« March 2009 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in

Search the site:

powered by FreeFind
Volunteer with us.

Entries by Topic All topics  
A Latest Site News
A - Using the Site
AAA Volunteers
AAB-Education Centre
AAC-Film Clips
AAC-Photo Albums
AIF - Lighthorse
AIF - ALH - A to Z
AIF - DMC - Or Bat
AIF - DMC - Anzac MD
AIF - DMC - Aus MD
AIF - DMC - British
AIF - DMC - French
AIF - DMC - Indian
AIF - DMC - Italian
AIF - DMC - Medical
AIF - DMC - Remounts
AIF - DMC - Scouts
AIF - DMC - Sigs
AIF - DMC - Sigs AirlnS
AIF - DMC - 1 Sig Sqn
AIF - DMC - 2 Sig Sqn
AIF - DMC - Eng
AIF - DMC - Eng 1FSE
AIF - DMC - Eng 2FSE
AIF - 1B - 1 LHB
AIF - 1B - 6 MVS
AIF - 1B - 1 LHMGS
AIF - 1B - 1 Sig Trp
AIF - 1B - 1 LHFA
AIF - 1B - 1 LHR
AIF - 1B - 2 LHR
AIF - 1B - 3 LHR
AIF - 2B - 2 LHB
AIF - 2B - 7 MVS
AIF - 2B - 2 LHFA
AIF - 2B - 2 LHMGS
AIF - 2B - 2 Sig Trp
AIF - 2B - 5 LHR
AIF - 2B - 6 LHR
AIF - 2B - 7 LHR
AIF - 3B - 3 LHB
AIF - 3B - 8 MVS
AIF - 3B - 3 LHB Sigs
AIF - 3B - 3 LHFA
AIF - 3B - 3 LHMGS
AIF - 3B - 3 Sig Trp
AIF - 3B - 8 LHR
AIF - 3B - 9 LHR
AIF - 3B - 10 LHR
AIF - 4B - 4 LHB
AIF - 4B - 4 Sig Trp
AIF - 4B - 9 MVS
AIF - 4B - 4 LHFA
AIF - 4B - 4 LHMGS
AIF - 4B - 4 LHR
AIF - 4B - 11 LHR
AIF - 4B - 12 LHR
AIF - 5B - 5 LHB
AIF - 5B - 10 MVS
AIF - 5B - 5 LHFA
AIF - 5B - 5 Sig Trp
AIF - 5B - ICC
AIF - 5B - 14 LHR
AIF - 5B - 15 LHR
AIF - 5B - 1er Regt
AIF - 5B - 2 NZMGS
AIF - Aboriginal LH
AIF - Badges
AIF - Cars
AIF - Chinese LH
AIF - Double Sqns
AIF - Engineers
AIF - Fr - 22 Corps
AIF - Fr - 13 LHR
AIF - Honour Roll
AIF - HQ - 3rd Echelon
AIF - Marching Songs
AIF - Misc Topics
AIF - NZMRB - Sig-Trp
AIF - Ships
AIF - Ships - Encountr
AIF - Ships - Una
AIF - Wireless Sqn
BatzA - Australia
BatzA - Broken Hill
BatzA - Liverpool
BatzA - Merivale
BatzB - Boer War
BatzB - Bakenlaagte
BatzB - Belmont
BatzB - Bothaville
BatzB - Buffels Hoek
BatzB - Coetzees Drift
BatzB - Diamond Hill
BatzB - Driefontein
BatzB - Elands
BatzB - Graspan
BatzB - Grobelaar
BatzB - Grootvallier
BatzB - Hartebestfontn
BatzB - Houtnek
BatzB - Karee Siding
BatzB - Kimberley
BatzB - Koster River
BatzB - Leeuw Kop
BatzB - Mafeking
BatzB - Magersfontein
