"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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The cover of To Bisley and Back with the Kolapore Cup
After a playing a successful part in the team shooting in the competition at Bisley and finally securing the Kolapore cup, Phil Fargher wrote about his adventure upon arrival back in Australia. The book was called "To Bisley and Back with the Kolapore Cup", and was published in Melbourne during 1898. It is a most entertaining book written by one of the leading marksmen in Australia at the time. Fargher played a long and distinguished role in promoting the rifle shooting movement in Australia.
Phil Fargher, “To Bisley and Back with the Kolapore Cup”, 1898.
We left Glasgow on Saturday night immediately after the matches, and went right through to Bisley, where we arrived tired out with the long journey.
We continued our practices the following week in rather bad weather, which enabled us to find out some of the weak points of the new rifle. The effect of the wind of 600 yards is much greater than with the Martini Henry, owing I presume to the lightness of the bullet and greater changes are necessary for any variation the wind.
About this time, there was great excitement in anticipation of the Jubilee. Everybody appeared to be Jubilee mad, and the talk was of nothing else for some days before that event came off. We could get no information as to what arrangements were being made for us, and the members of the team were in a state of uncertainty. We were all anxious to see the procession, and certainly thought that a place would be provided for us along the line of route, but in this we were disappointed. We received a telegram the evening before the event giving us permission to fall in with the colonial troops at 7 a.m. at Chelsea Barracks, and march on foot in the procession in rear of the mounted troops. No sleeping accommodation was provided, which made it necessary for us to get a late train into London, and dodge about all night waiting for the morning. We decided not to accept the "chance," but to go "on our own," and if necessary to pay for a seat from which to see the show.
This treatment was in keeping with the manner in which the team was neglected by the official and military people right throughout our visit. They took no notice of us until political pressure was brought to bear, and when they did grant any concession, it was at the last moment and under such restrictions as to make it worse than useless.
I will mention one or two instances to show how things were managed. In connection with the Naval Review at Spithead, which we were very anxious to sec, we could get no information until the night before it took place, when we received a telegram to say that we could join the colonial troops by going to London that night, sleep in a tent in Chelsea Barracks, and parade at 4am for the purpose of being marched to the train for Portsmouth. This necessitated losing a night's sleep, and trotting about all day from 4 a.m. until a late hour at night, when we could have joined the train at Woking, which is within five miles of Bisley, and nearly half-way to Portsmouth. As it was only about a fortnight to the Bisley matches, we did not care to take the risk of catching cold by sleeping in a tent in wet weather, or getting out of form by the fatigue involved in a long day's exertion, so we refused the concession which had been so grudgingly and ungraciously granted.
We received an invitation to attend a display of the working of their guns from the Maxim and Nordenfeldt Co., but we did not get it until the clay after the affair came off.
Sir Henry Irving gave a theatrical performance to the colonial troops in England, which was a great affair. We heard of it for the first time when we saw the report in the newspapers the day after it took place.
These little things did not trouble us much, as we did not wish to do any "gallivanting around," but it would have been just the same in any case, our opportunities being strictly limited so far as the official set were concerned.
On Jubilee Day the weather was splendid, and we got a good position from which to see the procession - thanks to the Melbourne Rifle Club uniform and a couple of policemen-in front of the crowd at Trafalgar Square.
We were rather late in getting to London, and the streets through which the procession was to pass were already full of people. We were standing in the rear of a big crowd, when a policeman noticed Walker and Kirk, who were dressed in the Melbourne Rifle Club uniform. On finding that they were Australians, he made an opening through the crowd and told them to come to the front - the remainder of us followed, as a matter of course.
It was a great Show in every respect, and was a grand opportunity for the display of loyalty on the part of the hundreds of thousands of people who were bubbling over with it. One little Welshman, who stood beside me for a couple of hours, kept shouting so enthusiastically and continuously that he became quite exhausted. I was at a loss to know why the little fellow made so much noise, but I suppose it was because so many others were shouting too.
What struck me at first was the splendid quality of the horses ridden by the Life Guards, and also by other mounted troops. Each regiment rides horses of an uniform colour and size. One regiment rides bay horses another chestnut, another grey, and so on; but they are all alike in the splendid quality of the horses.
The colonial troops went by first, and were more noticeable for the high standard of the men themselves than for the gaudiness of their equipment. The Premiers of the various colonies drove along with the troops of their particular State, and a little cheering was done as they passed, but I saw no reason why G. H. Reid should sit in his carriage bareheaded bowing right and left-certainly, the warmth of the reception did not justify it. The only colonial who was received with anything like enthusiasm was the Premier of Canada.
