Topic: BatzP - Surafend
Surafend, the massacre
Palestine, 10 December 1918
The following is a transcription of a report written by Major Claude Cadman Easterbrook to 2nd LH Brigade Headquarters submitted during January 1919.
2nd LH Brigade
Reference raid on Khurbet Surafend on night of 10th December 1918.
On December 10th 1918 Major HAD White DSO, 6th LH Regiment was temporarily in Command of Brigade. I was with Major White at Headquarters 6th LH, at 2000 on that date. At about 2010 a whistle blast was heart from the direction of Khurbet Surafend and a few minutes later several small fires were noticed in the village, and a few shots were heard.
Major White instructed me to report the matter to Division Headquarters, and to order units of the Brigade to "stand to" in their lines. This order was given verbally to the 6th LH, and by personally saw that the order was complied with by 2nd AMGS, and smaller units.
I immediately communicated with DHQ by 'phone and reported the matter to Major Walker DAQMG and informed him that the Brigade was standing to and would await orders from DHQ.
An Officer (Lieutenant Allman) and 24 other ranks mounted were sent to patrol the ground between this Brigade and the village, with orders to prevent men moving into the village.
A picture show was being held in the YMCA, in the Brigade Area and the majority of the men of this Brigade were present.
I heard major White give orders to the effect that these men return to their lines, and stand to.
At about 2030 DHQ gave instructions by telephone (afterwards confirmed by wire) that the Brigade would stand by ready to turn out, and stated that two squadrons of another Brigade had been ordered to clear up the situation.
At about 2045 the whistle signal for "Rally" was heard and the noise in the village practically ceased. By this time the whole village was in flames.
About 2200 Lieutenant Allman reported back and stated that no man of this Brigade had attempted to pass through his cordon, either going toward or coming from the village.
After giving the order for "stand to" Major White visited the lines and assured himself that all ranks were ready to move.
About 2300 2nd LH Field Ambulance were asked to supply ambulances and remove injured natives, three of whom died in Field Ambulance during the night.
I know nothing of the burning of the Bedouin Encampment.
Major CC Easterbrook
Brigade Major, 2nd LH Brigade.
Citation: Surafend, the massacre, Palestine, 10 December 1918, Easterbrook Account