Scots Greys, advanced within eight hundred yards of the enemy, under a heavy fire.

One trooper was wounded in the shoulder, and another had his leg fractured, and his horse killed under him.

The New South Wales Lancers, with Major General Porter's brigade, were under shell fire.

The Welsh Regiment in the evening carried the central position at the point of the bayonet, and the cavalry turned the position, the enemy fleeing northwards at night.

The horses of the Australian Cavalry alone were enabled to pursue the enemy.

Lieutenant Colonel Knight's and Captain Antill's mounted troops, with Colonel Le Gallais's Brigade, did splendid service.

The British artillery was very effective.

Dr Fiaschi's ambulances were all night collecting the wounded.

LONDON, March 12 7.10 am

The Boers at Driefontein numbered six thousand, newly arrived from the south. Their mobility and the moving of the guns was more remarkable than ever.

The New South Wales mounted troops gallantly bu unsuccessfully attempted to capture one gun with outranged ours, and the bluejackets were too late.

The enemy evacuated their positins and then reoccupied them, subtly concealing their intention and withdrawing the guns only when likely to be captured.

The withdrawals fatigued the cavalry horses.

Lord Robers resumed the advance, and has arrived at Aasvogel.

LONDON, March 12, 8.50 am.

Lord Roberts telegraphed from Driefontein on Sunday:-

"The enemy opposed us throughout yesterday's march, giving us, owing to their intimate knowledge of the country, considerable trouble.

"The conduct of the troops was admirable.

"The Welsh and Essex Regiments expelled the enemy from two strong positions at the point of the bayonet.

"Our wounded include Colonel Umphelby (Victorian), who was wounded dangerously in the abdomen.

"The Boers suffered heavily, 102 of their dead being abandoned.

"I have telegraphed to the Presidents as follows:-

"'Another instance of the gross abuse of the white flag and raising of hands in token of surrender was witnessed at East Driefontein by staff officers and myself, resulting in the wounding of several officers and men.

"'If such abuse recurs I shall reluctantly by compelled to diregard the white flag entirely.

"'A large quantity of explosive bullets of three kinds was found in General Cronje's lassger, also after every engagement with your Honor's troops.

"'Such breaches of recognised usages of war and of the Geneva Convention are a disgrace to any civilised Power.

"'A copy of this telegram has been sent to my Government requesting it to be communicated to the Neutral Powers.'"

LONDON, March 12, 3.30 pm

During the battle of Driefontein, in order to ecape the artillery fire while crossing the open veldt and while a squadron of cavalry was moving on its flank, a large commando hoisted the white flag.

When the British advanced to accept the surrender, another section of the enemy fired repeated volleys on the advancing force, wounding a number.

The British ran short of ammunition during the battle, owing to the infantry being relieved of weight to facilitate marching.


LONDON, March 11, 4.25 am.

Private C Wargalt was dangerously, and Private J McCracken seriously, wounded during the fighting at Poplar Grove.

Both belong to the New South Wales Contingent.

LONDON, March 11, 3.30 pm.

In the operations at Osfontein and Poplar Grove and the Queensland Mounted Infantry were conspicuous. Their scouting is described as excellent.


Further Reading:

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Driefontein, South Africa, The Town and Country Journal, 17 March 1900

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 22 April 2009 10:51 PM EADT

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