After the colonials came the great pageant which the press has described as the greatest thing of the kind the world has ever seen. I am quite prepared to take their word for it, as it would he hard to imagine anything in the way of processions that ever did or ever will eclipse this one. Great military swells, fairly covered in gold braid, were cavorting on horseback. Princes and Rajahs of every nationality and of every shade of colour were there, dressed in all possible kinds of uniform, and in rich variegated silks covered with gold lace. It appeared to me that the descendants of all the princes since the days of Saul were present, and dressed in clothes shat had taken from his time: until now to make.
Another impression one could not help receiving was that the Great Ones of this earth are mostly “Made in Germany."
Hundreds of these Great People were simply covered in gold lace and medals of all kinds-the latter being the badges of the different orders to which Their Greatnesses belong.
To give an idea of the magnificence of some of the dresses, they were to the ordinary Australian staff officer in full fig, what a thousand candle power electric light is to a farthing dip.
The horses that these people rode were also covered in gold lace. The carriages which were occupied by the princesses, who were there in great number, and in every possible variation of age and beauty, were covered at each end with hanging material of some sort which was also ornamented with gold lace. The horses in the carriages were also decorated with the same material, and so were the flunkeys who occupied positions fore and aft on the carriages. In fact, one could only catch glimpses of some of the living things in the show through chinks and crevices in the gold lace.
All this led up to the Grand Culmination of the whole show, which consisted of a carriage that scented to be plated with gold, set on golden springs, on golden wheels, hung with gold cloth, drawn by eight cream-colored ponies harnessed in gold, led by a number of individuals on foot clothed in gold lace. I have often wondered where all the gold of Australia and California had gone. I know now. It was being prepared for the Diamond Jubilee procession, and it all appeared in that magnificent Show.
The Queen looked bright and well. She was quietly dressed in some darkish material, and bowed and smiled pleasantly to the crowd, who were cheering for all they were worth. The little Welshman I have mentioned made a frantic final effort to cheer as the Queen passed us, and nearly expired in the attempt.
The Queen looked pleased, and with good reason, for she occupied the proudest position during that drive ever taken by anyone in the history of the world.
After the mounted troops, in the extreme rear of the procession, came the miscellaneous detachments of the troops on foot that represented the various parts of the British Empire. They consisted of a lot of little squads from ten to twenty or thirty each, and of every shade of colour ranging between white and black, including a squad of Chinese.
The Queensland Rifle Team were the last of all - immediately in rear of the Chinese-trudging along with their rifles held at different angles, looking forlorn and neglected, and entirely out of place in a Show of that kind. When we saw them, and the position they were placed in, we heartily congratulated ourselves on having escaped such humiliation.
There was one very noticeable feature in connection with the procession, and that was the entire absence of the Ministry or M.P.’s. The whole thing was run by the Royal Family, the Aristocracy and the Military, The representatives of the people appeared to be entirely ignored, and took no part in the demonstration. The most amazing part, however, was the fact that the people seemed to expect nothing else, and did not appear to think it al all strange that they, through their Parliamentary representatives, were being overlooked. Yet we hear that England is practically a democracy. From what I saw while in England, I would say that the country is ruled by the Royal Family and Relatives, with the assistance of the Aristocracy and the Military - especially the latter; and that Parliament is simply used for the purposes of raising funds to keep things going. England is certainly not a democratic community as we understand the term in Australia.
Phil Fargher's Personal Diary Entry, 22 June 1897.
Phil Fargher played a successful part in the team shooting in the competition at Bisley and finally securing the Kolapore Cup. During this time away from Australia Phil Fargher maintained a diary. From these recollections he wrote about his adventure upon arrival back in Australia. The book was called "To Bisley and Back with the Kolapore Cup", and was published in Melbourne during 1898. It is a most entertaining book written by one of the leading marksmen in Australia at the time. Fargher played a long and distinguished role in promoting the rifle shooting movement in Australia. Here is the transcription of the diary entry regarding the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of 22 June 1897.
Went to London by 7-5 train from Brookwood and managed to get a good position to view the procession in Trafalgar Square. Policeman allowed us to come through the crowd and stand in front. The turnout was very gorgeous and overlaid anything in processions the world ever saw. Dutch Princes in large numbers. Decorations very fine and people very enthusiastic. Cockneys a very loyal crowd and worship the Royal family. Came home early 4-10 train. Went to Ruaphill in evening and saw the fete. Finished up at the bonfire at Bisley. Went to bed dead tired.
