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Friday, 31 October 2008
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 31 October
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 31 October

Pro Gloria et Honore - For Glory and Honour

Regimental March -  Marching Through Georgia



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.


The Diary



Saturday, October 31, 1914

9th Light Horse Regiment Location -  Morphettville Race Course Camp and Broadmeadows Camp, Victoria. 

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Formation of Regiment occurring at Morphettville Race Course Camp, Adelaide, while "C" Squadron is formed at Broadmeadows Camp, Victoria. 

See: Broadmeadows 1909



Sunday, October 31, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Rhododendron Spur

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.

See: Beersheba



Thursday, October 31, 1918

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Masie

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.



Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 30 October

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 1 November



See: 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Contents
Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, AIF War Diaries of the Great War, Site Transcription Policy


Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF

Bert Schramm Diary

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 31 October

Posted by Project Leader at 1:01 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 16 September 2010 10:49 PM EADT

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