Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
B. H. E. Price narrative history of the 5th Australian Light Horse Regiment, 1918-1919
This document is not a diary of Price’s personal activities. It was written after the war and as Price says, was "compiled by No 788 Tpr B.H.E. Price 5th A.L.H. from the War Diaries of the Regt, reports of various officers, & from personal experiences". It is well written and covers the last year of the war in Palestine. One of the few times Price writes about himself is on page 8 which starts, "I was given the task with two squadrons..." Price was a trooper and despite his age and education, did not rise in the ranks probably because of the myriad misdemeanours noted in his military record, thus it is unlikely he was in charge of two squadrons and there is no mention of him in volume VII of The Official History of Australians in WW1 page 567 which describes the action to which Price refers.]
About the beginning of Jan 1918 the Bgde including the 5th Regt moved from Esdud to Wadi Hanein & formed a permanent camp. The Regt was here until the beginning of March. The wet season had set in, in earnest, the state of the country greatly hindering the movement of cavalry: making it practically impassable for heavy transport & guns.
Special training in Musketry bayonet fighting etc was carried out & owing to the presence of several Canteens & the Y.M.C.A. there was very little sickness in Camp. The usual routing pertaining to a Standing Camp was carried out.
On March 14th the Regt was ordered to march to Latroun via Ramleh arriving there on the following day. The weather was very cold & windy. We bivouacked on the black soil, which on account of the heavy rain, became in a very bad state & caused endless discomfort. The Regt remained here for three days awaiting instructions & in the morning of the 17th
marched via Enab to Jerusalem along a good metal road, but owing to the heavy rain, wind & cold prevailing at this altitude, very little interest was taken of our surroundings. The Regt camped near the N.E. corner of the Old City. A person generally judges a place from his first impressions, & I’m afraid a great percentage of the troops were very disappointed in what they saw. The Bgde camped here for three days & the men were given every opportunity of visiting both the old City & the New, & from what I can gather were greatly disillusioned, although there were undoubtedly a great many things of interest to be seen the weather had damped their ardour. The whole place like most cities we passed through was horribly dirty, perhaps more so than normal owing to the rain, but since its occupation by British Troops a new era has started. Jerusalem has been "swept" clean & its sanitation greatly improved. Whilst here we had a few hours of sunshine & the men took this opportunity to dry their clothes & clean their equipment.
Leaving Jerusalem on the 21st we encamped at Wadi Ektief for three days, on the bed of a Wadi, the ground being very rough & facilities for watering very difficult.
The Regt left Wadi Ektief at midday on March 22nd & early the following morning crossed the Jordan at Hadjula ford over a pontoon bridge. The ground was very boggy & difficulty was experienced in getting the limbers over the broken ground. The Regt formed up with the rest of the Bgde on the flat East of the Jordan. The Bgde was operating on the right of the 60th Division who were advancing to attack Es Salt via Shun Nimrin. We marched by No 3 road & occupied Kabr Mujahid without any opposition & awaited orders from Division. In the afternoon General Chaytor arrived & we had orders to march along No 3 road. About 2miles N of Kabr Mujahid the road became impracticable for wheeled traffic, it being a mere goat track on the rugged side of a hill, & after we had manhandled the Guns & limbers up the first steep bit, it was decided to send all wheeled traffic back. Shortly after dark it commenced to rain & we were marching all night up a steep hillside & through narrow gorges.
The road was practically non-existent & horses & men were having great difficulty scrambling over bare rocks, slippery with rain & mud & also in keeping touch, as it was pitch dark, & the rain bitterly cold, & to make matters worse a thick mist had risen. At midnight on the 24th [March] the Bgde bivouacked at Wadi Lasbur & remained there until the following evening. It rained steadily all day & anywhere off the roads was a sea of water, & the horses bogged to the girths away from the roads. Horse rations had run out and we had to draw a ration of Doura from some of the Camel Corps that arrived the same day. At Dark the Regt marched on Ain-es-Sir "C" Squad being in advance & at midnight passed through the Circassian town of Naaur, although the place seemed full of men with every appearance of being soldiers, there was no opposition. The rain which had ceased for a time now came on again & it rained steadily all night. It was bitterly cold & progress extremely slow.
It was impossible to move off the road owing to the country being under water & boggy & the men being worn out for want of sleep & numb with [Indecipherable] cold made the passing of orders difficult. Arrived at Ain es Sir early on the 25th [March] where we met the N.Zs, We then marched to camp at Ain Hsmar, arriving there about 6a.m. About 8 o’clock an enemy convoy was reported & two Squadrons under Major Bolingbroke set out to capture same vide [ie see] (report attached by Lieut Crawford). After the capture of the convoy the troops returned & bivouaced for the night. The following day the Bgde marched to attack Amman from the N. (The following is taken virtually verbatim from the report of Major A.J. Bolingbroke). The 7th Regt formed the advance guard the 5th Regt being with the main body. On approaching Amman the enemy started shelling with a mountain battery, one shell exploding in the middle of the leading troop of "A" Squadron, but luckily owing to the soft condition of the ground, not a single man was hit & only 3 horses wounded. The disposition of the Bgde was, 1 Sqd of the 6th Regt, with 2 machine guns on the right linking up with the I.C.C. Bgde
The 7th Regt in the centre & 2 Sqdns of the 6th Regt on our extreme left, guarding over our Northern Flank. This Regt was kept in reserve with B.H.Q owing to all wheels being left behind, the only Artillery available being The Hong Kong Camel Mountain battery, & as the enemy were strongly entrenched with number of machine guns well supported by artillery, the advance was held up. Next morning at daylight a battalion of the 60th Division had arrived from Es Salt & a resumption of the attack was ordered. I now rec’d instructions to put 2 Sqdns in the line to link up the Infantry to the left & the I.C.C. Bgde on our right. "A" Sqdn under Major Patrick was the left Sqdn & was to gain touch with the Infantry & "C" Sqn under Lt [Indecipherable] MC was to get in touch if possible with I.C.C. Bgde. The 2 Sqdns advanced & mounted as far as possible, & were under a heavy shell & machine gun fire all the time, but they never wavered or hesitated an instant, even though it was impossible to extend owing to the boggy nature of the ground which also made it impossible for them to gallop & deprived them of their mobility. After getting their horses under cover, they advanced dismounted, but were but were met by such a storm of machine gun & shell fire
from front, & right flank, that they were unable to advance further & had to hang on where they were building small Sangars for themselves as they lay there. Unfortunately they got the range of "C" Sqdn’s led horses in the Gully killing & wounding some 20 of them one man being blown to pieces & a Cpl & several men wounded. Trooper Gofton the medical Orderly displayed great gallantry attending to the wounded under shellfire, though himself being temporarily knocked out by concussion. L/Cpl Mcindoe also specially distinguished himself, lying on his back under intense machine gun fire, & continuing to send & receive message from Hdqrs with the ground literally ploughed up with bullets all round him. Considering the intensity of the fire our casualties were very light 2 officers being wounded two men killed & 6 wounded. In both Sqdns the losses of the horses were severe 30 either being killed or badly wounded. The 2 Sqdns could do nothing but hang on doggedly until they were relieved at dusk by the Infantry. Rations & forage were issued, & fortunately we were able to supplement the latter by the excellent grazing from the green crops growing everywhere. [Indecipherable] Division decided an attempt should be made to blow up the railway line some place N of Amman whenever it was possible to force a way in.
