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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

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre aims to present an accurate history as chroniclers of early Australian military developments from 1899 to 1920.

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Monday, 20 April 2009
Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times Account, 8 February 1915
Topic: BatzS - Suez 1915

Suez Canal Attack

Egypt, January 28 - February 3, 1915

The Times Account, 8 February 1915.

The Times, 8 February 1915, p. 8.


The account is transcribed below.


The Times, 8 February 1915, p. 8.




The Turkish retreat from the vicinity of the Canal is diversely interpreted. It is held in some quarters that the enemy has fallen back to the nearest good water supply owing to inability to maintain himself near the east bank of the Canal, where wells are few. Others believe that the failure of the attempt to break through the Canal defences has so dispirited the troops as to render immediate withdrawal, with or without an intention of returning to the charge, inevitable.

The latter theory is, perhaps, supported by the surrender of Turkish deserters, and still more by the curious discovery, of which the official  communique has already spoken, of a white flag I with rings and halyard complete in a special case on the body of a slain German officer. if the flag was to be used only for its legitimate purpose-that of announcing a surrender - its presence betokens a great lack of confidence, to say the least, among the German officers, who have been credited with the entire direction of the Turkish operations.



Further Reading:

Where Australians Fought, Sinai, 1916-1917

Light Horse Battles

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times Account, 8 February 1915

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 24 April 2009 12:02 AM EADT
Bert Schramm's Diary, 20 April 1919
Topic: Diary - Schramm

Diaries of AIF Servicemen

Bert Schramm


During part of the course of his military service with the AIF, 2823 Private Herbert Leslie Schramm, a farmer from White's River, near Tumby Bay on the Eyre Peninsular, kept a diary of his life. Bert was not a man of letters so this diary was produced with great effort on his behalf. Bert made a promise to his sweetheart, Lucy Solley, that he would do so after he received the blank pocket notebook wherein these entries are found. As a Brigade Scout since September 1918, he took a lead part in the September 1918 breakout by the Allied forces in Palestine. Bert's diary entries are placed alongside those of the 9th Light Horse Regiment to which he belonged and to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade to which the 9th LHR was attached. On this basis we can follow Bert in the context of his formation.

 Bert Schramm's Diary, 20 April 1919


Bert Schramm's Handwritten Diary, 19 - 22 April 1919

[Click on page for a larger print version.]


Bert Schramm

Sunday, April 20, 1919

Bert Schramm's Location - Zagazig, Egypt.

Bert Schramm's Diary - Easter Sun. Things are quiet and we have had an easy day. Received a batch of letters today, four from Lucy. I was jolly pleased to get them. Also had several letters from home. They were all doing well. Fred had arrived home and they were all very excited.



9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Zagazig, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Voluntary church services.



Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924.

No Entry

Previous: Bert Schramm's Diary, 19 April 1919

Next: Bert Schramm's Diary, 21 April 1919


Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF War Diary - Complete day by day list

Bert Schramm Diary 

Bert Schramm Diary - Complete day by day list


Additional Reading:

Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924.


Citation: Bert Schramm's Diary, 20 April 1919

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 9 May 2009 7:22 PM EADT
Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times, 4 February 1915
Topic: BatzS - Suez 1915

Suez Canal Attack

Egypt, January 28 - February 3, 1915

 The Times, 4 February 1915


 The Times, 4 February 1915, p. 8


The account is transcribed below.





The Turks have at Last, made a serious attempt to crows the Suez Canal.

On Tuesday night they arrived opposite Tussum which lies at the southern end of Lake Timsah. Earlier in the day they had been near Ismailia, at the northern end of the lake, where they were driven off after a skirmish. At Tussum they had brought bridging material. They were allowed to start bridging operations, and the British force then opened an attack which proved irresistible. The Turks precipitately fled, leaving the whole of their bridging material in our hands.

Yesterday morning he enemy also attacked further north at El Kantara, the scene of last week's encounter) but were repulsed without difficulty.

This is the first noteworthy encounter between the British and the Turks in the neighbourhood of the canal. As the Turks had guns, it must be presumed that: they have arrived in some force. The place of their appearance suggests that after leaving El Arish they have followed a south westerly course across the desert, probably passing near Bir Matha. It has always been expected that they would strike at Ismailia, where the railway branches off to Cairo.

A map showing the lines of approach to the Suez Canal will be found on the previous page.


An official communiqué states that last night the enemy attempted to cross the Canal near Tussum.

They were allowed to bring their bridging material to the bank unmolested. When the bridging operations had actually started tea attacked them. Our attack was completely successful. The enemy fled in disorder, leaving the whole of their bridging material in our hands, and some of the enemy were drowned in the Canal.

The enemy also attacked us on the El Banters front at daylight to-day, but were easily repulsed.

The loss of the enemy was 16 killed and wounded, and 40 prisoners. Our casualties were three wounded.


Yesterday British forces met the enemy in the vicinity of Ismailia, near the centre of the Suez Canal. A sandstorm checked the enemy's ardour. Their shooting both with guns and rifles was bad. The enemy retreated.

The British losses were six men wounded. Reuter.



Further Reading:

Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, Contents

Where Australians Fought, Sinai, 1916-1917

Light Horse Battles

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times, 4 February 1915

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 25 April 2009 10:01 PM EADT
Sunday, 19 April 2009
Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times, 4 February 1915, pt 2
Topic: BatzS - Suez 1915

Suez Canal Attack

Egypt, January 28 - February 3, 1915

 The Times, 4 February 1915, pt 2


The Times, 4 February 1915, p. 11


The account is transcribed below.






