Topic: AIF - 3B - 8 LHR
The Battle of Rafa
Sinai, 9 January 1917
8th Light Horse Regiment War Diary Account
8th Light Horse Regiment, War Diary Account
The following is a transcription of the 8th Light Horse Regiment, War Diary Account detailing their role at the Battle of Rafa, Sinai, 9 January 1917.
El Arish 8 January 1917
1200 Left with Brigade and travelled to rendezvous east of Wadi El Arish.
1700 "A" Squadron was detached as escort for Somerset Battery Royal Horse Artillery. Left for Sheikh Zowaiid where we halted until 0100.
Rafa 9 January 1917
0600 Afterwards continuing the march to position on high ground over Turco Egyptian frontier line on the disposition of troops for attack on Turkish redoubts being promulgated it was found that the Regiment was to be held in Reserve.
0900 During the progress of the fight which commenced at 0900 we supported outposts, patrols and guards for prisoners and captured stock.
1600 Divisional Headquarters ordered a patrol under Lieutenant McPherson to proceed in an easterly direction and endeavour to get in touch with enemy reinforcements reported by our air service to be marching west to the relief of the Turkish Force opposing us in the redoubts.
1730 Lieutenant MacPherson reported that he was in touch with a body of enemy troops estimated at 2,000 infantry and 1 Squadron Cavalry 5 miles from frontier line and due east of redoubts.
1930 After outposts had been established, this patrol was withdrawn to main Body. In the meantime the enemy had capitulated and orders were received from Divisional Headquarters for the Regiment to take over the duties of Rear Guard and assist when ever possible in collecting prisoners and wounded. During the night 9th/10th inst communications with Divisional Headquarters at Sheikh Zowaiid were interrupted, it was eventually discovered that the wire had been cut in several places. This appeared, more particularly, on account of bare footed tracks to have been the work of Bedouins.
Rafa 10 January 1917
1000 A patrol from "C" Squadron under Lieutenant Walker captured an enemy outpost of 9 men.
1100 The work of burying dead and collecting wounded and enemy arms etc, was now complete. Simultaneously a report was received from a friendly Bedouin that a mixed force of enemy and Arabs were threatening our right flank, one Squadron was immediately despatched and turned the flank of the hostile force, who retired (after being subjected to heavy fire) in an east south east direction. A patrol under Lieutenant D'Enyar captured five of this force, which consisted of 2 Squadrons. Our losses were one horse killed.
1130 As the whole of our troops were now clear, the Regiment withdrew to Sheikh Zowaiid, arriving there at 1600, after drawing rations, forage, etc, and watering horses off-saddled for 2 hours. This was the first opportunity of watering, or removing saddles since leaving Masaid (8 January 1917)
1800 Left for Masaid arriving at 0735, 11 January 1917.
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