The following is extracted from the seminal work of Major A. F. Becke, R.F.A. (Retired), Hon. M.A. (Oxon.) which now is the Great War British standard reference called: History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence: Order Of Battle, Part 4, the Army Council, G.H.Q.s, Armies, and Corps, 1914-1918, published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1945, from pp. 33 - 44.
This entry is presented "as is". A table of abbreviations employed is found at the commencement of this section. Additionally, where necessary regarding Becke's understanding of Australian units is inaccurate, an explanatory note is added.
Battles and Engagements.
This table of battles and engagements, which embraces some seven different theatres of activity, is given chronologically, in order to emphasize the numerous demands made on G.H.Q. E.E.F. to meet the calls of the wide-spread local operations. This table also emphasizes the change-over from merely defensive operations to those active operations which culminated in the invasion of the enemy territories - Palestine and Syria.
Operations in the Bab el Mandeb.
10 November 1914 - Capture of Sheikh Said
[29th Ind. Inf. Bde. & 23/Sikh P.].
Defence of Egypt.
3 & 4 February 1915 - Actions on the Suez Canal
[10th Ind. & 11th Ind. Divs., N.Z. Inf. Bde., Impl. Ser. Cav. Bde., Herts. Yeo., Westminster Dgns., A Sqdn. D.L.O. Yeo., Bikanir Camel Corps, III E. Lanc, R.F.A., 5th Egyptian Bty., 1st E. Lanc. Fd. Coy., E. Lanc. Sig. Coy., with 1 Flight R.F.C., & 1 French Seaplane Flight.].
Operations in the Bab el Mandeb.
14 & 15 June 1915 - Turkish Attack on Perim
[Detnt., 23/Sikh Pioneers].
Defence of Aden.
4 and 5 July 1915 - Lahaj (20 miles N.N.W. of Aden).
[Aden Troop, Camel Bty. R.G.A., 23/Fortress Coy., 3/S. and M., S.W.B. (Brecknock Bn.), 23/Sikh P., 126/Baluchis].
20 July 1915 - Sheikh 'Othman (7 miles N.N.W. of Aden)
[From Egypt B.Bty., H.A.C., Berks. Bty., 28th Ind. Inf. Bde. ; and from Aden : Aden Troop, Camel Bty., 23/Fortress Coy., and 3/S. & M.].
Note: This force included elements from the 12th A.L.H.R.
Western Frontier-Senussi Operations.
11-13 December1915 - Wadi Senab
[Notts. Bty., 2/Comp. Yeo. Regt., R.N.A.C.D., 6/R.S., and 15/Sikhs.].
[On the 9th January 1916, Lieut.-General Sir A. J. Murray became G.O.C.-in-C. of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, and Lieut.-General Sir J. Maxwell then became responsible for the security of the Nile Delta, except in respect of an attack from the east.]
["Lukin's Force" (Br.-Gen. H. T. Lukin.) - Dorset. Yeo., 1 Sqdn. Bucks. Yeo., Notts. Bty., 6/R. Scots, 1st and 3rd S. Afr. Inf.]
20 March 1916 - On this day the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and the Force in Egypt were amalgamated and became the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. This Force was placed under the supreme command of General Sir A. J. Murray.
[Lieut.-General Sir John G. Maxwell left Cairo for England on 21 March 1918, and on 27 April 1916 became G.O.C. Irish Command (App. 2).]
DEFENCE OF EGYPT.
22 April 1916 – Dueidar.
[4/R. Scots, 5/R. Scots (155th Bde., 52nd Div.)].
23 April 1916 – Qatia.
[5th Mtd. Bde., 2 Aus. L. H. Bde., Bikanir Camel Corps, 4/R. Scots. and 5/R. Scots.]
Sudan - Darfur Operations.
22 and 23 May 1916 - Beringia and Occupation of el Fasher
[" Kelly's Force" [Lieut.-Col. P. V. Kelly.] (Egyptian Army); 8 Mtn. guns (Egyptian Arty.), 14 Maxims, 4 Cos. Camel Corps, 8 Cos. 13/ and 14/ Sudanese Inf., and Arab. Bn.].
DEFENCE OF EGYPT.
4 and 5 August - Battle of Romani.
[R.F.C., 5th Mtd. Bde., A. and N.Z. Mtd. Bde., 3rd A. L. H. Bde., Impl. Camel Corps, Bikanir Camel Corps, 1st Dismtd. Bde., 42nd Div., 52nd Div., and 158th Bde. (53rd Div.) under 52nd Div. on 4 and 5 August 1916.]
