Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR
Bir el Mazar
Sinai, 17 September 1916
9th LHR, AIF, War Diary Account
War Diary account of the 9th LHR, AIF.
15 September 1916
Amara 2330 - The Regiment left camp at 2330 and joined the remainder of the Column (10th Light Horse Regiment, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery etc).
16 September 1916
Regiment acted as advance guard to Column and proceeded through Bir el Abd to Salmana arriving here at 0400. Bivouacked for the day in the Hod between 10th Light Horse Regiment and Royal Horse Artillery. Numerous British aeroplanes hovered over the Hod to keep the enemy planes off - but an "Aviatik" appeared at about 0900 and after circling round, opened up with machine gun fire on the horses being led back from water. 1 10th Light Horseman and 1 horse being wounded.
1530 - The horses were watered at 1530 and rations and water drawn in readiness to move out at 1730.
1730 - The Column moved out and halted at a point about 3½ miles east of Salmana where the Brigade was to join up with the remainder of the Attacking Force - Consisting of 2nd Light Horse Brigade, Ayrshire Battery, Inverness Battery and other Details, under the command of Major General HS Chauvel, CB, CMG.
17 September 1916
0200 - Column moved off at 2000 following telegraph line - slightly north of east and at 0200 halted at a point about 1½ miles north of Point 157 (Square G.6.). Here the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, with the Singapore and Hong Kong Camel Mountain Battery, separated from the remainder of the Column - who were to push on due east and attack Mazar from the west.
The 3rd Light Horse Brigade was to work round the south of Sabkhet el Mustabig and then push east on the northern edge of the sand dunes.
0300 - At 0300 the Brigade left the northern edge of the sand dunes, reached a point about 2 miles south of Mazar at 0430. From this pint several fires could be seen in vicinity or Mazar, and at 0445 several shots were fired at the advance party from an easterly direction. The Regiment at once deployed and a semicircular line was taken up on the south and south east of Mazar. "B" Squadron on the left - "A" Squadron centre - and "C" Squadron on right with one Squadron of the 8th Light Horse Regiment on our left and the 10th Light Horse Regiment connecting this Squadron with the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, thus practically encircling the position. A number of Turks could be seen moving about the main redoubt - about a mile north from this line taken up. Numerous small rifle pits were held close to us and from these a sniping fire was kept up. The Regiment had advanced over two ridges with only one casualty - when word was received from General Royston - to withdraw - as this position was reported by aeroplane as being too strongly held with machine guns and men - for an attempt to be made to rush it.
Consequently at about 0700 the Regiment withdrew and joined the Column at the Rendezvous near Sabkhet el Mustabig.
The total casualties for the Regiment were - wounded - 2 Other Ranks. Accidentally hurt - 1 Other Rank, and 2 horses destroyed (1 wounded and 1 exhausted).
A number of Bedouin (about 12) were found and sent back to Headquarters. Undoubtedly these Bedouin act as outpost for the Turks, signalling our approach by lighting fires.
The return journey was commenced at 1100. The route being along the Telegraph Line. The Column was met by a Camel Convoy with water for the horses about 8 miles east of Salmana at about 1530. This was the first drink the horses had had for 24 hours during which time they had not been off saddled.
Salmana was reached at 1930 and the Column bivouacked for the night, leaving again at 0430 for the Camp at Amara which was reached at 0800. The total distance covered amounted to over 65 miles travelled in about 25 hours actual marching.
Roll of Honour
Lest We Forget
Citation: Bir el Mazar, Sinai, 17 September 1916, 9th LHR, AIF, War Diary Account