I was given the task with 2 Sqdns & a demolition party of New Zealand Engineers. As it was impossible to make an attempt in daylight, it was decided to wait until dark & then make a detour to strike the railway N of Amman. I fully understood that we could hope for no support should we get into difficulties, so it was a case of getting through as quickly & silently as possible. On several occasions parties of Bedouins were surrounded but proved to be friendly: these we however took with us in case they should give the alarm. We successfully carried out our programme blowing up a big bridge over the Wadi Amman. [Refer to page 567, volume VII Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18. Date of action 28 March 1918.] Practically no opposition was met with & we returned to camp on the following day. General Ryrie received a wire from Division congratulating the Bgde & all concerned in the success of the enterprise. On the 29th Inst [March 1918] the Regt took over a section of line between the 6th & 7th Regts. our task being to guard against any attack from the North. Enemy reinforcement could be seen marching towards Amman from the N. & they held a ridge about 1500 yards from our line& kept up a very hot fire from numbers of machine guns, especially if anyone showed up on the Skyline. Several men & horses were hit by "overs" from these guns & various snipers; but there was no appearance of any attack in force from that quarter.
On the 30th another attack was ordered by the Infantry ICC Bde & NZ Bde. Our Brigade to hold the Northern flank against any possible counter attack. The attack started at dawn & continued all day, & the first objectives were gained by dusk, our sector was with the exception of occasional bursts of gunfire & sniping at long range. That night we recd orders to get ready for withdrawal in Es Salt & the Regt was standing to all night. At 0900 on the 31st the withdrawal commenced the ICC Bge & N.Z, Bgde retiring to Shunet Nimrin by No 4 road through Ain Es Sir. This Bgde covered the retirement of the 181st Infantry Bgde along the main road to Es Salt the 5th Regt forming the rearguard. Our own withdrawal commenced at 0930, our first objective being the high ground, on the West of Amman; where we held a line till the infantry were well clear. Fortunately the enemy did not follow up with any vigour, otherwise our rear parties must have lost heavily, having to wait so long behind, owing to the length of time the Infantry & Hospital Camels with wounded took to get clear. Early the following morning, having drawn rations & forage at Zweilsh a Circassian village on the Amman Es Salt Road, we arrived
at our Bivouac area about 3 miles E of Es Salt. It was bitterly cold, & we camped in some vineyards, & as the ground was very boggy & covered in stones, no one got much sleep.
On April 1st the Bgde got orders to move to Es Salt where we drew forage & rations & continued our withdrawal by the main metalled road to Shunet Nimrin where we bivouaced for the night.
On the following day the Regt was ordered to act as rearguard for the 180th Infantry Bgde, who were holding the High Ground round Shunet Nimrin while Armoured cars patrolled the road to Es Salt. The infantry were all clear by 16.30. At 1700 we commenced our withdrawal, crossing the Jordan at 1900 & camped 1 mile S of Jericho.
Chiefly owing to the continual rain & cold this operation had meant the greatest hardship to all ranks, the men were wet through for days at a time, & as all were travelling light with no transport available, there was no chance of a change of clothes or getting dry until the fine weather came. The country too was all against mounted troops; the roads were goat tracks, more often than not horses had to be led, even when open country was met with, the heavy rain made it impassable, & thus we were deprived of one of our chief assets – mobility. The horses too suffered greatly from the cold,
wet & exposure & it is wonderful the way they went through it all, & were still in servicable condition, had it not been for the fine grazing on the plateau this would have been impossible.
The men too were worn out with lack of sleep, marching & fighting day & night, and their grit & cheerfulness was marvellous, & it says wonders for their doggedness & staying powers, that they went through such an ordeal with a minimum of sickness. When all did so well it is invidious to pick out individuals, with the exception of those already mentioned. But the Regt may be proud of having come through such a trying time with flying colours.
On April 3rd the Regt crossed the Jordan& reported to the 1st LH Bgde, & were detailed to relieve one Batln 180th Infantry Bgde in sector of an outpost line covering bridge head Ghoraniye Crossing. Two Sqdns "A" & "B" with 4 Machine Guns were placed in front line "C" Squadn being in Supports. Whilst here early morning patrols were sent out which returned shortly after daybreak reporting all clear. The Regt standing to arms during the early morning from 3.30 until dawn & daily working parties assisted in the erection of barbed wire entanglements. Early on the 11th a heavy rifle & machine gun fire commenced on the right front & at day light it was seen that the Turks were attacking with a force estimated from 800 to 1000 men. Their objective being the sector held by the 2nd LH. Regt. The sector on the left held by the 2 Sqdns "A&B" of the 5th L.H. being clear of the enemy. The 5th Regt minus C Sqdn which was in reserve opened up
a heavy cross fire for the advancing enemy, with Machine Gun & Rifle fire. On several occasions the enemy attempted to bring up a Machine Gun to enfilade the left flank of the 2nd L.H., but every such attempt was frustrated by our fire, & our artillery from time to time kept the enemy down by heavy shelling in front of our sector. About midday the 3rd Regt passed through our line & went round the enemy’s right flank. We immediately concentrated our fire, occupying the attention of the enemy, & keeping up a heavy covering fire. "B" Sqn on our left sector was never engaged during the day, & all was clear on their front. Late in the afternoon two Sqdns of the 3rd L.Horse withdrew through our line, the other Sqdn withdrawing at dusk. During the day this sector was intermittently shelled by an enemy 4.2 gun also mountain guns but they caused little loss, two horses being killed & two men slightly wounded from long range rifle fire. At dusk the firing died down. At dawn the following morning strong patrols were sent out when it was apparent that the enemy had evacuated their position. On the 11th word came through that L/Cpl McIndoe & Trooper Gofton had been awarded the M.M.