Note: While Becke states “A. and N.Z. Mtd. Bde., 3rd A. L. H. Bde.” this formation was the Anzac Mounted Division with four light horse brigades. No formation called the “A. and N.Z. Mtd. Bde” existed although the 3rd A. L. H. Bde operated independent to the other three brigades in the Division during the Battle of Romani.
[In the Attack on Medina (6 June 1916) and the Captures of Mecca (13 June 1916), Jidda (16 June 1916), and Yambo (27 July 1916) only Arab Forces were engaged. The attacks to put the Hejaz Railway out of action were begun in October, 1916, and were continued until the end of the war.]
22 September 1916 - Capture of Taif.
[Arab Forces, with Egyptian Army Arty. Detnt. (4, 5” Hows., 6 Mtn. guns), and 1 Maxim Bty.].
Western Frontiers - Senussi Operations.
17-22 October 1916 - Dakla Oases.
[Impl. Camel Corps and Light Armoured Cars].
Sudan - Darfur Operations.
8 November 1916 – Giuba.
[1 Mtn. gun. 4 Maxims, and 150 rifles, 13/Sudanese Inf.].
Defence of Aden.
7 December 1916 – Jabir.
[26/CavaIry, 4/D.C.L.L, 75/Carnatic Inf., and 109/Inf.]
DEFENCE OF EGYPT.
23 December 1916 – Magdhaba.
[R.F.C., A .and N.Z. Mtd. Div. (less 2/A.L.H. Bde.) ImpI. Camel Bde., Inverness and Somerset. Bties., and Hong Kong and Singapore Mtn. Btv.].
DEFENCE OF EGYPT.
9 January 1917 – Rafa.
[R.F.C.. 5th Mtd. Bde., A. and N.Z. Mtd. Div. (less 2/A.L. H. Bde.), Impl. Camel Bde., No. 7 Light Car Patrol, B. Bty. H.A.C., Leicester, Inverness, and Somerset Bties., and Hong Kong and Singapore Mtn. Bty.].
[Only Arab Forces under the Emir Feisal were engaged in the Fight at Abu el Lissan (15 miles S.S.W, of Ma'an) on the evening of 2 July 1917, and in the Occupation of Aqaba (6 July 1917.) The Turkish attack on Petra (21 October 1917) was met by Arab Forces under Gaafer Pasha.]
24 January 1917 - Capture of Er Wejh.
[Arab Forces, assisted by R.F.C. and Naval Landing Party].
Western Frontier - Senussi operations.
3 - 5 February 1917 - Siwa Oasis.
[“Hodgson's Column": (Br.-Gen. H.W. Hodgson.) Light Armoured Cars and Light Car Patrols.]
INVASION OF PALESTINE.
26 and 28 March 1917, FIRST BATTLE OF GAZA.
[“Eastern Force": (Eastern Force was formed on 18 October 1916 and placed under Lt.-Gen. Sir C.M. Dobell; Desert Column was formed on 7 December 1916 and was commanded by Lt.-Gen. Sir P.W. Chetwode, Bt. On 21 April 1917 Lt.-Gen. Sir P. W. Chetwode took over the command of Eastern Force from Lt.-Gen. Sir C.M. Dobell, and Maj.-Gen Sir H.G. Chauvel then took over Desert Column. On the reorganisation of the E.E.F., in August, 1917 both Eastern Force and Desert Column disappeared, and E.E.F. was reorganized in three Corps – XX, XXI, and Desert Mounted Corps.) 5th Wing R.F.C.; 53rd and 54th Divs., 52nd Div. (in reserve); Desert Column - A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div., Impl. Mtd. Div., and Impl. Camel Bde.; with R. Secs: 10th, 15th, 91st Hy. Bties. (60-pdrs.), 11/ and 12/L.A. Motor Bties., and 7[Light Car Patrol.]
