« August 2009 »
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.

Sunday, 9 August 2009
Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, 6th LHR, AIF, Unit History Account
Topic: AIF - 2B - 6 LHR

Bir el Abd

Sinai, 9 August 1916

6th LHR, AIF, Unit History Account


Lieutenant George Lachlan Berrie produced a unit history published in 1919 called Under Furred Hats (6th ALH Regt) which included a section specifically related to the battle of Beersheba and is extracted below.

Berrie, GL, Under Furred Hats (6th ALH Regt), (Sydney 1919), pp. 82 - 89:


Every possy they passed was littered with green date peelings, and the prisoners they took looked like hunted devils. What on earth was the waiting for? They had been there an hour now, literally frying on the sand. He knew they were going to attack Katia. Plenty of water there, and probably a strong Turkish rear guard.

But this infernal waiting was taking the last remnants of vitality out of everyone. He thought of something long, drawn through ice, if he ever went on leave again. He could hear a couple of chaps rowing over their horses disturbing each others' shade. They were agreeing to settle the argument after they had settled the Jackos. They were mates, too.

Well, it was enough to make any man quarrel with his best friend, this infernal waiting on top of everything else. But no sign of a move. Some Jacko guns were thundering from behind Katia, and he could see shrapnel bursting away towards the left flank. There seemed to be no one over towards Hamisah. Perhaps they were waiting for another Brigade to come up.

Thank God the front of the column was mounting. Swinging out into artillery formation they moved quietly towards Katia. Crossing the first skyline was enough to draw shrapnel, but a steady gallop, screened by the hollows between dunes and a scanty hod or two, brought them safely to the series of little sandhills fronting the dry swamp behind which lay Katia.

A few minutes later the Bushman found himself part of an extended line doubling from one sand hill to another and wondering why more men didn't go down. Jacko had evidently plenty of machine guns planted in Katia, and from the burst of his shrapnel away to the rear it looked as though he had located the horses.

They were now on the edge of the dry swamp. It was a good half-mile to the first palm trees and the only cover worth talking about was a small outcrop of sand running parallel to the hod.

Two or three hundred yards away it was. The men who got there would be lucky. Ah, they were off again.

The ground was hard; better to run on.

They were going down now; the man on his right pitched forward on to his face; and, glancing along the extended line as he ran, he could see figures lying still and others trying to crawl or limp back to the shelter of the sandhills they had just left.

That was close. Flecks of dirt spattered up all round him. Another minute and he lay panting behind the friendly shelter of the last cover they `would get before the final assault. He turned his head to watch the second line coming up. Continuous bursts of machine gun fire were following them all the way. They had got the range properly now. A sergeant was making towards him; another twenty yards and he would be safe.

Ah, they had got him, and it looked like for keeps.

The Bushman joined in the rush of several others and dragged the sergeant in behind the nearest sandhill. "How in hell are we going to carry him out?" "On our rifles and crossed arms. Two on each side, one take his head and the other his legs. Now, lift him steadily and keep in step as much as possible. Make straight for the sandhill." They had padded the rifles as best they could.

But no matter how carefully they stepped they knew that every movement cost the silent figure untold agony. Yet not quite silent. The wounded man spoke as they started: "You fellows are Britons to stick to a man like this." Walking almost on each other's spurs and cramped by their necessarily crouching attitude, the huddled group of men moved at a snail's pace for the nearest shelter.

They crossed the dry swamp almost unmolested. The sun was setting and its flickering rays dancing on the background of red sandhills blurred them as a target. But as they struggled up the first ridge the sand spat about their feet and the quiet figure spoke again.

"Put me down behind the hill and send a sand cart after dark. Six of you make a big target, you know," and in a whisper as they struggled on, "It's good to have mates like you chaps." In the British Military Cemetery of Old Cairo stands a monument erected by his comrades to one of the bravest of the brave Sergeant Major Johnston.

