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"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess

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Friday, 13 March 2009
Merivale Street, Qld, Courier Account 28 March 1919 p7, fighting-bolshivism
Topic: BatzA - Merivale

Merivale Street

Queensland, 24 March 1919


The following is a contemporaneous account of the battle at Merivale Street taken from the pages of the Brisbane Courier.  The text from the scan is of poor quality and thus cannot be readily transcribed into text but it is legible enough to allow the contents to be satisfactorily read.

The ongoing Battle of Merivale Street, Queensland, from the account published in the Brisbane Courier, 28 March 1919.


[From: Brisbane Courier, 28 March 1919, p. 7, Fighting Bolshivism.]



Further Reading:

Merivale Street, Queensland, March 24, 1919

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Merivale Street, Qld, Courier Account 28 March 1919 p7, fighting-bolshivism

Posted by Project Leader at 11:01 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 30 March 2009 1:08 PM EADT
1st Australian Armoured Car Section - Megiddo - Part 1
Topic: AIF - Cars



Part 1


This is a transcription from a manuscript submitted by Captain E.H. James called "The Motor Patrol". It is lodged in the AWM as AWM 224 MSS 209. This is Part 1.



It was the morning of the 19th September, 1918. Our orders were to stand to at 3.30 a.m. and have everything ready to move off at a moments notice. We were attached to the 11th Cavalry Division for these operations and we were to protect and convoy the whole of the divisional motor oars and transport. Our starting point was to be one mile east of El Jeliel. The bombardment on the enemy's front line began at 4.30 a.m. and it was the best thing in the way of a bombardment that any of us and ever seen.

Every gun, howitzer and mortar in existence seemed to be going off at once and all the batteries from the 13 pounders up to the big sixtys seemed to be working overtime. For about an hour or so the air appeared to be filled with fire and shrieking shells, after that there was a lull and in a little while the sound of cheering could be heard in the distance as the infantry did their part of the job and cleared a gap through the trenches.

At 8 o'clock the road was clear mid we got the word to go. Every horse in the division went forward at the trot with the motors alongside them. The barbed wire entanglements were trampled down by hundreds of hoofs and wheels, the trenches filled in and crossed; and away went the whole division complete into the North via Tabsor never slowing down once until after midday when a brief stop for half an hour for lunch and a spell for the horses was made.

Then on again till 6 p.m. when Kakon was reached where another brief stop for tea was made. The division then pushed on with all speed throughout the night as it was very important to get through the Mus Mus pass before the enemy had time to collect reinforcements and hold us up there. This we were able to do and the dawn breaking found us through the hills with the plains of Esdraelon at our feet.

At 7 a.m., 20th Sept. we entered Leggun, where the division rested for a couple of hours. The night travelling had been more trying for the motor drivers than for the horsemen. The only light we had was what we got from the moon and it was impossible to see the ground owing to the clouds of dust from the horses hoofs. The motor drivers had to just drive blindly on and trust to luck which generally was with us. Both our motor cyclists came to grief early the first evening and smashed their machines on rough ground and they had to drop out of the chase. Shortly afterwards one of our gun cars crashed on to a huge boulder in the dark which went through the sump of the engine making a complete stop. We hastily transferred the gun and ammunition off this car on to one of our transport vehicles and left our corporal mechanic with the driver and his assistant to make the best repair possible while we pushed on with the division. The cyclists and this car overtook us a day or two later, so they must have made good use of their time in repairing their machines which were all working again. After a couple of hours at Leggun we pushed on towards El Afule an important Railway town and Junction, also signal station and German Aerodrome. Here we met our first serious opposition.

The enemy had hastily rushed some troops forward with machine guns but they had not received enough notice of our coming to entrench properly.

The division halted momentarily while the 11th Light Armoured Motor battery was rushed forward. This battery was equipped with Rolls Royce Armour plated cars and Light Vickers Machine Guns. The battery drove down the main road and simply mowed down all the machine gun sections sent up to oppose the advance. A detachment of Indian Lancers then went forward at the gallop to mop up what was left. That ended the opposition and the enemy machine guns were all abandoned in the fields. Shortly afterwards we drove into Afule where everything was in a state of chaos.

Much war material was captured including a number of German motor lorries which we put out of action by dismantling the magnetos etc. We promptly pushed forward to the Aerodrome as petrol was a very important item for us. Our tanks were getting low and we did not wish to wait for the supply train which was following. Fortunately we managed to get enough to fill all the tanks of the Patrol and Armoured Cars.

While we were engaged on this a German aeroplane unsuspectingly landed in the aerodrome and the pilot was promptly made a prisoner to his surprise and anger. Shortly afterwards another plane was seen to be landing but just as he reached the ground something aroused his suspicions and he rose again. One of our Armoured Cars promptly opened fire on him then and the pilot was killed. The observer was wounded in the head and taken prisoner. He told us afterwards that it was the felt hats of the Australians in the Aerodrome that made them suspicious that something was wrong.

As soon as we had got enough petrol, oil and water for our cars, we had a hurried lunch at the German Officers mess where the late occupants had very obligingly set the table for us before they left for other parts. After lunch a couple of us wandered down the road for a few hundred yards to stretch our legs when we noticed a number of motor lorries coming along and we remarked that our supply column must have made wonderfully good time in following up so soon. Just then the vehicles drew up alongside us when we found that they were filled with armed Germans who immediately jumped out of their vehicles and held up their hands as a token of surrender. We did not know what to do with such a large number of prisoners so we jumped up into the leading vehicle and directed the driver to drive into the town where we had plenty of men to disarm them.