17 - 19 April 1917, SECOND BATTLE OF GAZA
[Eastern Force": 5th Wing R.F.C.; 52nd. 53rd, and 54th Divs., and 74th Div. (in reserve); Desert Column - A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div., Impl. Mtd. Div., and Impl. Camel Bde. ; and 10th, 15th, 91st Hy. Bties. (60-pdrs.), 201st Siege Bty. (6” and 8” Hows.); E Tank Company (8 Tanks - On 9 January 1917, E Tank Ccw. MG Corps (Heavy Branch) - Major N.H. Nutt with 14 officers, 123 other ranks, and 8 tanks (all but 3 being the already obsolete Mk. I type) - disembarked at Alexandria from H.M.T. Euripides and went to A Camp at Gabbari. On 27 January 1917 E Tank Coy. concentrated at Gilban (10 miles W.S.W. of Romani), moved from there on 30 May 1917 by train to Khan Yunis, reached Deir el Belah (4 miles S. of mouth of Wadi el Ghuzze) on 5 April 1917, and on 14 April 1917 the 8 tanks moved forward into the Wadi el Ghuzze. The tanks co-operated in the Second Battle of Gaza - 2 tanks with 163rd Bde. (54th Div.) on 17 April 1917; and on 19 April 1917. 1 tank attacked with 163rd Bde. 154th Div.), 4 tanks with 155th Bde. (52nd Diy ), and 2 tanks with 160th Bde. (53rd Div.). After the Battle E Tank Coy. concentrated at Deir el Belah. On 1 August 1917 E Tank Coy. became Detachment Tank Corps E.E F. (on 27 July 1917) M.G.C. Heavy Branch had become Tank Corp), 11 and 12 L.A. Motor Bties., 17 M.M.G. Bty., and Lt. Car Patrol.]
27 October - 18 November 1917 - THIRD BATTLE OF GAZA.
[Palestine Bde. R.F.C., (5th (Corps) Wing - 14th and 113th Sqdns. and 21st Balloon Coy.; and 40th (Army) Wing - 67th and 111th Sqdns.) D.M.C. (D.M.C. was formed at Abasan (3 miles E. of Khan Yunis) on 12 August 1917. D.M.C. was commanded by Lt.-Gen. Sir H.G. Chauvel and consisted of: Yeomanry, Australian and A. and N.Z. Mounted Divisions, and Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.), XX (XX Corps was formed at Deir el Belah (Palestine) on 2 August 1917) and XXI Corps (XXI Corps was formed at Deir el Belah (Palestine) on 12 August 1917)].
31 October 1917 - Capture of Beersheba.
[XX Corps (53rd, 60th, 74th Divs.). D.M.C. (Aus Mtd. Div.. A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div., 7th Mtd. Bde.) and Impl. Camel Bde.; with Berks. Bty., 10th Mtn. Btv., and XCVI H.A.G.].
1-3 November 1917 - Attack on the Gaza Defences.
[XX Corps (54th Div. and 156th Bde., 52nd Div.); with Detnt. Tank Corps (8 tanks), and XCVH.A.G., and CII H.A.G.s.]
3-7 November 1917 - Capture of Tell Khuweilfe.
[53rd Div. (XX), and A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div.]
6 November 1917 - Capture of the Sheria Position.
[XX Corps (10th, 60th, and 74th Divs.), and Yeo Mtd. Div., and Aus. Mtd. Div.].
8 November 1917 - Huj (10 miles E. of Gaza).
[1/War. Yeo. and 1/[Worc. Yeo. (5th Mtd. Bde. - Aus. Mtd. Div.)].
8 November 1917 - Capture of the Wadi el Hesi Defences.
[52nd Div. (XXI)].
12 November 1917 - Burqa (18 miles N.N.E. of Gaza).
[158th Lade. (52nd Div.-XXI)].
12 November 1917 - El Muggar.
[XXI Corps (52nd and 75th Divs.), D.M.C. (Yeo. Mtd. Div., Aus. Mtd. Div., A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div., 7th Mtd. Bde., Impl. Camel Bde. And 12/L.A.M. Bty.]
13 November 1917 - Occupation of Junction station.
[XXI Corps (52nd and 75th Divs.), D.M.C. (Yeo. Mtd. Div., Aus. Mtd. Div., A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div., 7th Mtd. Bde., Impl. Camel Bde. And 12/L.A.M. Bty.]
17 - 24 November 1917 - Battle of Nabi Samweil.
[Palestine Bde. R.F.C., and XXI Corps (52nd, 60th, 75th Divs.), Yeo. Mtd. Div., 5th Mtd. Bde.]
27 November - 3 December 1917 - Turkish Counter-Attacks in Defence of Jerusalem
[XXI Corps (52nd, 54th, 75th Divs.) until noon 28 November 1917; then XX Corps (52nd, 60th, 74th Divs., Yeo. Mtd. Div., and 7th Mtd. Bde.), and D.M.C. (54th Div., Aus. Mtd. Div., A. & Z. Mtd. Div., and Impl. Camel Bde.)].
27 November 1917 - Defence of Wilhelma (5 miles N.N.E. of Lydda)
[4/North'n. (162nd Bde., 54th Div., attd. to D.M.C.)].
