Topic: AIF - 3B - 8 LHR
Bir el Mazar
Sinai, 17 September 1916
Captain Thomas Sidney Austin produced a unit history called The history of the 8th Light Horse Regiment A.I.F. which included a section specifically related to the Battle of Bir el Mazar and is extracted below.
Austin, TS, The history of the 8th Light Horse Regiment A.I.F. :
On the 11th of September, after a most enjoyable respite, the Brigade moved North and relieved the New Zealanders at Amara. We had just settled there when the orders for the operations against Mazar were received. On the fourth day after our arrival, we moved in Brigade Column through Bir el Abd to Salmana, reaching there at 0600 after travelling all night. We rested there throughout the hours of daylight, the only incident of note being an air raid by an enemy plane which machine gunned the camp, causing a few casualties. At 5 p.m. we were off again and heading straight for Mazar across the sandy waste. Going at a good pace, the 29 miles of waterless stretch was got over in good time, and then dawn we were making for positions south of the Turkish redoubts. By 6 a.m. we were attacking, but arrangements had miscarried with some of the other Units, and they were not up in time to co-operate. Desultory fighting went on throughout the morning, and we approached to within 600 yards of the enemy redoubts. A heavy machine gun and rifle fire was being put up from here but our casualties were light. Our aeroplanes were doing excellent reconnaissance work, and reported that the enemy were evacuating their positions. However the scheme was abandoned and all forces were withdrawn before noon and the long trek back to Salmana began. half way on the route we were met by a small camel convoy and men and horses obtained a small drink. Salmana was reached at 8 p.m. in the evening and after the horses had been given their fill at the wells, bivouac was made for the night. We left for Amara at 8 a.m. the next day.