Topic: AIF - DMC - British
Sinai, 23 April 1916
52nd (Lowland) Division, War Diary Account
The follow is an extract from the 52nd (Lowland) Division War Diary regarding the Affair at el Qatiya.
23 April 1916
Report from GOC 5th Mtd. Bde, of enemy patrol being fired on near the outpost line at Romani. No casualties reported.
DUEIDAR reports outpost line being attacked from South East. Information transmitted to 155 Brigade.
DUEIDAR estimated enemy strength 150.
GOC 5th Mtd. –Bde. Informed of the situation.
5th Australian Light Horse Ordered to send one squadron to report to G.O.C, 155th Brigade at HILL 40.
5th Mtd, Bde. informed aeroplanes would go out when mist cleared to examine, situation and would drop message at QATIA to assist his In intercepting the enemy.
Gloucester Yeomanry reported from ROMANI that firing could be heard from Railhead.
Train service beyond Hill 70 stopped till further orders.
DUEIDAR reported enemy had a trench mortar or small gun opposite that place.
5th Mtd. Bde, ordered to endeavour to intercept force attacking DUEIDAR (Message dropped by aeropllane).
5th Australian L.R. Regt. (less Sqd. attached 155 Bde.) ordered to move to HILL 70,
Railway warned that trains for troops and rations would be required during the day.
155th Bde. reported that reinforcements of 2 Coys. RS Fusiliers and 1 troop Yeomanry had reached DUEIDAR and a counter attack was about to be launched. This attack was not delivered as enemy were estimated to be too strong. Aeroplanes reported having dispersed enemy main body of 500 with bombs. Squadron of 5th Aus. LH sent by 155th Bde. to DUEIDAR. Col. LEGGETT reported starting for DUEIDAR to assume command.
Reminder of 5th Aus.L,H, placed under orders of B.O.C. 155th Bde.
Gloucester Yeomanry at ROMANI report having no communication with General Wiggin, but that 5 troops are moving to direction of ABU RAML as enemy reported retiring in South Easterly direction from DUEIDAR Squadron at QATIA reported heavy firing for 3 hours from OQHRATINA.
1st Mtd. Bde. reports heavy flying heard at QATIA,
Colonel Coventry, Commanding WORCESTER Yeomanry wired that he was almost surrounded and required help.
Major Stirling (GHQ Intelligence) wired from ROMANI that QATIA was being heavily shelled by 3 guns.
155th Bde ordered to hold one Battalion in readiness to move BIR ET MALER by road and rail.
O.C. Gloucester Yeomanry informed that his proposal to move 5 troops on Abiu RAML is approved. He is Informed of situation and ordered to act at his discretion.
156th Rde, ordered to send 2 Battns at once to HILL 40 to come under orders of BOC 155th Bde.
One Battn. 155 Bde order by rail from HILL 40 to Railhead, to drop a company at Railhead and proceed to camp near ROMANI to be selected by 5th Mounted Bde.
In accordance with instructions received GOC. Anzac Mounted Division reports having made provisional train arrangements for moving 2 regiments.
Aeroplane reported enemy column, estimated 500, retiring from DUEIDAR, also fighting at QATIA.
Notice given for train for 500 Infantry for 1500.
Major Stirling reports that Colonel Yorke commanding Gloucester Yeomanry, has proceeded to north end of QATIA to assist his squadron, Helio communication interrupted with that Squadron and with the Worcester. Heavy firing at QATIA.
ANZAC Informed that Bde HQ and one regiment will probably be required.
Hill 70 reports arrival of 5th Australian Light Horse (less 1 Sqd.) and departure of 1 Sqd, and M.G. Section.
Major Stirling reports on situation from Information received from wounded sergeant from QATIA. Turks attacking heavily from direction of OGHRATINA - where Worcesters were. Situation serious as regards ammunition.
155th Bde. informed that it is not considered necessary to increase garrison at DUEIDAR for night 23/24th all surplus Infantry to be withdrawn when BOC 155th Bde. considered it advisable.
Major Stirling reported heavy firing still heard at QATIA and that no news of General Wiggin was to hand.
156 Bde reports having despatched 7th R.Scots and 9th Scottish Riffles to
report to BGC 155th Bde.
Major Stirling reports the retirement of our troops all along the front. He had sent out ROMANl Garrison to assist in retirement.
Major Stirling reported surrender of our force at QATIA where Turks were estimated to have 3,000 men.
156 Bde. ordered to hold a Battn, in readiness to move by 1630 train. Major Stirling informed of this reinforcement for Railhead and ordered to inform Battn, already there of the situation and to take what steps he considers advisable.
Major Stirling reports 3,000 Turks moving on ROMANI.
HQ Anzac Mounted Division and remaining Brigade ordered to KANTARA.
157th Bde. Ordered to move to HILL 40 under arrangements to be made direct with 155th Bde.
1607 Anzac Mounted Division reported that 2nd Light Horse Brigade (less 1 Regiment) left SALHIA at noon.
Division Order No. 39 showing disposition of troops attached.
Colonel Walshe from Railhead reports that wounded state force at QATIA has been captured. He is holding a position at Railhead approximately North East South West and is sending forward patrols. Enemy estimated 1,500 strong reported moving on railway.
Colonel Leggett informed that aeroplanes reported party of our troops moving West, 4 miles West of HAMISAH and ordered to get in touch with patrols and to bring them in.
155 Bde ordered to send all available mounted troops to railhead to come under Colonel Lannowe.
Lieutenant Colonel Walshe informed that the 2nd Light Horse Brigade (less one Regiment) would arrive at HILL 70 about 2100, also that on his arrival General Casson would assume command at Hill 40, 70 and of outpost line, 157th Bde. informed.
1925 Colonel Yorke, Commanding Gloucester Yeomanry, reported having moved in direction of RABAH at 10 a.m. and come under heavy fire. He suffered some casualties and decided to withdraw. Touch with QATIA had not been established. A body of horsemen was observed moving South West from QATIA but was too distant to be made out clearly.
Major Stirling reported, on arrival at Railhead, that Colonel Yorke had reached ROMANI with part of two squadrons and wanted a Battn, sent up that night.
GHQ. Propose that 7 aeroplanes; shall bomb QATIA at dawn tomorrow (24th inst.)
Colonel Yorke informed that no infantry could be sent to ROMANl, and that if pressed he must retire on the 3 Battns. at Railhead - also that strong mounted reinforcements would reach Railhead tomorrow.
Telephone message from General Wiggin through DUEIDAR attached.
Anzac Mounted Division wire that they will reach KANTARA at 0350.
Commandant DUEIDAR reports arrival of General Wiggins and Warwickshire Yeomanry from EL NUSS. Enemy were not in touch with him. A troop of 5th Australian Light Horse sent out to help in the wounded.
155th Bde, reports arrival of 157 Bde. at HILL 40.
155th Bde reports arrival of remaining Sqdn. of 5th Australian Light Horse at DUEIDAR.
Report of action at DUEIDAR wired by Colonel Leggett attached.
Wire to Major Stirling to take every possible step towards bringing in wounded from QATIA and elsewhere. Matter left entirely to Stirling's discretion.
GHQ wire that bombs will be dropped on QATIA at dawn tomorrow. Report furnished to GHQ on the operations is attached.
Further Reading:The British Army
Citation: el Qatiya, Sinai, 23 April 1916, 52nd (Lowland) Division, War Diary Account