7-9 December 1917 - Capture of Jerusalem.
[Jerusalem surrendered on 9 December 1917; and on 11 December 1917 General Sir E.H.H. Allenby made his official entry, through the Jaffa Gate, into the Holy City.]
[Palestine Bde. R.F.C., XX Corps (60th and 74th Divs., and Mott's. Detnt. - 53rd Div.) and XX Corps Cav.]
20-22 December 1917 - BATTLE OF JAFFA
[XXI Corps (52nd and 54th Divs.); and 1st A.L.H. Bde., and Auckland Mtd. Rif. (A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div.)].
8 p.m. 20 - 21 December 1917 - Passage of the Nahr el 'Auja.
[52nd Div. (XXI)].
20 - 30 December1917 - Defence of Jerusalem.
[XX Corps - 10th, 53rd, 60th, and 74th Divs. and XX Corps Cav.].
In 1918 the Arab Forces in the Hejaz fought the following actions: Fight at et Tafile (25 January 1918 - Arab Forces under Emir Zeid); Capture of Turkish Dead Sea Flotilla, at el Mezra’a (27 January 1918 - Arab Camelry); Shuhim Stn, on Hejaz Rly. (20 April 1918 - Arab Regulars, with R.F.C. and Hejaz A.C. Bty.); Mudarwara Stn., on Hejaz Rly. (6 August 1918 – 2 Cos, Impl Camal Corps from E.E.F.); and Reoccupation of Ma’an (23 September 1918 – Arab Regular Army.).
The Arab Northern Army (Emir Feisal) included : (1) Arab Regular Army (Ja'far Pasha el Askeri) - 1 Bde. Inf. 1 Bn. Mule Inf., 1 Bn. Camel Corps, and 8 guns; with Lt.-Col T.E. Lawrence’s Arab Tribesmen; and Section Indian machine-gunners; (2) British Section (Lt.-Col. P. C. Joyce - Hejaz A.C. Bty. (2, 10-pdrs, and m. guns), 1 Flight of Aeroplanes, R.F.C., 1 Coy. Egyptian Camel Corps (Capt. F.G. Peake); with Tpt, and Labor Corps, and Wireless Stn. At Aqaba; and (3) French Section (Dapt. Pisani) – 2 Mtn. Guns, 4 M.G.s, and 10 auto-rifles.
In March and April, 1918, the Arab Northern Army operated in the Mountains of Moab.
OPERATIONS IN THE JORDAN VALLEY
19 - 21 February 1918 - Capture of Jericho.
[XX Corps - 60th Div. and 1st A.L.H. Bde, and N.Z. Mtd. Rif. Bde. (A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div.)].
8 - 12 March 1918 - Tell ‘Asur (9 miles N. of Jerusalem).
[XX Corps - 10th, 53rd, and 74th Divs., and 181st Bde. (60th Div.), and 1st A.L.H. Bde. and Auckland Mtd. Rif. (A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div.); and XXI Corps - 54th and 75th Divs.].
12 March 1918 - Fight at Ras el ‘Ain.
[162nd Bde. (54th Div.) - XXI Corps].
OPERATIONS IN AND BEYOND THE JORDAN VALLEY.
21 March - 2 April 1918 - First Trans-Jordan Raid
["Shea's Force": (Under Maj.-Gen. J. S. M. Shea, commanding 60th Division.) A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div., lmpl. Camel Bde., L.A.C. Bde., and 60th Div.].
27 - 30 March 1918 - Attack on ‘Amman
["Chaytor's Force": 2nd A.L.H. Bde. and N.Z. Mtd. Rif. Bde. (A. & N.Z. Div.), Impl. Camel Bde., 181st Inf. Bde.,2/17 and 2/18/Lond. of 180th Bde. (60th Div.)j.
11 April 1918 - Turkish Attack on the Jordan Bridgeheads
[A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div., and lmpl. Camel Bde.].
9 - 11 April 1918 - Berukin (20 miles E. of Jaffa)
[XXI Corps - 7th Ind.,( 7th (Meerut) Div. - Maj.-Gen. Sir V.R. Frane arrived in Egypt in January, 1918; and 3rd (Lahore) Div. - Maj.-Gen. A.R. Hoskins - in April, 1918.) 54th, and 75th Divs., and Aus. Ditd. Div.].
OPERATIONS BEYOND THE JORDAN VALLEY.
