Topic: BatzP - Surafend
Surafend, the massacre
Palestine, 10 December 1918
Deputy Assistant Provost Marshal Account about Lowry
The following is a transcription of an account about the death of Leslie Lowry and the subsequent investigation of the murder. The report is extracted from Appendix 1, Assistant Provost Marshal, ANZAC Mounted Division War Diary, December 1918.
Anzac Mounted Division
Appendix I to the War Diary,
11 December 1918.
Ref No 65779 Trooper Lowry LT shot by supposed Bedouin in the vicinity of the 1st New Zealand Machine Gun Squadron.
At about 01830 on the 10th December 1918 I received information of the shooting of a New Zealand Soldier by the name 65779 Trooper Lowry by a man suspected as being a Bedouin. I immediately gathered up all available Police, and in company with Lieutenant Trennaman, 3rd Australian Light Horse Regiment, together with eight (8) of his Troop, we hurried away in the direction of the 1st New Zealand Machine Gun Lines, where the murder was committed. On arrival there I met Captain WC Cobb of the 1st New Zealand Machine Gun Squadron, and 11/978 Corporal Carr CH of the 1st New Zealand Machine Gun Squadron, the latter being the chief witness in the case. After hearing the circumstances of the case we proceeded in the direction where foot prints were showing. We followed up the foot prints right up to within 100 yards of the Village of Surafend. After this no traces of the foot prints were observed, in consequence of the culprit having crossed the road leading to the Village, but we proceeded onwards to the place, where we halted in order to place my Picquets, composed of men furnished by Lieutenant Trennaman, so that the place would be well surrounded, the carrying out of the search being entrusted to members of my Police. Prior to the search major Montifiore APM PL of C was on the scene and I interviewed him and informed him of what had occured. I then got my Police to carry out their duties, but previous to my bringing them to the spot I had them all paraded and cautioned each and every one of my Police that no unjust carryings on against the caste and feelings of the People of the Village were to be enacted, their duty being purely to search the inhabitants and not violate or destoy, or to commit an act likely to bring about crime on themselves, the main object being to trace the culprit or any suspected person who was responsible for the murder of the Soldier.
At 0930 on the 10th December 1918 the Police commenced to search the Village and found no trace whatsoever of the culprit, or even any other individual suspected of the crime. The only material clue was that of a Native Cap (similar to headgear worn by Bedouins) which was picked up by a mate of the deceased, and handed to me by Captain Cobb. This was found on the scene where the Soldier was shot and killed.
Later in the afternoon I sent Lieutenant Fyfe to obtain footprint imprssions made of plaster of Paris, which he has done. The specimens taken are those of the man's left foot.Captain AM
DAPM Anzac Mtd Division. [Deputy Assistant Provost Marshal, Anzac Mounted Division.]
Citation: Surafend, the massacre, Palestine, 10 December 1918, Deputy Assistant Provost Marshal Account about Lowry