BatzB - Modder River
BatzB - Onverwacht
BatzB - Paardeberg
BatzB - Palmietfontein
BatzB - Pink Hill
BatzB - Poplar Grove
BatzB - Rhenoster
BatzB - Sannahs Post
BatzB - Slingersfontn
BatzB - Stinkhoutbm
BatzB - Sunnyside
BatzB - Wilmansrust
BatzB - Wolvekuil
BatzB - Zand River
BatzG - Gallipoli
BatzG - Anzac
BatzG - Aug 1915
BatzG - Baby 700
BatzG - Evacuation
BatzG - Hill 60
BatzG - Hill 971
BatzG - Krithia
BatzG - Lone Pine
BatzG - Nek
BatzJ - Jordan Valley
BatzJ - 1st Amman
BatzJ - 2nd Amman
BatzJ - Abu Tellul
BatzJ - Es Salt
BatzJ - JV Maps
BatzJ - Ziza
BatzM - Mespot
BatzM - Baghdad
BatzM - Ctesiphon
BatzM - Daur
BatzM - Kurna
BatzM - Kut el Amara
BatzM - Ramadi
BatzN - Naval
BatzN - AE1
BatzN - Cocos Is
BatzN - Heligoland
BatzN - Marmara
BatzN - Zeebrugge
BatzN - Zeppelin L43
BatzNG - Bitapaka
BatzO - Other
BatzO - Baku
BatzO - Egypt 1919
BatzO - Emptsa
BatzO - Karawaran
BatzO - Peitang
BatzO - Wassa
BatzP - Palestine
BatzP - 1st Gaza
BatzP - 2nd Gaza
BatzP - 3rd Gaza
BatzP - Aleppo
BatzP - Amwas
BatzP - Ayun Kara
BatzP - Bald Hill
BatzP - Balin
BatzP - Beersheba
BatzP - Berkusieh
BatzP - Damascus
BatzP - El Auja
BatzP - El Buggar
BatzP - El Burj
BatzP - Haifa
BatzP - Huj
BatzP - JB Yakub
BatzP - Kaukab
BatzP - Khan Kusseir
BatzP - Khuweilfe
BatzP - Kuneitra
BatzP - Megiddo
BatzP - Nablus
BatzP - Rafa
BatzP - Sasa
BatzP - Semakh
BatzP - Sheria
BatzP - Surafend
BatzP - Wadi Fara
BatzS - Sinai
BatzS - Bir el Abd
BatzS - El Arish
BatzS - El Mazar
BatzS - El Qatiya
BatzS - Jifjafa
BatzS - Magdhaba
BatzS - Maghara
BatzS - Romani
BatzS - Suez 1915
BatzSe - Senussi
BatzWF - Westn Front
BW - Boer War
BW - NSW - A Bty RAA
BW - NSW - Aust H
BW - NSW - Lancers
BW - NSW - NSW Inf
BW - Qld
BW - Qld - 1ACH
BW - Qld - 1QMI
BW - Qld - 2QMI
BW - Qld - 3ACH
BW - Qld - 3QMI
BW - Qld - 4QIB
BW - Qld - 5QIB
BW - Qld - 6QIB
BW - Qld - 7ACH
BW - SA - 2ACH
BW - SA - 4ACH
BW - SA - 8ACH
BW - Tas
BW - Tas - 1ACH
BW - Tas - 1TIB
BW - Tas - 1TMI
BW - Tas - 2TB
BW - Tas - 2TIB
BW - Tas - 3ACH
BW - Tas - 8ACH
BW - Vic
BW - Vic - 1VMI
BW - Vic - 2ACH
BW - Vic - 2VMR
BW - Vic - 3VB
BW - Vic - 4ACH
BW - Vic - 4VIB
BW - Vic - 5VMR
BW - Vic - 6ACH