30 April - 4 May 1918 - Second Trans-Jordan Raid
[D.M.C. (Chauvel)-Aus. Mtd. Div., A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div., 6th Mtd. Bde., Impl. Service Cav. Bde., 60th Div., and 20th Ind. Bde.].
30 April - 4 May 1918 - Occupation of Es Salt
[Aus. Mtd. Div. (Hodgson) - 3rd A.L.H. Bde., 5th Mtd. Bde.; and 1st A.L.H. and 2nd A.L.H. Bdes. (A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div.) ; with Hong Kong and Singapore Mtn. Bty., and 12th L.A.M. Bty.].
14 July 1918 - Abu Tulul (Jordan Valley) (7 miles N.W. of Ghoraniye Br.)
[D.M.C.] A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div., 2nd Mtd. Div., and Alwar and Patiala Inf. Bns.].
THE FINAL OFFENSIVE.
19 - 25 September 1918 - BATTLES OF MEGIDDO
[Palestine Bde. R.A.F., (R. Air Force (Middle East) - Maj.-Gen. W.G.H. Salmond - Palestine Bde. R.A.F. (Br.-Gen. A. E. Borton): 5th (Corps) Wing - 14th, 113th, 142nd Sqdns; 40th (Army) Wing - 111th, 144th, 145th Sqdns. ; No. 1 Sqdn. Aus. F.C. ; and No. 21 Balloon Coy. On 1 April 1918 R.F.C. and R.N.A.S. amalgamated and formed a separate Service, designated Royal Air Force.) D.M.C., (For these operations D.M.C. (Lt.-Gen. Sir H.G. Chauvel) consisted of: 4th Cav. and 5th Cav. Divs., Aus. Mtd. Div., with Regiment Mixte de Marche de Cavalerie, and XIX R.H.A. (A and B Bties. H.A.C.).) XX and XXI Corps, and "Chaytor's Force".( Maj.-Gen. Sir E. W. C. Chaytor's Force (in Jordan Valley) consisted of: A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div. (with XVIII R.H.A. - Inverness., Ayr., and Somerset. Bties), 20th Ind. Inf. Bde., 38/R.F., 39/R.F., 1/B.W.I., 2/B.W.I., and 75th Bty. R.F.A., 195th Hy. Bty. R.G.A., and 29th and 32nd Ind. Mtn. Bties.)].
19 - 21 September 1918 – BATTLE OF NABLUS.
19 - 21 September 1918 - BATTLE OF SHARON.
[XXI Corps and D.M.C.].
20 September 1918 – Capture of Nazareth.
[13th Cav. Bde. (5th Cav. Div.) - D.M.C.].
23 September 1918 - Capture of Haifa.
[15th Cav. Bde. and 1 Sqdn. 1/Sherwood Rgrs. of 14th Cav. Bde. (5th Cav. Div.), and B. Bty., H.A.C. - D.M.C.].
24 September 1918 - Makhadet el Mas’udi (Jordan ford - 11 miles S.S.E. of Beisan)
[11th Cav. Bde. (4th Cav. Div.), (Yeomanry Mid. Div. (Indianized) on 24 April 1918 became 1st Mid, Div. (6th, 8th, and 22nd Mtd. Bdes.); and on 27 July 1918 became 4th Cavalry Div. (10th, 11th, and 12th Cav. Bdes.) under Maj.-Gen. G. de S. Barrow (from 20 June 1917) - with XX R.H.A. Berkes., Hants., and Leicester Bties.). 2nd Mtd. Div., formed in Palestine in May and June, 1918 (5th and 7th Mtd. Bdes., both Indianized, and Impl. Service Cav. Bde. - Jodhpore, Mysore, and Hyderabad I.S. Lancers) under Maj.-Gen. H.J.M. Macandrew (31 May 1918), became 5th Cav. Div, (13th, 14th, and 15th Cav. Bdes.), with Essex Bty. R.H.A. For these operations Notts. Bty., of XIX R.H.A., was attached to 5th Cav. Div..) and Hants. Bty. and 21/M.G. Sqdn. - D.M.C.].
25 September 1918 - Capture of Samakh (E. of Jordan - on S. shore of Sea of Galilee)
[4th A.L.H. Bde. (less 4/A.L.H. and 5 Trps. 12/A.L.H.) of Aus. Mtd. Div.-D.M.C.].
OPERATIONS BEYOND JORDAN.
25 September 1918 - Capture of ‘Amman
(On 23 September 1918 Es Salt was occupied by N.Z. Mtd. Rifles Bde, (A. &, N.Z.. Mtd. Div.).)