There is, to speak strictly, no Egyptian season this winter - that pleasant insouciant life made up of picnics, dances, excursions, and sight-seeing, varied by Nile and desert trips, which centres round the chief hotels of Cairo, fins ceased to be. The Western countries, whence came most of the European tourists in the past, have this year sent out but a handful of British and French visitors. Egypt is closed to Germans and Austro-Hungarians; the Italians, who never formed a large proportion of the winter visitors, have decreased in numbers this winter owing partly to financial stringency at home, partly to the rather alarmist articles of some of their journalists. Owing to the general disturbance caused by the war few subjects indeed of the minor Powers have ventured out to Cairo. Remains America - but America has been hard hit by the conflict, and no more do Poppas and Mommas, rich no doubt beyond the dreams of avarice, submissively follow their smart and self-possessed daughters to Savoy dances and Ghezireh race meetings. And so the Cairo season is one of the victims of the war. Most of the chief hotels are closed. The two great hotel groups are represented only by the “Grand Continental" and "Shepherd’s," Savoy, Semiramis, Ghezireh Palace will not open this season. Helouan is an abomination of desolation, with one hotel and pension alone op en out of at least a dozen. Only the Heliopolis House Hotel, an adjunct to the huge and magnificent Heliopolis Palace, is open at the new desert city which has sprung up in the last nine .years beyond Abbassieh The Luxor Hotel at Luxor and the Grand Hotel at Assuan are open for the benefit of a few old habitués, of invalids, and of occasional officers on short leave or Angle-Egyptian officials in need of a brief rest from what, owing to the general stoppage or curtailment of leave, has been a trying year for many of them.


Yet if the season is non-existent there is animation enough in the European life of Cairo. The city has become militarized, for a very large army is quartered in or around it. Shepherd’s and the Grand Continental Hotel swarm with officers of every rank and every branch in the Imperial service-British, Indian, Colonial, and Egyptian. There was a time when N.C.O.'s and men, especially of the Colonial contingents, pervaded both hotels at all hours, but of late certain restrictions have been placed on their frequenting the hotels at certain hours.

In general, it may be said that the military have amply made up for the absence of tourists as far as Cairo is concerned. The dragomans, guides, and vendors of every species of rubbish from inefficient fly-whisks to stuffed crocodiles have thriven exceedingly. There are no tourists at Mena House, but a large force of Australians is camped near the Pyramids, and that renowned, or should I say notorious, tribe, the Pyramid Beduin, are growing deplorably prosperous at the expense of newcomers. The vendors of all sorts of refreshments, restaurant keepers, cabmen, tartars, taxi-cab drivers, &c., are making money. Egyptian and Barbering waiters have taken the place of the German and Austrian in the hotels that remain open.


The Mouski Bazaar is not doing badly, though there is naturally a falling off in the demand for the best classes of Oriental goods, and the best known vendors of Egyptian and Greek antiques have comparatively few clients. Book shops and tea shops .are doing excellent business, and one still wonders why no English bookseller has begun operations now that the Germans have left us, and why none of the many London establishments have thought of opening tea rooms in Cairo, if only for the benefit of the Australians, the tea-drinkers par excellence of a tea-drinking race.

It is only in Upper Egypt that the cessation of the tourist traffic has really been felt. Ii Cairo and its neighbourhood not only are the troops, a majority of whom receive at least 5s pay a day, spending large sums, but considerable orders for provisions, forage, &c. are given by the military authorities difficult, it is difficult, of course, to make any but a general estimate of the amount that is being spent the country by the garrison, but there is good reason to believe that it does not fall far shot of £250,000 a month. Egypt has another good reason for being grateful to the Turk.

Social gaieties have, of course, decreases. Dances are not given, but after all one cannot expect Cairo to eat, drink, and be merry when the world is at war. Charity bazaars and similar entertainments are well supported, while the ladies of the British, French, and Belgian colonies have in many cases taken up first aid courses and hospital work with rare zeal. An if the truth be told the average British resides is not altogether displeased at the absence of tourists.



Further Reading:

Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, Contents

Where Australians Fought, Sinai, 1916-1917

Light Horse Battles

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times, 4 February 1915, pt 2

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 26 April 2009 8:28 AM EADT
Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook - Summary Page
Topic: Wp - Hotchkiss PMG

Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook

Summary Page


These are pages from the Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook, the official manual issued by the company for the use of troops in the field. The Hotchkiss Gun was introduced in the Light Horse formations during the early months of 1917. The introduction of this robust and portable gun gave the Light Horse Regiments additional mobile fire power which considereably added to their ability to sustain light combat situations and defend against vastly numerically superior forces. Apart from being an excellent weapon, it was in much demand by the Turkish forces who considered the capture of a Hotchkiss Gun well worth any risks involved in the process. This is a manual produced in 1917 and illustrates the method by which the Hotchkiss Gun was packed and moved throughout the Palestine campaign.


Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook - Summary Page

[Click on page for a larger print version.]


Further Reading:

Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook, Contents 

Weapons, Contents  


Citation: Hotchkiss Portable Machine Gun Handbook - Summary Page

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 21 April 2009 12:10 AM EADT

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