Topic: AIF - DMC - Aus MD
The First Battle of Gaza
Palestine, 26 to 27 March 1917
Imperial Mounted Division, Chetwode and Hodgson letter of thanks
Imperial Mounted Division, Chetwode and Hodgson letter of thanks.
The following is a transcription of Chetwode and Hodgson letter of thanks from the War Diary of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade detailing its role at the First Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 26 to 27 March 1917.
General Officers Commanding:5th Mounted Brigade
6th Mounted Brigade
3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade
Commander Royal Artillery
Officer Commanding Signal Squadron
Officer Commanding Field Squadron
The following is an extract from a letter from General Chetwode for your information:Will you express to all ranks under your command my admiration of their splendid behaviour before the enemy. It was no light task to delay the advance of greatly superior hostile forces throughout one while day on a front of nearly 12 miles, and at the tame time to be able to put in a strong attack by two Brigades to assist the Infantry in their attack on Gaza. Two hours more daylight would have enabled the cavalry to finish the job, and it must have been most disheartening to your men after such a fine effort to have the prize snatched from their grasp by darkness.
The harder the task I give to the mounted troops of the Desert Column the better they carry it out and no man could wish to command finer troops.
I wish to add my gratitude and admiration fo the fighting qualities of the troops of the Division which was displayed on the 26th. Though the Division could not share in the brilliant exploits of the Australian and New Zealanders at Gaza, the task they had to perform of keeping off largely superior forces and the manner in which this task was carried out, so that the enemy advance of more than double our numbers was held up all day, made me realise what a fine fighting instrument the Imperial Mounted Division is, and made me proud to be the leader of such troops.
I should like all ranks to know my admiration of their fighting qualities, and my gratitude to them for the willing and cheerful spirit which animated them throughout the recent operations.
Commanding Imperial Mounted Division
30 March 1917
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