[A. & N.Z. Mtd. Div. - "Chaytor's Force"].
PURSUIT THROUGH SYRIA.
26 September 1918 - Attack on Irbid (E. of Jordan - 19 miles W.S.W. of Der'a).
[10th Cav. Bde. (4th Cav. Div.) - D.M.C.].
27 September 1918 - Capture of Der’a.
[Taken by Anazeh Tribesmen (Arab Northern Army; and R.A.F., Egyptian Camel Corps, Gurkhas on Camels, 450 Arab Regular Camelry, and Hejaz A.C. Bty, co-operated.].
1 October 1918 - Capture of Damascus.
(Arab Irregulars had entered Damascus by Mn. 30 September 1918. On 3 October 1918 Gen. Sir E. H. H. Allenby and the Emir Feisal made their offical entries into Damascus. The advance since Zero on 19 September 1918 was more than 160 miles.)
[D.M.C.: 4th Cav. Div., 5th Cav. Div., Aus. Mtd. Div., R.M.M.C. (French), 11 and 12/L.A.M. Bties., and 7/Lt. Car Patrol.].
26 October 1918 - Haritan (9 miles N.W. of Citadel, Aleppo).
(After the fall of Damascus the 5th Cav. Div. (Maj.-General Macandrew) opened the pursuit northward on 5 October 1918: occupied Riyaq on 6 October 1918, Baalbek on 11 October 1918, and the leading column (Gen. Macandrew, with Divnl. H.Q., 15th Cav. Bde., and Armoured Cars) reached el Qa'aon on 14 October 1918, and Homs on 16 October 1918. On 20 October 1918, Nos. 2, 11, and 12 L.A.M. Bties. and Nos. 1, 2, and 7 L.C. Patrols joined the leading column, which entered Hama on 21 October 1918, Ma'arret en Numan on 23 October 1918, and Khan Tuman on 25 October 1918. Farther eastward the Arab Northern Army advanced as swiftly. Whilst this energetic and bold pursuit was being undertaken, a final flare-up occurred on 22 October 1918 near Aden at Imad. In this fighting R.A.F., 26/Cav., 7/Hants. (of 43rd Div.), 75/Carnatic Inf., 1105 (H.) Bty. R.F.A. (of 46th Div.), Field Group (15-pdrs.), Malay States Guides Bty., 10-pdr. Section, Mobile Group Hy. Arty., and Aden M.G. Coy. were engaged.)
[15th Cav. Bde., with M.G. Sqdn. and 12/L.A.M. Bty. (5th Cav. Div.).].
10 a.m. 26 October 1918 - Occupation of Aleppo.
(Aleppo had surrendered to Sherifian Troops before Gen. Macandrew with 5th Cav. Div. H.Q. and Armoured Cars entered the City. At 8.30 p.m. on 26 October 1918 the 14th Cav. Bde. reached Aleppo. From Damascus to Aleppo is over 200 miles, Gen. Macandrew's force had covered it in 22 days.)
[5th Cav. Div. H.Q. and Armoured Cars].
Noon 31 October 1918 - Turkey signs Armistice.
When the Armistice with Turkey came into force the general situation of the E.E.F. in Syria was broadly as follows: the 5th Cavalry Division occupied Aleppo and two of its cavalry brigades covered the city to the N.W. and N.E. At the same time the 7th Indian Division had secured the Syrian coast and held Tripoli, whilst the 54th Division had begun to arrive in Beirut.
Owing to sickness, the 4th Cavalry Division halted on reaching Baalbek, and its strongest brigade was drawn back to guard Damascus. The Australian Mtd. Division was then ordered to reinforce the 5th Cavalry Division at Aleppo, and it marched north on the 27th October 1918, but it was still south of Homs (at Hasi) when the news reached it that Turkey was out of the war. The A. & N.Z. Mtd. Division, having captured ‘Amman, was drawn back to Jerusalem; it suffered severely from malaria and influenza, and it was resting near er Ramle at the time of the Armistice.
All Turkish resistance collapsed in the face of that tireless pursuit: opened in the hour of victory on the 19th September it was sustained for forty-eight days. In this time both Damascus and Aleppo had fallen. This resistless advance over nearly 400 miles of enemy territory brought to a fitting end the Campaign in the Holy Land.
Despite the Armistice concluded by Turkey, the Turkish commandant at Medina, (General Fakhri Pasha) refused to surrender the Holy City, and the Arabs settled down to blockade it. In January, 1919 the garrison and city were faced with famine, and, Fakhri becoming ill, his officers surrendered the place to the investing force.
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