BW - Vic - AAMC
BW - Vic - Scot H
BW - WA - 2ACH
BW - WA - 3WAB
BW - WA - 4ACH
BW - WA - 8ACH
BW Gen - Campaign
BW Gen - Soldiers
BW General
Cavalry - General
Diary - Schramm
Egypt - Heliopolis
Egypt - Mena
Gen - Ataturk Pk, CNB
Gen - Australia
Gen - Legends
Gen - Query Club
Gen - St - NSW
Gen - St - Qld
Gen - St - SA
Gen - St - Tas
Gen - St - Vic
Gen - St - WA
Gm - German Items
Gm - Bk - 605 MGC
GW - 11 Nov 1918
GW - Atrocities
GW - August 1914
GW - Biographies
GW - Propaganda
GW - Spies
GW - We forgot
Militia 1899-1920
Militia - Area Officers
Militia - Inf - Infantry
Militia - Inf - 1IB
Militia - Inf - 2IB
Militia - Inf - 3IB
Militia - Inf - NSW
Militia - Inf - Qld
Militia - Inf - SA
Militia - Inf - Tas
Militia - Inf - Vic
Militia - Inf - WA
Militia - K.E.Horse
Militia - LH
Militia - LH - Regts
Militia - LH - 1LHB
Militia - LH - 2LHB
Militia - LH - 3LHB
Militia - LH - 4LHB
Militia - LH - 5LHB
Militia - LH - 6LHB
Militia - LHN - NSW
Militia - LHN - 1/7/1
Militia - LHN - 2/9/6
Militia - LHN - 3/11/7
Militia - LHN - 4/6/16
Militia - LHN - 5/4/15
Militia - LHN - 6/5/12
Militia - LHN - 28
Militia - LHQ - Qld
Militia - LHQ - 13/2
Militia - LHQ - 14/3/11
Militia - LHQ - 15/1/5
Militia - LHQ - 27/14
Militia - LHS - SA
Militia - LHS - 16/22/3
Militia - LHS - 17/23/18
Militia - LHS - 24/9
Militia - LHT - Tas
Militia - LHT - 12/26
Militia - LHV - Vic
Militia - LHV - 7/15/20
Militia - LHV - 8/16/8
Militia - LHV - 9/19
Militia - LHV - 10/13
Militia - LHV - 11/20/4
Militia - LHV - 19/17
Militia - LHV - 29
Militia - LHW - WA
Militia - LHW-18/25/10
Militia - Military Orders
Militia - Misc
MilitiaRC - Rifle Clubs
MilitiaRC - NSW
MilitiaRC - NT
MilitiaRC - Qld
MilitiaRC - SA
MilitiaRC - Tas
MilitiaRC - Vic
MilitiaRC - WA
Militiaz - New Zealand
Tk - Turkish Items
Tk - Army
Tk - Bks - Books
Tk - Bks - 1/33IR
Tk - Bks - 27th IR
Tk - Bks - Air Force
Tk - Bks - Yildirim
Tk - POWs
Wp - Weapons
Wp - Hotchkiss Cav
Wp - Hotchkiss PMG
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
Open Community
Post to this Blog
Site Index
Education Centre
LH Militia
Boer War
Transport Ships
LH Battles
ALH - Units
ALH - General
Aboriginal Light H
Ottoman Sources