For two days we rested, buried our dead and collected from the battlefield any gear abandoned by the enemy. On the afternoon of the 8th we moved out once more in pursuit of the enemy, now retreating everywhere, but concentrated in force at Bir el Abd.

Leaving Katia at 10 p.m. we moved forward to take part in a strong reconnaissance of Bir el Abd.

An attempt was made to encircle the position.

The 3rd L.H. Brigade operated from the south, the New Zealand Brigade from the west, the 2nd Brigade from the north, and the 1st Brigade, it possible, was to menace the position from the east.

Less than an hour after sunrise the following morning the action started. Accompanied by the Ayrshire Battery, the 2nd Brigade approached its position by daylight and was warmly welcomed by a series of 4.7 H.E.-'s bursting in close proximity to the column.

As reserve to the Brigade, the Regiment, now under Major Bruxner, was stationed several hundred yards south of the Ayr shire Battery's position.

All day long the Battery waged a vigorous duel with the enemy's 4.7 and shrapnel, and one unlucky direct hit put several teams of horses, a gun, and its crew out of action. Vainly the enemy tried to locate our led horses, but although several high explosives came very close, we suffered no material damage.

A general attack took place at 11 a.m. and the New Zealand Brigade was drawn into an awkward position during a heavy encounter. To assist in their withdrawal during the afternoon, the Regiment went into action, and finally covered the withdrawal of the badly knocked about Ayrshire Battery.

We withdrew to Oghratina where we drew rations and forage and bivouacked for the night.

Returning to Khirba next day we found the deserted Turkish camp to contain some very acceptable articles of loot. Barley for the horses was plentiful, and besides tea, dates, meal and olives, there were several hundredweights of dried apricots pressed into rolls like brown paper.

Under the comprehensive name of "mungaree" we learnt during the next few days to envy the Turks its possession as a ration issue. For two days we remained at Khirba, and here we said farewell to "Galloping Jack." In a brief address he bade us good-bye from the saddle, and his exit in a cloud of dust over a sandhill and followed by deafening cheers, was truly characteristic of our brief but unforgettable experience of his leader ship.

From Bir el Abd to Katia we saw evidence of the great difficulty the enemy had had in transporting his heavy artillery through the heavy sand.

Besides temporary roads of brambles, they had used some thousands of feet of 9 by 2 inch planking, placing it in front of the guns and moving them along with what must have been snail-like, if sure, progress.

But what can be said of the great feat of the Turkish Infantry. We, on horse back, knew what it was to campaign during the desert midsummer. Their secret march to Oghratina unobserved by aerial patrols was in itself remarkable enough, but their sufferings during the weeks culminating in the battles of Romani and Katia must have been intense. On foot, carrying full infantry gear, living partly on green dates, and during the last two days waterless, their effort to drive us from Romani was, in spite of failure, such as to rouse the utmost admiration amongst their conquerors.

The enemy were now in full retreat eastwards of Salmana, and for the time being our acquaintance with him was ended. Withdrawing via Katia we returned to Et Maler on the 13th of August, and for the rest of the month, both horses and men enjoyed a, badly-needed rest.

The casualty list of sickness and death made a number of vacancies amongst the officers, and the following were promoted to commissioned rank:-Sig. Sgt. J. Back, Sgts. Allman, Ronald, Lomax and Corp. H. Dickson.

Popular also were the captaincys of Lieuts. Thompson, Tooth S., and Close.

The worst of the summer heat had now passed, and horses were beginning to be inured to the hard ships of desert life. But a number had succumbed to the strain; sand colic and sore backs were the predominant ailments, and many had to be evacuated to Veterinary Hospitals and replaced by re mounts. We left Et Maler on the 11 th of September and, moving by Katia, reached our new camping area, Hod el Hassaniya, the same after noon.


Further Reading:

6th Light Horse Regiment, AIF

6th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour

Battle of Romani, Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916 

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, 6th LHR, AIF, Unit History Account

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 18 September 2009 8:59 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