for their gallant conduct during the operations on March 23rd. [this phrase appears in the diary at the top of Page 15 – it was inserted in the wrong place by Smith]
[marked as page 14a by Price]
On April 19th the 2nd Brigade moved across the Jordan early in the morning on reconnaissance work. The 5th Regt being in advance with the 7th on our right & the 6th in support.
We were under one of the heaviest shell On this day the Regt experienced the heaviest shelling it had ever been subjected to. An artillery officer on observation estimated that over 4000 shells were "hurled" at us, of every calibre up to 5.9 the 77mm predominating. There was absolutely no cover except thick thorn bush which impede our movements, & barely acted as a screen from the enemy. Shell after shell burst amo9ng the troops, but owing to the soft nature of the ground, the effect was very local, & very little damage was done. Among other things it demonstrated what a lot of lead it takes "to kill a man". The morale of our troops under this heavy fire which lasted all day was splendid. Our casualties were slight 2 killed & 4 O.ranks wounded, but we lost several horses. The Regt withdrew at dusk across the Jordan to its previous site.
On the 14th The Regt was relieved by the 3rd L.H. Regt. The erection of barbed wire entanglements round the entrenched positions held by the Regt being completed & on the following day they crossed the Jordan & arrived at Bgde Camp at Tel Es Sultan. The weather being excessively hot & flies very bad. For the next few days the Regt camped in the vicinity of Jericho. Patrols visiting the Jordan daily for the reconnaissance of fords between Ghoraniye & Hajla.
On April 27th the Regt left the Wadi Kell & crossed the Jordan at Ghoraniye & marched down to Hajla ford & held an outpost line until the Patiala Infantry arrived. They &^ the 6th Regt then formed the outpost line the Regt going into Bivouac. On the 29th the Regt drew 3 days rations for the men & food for the horses recd orders to march to Bgde concentration Point at Butmet Halal. Arrived at Concentration point on the 30th Inst & took cover in gullies near Jordan before daylight. Meanwhile the 7th LH & Patiala Infantry had marched to Kabr Mujahid & Kabr Said which they occupied
after some opposition. Two Brigades of the 60th Division supported by N.Z. Bgde were attacking Shunet Nimrin & El Haud. At 1530 the Bgde less the 7th Regt was ordered to proceed to the left flank via Umm es Shirt road & join the Australian Mounted Division. The Regt forming the Advance Guard, marched via Ghoraniye & watered at Wadi Nimrin. A guide from the Australian Division joined us at Umm Es Shirt & we cut across to the foothills & marched up No 7 road. It was very precipitous & rough and out of the question for any wheels which had all been left behind. We all had to dismount & lead our horses to the top of the plateau arriving at Divisional Hdqrs on the morning of the 1st May about 2 miles from Es Salt which had been taken by the 3rd Bgde the night before. We halted here & had breakfast & fed up & watered until Divisional Hqtrs & the 1st Bgde had got clear, as the road was so rough & narrow we could only march in single file. We left camp about 9 oclock & marched through Es Salt, having some difficulty in getting along, owing to the slippery nature of the
track, several horses losing their footing & disappearing over the precipice. We marched along the Es Salt – Amman road relieving 2 Sqdns of the 10th L.H. on outposts our objectives being Hill 2900 overlooking Ain Hemar & high ground guarding an enemy advance from Amman or Ain es Sir. The 10th Regt reported that the enemy were holding hill 2900 in some force. The Regt was ordered to attack this position "A&B" Sqdns in advance & "C" in support. The enemy however withdrew & we captured Ain Hemar & Hill 29000 without opposition. At 1100 we formed our outpost line covering all roads in the vicinity. Excellent water was found at Ain Hemar from a running stream also good grazing. At 1900 we recd orders to withdraw; but owing to a thick fog were unable to withdraw some of our outpost lines until late. Meanwhile Brigade Hdgrs had moved from their position to the Es Salt road & much delay was caused by our having to send out patrols to discover their whereabouts. It was nearly midnight before we joined up. The Bgde then marched past Es Salt about 2 miles along the main road to Shunet Nimrin & halted at 0300 on May 2nd.
The road here is very narrow, & in many places a steep drop into the wadi and 4 horses fell over in the night one of them being killed. Orders were recd to make a personal reconnaissance down the Shunet Nimrin Road, with a view to an attack on the Turkish Position in conjunction with the 5th Mounted Brigade. Instructions were given to advance on foot two miles down the road, leaving the horses behind; after having advanced about 1½ miles a Helio message was recd from the Yeomanry, asking assistance as 100 Turks were advancing on their position in the East of the road. "A" Sqdn under Major Patrick was sent to hold the hill. Later Hqtr [?] recd instructions to return to horses & move up to Amman Rd & take up a line between the 7th LH Regt & the right of 3rd Bgde, as the enemy were apparently concentrating for an attack here. We got into position about 4 oclock commanding the approach to Amman. Several scattered bodies of the enemy, both Infantry & Mounted men, were in positions some 2000 yds to our front, though up to the present nothing more serious than a considerable amount of sniping was going on. About 700 yds in front of centre of our position was a steep ridge which we had orders to hold.
