"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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Bir el Mazar, Sinai, 17 September 1916, 2nd LH Bde, AIF, War Diary Account Topic: AIF - 2B - 2 LHB
Bir el Mazar
Sinai, 17 September 1916
2nd LH Bde, AIF, War Diary Account
War Diary account of the 2nd LH Bde, AIF.
Report on reconnaissance of Bir el Mazar on 17th September 1916.
The Brigade left bivouac at Hod el Hassaniya at 0230 on Saturday 16th September and marched to Hod el Ge'eila arriving there at 0600. Men and horses were rested under the palms for the day. At 1600 one Squadron 6th Light Horse Regiment was sent to Divisional Headquarters at Salmana as escort to the artillery, this Squadron remained with the artillery during the operations. At 1645 the Brigade left Hod el Ge'eila and marching in a north easterly direction arrived at the Divisional rendezvous four miles east of Bir Salmana at 1900. At 1930 the 5th Light Horse Regiment detailed as advance guard to the Division, moved out and took up a position in advance of Divisional rendezvous ready to move off at 2000. At 2030 the column moved off. Two troops of the 6th Light Horse Regiment formed the flank guards, one on each flank. The column advanced with the usual halts until a point on the road one mile North North East of Hill 157 was reached. At this point one Squadron of 6th Light Horse Regiment with one Section Machine Gun Squadron was detached with instructions to hold the high ground immediately north and south of the road until the column returned. At 0245 the column moved forward to a point about one mile west of 30 on the Mazar Road. From this point the 5th Light Horse Regiment was pushed forward with instructions to reconnoitre the country towards Mazar and deal silently as possible with any enemy found at the redoubt know to be on Hill 30. At 0445 the 7th Light Horse Regiment less on Squadron (Divisional Reserve) were sent forward with instructions to get in touch with 5th Light Horse Regiment and move forward to the attack on Mazar. The left flank of the Regiment to be on the caravan route.
At 0500 two Troops of the 6th Light Horse Regiment with the Lewis Gun Section were sent forward to support the 5th Light Horse Regiment on the left flank. The 5th Light Horse Regiment found the redoubt on Hill 30 unoccupied but came in touch with two posts of the enemy about half a mile east of it. The Regiment pushed forward to a ridge overlooking Mazar and about 800 years from the enemy's trenches. Meanwhile the 7th Light Horse Regiment had moved forward and taken up a position on the right flank of the 5th Light Horse Regiment. At 0615 a small post of the enemy was reported to be in position about three quarters of a mile south of the position held by the 7th Light Horse Regiment. Lieutenant Stanley's Troop was detailed to deal with this post. The post was rushed and the enemy, 6 camel men surrendered. The advance guard of the 7th Light Horse Regiment also chased and captured 8 camel men and their camels. The enemy were located strongly entrenched on the bare sand ridge on the foot of which the ruins of Mazar stand. An advance was made against the position by the 5th and 7th Light Horse Regiments but it was checked shortly after it started owing to a message having been received that the 3rd Light Horse Brigade were withdrawing. During the early part of the morning the enemy's anti-aircraft guns were very active against our aircraft but afterwards they actively shelled the position held by the 5th Light Horse Regiment. At o945 the Brigade started to withdraw and by 1200 all troops had been withdrawn west of the salt pan three miles west of Bir el Mazar. One Squadron of 5th Light Horse Regiment was detailed as rear guard and Brigade withdrew towards Salmana. At a point on the road one mile north of Moseifig the Brigade halted to water horses. From there the Brigade withdrew to bivouac at Salmana. Our casualties during the day were one man killed and nine wounded. At 0315 on September 18th the Brigade left Salmana and marched to camp at Hassaniya arriving there at 0600.
Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, 2nd LH Bde, AIF, War Diary Account Topic: AIF - 2B - 2 LHB
Bir el Abd
Sinai, 9 August 1916
2nd LH Bde, AIF, War Diary Account
War Diary account of the 2nd LH Bde, AIF.
At 0030 the Brigade arrived at Hod Khirba, from there the route was to the north east. At 0500 the advance was checked by the Turkish rearguard who held a strong position from Sabkhet el Bardawil - one mile west of Hod el Hisha to Bir el Abd. The Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment deployed and came into action occupying the high ridge overlooking Hod el Hisha from the west.
The 7th Light Horse Regiment advanced and took up a position to the left of the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment and the 6th Light Horse Regiment were held in reserve. Touch was establishe with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade on the right and the 1st Light Horse Brigade on the left. The firing line advanced about 1,000 yards and was then held up. By 1400 the enemy commenced a series of counter attacks supported by shrapnel and high explosive shell fire. All positions were held until 1600, the 6th Light Horse Regiment were then sent in to support the firing line and cover the retirement of the Brigade. By 1730 all wounded, about 40 men, had been evacuated. Led horses were brought up and the Brigade withdrew for wat to Hod Khirba, and subsequently to Oghratina for supplies. The Brigade bivouacked at Oghratina for the night. During these operations, the 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades and the Ayrshire Battery were commanded by Colonel JR Royston. The 2nd Light Horse Brigade was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel W Meldrum, Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment.
el Qatiya, Sinai, 23 April 1916, Ryrie Account Topic: AIF - 2B - 2 LHB
Sinai, 23 April 1916
Ryrie report of the 2nd LH Bde, AIF.