"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.

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre site holds over 12,000 entries and is growing daily.

Contact: Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

Let us hear your story: You can tell your story, make a comment or ask for help on our Australian Light Horse Studies Centre Forum called:

Desert Column Forum

WARNING: This site contains: names, information and images of deceased people; and, language which may be considered inappropriate today.

Saturday, 21 March 2009
1st Australian Armoured Car Section - Palestine - Part 1
Topic: AIF - Cars





Part 1


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 224 MSS 209. This is Part 1.



We were now in Palestine proper and settled down in billets in Richon where the Jewish villagers were doing their utmost to make us comfortable. In return we were able to give them our rations of sugar and teat, two luxuries they had been compelled to go without since the war began.

The 11th December was a red letter day for the patrol. Instructions were received to hand in the old derelicts of cars that had served us so well over thousands of miles of all sorts of country and under all sorts of conditions.
We accordingly took them (with the mud of three continents and scars from many battles) to the headquarters of 956 M.T. Company who handed us out six new Fords in their place. The old buses had done their work nobly and it gave the drivers quite a pang to part with them when it came to the point. The drivers carefully removed the name plates before handing the machines in. Each car had been carefully named by its original crews and they were always known by their names in movements.

There was ANZAC (so named because it was supposed to have been used on the peninsula at Gallipoli) and was the oldest car in the patrol. Then came BILLZAC which was generally the companion to ANZAC. OTASEL received its name from its tendency to warm the feet of its occupants and SILENT SUE because it was the quietest car in the fleet. IMSHI was so named on account of its speed capabilities. (IMSHI being the Egyptian word for clear out.) No. 6 car was generally known as BUNG. This car carried the spare ammunition and some said that this was the reason for its name, but some held that there were other reasons.

Anyhow the old ones were gone and we now had to transfer our love to the new. For a couple of days we spent our time oiling, greasing and testing the mechanical parts, tuning up engine, fitting up the machine gun mountings, also our ration and ammunition containers to the best advantage. We were now able to dispense with the condensers as owing to the cooler climate and harder ground these were not necessary for the radiators. The first job of the new vehicles was to distribute voting papers for the conscription referendum which was done on the 13th December.
During the remainder of the month the Patrol was engaged in various small movements along the front. The weather had settled down to continuous rain and was extremely uncomfortable to all those moving outside their billets. Owing to the condition of the ground and the state of the roads neither side was able to make any very big movement. The Patrol did quite a bit of escort work to and from Jerusalem along the road from Jaffa. This road which was originally built a couple of thousand years back by the Romans required extreme care in driving. The grades were very severe and the hairpin bends were too sharp for a vehicle with a long wheelbase to negotiate. Brakes on the motor cars and lorries were severely tested in coming down the 3000’ fast drop from the Jerusalem hills to the plains below. Quite a number of motor vehicles were lost and unfortunately a number of men also through brake failures. At some of the bad corners the wrecks could be seen hundreds of feet below, generally with their four wheels upper-most and the contents scattered beneath. They were there for ever and can probably still be seen by tourists where they act as a warning to fast drivers. The Jaffa-Jerusalem road in spite of its dangerous character was a very important, and practically the only route from the coast to the hills of Judea. A large volume of motor transport was continually on the road carrying munitions, stores and food for the starving population and it soon became apparent that the road would not stand the heavy traffic.

Large numbers of native labourers were engaged in repairing and rebuilding the bad patches and several steam rollers were brought up. Fortunately, there was no shortage of road metal as the country on either side of the road was practically solid rock are was strewn with boulders and spells which only had to be broken and carried a raw yards.

The women and girls from surrounding villages did a great deal of this work gathering the stones in baskets which they carried on their heads to the required places. These people were practically starving and they welcomed this work as they were fed and paid by the army authorities.

As our cars were continually journeying to and from Jerusalem along this road, we began to give serious consideration to the condition of the brakes. Although most of the British vehicles had ample braking surfaces this could not always be said for some of the cheaper type of cars used in the army and it was no exaggeration to say that sometimes a set of brake shoes would be worn out in one day's work descending these hills. Most of the accidents that took place were caused by some failure in the transmission such as broken tail shaft or universal point, faulty crown wheels and pinions.

It is unlikely that any of the members of the Light Car Patrol will forget their first trip to Jerusalem. Several of the bridges had been blown up by the retreating Turks and crossings had to be made through streams that were fortunately not too deep to negotiate with our cars. The approaches to the streams however, were extremely rough and steep and many huge boulders had to be levered aside. There was plenty of manhandling in order to get the vehicles up the steep banks of "one in one" and back to the track again. On one bridge the crown of the arch only was blown out and here we were enabled to place a couple of stout planks across the gap over which we drove in comfort. In spite of all the hard work the trip was wall worth it all. The views from the heights around Jerusalem were wonderful.

The British Headquarters had been established in a large German building on the Mount of Olives from the tower of which could be seen the blue Mediterranean to the West and twenty five miles away to the east could be clearly seen the Dead sea which appeared to be only about five miles off. This sea and the Jordan Valley with Jericho, case over twelve hundred feet below the level of the Mediterranean on the other side. The enemy still held all this country below and our batteries in a valley alongside were busy plastering him with shrapnel and H.E. while an occasional burst of one of the enemy shells in the villages alongside seemed somehow to be quite out of place with the surroundings. The weather was clear and the visibility was wonderful. The roads could be clearly distinguished through the glasses winding up the hills, thirty or forty miles away.