It appeared necessary to hold this as anyone occupying it had complete observations of the approaches via No 7 road (Umm es Shirt – Es Salt). It was decided to occupy it at night with one troop. At 1900 Lieut Ogg M.C. took his troop to occupy this position, a little later a burst of machine gun & rifle fire occurred & Lieut Ogg withdrew with two men wounded, one of whom subsequently died. He went out again & occupied the position without any opposition. Ridge in front now named "Bald Ridge". On May 3rd the Turks had advanced in the dark close up to the 8th L.H. regiment on our left & were attacking at dawn. Major Patrick was sent with the reserve Sqdn to reinforce them. They took part in repelling the Turkish attack with heavy loss, & in the capture of 305 prisoners, who had advanced so far, they could neither advance not retreat without being annihilated. This force was part of the enemy’s reinforcements amongst whom was a Turkish General & Staff. During the attack "A" Sqdn lost one man killed, Troop. K.L. Anderson showed great pluck advancing on the enemy with bombs practically on his own. "C" Sqdn was now sent to occupy "Bald Hill under Capt Boyd. Orders were then recd
Orders were then recd to put every available man in the firing line, including batmen etc. The Turks were now seen in considerable force along the Amman road, about 600 advancing in waves apparently making for the main Es Salt Road, but the fire from the Mountain Battery attached to the 3rd L.H. Bdge scattered these. Enemy machine guns kept up a hot fire all day. Two of their 4.2 guns kept up a constant fire on the line killing one man. Towards evening instructions were recd that a General Withdrawal would commence at nightfall as large Turkish reinforcements had occupied Keefr Hudr to the North & were also advancing from Amman & the position looked serious. At about 2100 the 6th LH took over the outpost line & remained in position until midnight, we withdrew at 2300 & with the 7th Regt held the line to the W of Es Salt until 3rd Bgde had passed through, when we continued to withdraw down No7 road, arriving in the plain about 0800 an the 4th may followed by the rest of the Brigade. We then marched to Ghoraniye & recrossed the Jordan, arriving in camp in the wadi about 1000. Want of sleep was the greatest hardship
For five days there was practically no sleep & all ranks again showed their cheerfulness & fighting spirit & the greatest endurance. Again the nature of the country was all against mounted men destroying their mobility. (The above report is taken almost verbatim from Col Cameron’s despatch)
On the morning the Bgde area was visited by 6 enemy planes, which dropped one bomb amongst a troop of the 7th L.H. killing 8 men & wounding 10 No casualties in the 5th Regt. On May 12th changed our camp to the Nth of Jericho, weather extremely hot, & wind blowing dense clouds of dust. Whilst here the Regt was attached to the Australian Division furnishing working parties for roadmaking. On May 22nd the 2nd Bgde took over a section of outpost line in the Wadi Auja (No4 Sub-section). This sector was held by each Regt alternately: Two Sqdns holding the outpost line with one in reserve. Daily patrols were made to Tel-el-Truny, where the Turks had an outpost in the foothills. On the 25th Inst our Patrol was fired on & one man killed. Working parties from each Regt were sent out roadmaking & wiring round the constructed positions
in the firing line. The Bgde bivouaced at Ain Duk. Whilst here there were several cases of snake-bite some proving fatal. Several snakes were caught alive (specially watersnakes) & sent down the laboratory at Medical Hqtrs for inspection, but unfortunately the [space left here by Price] in charge of the experiments died of malaria before he had obtained any results. In the meantime the Bgde had moved out to Solomon’s Pools.
On the night of the 5th [June 1918] The Regt left Ain Duk for Solomon’s Pools arriving a Talaat-ed-Dumm the next morning. It was an excessively hot day, with dust storms in fact in fact one of the hottest days experienced East of Jordan, we marched for Solomon’s Pools the same day & the night was very hot until the column reached Bethany when a change was experienced, & when Jerusalem was reached a bitter cold wind was blowing. The Bgde halted between Bethany & Jerusalem for a while to let the 1st Bgde through. The Regt reached the new bivouac area early in the morning after travelling all night men & horses were very tired, this was one of the most sever rides (except Amman) the Regt has undertaken, owing to the sudden change of temperature from the excessive heat of the Jordan valley to the bitter cold winds of the Jerusalem hills. The change in the temperature also brought on Malaria, which the men had contracted in the Jordan valley (vide [see] RMO’s report attached). The Regt bivouaced here until the 21st of the month [June]. The usual duties were detailed daily, as in a standing camp, including learning in bayonet fighting etc. Parties in charge of an officer left daily for Jerusalem & Bethlehem sightseeing. The climate was rather cold, but invigorating & the men certainly benefitted by the change, although really they had hardly time to get acclimatised. Plenty of fresh eggs, vegetables, & fruit could be obtained from the villagers round about
at reasonable prices & the men made the best use of these opportunities. And it was with a great deal of regret that the troops left, what promised to be quite a home, for the stagnant heat of the Jordan valley, reaching Jericho on the evening of the 22nd. On the following day the Regt marched to Wadi Mellahah, & it took over a sector from the 9th Regt Hodson’s Horse. Two Squadrons "B & C" took over front line with "A" Sqdn in reserve, led horses being sent back 2 miles to the rear of outpost line. Working parties were then detailed to deepen & improve trenches and to complete wiring. The enemy opened up from the direction of Red Hill with a heavy gun, but did no damage. One Gun of "A" Battery H.A.C. moved up to Regt Hdqs & shelled the enemy’s position at intervals during the day. On the 27th Inst The Enemy’s Artillery was very active from the direction of Red Hill, shells bursting towards the [Wadi] Auja. Later a party of the enemy approached to within 700 yards of "Star" left post of sector & after firing a few bursts from a machine gun withdrew. Still later another party of enemy about 50 strong with two Automatic rifles approached within about 700 yards & commenced firing in the direction of Tea Post occupied by 6th L.H. Regt.
Two red & two greed flares were sent up by this party & soon afterwards the enemy artillery opened up on our posts. A few shells fell in the horse lines of Regt Hdqrs. No casualties resulting.
