Topic: AIF - 2B - 5 LHR
Bir el Abd
Sinai, 9 August 1916
5th LHR, AIF, War Diary Account
The Brigade again advanced towards Oghratina, finding the enemy still holding the same positions in position. We were again subjected to a heavy shell fire - the Regiment suffering one casualty. The morale of the Troops under these circumstances was particularly valuable. The Brigade bivouacked at Rabah again on the night of the 7th - 8th.
The Brigade advanced towards Oghratina forming the advance guard. Oghratina was found to be all clear.
The Regiment continued to Dababis capturing straggling prisoners - in all 25, including a German conductor of the ambulance. Large quantities of abandoned stores and ammunition were also found. The Brigade camped at Debabis. This Regiment remaining on day outpost. The enemy were found to be in strength at Bir el Abd.
Officer Patrols were sent out during the night - South East, East and North East - and did splendid work approaching quite close to the enemy's positions, and coming under heavy fire.
Attack on Bir el Abd. The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade were ordered to make a frontal attack on the position supported by the 3rd Light Horse Brigade on the right flank and the 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades on the left under Colonel Royston with the 5th Mounted Brigade in reserve. The Auckland Mounted Rifles and the Canterbury Mounted Rifles go into position and made the attack at 0630. At this time the Regiment was in support with the guns. The Machine Gun Section under Lieutenant Cain was shortly afterwards sent forward into the firing line with the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment and also one troop of "C" Squadron under Lieutenant Boyd. The balance of "C" Squadron took up a position on the extreme right of the Brigade line covering the flank of the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment. "A" Squadron and portion of "B" Squadron - (two troops being with the guns and one troops escorting ammunition, two of these troops were subsequently brought up to the firing line, one on the right with "C" Squadron and the other on the right with the remainder of the Regiment) - took up a position on the left of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment. This Regiment thus being divided and holding the flanks of the Brigade line throughout the day. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade did not manage to come up on the right flank - meeting with strong opposition. The 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades joined up on the left flank. Fighting continued throughout the day. The enemy force outnumbered ours by about 2 to 1 and their artillery was very active. At sundown the order was given to retire - at this time the enemy made a determined counter attack. Our casualties during this engagement amounted to 37 including Major Johnston and Lieutenants Wood and Graham.
The Division returned to Oghratina to camp, Dababis being considered too close to such a strong force of enemy. 13 prisoners were captured during the day.
Roll of Honour
Citation: Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, 5th LHR, AIF, War Diary Account