Topic: BatzP - 3rd Gaza
The Third Battle of Gaza
Palestine, Z - 1, 30 October 1917
Egyptian Expeditionary Force War Diary Account
War Diary account of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, Z - 1, 30 October 1917.
Kelab Kilo 207
30 October 1917
0703 - Desert Mounted Corps reports all clear.
0722 - Lieutenant Colonel Newcombe at Asluj wired that a party about 80 strong moved off at 0700 and that the Sherif was being left in charge of the Intelligence Officer and with a guard of 12 men from Imperial Camel Corps.
0809 - Wire from Desert Mounted Corps saying that situation was normal and that concentration was now complete.
0823 - 21st Corps wired that artillery programme had been commenced and that enemy artillery had been active during the night.
0915 - The Gaza - Hareira Royal Flying Corps Tactical reconnaissance reported no movement or hostile concentration.
0930 - It was reported by our liaison officer with XXI Corps that our night balloon had been brought down by an aeroplane but would be in action again this morning.
0939 - A wire from XX Corps stated that a desert captured at El Girheir by 53rd Division said that as far as he knew only the 3rd Cavalry Division and the 81st Regiment were at Bir Saba and that there was three separate telephone wires between Sheria and Bir Saba. 6 or 7 Infantry Regiments watering daily at Irgeig.
1000 - Orders were issued for the 53rd and 54th Kite Balloon Sections to move from Alexandria to Kantara on or after 31st instant under arrangement to be made by 2nd Echelon.
1015 - Telephoned XXI and Desert Mounted Corps that 53rd Division reported that a hostile aircraft had been brought down by machine gun fire and that pilot and observer had been captured. Note It was afterwards ascertained that this aeroplane was brought down by the Royal Flying Corps. It fell in front of the 53rd Division who machine gunned the pilot and observer who tried to escape. There were wounded and brought in.
1035 - Informed all concerned that the 2/4th Devonshire Regiment would move from Kantara to Shellal about November 1st and would be placed under orders of Officer Commanding Palestine Line of Communication Defences for the protection of Karm, Imara and Shellal.
1040 - Information received that Desert Mounted Corps Advanced Headquarters was established at Asluj Station at 1000.
1552 - XXI Corps wired that the 75th Division at 1315 reported a series of 8 long explosions followed by 30 smaller ones beyond railhead to the left of and below rise where Beit Hanun is situated. It appeared to be an ammunition dump blow up, there were large sheets of flame and explosions were continuing.
1625 - Information received that XX Corps Headquarters were established at El Buggar A.5d.
1653 - Royal Flying Corps wired that the result of today's shoot on Samarra Bridge had been successful and that one pier of the bridge seemed to be damaged
1702 - Wire from XX Corps saying that at 1030 a large enemy party had been seen carrying sleepers and rails to Samarra before and that then was much traffic from north to south on the Bir Saba road.
1706 - Royal flying Corps evening reconnaissance reported no movement or concentration in the Gaza Hareira tactical area.
1800 - Situation of troops at this hour are shown on Map in Appendix.
1801 - XX Corps wired that situation was unchanged and the troops have started according to programme.
1823 - Report from XXI Corps that artillery work was carried out according to programme and that enemy fire which had been normal, was pointed chiefly on Samson's Ridge and Sheikh Abbas. Two deserters surrendered at Lees Hill.
1831 - Desert Mounted Corps reports that situation was normal and that troops had started to move according to programme.
2100 - Evening Report to London and Baghdad. Movements being carried out as arranged, no enemy activity. Further damage caused to bridge south of Sheria. Hostile aircraft shot down, pilot and observer captured. Our artillery caused series of explosions at Beit Hanun where one of enemy's largest ammunition dumps is supposed to be.
2245 - In view of the Turkish wireless report of the 28th instant concerning skirmishing on the 27th instant, full details were sent to Chief London of all that happened and giving our total casualties as 1 Officer and 23 Other Ranks killed, 5 Officers and 48 Other Ranks wounded, 2 Officers and 8 Other Ranks missing which was far less than the Turkish wireless reported.
2355 - A wire was received from Chief London saying that the 2 Squadrons Royal Flying Corps which he had asked for was not to be sent at present time but that our requirements will be kept in mind.
Citation: The Third Battle of Gaza, Palestine, Z - 1, 30 October 1917, Egyptian Expeditionary Force War Diary Account