The enemy who did not approach nearer than 700 yards, commenced to throw bombs with no apparent object: As it was thought his object was to locate our position by drawing our fire, we did not reply. Lieut Broughton MC. and a party of 20 men took up position E of Tea Post, with the object of ambushing the enemy’s patrol. An enemy patrol approached our listening post who fired, wounding one man, thus interfering with Lieut Broughton’s plan & his party withdrew. On the 29th & 30th [June] The enemy shelled the Area round "Scrap" Post - no casualties. On July 2nd the day observation post reported an Aeroplane descended in flames on extreme right flank east of Jordan. On the 3rd an enemy patrol approached the high ground N of Star Post, they fired three flares, threw bombs & opened rifle fire on our posts with the evident intention of drawing our fire. A patrol was sent out from "Safe" Post to try & locate enemy E of Jordan who were supposed to draw water from the river; but returned without seeing any sign of them. On the 6th four H.E. Shells fell in the Transport lines- no casualties. Our observation post reported an enemy’s post of 6 men, & machine gun, Artillery fire was brought on to their position, & it is believed that the enemy gun was put out of action. Parties were employed daily on improving & strengthening position. Patrols were sent out nightly from Star Post to reconnoitre enemy positions towards Um esh Shert crossing; owing to the rough nature of the country great difficulty was experienced in locating these trenches.
The work of improving, & strengthening our defences was carried on each evening. On the 13th The enemy Artillery shelled Lussallabeh & the Bluff heavily during the day. Considerable enemy movement was observed in front of the 1st L.H. Bgde. Instructions were issued to push night patrols well forward as information recd pointed to a general withdrawal of the enemy along the whole line. A Patrol left Star Post at 7 o’clock for enemy trenches X36[?] & on reaching them found them unoccupied, But there were signs of recent occupation, propaganda was left there. Enemy Artillery shelled high bank West of Wadi Mellahah intermittently during the night. The following day the enemy Artillery opened on Mussallabeh at 0300. Our listening post was [Indecipherable] by a strong enemy party advancing from direction of Umm esh Shert, later their artillery Shelled the high ground in rear of the posts held by the Regt. At 0330 the enemy was observed endeavouring to dig in on high ground about 700 yds E of Star Post. Small parties were detached, who were evidently endeavouring to reconnoitre the wadi bed. The officer in charge of these men a German Major was killed by one of our advance posts, also his attendant. "A" Battery of the H.A.C. then opened fire on the enemy who were endeavouring to dig in, & they withdrew.
Star, Shell & Scrap posts were held by "C" Squadron under Capt J.M. Boyd. When the enemy withdrew Capt Boyd was instructed to keep in touch with them. A small patrol was sent out, & they reported a large body of the enemy from 150-200 sheltering under a high bank on the West Bank of Wadi Mellahah. Lieut J.W. Macansh & 14 men moved out across the wadi to engage the enemy, find out their strength, & if possible drive them from the high ground which dominated our position. This party moved its way forward in a most skilful manner
and actually got within 20 yds of the enemy whom the surprised. It was found that the patrol’s estimate of the strength of the enemy was correct fully 200. They in turn worked round the flank of Lieut. Macansh’s party, throwing bombs from a distance of 10 yds & calling on our men to surrender. The bombs were very local in effect and only one man was wounded & another hurled into the air. The retirement of our men was covered by fire from Star, Shell & Scrap Posts. 15 German prisoners were brought back. At 0800 "A" Battery H.A.C shelled two enemy machine guns located opposite Star Post with good effect killing the crew of one gun & forcing the other to withdraw.
At 0815 Lieut Macansh & 2nd Lieut Byrnes with 20 men again moved forward to dislodge the enemy on this occasion the attempt was a complete success. The enemy were taken by surprise when attacked by our small party Total enemy casualties 26 prisoners, 25 killed, 30 wounded. One machine gun, four automatic rifles, a considerable quantity of ammunition & other material was captured. Our casualties 1 officer & 2 other ranks slightly wounded. The enemy force consisted entirely of Germans, when attacked those who were not captured, killed, or wounded fled in disorder towards their entrenched position 1000 yds in rear. Our men were shooting them down as they ran, for 300 yds. This is the first time the Regt has engaged a force comprised entirely of Germans. After providing for flank protection, & excluding the Bombers who crawled forward on the enemy flank, Lieut Macansh’s party which finally attacked the Germans was comprised of no more than 12 men
All ranks engaged in this enterprise showed great personal courage & gallantry.
The enterprise throughout was a fine example of able & gallant leadership inspiring men to any undertaking however hazardous. [Page 673 of Vol V11 of Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18 (H Bean) reads "The enterprise throughout," wrote Colonel Cameron pith proper pride in his men, "was a fine example of able and gallant leadership, inspiring men to any undertaking, however hazardous."] At 0330 the enemy (strength estimated at 200) advanced on Safe Post; upon our men opening fire the immediately withdrew (suffering casualties) & started to dig in about 600 yds N.W. of "Safe" Post. "A" Battery H.A.C. opened fire on them & they withdrew into the rough ground west of the Jordan.
Throughout the morning enemy snipers worked south along the Jordan opposite the gap in the line, between the 2nd & 4th Bridges, but were driven back by "A" Sqdn. On July 17th the Regt was relieved by the 6th Regt; going into reserve in the Wadi Auja. Word was received the L/Cpl Hardwick & Trooper Small had received the M.M. & that the M.C. had been conferred upon both Capt. J.M.Boyd & Lieut J.D.Macansh.
On the 28th the Regt was heavily shelled during the afternoon. 2 men killed & 4 wounded 19 horses killed & 16 wounded. On the 29th we were relieved by the 19th Lancers (12th Cavalry Bgde) & proceeded to Taal-ed-Dumm, where we halted for 10 days prior to proceeding to Solomon’s Pools. The Regt arrived at Solomon’s Pools on Aug 10th. The weather here was beautifully cool in marked contrast to the heat of the Jordan Valley.
Whilst here the usual camp routine was carried out a number of men being evacuated owing to the malaria contracted in the Jordan Valley. On Aug 25th the Regt left Solomon’s Pools marching to the Auja bridgehead where they relieved one Regt of the 12th Cavalry Bgde (Stafford Yeomanry). Night observation Posts were established & Patrols sent out daily to watch any enemy movement.