We were later to know quite a lot about this country from very close acquaintance when we found out that some of it at least looked much better from a distance.

The heights of Jerusalem were very cold after our long sojourn in the desert. It was now nearing the middle of winter and our drivers felt the hail and sleet very severely as there cane no protection on the cars while driving and most of them were quite glad to return to the comparatively warm climate of Jaffa and Richon after their visits to the hills.

Christmas Day was celebrated at Richon le Zion. There was comparative quiet at the front, although two days previously an engagement had taken place at Mulebbis (a village several miles out). The inhabitants turned out in force to celebrate the occasion and the famous wine cellars of the town were drawn upon for the troops who were supplied with a liberal ration of the beautiful Tokay for which the district is famous. We had a church parade in the morning and in the afternoon the inhabitants provided a free banquet. Unfortunately, it rained most of the time, but nevertheless the troops enjoyed the occasion.

Two days later, we moved away through seas of mud and water to the village of Esdud. During the month of January, 1918, the unit was kept continually busy reconnoitring the various roads and tracks along the whole front from Jerusalem to the coast, but on the 17th February, we moved with the A & N.Z. Mtd. Division to Jerusalem as a big operation was brewing on that flank. Next day we proceeded with Engineer officers to Solomon’s Poole on the Hebron Road to establish watering places for the horses and troops.

On the 20th February the division proceeded along the back road to force the way to Jericho. Our orders were to take our cars and escort the motor transport along the Roman Road to Neby Muse which overlooks Jericho. We proceeded satisfactorily for eight miles and after making a reconnaissance we found that the main road which is very precipitous and steep would be impassable for wheeled vehicles for many hours. We then went back to a rough track known as the "Pilgrims" road which we worked along laboriously for about 4 miles until we came to the hill Gebel Ektief. Here we were compelled to stop as the hill was held in force by the enemy.

We placed the vehicles under cover of a neighbouring slope and climbed a hill opposite in time to view a wonderful charge by our infantry up the slopes of Gebel Ektief.

The hill had entrenchments near the summit and we noticed that the enemy troops in the trenches at the right flank at the approach of our infantry jumped out of the rear of their trenches and ran along the top of the trench towards the other flank.

Later on we discovered that there was a sheer precipice behind them and they ran towards the other and to get away before it was too late. We were getting a wonderful dress circle view of the fight and in the excitement some of our men must have made themselves too conspicuous as a few minutes later we were plastered with shrapnel by the disgruntled enemy gunners.

Needless to say we soon left our front view seats and as the road was now comparatively clear of the enemy we proceeded to our job of getting the transport along.


Previous section: 1st Australian Armoured Car Section - Beersheba

Next section: 1st Australian Armoured Car Section - Palestine - Part 2


Further Reading:


Australian Light Horse Order of Battle - Outline 

The Australian Light Horse - Structure

Australian Light Horse Order of Battle

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: 1st Australian Armoured Car Section - Palestine - Part 1

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 13 April 2009 11:14 PM EADT

View Latest Entries

Full Site Index

powered by FreeFind
Let us hear your story: You can tell your story, make a comment or ask for help on our forum.

Desert Column Forum

A note on copyright

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre is a not for profit and non profit group whose sole aim is to write the early history of the Australian Light Horse from 1900 - 1920. It is privately funded and the information is provided by the individuals within the group and while permission for the use of the material has been given for this site for these items by various donors, the residual and actual copyright for these items, should there be any, resides exclusively with the donors. The information on this site is freely available for private research use only and if used as such, should be appropriately acknowledged. To assist in this process, each item has a citation attached at the bottom for referencing purposes.

Please Note: No express or implied permission is given for commercial use of the information contained within this site.

A note to copyright holders

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre has made every endeavour to contact copyright holders of material digitised for this blog and website and where appropriate, permission is still being sought for these items. Where replies were not received, or where the copyright owner has not been able to be traced, or where the permission is still being sought, the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre has decided, in good faith, to proceed with digitisation and publication. Australian Light Horse Studies Centre would be happy to hear from copyright owners at any time to discuss usage of this item.


Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

eXTReMe Tracker