To: Anzac Mounted Division, Romani, April 26th 1916.
Report of Lieutenant Snow, Officer Commanding Quatia Patrol.
Report of Lieutenant Snow who took the patrol out to Qatia this morning attached.
It would appear from this that the Enemy had artillery, from a sample of a shell brought in I should say they were using twelve pounders.
He explained that he had not much opportunity of seeing what dead the Enemy had left as he did not get beyond our position and the Turkish dead would probably be 500 yards out. The Medical Officer, Captain O'Hara informs me that he examined two enemy dead and said they were typical Turkish soldiers similar to those at Gallipoli.
There would be no chance of occupying the camp or anywhere near it for a long time as the stench from the dead horses and camels is very bad.
Another patrol of a Squadron went out at midday under Major Sutton in accordance with your G486 with orders to do as much as possible but to return by dusk, another patrol of a Squadron will leave at dawn tomorrow morning to make a more extensive reconnaissance.
The First Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 26 to 27 March 1917, 2nd Light Horse Brigade War Diary Account Topic: AIF - 2B - 2 LHB
The First Battle of Gaza
Palestine, 26 to 27 March 1917
2nd Light Horse Brigade War Diary Account
2nd Light Horse Brigade War Diary Account.
The following is a transcription of the Account from the War Diary of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade detailing their role at the First Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 26 to 27 March 1917.
Bir el Shunnar 25 March 1917
Brigade marched with the Anzac Division in "main body" leaving camp 0230 arrived at Deir el Belah at 1300.
Gaza 26 March 1917
In accordance with Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division instructions, the 2nd Light Horse Brigade left Deir el Belah at 0230 and marched via El Kutshan, Sheikh Abbas, Kheer Resim, Khuraut Kufien thence to Jebalien.
Owing to a heavy fog the advance from El Kutshan to Sheikh Abbas was very slow.
Slight opposition was met at Sheikh Abbas at 0800 but enemy retired on seeing our force.
About the same time two enemy planes opened fire on the Brigade. There were driven off by machine gun and rifle fire.
Tebalieh was made good by 1000 and the 7th Light Horse Regiment was sent forward to make good the ground from there to the beach.
Four (4) Officers travelling towards Gaza were taken prisoner at 1100; on being questioned the senior officer said that he had been instructed to take over the defence of Gaza that day and was travelling to Gaza with his staff for that purpose.
At 1100 the Officer Commanding 7th Light Horse Regiment reported that the country west of Jebalien to the beach had been made good. Patrols were pushed out to the north and north east from Jebalien.
A patrol from 5th Light Horse Regiment was pushed forward to Sheikh Hasan west of Gaza where a Turkish artillery observation point was surrounded and the officers taken prisoner.
At 1230 a company of Turkish Infantry was reported to be moving north from Gaza. Machine Gun of the Machine Gun Squadron and one Squadron of 5th Light Horse Regiment came into action against it and it returned towards Gaza after suffering heavy casualties.
At 1540 orders were received for the Brigade to cooperate with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade and 22nd Mounted Brigade and to attack Gaza.
At 1600 at Deir Seneid patrol reported that enemy estimated strength 300 were advancing towards Gaza from the north. One Squadron from 6th Light Horse Regiment was sent out to support the patrol and they held the enemy in check.
At 1615 the Brigade less one Squadron, pushed out to the north east, cooperated in the attack on Gaza. Hand to hand fighting took place along the lines and by 1730 our advanced troops now were into the advanced outskirts of the town. The 7th Light Horse Regiment cooperating on the right of the Brigade along the sand hills met with strong opposition.
At 1900 orders were received to withdraw the Brigade and rejoin the Division on Hill 2 miles west of Beit Durdis. Owing to the long line held by the Brigade and the difficult country among the cactus hedges it took some time to withdraw the Brigade.
At 2215 the Brigade rejoined the Division and marched back to Deir el Belah arriving there at 0740 (27 March 1917).
4 Officers and 98 Other Ranks Turkish prisoners hand over to Division.
Owing to the hasty withdrawal a number of prisoners were unable to keep up with the column retiring and were left behind.
In Serat 27 March 1917
Brigade moved out 0830 and "Stood By" all day at Ed Demeita and moved up to a point south of In Serat as support to the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade on outpost along Wadi el Ghuzze.
In Serat 28 March 1917
Brigade stood by at In Serat. 7th Light Horse Regiment took over minor outpost line from New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade at 1130 and were relieved by Imperial Mounted Division at 1830.
Brigade less 7th Light Horse Regiment marched to new Camp on beach west of fresh water lake at Deir el Belah at 0300.
7th Light Horse Regiment rejoined at 2000.
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