It was reported that a continuous wire fence had been erected in front of the enemy defences. A Patrol was sent out to verify this, and although they had great trouble in avoiding the enemy trenches & met with a pretty warm reception they gained the object viz [namely] that a continuous wire fence existed from the Jordan to F.3 also between F.5. & F.6. It would appear that there is a gap roughly between F.4 & F.5. through which the patrol advanced. This gap was held by strongly manned trenches. The Patrol crossed several empty trenches but the firing came from behind these. Apparently the intention of the enemy was to cut off our patrol from the opening in barb wire. On the Patrol withdrawing they were shelled by an enemy 77mm gun & reported back to camp with 1 man & 1 horse slightly wounded.
During the beginning of Sept. the weather in the Jordan valley was unusually hot. Parties daily patrolled east of the Jordan and officers went out on reconnaissance work round Ghoraniyeh. Turkish deserters were continually coming in to camp in small parties, or giving themselves up to our Patrols.
On Set 17th Major A.G.Bolingbroke D.S.O. was severely wounded whilst on patrol, one man killed, one man reported missing , one man wounded. These casualties to our patrols were the result of good fire discipline on the part of the enemy. On the 19th inst two Sqdns of the Regt with two troops of M.Gun sqdns moved across the Jordan to make a demonstratur returning to camp the same night. On the 21st one Sqdn on day outpost east of Jordan left Camp to reconnoitre Kabr Mujahid to find out if the enemy were still there. The Patrol reached Kabr Mujahid which they found to be occupied. The patrol towards Tell er Rameh heavily fired on, one man wounded, one man reported missing. On the 23rd Inst the Regt crossed the Auja & marched on towards Amman.
The following is a narrative account of the capture of Amman & of the operations which culminated in the surrender of Ziza. Compiled from the account written by Lieut. Col Cameron D.S.O. [see page 720 of Vol Vll of Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18 (H Bean)]
During the night 24/25 orders were received to the effect that the ANZAC Mounted divisions would attack Amman the following morning.
The N.Z,M,R. Bgde were to attack from the N. & N.W. The motor road from Es Salt to Amman constituting the boundary between the two Brigades.
At 0600 the Regiment moved out from their bivouac area at Ain Hemar acting as advanced guard to Bgde. "C" Squadron under Capt J.M.Boyd M.C. being in advance.
Capt Boyd was instructed to overcome without delay any forward enemy posts, in order that the advance of the Bgde on Amman should not be delayed. At 0730 about 4 miles west of Amman strong enemy posts were encountered. They had taken up strong natural defensive positions covering all approaches from the West. With the co-operation of the 7th Regt these enemy positions were overcome. 2nd Lieut B.R.Byrnes with a weak troop galloped 900 yards under heavy machine gun & rifle fire dismounted & attacked an enemy position in a most gallant manner, resulting in the capture of 3 officers 44 other ranks, 2 field guns, 2 machine guns & one Hotchkiss rifle.
Lieut A. Currie MM with a small party attacked another enemy post. They advanced under exposed ground under heavy fire suffering casualties, when within 80 yds of the enemy position the white flag was raised. Lieut Currie & his party rose to advance – a further burst of fire mortally wounding Lieut Currie.
All of his party with the exception of two became casualties. Sgt Kelly with two other ranks, one of whom was wounded continued to advance capturing the position & 33 prisoners.
When these posts were overcome the Regt moved forward without delay to within 2000yds of Amman. All approaches were under machine gun fire& the Regt also came under shell fire. We were in touch with the Canterbury Rifles on our left & the 7th Regt on the right. "A" & "C" Sqdns pushed forward, dismounted taking up positions overlooking the left flank of "Citadel Hill" from the rear capturing two field guns, an Austrian Major & the entire guns teams. The Canterbury Mounted Rifles moved through the town mounted. At 1520 the following message was sent to Bgde. Amman all clear one Sqdn being sent to occupy high ground east of town. Our casualties throughout the day being four officers & fourteen other ranks wounded. 30 officers 552 other Ranks 3 field guns 10 machine guns, 1 Hotchkiss rifle, 1 Lewis gun 2 motor cars, & a considerable quantity of stores & equipment were captured.
On 29th Sept at 0500 Regt less one Sqdn left camp near Amman under orders to patrol South & get in touch with the enemy. On arrival at Leban, natives reported that the enemy were holding Ziza with 600 cavalry & a considerable force of infantry. "C" Sqdn und Capt. J.M.Boyd was in advance. El Kashel was found all clear. We continued to push forward our advance troops halting with 700 of the Turkish position at Ziza. at 1030 a Turkish officer & 4 other ranks came out from Ziza on a trolley along the railway line under a white flag. This officer handed Col DC Cameron D.S.O. a note from the Commandant of the Turkish force at Ziza. The Commandant conveyed in this note that he wished to see Col Cameron & steps were immediately taken to arrange this meeting. At this time it was observed that the hills East & West were occupied by a large number of men mounted on horses & camels. At 1100 a further communication was recd from the Commandant of Ziza, to the effect that he desired to surrender, but was afraid to do so. He maintained that if his force laid down its arms, we were not strong enough to protect him from the Bedouins. He also declined to come out & interview Col. Cameron personally. Capt JM Boyd MC was sent with a Turkish Officer to Ziza to interview the Commandant. He returned with an official surrender couched in the following terms:-
"To O/C British Troops" (Col Cameron)
"I hereby surrender unconditionally all my Force, Guns, Ammunition, Stores etc at Ziza under my command, & in so doing claim your protection for the safety of my soldiers, wounded & sick.
Sgd (Turkish Commander)
About this time one of our ‘planes dropped the following message:-
"Enemy have two Field Guns on track facing West at approx 1430/035. Rifle pits between you & station are occupied
Good luck to you
Communication had now been obtained with DHQ. The signallers having worked strenuously to patch up the Telephone line which was broken in many places.
