Topic: AIF - 1B - 1 LHB
Battle of Romani
Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916
1st LH Bde, AIF, War Diary Account
Observation Posts of on Section each were posted on Mount Meredith and Mount Royston. At 1100 orders were received that for night 3/4th August an Outpost Line was to be established by this Brigade from Infantry Post No. 1 exclusive on the left to Hod el Enna inclusive on the right connecting up by patrols with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade. Advanced Posts at Bir abu Raml and Bir en Nuss.
The Outpost Line was in position just after dusk, 3rd Light Horse Regiment holding left sector from Infantry Post No. 1 exclusive to Mount Meredith inclusive. 2nd Light Horse Regiment holding Bir abu Raml and Bir en Nuss. 2nd Light Horse Brigade who were in touch with the enemy during the day passed through the Outpost Line at 2030 returning to camp.
At 2100 our Advanced Post reported be3ing in touch with a small party of the enemy towards our right flank.
At 2330 there seemed to be a general "feeling" movement of the enemy along our line from right flank towards Mount Meredith.
At 0100 enemy began to push in numbers on the right flank and kept increasing in strength along the line up to and including Mount Meredith, at which point they made an attack with the bayonet and attempted to climb that position. This point was then reinforced by one Squadron of the 1st Light Horse Regiment. Up to 0400 the whole of the attack was pushed home in the area Hod el Enna to and including Mount Meredith, attacking force estimated at about 2,000.
Owing to enemy activity on our right flank our troops were compelled to fall back in a northerly direction to a line running dure west through Mount Meredith. This line was reinforced on the right by the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, but a flanking movement by overwhelming numbers forced our troops back to Wellington Ridge - the enemy apparently operating in two bodies, one on our right flank and the other moving due north by Mount Royston towards the railway line.
This latter movement was operated against by Colonel Royston with the 2nd and 3rd Light Horse Regiments of this Brigade in addition to his own Brigade.
From 0730 to 1700 1st Light Horse Brigade less 2nd and 3rd Light Horse Regiments rested at Bir Et Maler.
At 1600, with the cooperation New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, the enemy was forced of the position which he occupied on Mount Royston and driven south.
On night August 4/5th the line held by the enemy was Mount Royston to Wellington Ridge.
On the night 4/5th the Outpost Line held by the 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades was divided into two Sectors, Colonel Meredith commanding the right sector, with his right resting on a point about 1 mile north east of Mount Royston, the troops under his command being 1st, 3rd and 6th Light Horse Regiments and the 2nd Light Horse Regiment being with the 2nd Light Horse Brigade.
On the right of this sector the Outpost Line was held by the 5th Manchester Battalion.
At 0400 a forward driving movement was commenced with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade on the right, 1st Light Horse Brigade in the centre and 2nd Light Horse Brigade on the left, the right of the 1st Light Horse Brigade working on a line Mount Royston to and including Hod el Enna.
The captures of this Brigade were 400 prisoners, which included a complete Field Ambulance with personnel, 65 laden camels, 5 machine guns, 300 boxes small arms ammunition, many rifles and other stores.
From Hod el Enna the forward movement was carried on with our right through Bir abu Raml (where we captured a Field Ambulance) to Bir abu Gulud. As many horses as the small well could supply were watered at Bir abu Gulud.
At 1515 the Brigade concentrated at a point half a mile northwards of Bir abu Gulud for the purposes of attacking Qatia, where the enemy appeared to be concentrated, in conjunction with the 2nd Light Horse Brigade on the right and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade on the left. The three Brigades in perfect line galloped into action, not one horse of this Brigade being hit, although the Machine Gun and rifle fire was very heavy. The line occupied on this advance was maintained until dusk, when the Brigade was ordered to withdraw. The horses were in a bad state from want of water and quite unfit for action for the time being.
The Brigade returned to camp at Romani, arriving at 2230.
The casualties during the battle were:-
Unit Killed Wounded Missing Officers Other Ranks Officers Other Ranks Officers Other Ranks 1st Light Horse Regiment 1 8 4 28 0 5 2nd Light Horse Regiment 2 7 2 28 0 11 3rd Light Horse Regiment 0 8 4 33 0 13 1st Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron 0 1 0 4 0 0 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance 0 0 0 4 0 0 Total 3 24 10 97 0 29
Total Casualties - 163
Citation: Battle of Romani, Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1st LH Bde, AIF, War Diary Account