We signalled the remaining vehicles to follow which they did. On arriving in the town we handed over the convoy to the APM who was responsible for collecting the prisoners of war. I don't suppose any haul of prisoners was so easily made before. The prisoners seemed to be quite contented with their lot and were apparently not looking for any fight.


Previous section: 1st Australian Armoured Car Section - The Dead Sea - Part 3

Next section: 1st Australian Armoured Car Section - Megiddo - Part 2


Further Reading:


Australian Light Horse Order of Battle - Outline 

The Australian Light Horse - Structure

Australian Light Horse Order of Battle

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: 1st Australian Armoured Car Section - Megiddo - Part 1

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 13 April 2009 11:22 PM EADT
The Battle of Baku, Azerbaijan, August 26 to September 14, 1918, Area Map
Topic: BatzO - Baku


Azerbaijan, 26 August - 14 September 1918

Area Map


The above map details the region around Baku where Dunsterforce was engaged in the Battle of Baku, Azerbaijan, 26 August - 14 September 1918.

Map extracted from Brig.-Gen FJ Moberly, The Campaign in Mesopotamia 1914 - 1918, Volume 4, Map 42.

[Click on map for larger version.]


The above map was drawn up by the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence, 1927. This map illustrates the area surrounding Baku where the Dunsterforce and Ottoman forces fought each other from the period of 26 August - 14 September 1918. The nature of the terrain is well demonstrated as well as the emerging mapping skills derived from aerial photography, a skill in its infancy but becoming increasingly sophisticated. The map enables a reader to follow the details given in the various accounts to pin point accuracy.


Further Reading:

The Battle of Baku, Azerbaijan, August 26 to September 14, 1918

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: The Battle of Baku, Azerbaijan, August 26 to September 14, 1918, Outline

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 28 September 2009 6:47 PM EADT
Query Club, 30 June 1915
Topic: Gen - Query Club

The Query Club

30 June 1915



The large scale of the Great War often gave people a sense of alienation from the activities of the government and the army. To overcome this, newspapers of the day commenced columns called Query Club or similar names, where ordinary people could clarify their understanding of the complex processes. They also provide us, the historians, an insight into witnessing first hand, the responses of the various bodies to public concerns. The end product is a window into a society now almost out of living memory.

This is the Query Club from the Sydney Mail, 30 June 1915, p. 30.



"Gaba Tepe" asks what steps she should take in regard to the sudden stoppage, without explanation, of the allowance her husband instructed to be paid to her while he is away on active service.

You should call on or write to the Paymaster at Victoria Barracks, Sydney. There may be some misunderstanding, or there may be a reason; in any case, you have a right to know the cause.


"G.A." asks if the Ashmead Bartlett who is acting as official British press representative at the Dardanelles is a British or an American subject.

He is a British subject, but was born in America (in 1851). He has been a member of the British Parliament for Westminster for twenty years. He first came to prominence in 1877, when he went to the Russo-Turkish war as special commissioner of the Baroness Burdett-Coutts Compassionate Fund. Four years later he married the Baroness and assumed her name. In the South African war he acted as the "Times" special correspondent with regard to the sick and wounded, his work leading to the appointment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry and the institution of a drastic reform of the Army Medical Service. His full name is William Lehman Ashmead Bartless-Burdett-Coutts.



It is absolutely untrue that the British used poisonous gases during the Boer War; it is equally untrue that they used them against the Germans prior to the latter's use of them in the present campaign. The Germans certainly stated in a report issued before the gases had been hear of that the British were using them: but that was done only to satisfy their own people and to delude the neutrals who they knew would be shocked at the diabolical innovation. It is questionable if, even now, the British have resorted to their use. All shells used by the combatants, especially lyddite, give off fumes or gases which are more or less poisonous; but they are approved munitions of war; gases as employed by the Germans are expressly banned by the Hague Convention. In regard to the French asphyxiating Turpinite shells, which were used early in the war, but for some reason have been discontinued, the difference between them and the German was that Turpinite caused instantaneous death; the other causes a painful, lingering death.


Further Reading:

The Query Club


Citation: Query Club, 30 June 1915

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 12 April 2009 9:13 AM EADT
The Battle of Baku, Azerbaijan, 26 August to 14 September 1918, Turkish Maps
Topic: BatzO - Baku

The Battle of Baku

Azerbaijan, 26 August - 14 September 1918

Turkish Maps


The situation around Baku on 5 August 1918.

[From: Birinci Dünya Harbinde Türk Harbi Kalfas Cephesi 3ncü ordu harekâti cilt II, Map 94.]


The situation around Baku on 26 August 1918.

[From: Birinci Dünya Harbinde Türk Harbi Kalfas Cephesi 3ncü ordu harekâti cilt II, Map 95.]


The situation around Baku on 14/15 August 1918.

[From: Birinci Dünya Harbinde Türk Harbi Kalfas Cephesi 3ncü ordu harekâti cilt II, Map 96.]


The above maps are from Birinci Dünya Harbinde Türk Harbi Kalfas Cephesi 3ncü ordu harekâti cilt II  - The Turkish Official History of the Great War, Caucasus Front, Operations of the 3th Army, part 2. The maps detail the changing nature of the Baku campaign spread over a month. The Turkish perspective of the battle gives precise detail as to the Turkish units used and the locations of those formations over the time period. These should be read in conjunction with other accounts of the battle on this site.


Further Reading:

The Battle of Baku, Azerbaijan, August 26 to September 14, 1918

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: The Battle of Baku, Azerbaijan, 26 August to 14 September 1918, Turkish Maps

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 3 September 2010 11:32 AM EADT

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