At this time Mounted Bedouins & Arabs were concentrating from all directions with the intention of joining us in the attack on Ziza. Fighting continued throughout the day between the Turks & Arabs on the East, South & West of their position. We holding the ground North of the Turkish position. The Turkish Commandant expressed a desire that we should not attempt to enter Ziza until sufficient reinforcements had arrived to protect the garrison from the hostile Bedouins. D.H.Q. advised us that unless the garrison surrendered they would be bombed by 10 of our planes at 1500. At 1445 after receiving the official surrender, D.H.Q. informed us that there was some doubt as to whether the message cancelling the raid, had reached the Royal Air Force. An officer was immediately sent with our Regimental Report Centre Sign & white stripes, instructing him to place them in rear of Turkish trenches, he was also instructed to explain the circumstances & advise garrison to take cover. At 1515 word came through that the raid had been cancelled. At intervals during the day small parties were sent into Ziza under an officer to reassure the Commandant that
that the Bgde was moving out with all haste & the situation would be cleared before dark. At 1600 Lieut J.D.Macansh MC was sent into Ziza to inform the Turkish Commandant that in the event of our not moving in before dark he must keep his trenches manned.
Throughout the day we were surrounded by Arabs & Bedouins. They kept enquiring whether the Turks had surrendered. They maintained that if sol they should be allowed to enter the position & take the rifles. If the Turks had not surrendered they desired us to attack at once promising assistance. Several times during the day they moved forward, but were immediately driven back by Turkish Machine gun & Rifle fire. At 1600 Col Cameron sent a message by the Arabs to the Bedouins gathering around the position to the effect that if they attempted to attack the Turks He would attack them. This had the desired effect & they began to withdraw although throughout the day the situation appeared at times somewhat critical. Fortunately our men did not fire one shot at the Bedouins. At 1715 the Divisional Commander arrived by Motor car at our Sgdn. In company with a Turkish officer Col Cameron immediately proceeded to the Hqtrs of the Commandant of Ziza, & after some delay the Turkish Commandant was induced to leave Ziza & visit the Divisional Commander. He expressed the greatest concern with regard to the Turkish Garrison particularly the sick & wounded.
The Regt entered Ziza before dusk, the 7th Regt co-operating on our right
The trenches throughout the night were held by our men and the Turks constituting perhaps an unique situation.
We were greatly struck by the fact that the Turkish Garrison notwithstanding its superiority in numbers we terrified by the Bedouins. Several instances occurred during the day of the Bedouins capturing odd Turks. Though armed the Turks seemed incapable of resistance & simply screamed like dying pigs. The condition of the Garrison on the whole was deplorable, & although they appeared to have food in quantity they were evidently worn out.
Total number of Prisoners, Guns, Material etc captured during the month of Sept 1918
Machine Guns 40
Railway Engines 3
Also large quantities of supplies etc.
Total casualties for the month
1 Officer died of wounds
2 Other Ranks .do.
4 Officers wounded
16 Other ranks .do.
2 Other Ranks missing
The general health of the troops throughout the month showed a decided improvement. The weather on the whole being much cooler.
Oct 1st  was spent in having a general rest after the Ziza operations. On the following day the Regt left Wadi Amman, & proceeded by east stages to Wadi Hanein, where a temporary camp was formed, with the usual Camp routine. Whilst here we got news of further successes in the North including the fall of Damascus, & at the end of the month to crown a glorious victory, came the news of Turkey’s Surrender.
This was the beginning of the end, & eleven days later amidst general rejoicings the Armistice was signed, & hostilities ceased on the Western Front.
As soon as the Regt moved down from Amman into the valley, there were many evacuations daily from Malaria. 33% of the men evacuated sick during the month, were original members of the Regt many of them having never been absent from the Regt through sickness during their 47 months service. There is no doubt that the period of six & a half months spent on the Jordan Valley during the unhealthy part of the year, undermined the general health of the Regt. & it has gone hard with many of the old hands who weathered the Desert Campaign.
On Nov 7th the Regt left Wadi Hanein, & proceeded to Semak on the Sea of Galilee, via Nazareth & Tiberias. A permanent camp has been formed here on the hills overlooking the Lake, about one mile from the village of Semak. It is an ideal spot in the fine weather. The scenery being very beautiful, & the climate here very invigorating at this time of the year. Besides the attraction afforded by the Lake, Hot Sulphur Springs are visited daily by parties who wish to indulge in a hot bath.
Unfortunately this seems to be their rainy season. We have experienced a lot of rain here, the rain being generally heralded by a gale of wind which lasts several days. On these occasions the camp is in a shocking condition owing to the black soil, & everyone experiences the acme of discomfort.
Although we know that our strenuous times are over at last, no slackness prevails, the usual camp routine being carried out. Owing to the nature of the country some really sporting Race meetings have been held under the patronage of Lieut Col D.C. Cameron D.S.O. who has presented several cups.
A Troop visits Rosh Pina fortnightly, & patrols the district for three days, ostensibly to keep the natives in order. As the Bedouins on the East of the Jordan are reverting to their ancient practices of raiding their weaker bretheren on the Western side, & carrying off their women folk. These Bedouins if not suppressed will undoubtedly be a power to be reckoned with, as most of them are armed
With modern Rifles, looted from different battlefields, where there is always abundance of ammunition. According a thorough search has been organised in the Tiberias district for hidden rifles etc. A large patrol under Lieut Crawford has proceeded to Beisan thence will work through the district to [Indecipherable], with the same object in view. The month of March  will be here with us shortly, by the end of which it is to be hoped that we shall all be on the water, on our way home to Australia, after an absence of little over four years.
The above report has been compiled by No 788 Tpr B.H.E. Price 5th A.L.H. from the War Diaries of the Regt, reports of various officers, & from personal experiences.
Capt Fitzhardinge the R.M.O. reports [the handwriting looks the same as the previous pages]:-
Since Oct 1916 we have passed through three unsatisfactory periods: looking at it from a health point of view.
A The summer of 1917. Septic sores chiefly due to the lack of facilities for washing, & the dust.
B In Nov 1917 Diarrhoea during the advance from Gaza northwards. When the Regt got near Jaffa the combination of oranges & native bread (made of dara) caused a very large number of cases, which fortunately reacted very quickly to treatment.
C June to Oct 1918 Malaria in the Jordan Valley & I am dealing with this more fully.
