Topic: AIF - DMC - Anzac MD
The First Battle of Gaza
Palestine, 26 to 27 March 1917
Anzac Mounted Division Commander Royal Artillery War Diary Account
Anzac Mounted Division Commander Royal Artillery War Diary Account.
The following is a transcription of Report on the attack from the War Diary of the Anzac Mounted Division Commander Royal Artillery detailing their role at the First Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 26 to 27 March 1917.
Operations of Royal Horse Artillery Anzac Mounted Division
Ref: Palestine 1:168960
Gaza, 26th and 27th March 1917
26 March 1917
0245 Rendezvous for Royal Horse Artillery at Bif Tree south of In Seirat.
0345 Divisional Royal Horse Artillery marched in rear of 22nd Mounted Brigade.
0700 Crossed Wadi el Ghuzze about 1,000 yards north of the junction of the Wadis Sheria and Ghuzze in a thick fog.
0800 North of El Mendur. Fog cleared off. Proceeded via south of Sheikh Abbas to wadi bed south of Beit Durdis.
1345 Batteries finished watering here by 1354.
An officer had been sent off to Headquarters 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade ridge running north east from Gaza. On his reporting that artillery would be employed, Sommerset Battery was sent across to cooperate with the Brigade. They came into action just east of "H" of Jebaliya againt enemy guns in gardens north west of Gaza and parties of enemy infantry. Range to guns 5,000 yards. The two guns engaged were stopped firing.
1430 Divisional Headquarters moved to hill between "K" and "H" of Khamys. Remaining Batteries followed the Brigade.
1530 Orders for attack received. No better position being available Ayr and Leicester came into action in the open about 100 yards and 1,000 yards respectively north west of Divisional Headquarters and were allotted zones under to cover the advance of the mounted troops.
Ayrshire Royal Horse Artillery cactus fences about 3,000 yards north east Ali el Muntar Leicestershire Royal Horse Artillery Ridge with small trees on crest just south of "R" of Meshanerah.
1625 Inverness were advancing into action between Ayr and Leicester. The attack having gained the ridge, Inverness, Somerset and Leicester advanced to support the attack more closely and came into action as follows:-
1733 Inverness 600 yards north east of last "H" of Meshanerah.
1740 Leicester 300 south east of Inverness.
Somerset just south of last "H" of Meshanerah.
Ranges 2,200 yards upwards.
1810 Orders received to withdraw the Batteries.
27 March 1917
0200 Batteries marched from their rendezvous at Divisional Headquarters (under escort 1 Squadron Staffordshire Yeomanry) and reached their old bivouac area at Deir el Belah with all vehicles complete at 0200 on 27th.
The Divisional Ammunition Column which had bivouacked under direct orders of Desert Column at Abasan el Kebir on the night 24th/25th followed the Imperial Camel Corps. It was near El Mendur about 0800 on the 26th, and was ordered up to Sheikh Abbas from which place it reported the arrival and moved later towards Beit Durdis, communication being kept up by orderly. As soon as the order to retire was given it marched on Deir el Belah and next morning (27th) reported its arrival complete at 0800.
On the night of the 27th /28th it was converted from Camel to Wheel Transport supplied by 52nd Divisional Train.
Casualties - Nil
Ammunition Expended Shrapnel High Explosive
Ayrshire Battery 32 5
Inverness Battery 12 0
Somerset Battery 75 48
Leicester Battery 112 0
Signed JT Laycock, Colonel
Commander Royal Artillery, Anzac Mounted Division
2 April 1917
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