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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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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
The Second Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 19 April 1917, Roll of Honour
Topic: BatzP - 2nd Gaza

The Second Battle of Gaza

Palestine, 19 April 1917

Allied Forces

Roll of Honour


Poppies on the Roll of Honour, Australian War Memorial, Canberra


The Roll of Honour contains the names of all the men known to have given their lives in service of the Allied cause during The Second Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 19 April 1917.


Roll of Honour


Australian Imperial Forces, Roll of Honour 

New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Roll of Honour 

British Forces, Roll of Honour


Lest We Forget 



Further Reading:

The Second Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 19 April 1917

The Second Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 19 April 1917, Allied Forces, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: The Second Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 19 April 1917, Allied Forces, Roll of Honour

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 2 March 2011 9:01 PM EAST
Driefontein, South Africa, The Town and Country Journal, 17 March 1900
Topic: BatzB - Driefontein


South Africa, 10 March 1900

The Town and Country Journal, 17 March 1900


The Town and Country Journal, 17 March 1900, p. 13.


The account is transcribed below.



LONDON, March 12, 4.40 a.m.-

Colonel Breadwood, disrovering the enemy in strength on the Driefontein kopjes, posted his mounted troops on a kopje facing the enemy's centre, and awaited the arrival of Major-General Kelly- Kenny's division.   

The enemy, with three guns and two Vickers-Maxims, shelled freely, and fought obstinately.

The Essex Regiment, the Yorkshires, the Gloucesters, and the Buffs were conspicuous in the attack.

The 1st Australian Horse, with the Scots Greys, advanced within eight hundred yards of the enemy, under a heavy fire.

One trooper was wounded in the shoulder, and another had his leg fractured, and his horse killed under him.

The New South Wales Lancers, with Major General Porter's brigade, were under shell fire.

The Welsh Regiment in the evening carried the central position at the point of the bayonet, and the cavalry turned the position, the enemy fleeing northwards at night.

The horses of the Australian Cavalry alone were enabled to pursue the enemy.

Lieutenant Colonel Knight's and Captain Antill's mounted troops, with Colonel Le Gallais's Brigade, did splendid service.

The British artillery was very effective.

Dr Fiaschi's ambulances were all night collecting the wounded.

LONDON, March 12 7.10 am

The Boers at Driefontein numbered six thousand, newly arrived from the south. Their mobility and the moving of the guns was more remarkable than ever.

The New South Wales mounted troops gallantly bu unsuccessfully attempted to capture one gun with outranged ours, and the bluejackets were too late.

The enemy evacuated their positins and then reoccupied them, subtly concealing their intention and withdrawing the guns only when likely to be captured.

The withdrawals fatigued the cavalry horses.

Lord Robers resumed the advance, and has arrived at Aasvogel.

LONDON, March 12, 8.50 am.

Lord Roberts telegraphed from Driefontein on Sunday:-

"The enemy opposed us throughout yesterday's march, giving us, owing to their intimate knowledge of the country, considerable trouble.

"The conduct of the troops was admirable.

"The Welsh and Essex Regiments expelled the enemy from two strong positions at the point of the bayonet.

"Our wounded include Colonel Umphelby (Victorian), who was wounded dangerously in the abdomen.

"The Boers suffered heavily, 102 of their dead being abandoned.

"I have telegraphed to the Presidents as follows:-

"'Another instance of the gross abuse of the white flag and raising of hands in token of surrender was witnessed at East Driefontein by staff officers and myself, resulting in the wounding of several officers and men.

"'If such abuse recurs I shall reluctantly by compelled to diregard the white flag entirely.

"'A large quantity of explosive bullets of three kinds was found in General Cronje's lassger, also after every engagement with your Honor's troops.

"'Such breaches of recognised usages of war and of the Geneva Convention are a disgrace to any civilised Power.

"'A copy of this telegram has been sent to my Government requesting it to be communicated to the Neutral Powers.'"

LONDON, March 12, 3.30 pm

During the battle of Driefontein, in order to ecape the artillery fire while crossing the open veldt and while a squadron of cavalry was moving on its flank, a large commando hoisted the white flag.

When the British advanced to accept the surrender, another section of the enemy fired repeated volleys on the advancing force, wounding a number.

The British ran short of ammunition during the battle, owing to the infantry being relieved of weight to facilitate marching.


LONDON, March 11, 4.25 am.

Private C Wargalt was dangerously, and Private J McCracken seriously, wounded during the fighting at Poplar Grove.

Both belong to the New South Wales Contingent.

LONDON, March 11, 3.30 pm.

In the operations at Osfontein and Poplar Grove and the Queensland Mounted Infantry were conspicuous. Their scouting is described as excellent.


Further Reading:

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Driefontein, South Africa, The Town and Country Journal, 17 March 1900

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 22 April 2009 10:51 PM EADT
Bert Schramm's Diary, 19 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, 19 April 1919


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

[Click on page for a larger print version.]


Bert Schramm

Saturday, April 19, 1919

Bert Schramm's Location - Zagazig, Egypt.

Bert Schramm's Diary - Two years ago today since I was wounded. Bob London's leave to Australia came through today and he left here this morning. Jack Marsh leaves tomorrow. Lucky beggars.



9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Zagazig, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - One mounted troop patrolled Es Sawa - Isnika - Bahtet - Amrit reporting all quiet.

Six Other Ranks marched out to A Details for early repatriation.

Turner, Captain Chaplain RC, returned from leave to Port Said.



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

No Entry

Previous: Bert Schramm's Diary, 18 April 1919

Next: Bert Schramm's Diary, 20 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, 19 April 1919

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 9 May 2009 7:24 PM EADT

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