After we returned from the 1st Amman Raid we were attached to the 1st L.H.Bgde at Mt Ghoraniye Bridge head defence April 3rd-April 16th & during this period the flies were terribly troublesome, & we had a large number of cases of Diarrhoea which I consider was due to the sudden change of climate.
Once the men got acclimatised this ceased, & we were not troubled with it again whilst in the valley, at the end of May the flies died owing to the intense heat. On May 11th we were attached to the Australian [Indecipherable] Division & for a time the rations were most unsatisfactory, & during this period our men were doing a lot of road making in a dirty, dusty camp, & in consequence septic sores increased suddenly. Fortunately rations improved & on May 22nd we went up to Ain Duk & took over a section of the front line & with water handy & a clean camp things greatly improved, we were very free from sickness here, Unfortunately as it turned out later our Hdqrs which were nearest the water suffered most, the transport next & then the C.B.A. Squadron in order, from the ravages of Malaria. We then moved back to Solomon’s Pools, travelling by night in two stages & had a very wild trip & on arriving at Solomon’s Pools Malaria began to develop, & from that time onwards we had a lot of it, & it always developed with any sudden change of weather. We then moved back to the valley & had a certain amount of Malaria.
Then we went into reserve into the Valley Angur & Malaria began to increase rapidly. We moved back to Talat-et-Dumm & stayed to Aug 19th Malaria still increasing & from there back to Solomon’s Pools where our men became infected with what I suspected was Spanish Influenza & with the malaria there was plenty of sickness
We moved back to the valley on the 23rd & took over a position at the Angur bridgehead until Sept 11th. Here the Sandflies were very bad, & another problem cropped up, Malaria, Sandfly fever or both. We then moved to Ain Hqla with the same problem unsolved. On Sept 22nd we moved out & camped where the Roam Rd crosses the Augu & the mosquitoes were very bad, & at this place I consider that the Regt got badly infected. Fortunately the incubation period for malaria did not elapse till we returned from Amman Oct 4th & from this onwards nearly 1/3 Regt was evacuated. In conclusion except for a few days the rations were excellent. Fish, meat, vegetables, & white bread being issued daily, except when on a raid, whilst in the line our C.O. made use of regimental funds to purchase extras mainly of milk & preserved fruit. I think that the general health of the men was due to the rations & the comforts.
Ain Duk is Ain ed Duk and is in the Jordan valley about 3 miles NW of Jericho on the Wadi Nueimeh.
Ain-es-Sir was about 5 miles W of Amman but is now on the western outskirts of the city. It is now known as Wadi Al Seer or Wadi as-Sir.
Ain Hemar – it was about 10 miles NW of Amman and is now probably on the outskirts of the city
Ain Hqla – could find no reference to this place. It might be Makhadet Hajla which is on the River Jordan about 5 miles S of el Auja.
Amman is the capital city of Jordan and is about 60 miles east of Tel Aviv.
Angur – this refers to the el Auja bridgehead . The town of el Auja is where Wadi Auja runs unto the Jordan Valley. Augur is probably the phonetic spelling of Auja.
Beisan is about 15 miles south of Semak or the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee. It is now under Israeli control and is called Beit She’an.
Bethany is now called Eizariya and is about 2 miles E of Jerusalem. In the Bible it was the home of Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and Simon the Leper.
General Chaytor - Sir Edward Walter Clervaux Chaytor (born in New Zealand, 21 June 1868 – 15 June 1939) was a military commander of NZ troops in the Boer War and WW1. In 1917, Chaytor took over the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division and was promoted to Major-General. When taking part in the assault on Rafa he ignored order to withdraw from the attack and took the town's main defensive position. In 1918 Chaytor’s force captured Amman in Jordan and thousands of prisoners.
C.B.A. Squadron – the Berliet CBA was one of the most important vehicles of WW1. It was a 6 tonne truck built by Berliet, a French manufacturer of automobiles, trucks and other utility vehicles.
Circassian – the Circassians arrived in the Middle East after they were expelled from their homeland in the northern Caucasus. The Circassians, who fought during the long Russian-Circassian War wherein the Russians captured the northern Caucasus, were massacred and expelled by Czarist Russia from the Caucasus. The Ottoman Empire, which saw the Circassians as experienced fighters, absorbed them in their territory and settled them in sparsely populated areas, including Galilee.
Lieut Currie - see page 720 of Vol Vll of Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18 (H Bean)
Ektief this wadi is about 6 miles SSW of Jericho.
El Haud is an 850ft hill about 5 miles SSW of Es Salt and 2 miles NNE of El Kashel could not be located. It is probably also on the railway line south of Amman.
Enfilade is to fire from a flanking position along the length of an enemy battle line. Also called flanking fire.
Esdud is now called Ashdod and is in Israel about 40 kms south of Tel Aviv.
Es Salt now called Salt, is about 7 miles east of the Jordan River, about 17 miles NE of Hajla and 10 miles W of Amman.
Ghoraniye Crossing is on the Jordan River about 5 miles east of Jericho. It appears to be very close to what is now called Allenby Bridge across the river and was also called "the Pimple". It offered a very good vantage point from which to observe the Turkish forces.
Trooper Gofton, Septimus Number 2181, was Mentioned in Despatches for his gallantry during this action.
H.A.C. is the Honourable Artillery Company
Hadjula is Hajla, four or five miles south of Ghoraniye, where there is a ford across the Jordan River, probably no longer in existence as the river is now the border between Israel and Jordan.
Hotchkiss rifle - this can refer to different products of the Hotchkiss arms company but usually refers to the 1.65-inch (42 mm) mountain gun intended to be mounted on a light carriage or packed on mules to accompany a troops travelling in rough country.
Hill 2900 is on the Es Salt –Amman road about 5 miles east of Es Salt.
Hodson’s Horse was a cavalry regiment originating as part of the British Indian Army during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. It exists today as the 4th Horse Regiment (an armoured regiment) in the Indian Army.
I.C.C. Bgde – The Imperial Camel Corps.
Kabr Mujahid was about 5 miles E of the Jordan River on the road to Amman. It no longer appears in the Times Atlas and is probably now an archaeological site. Kabr Said must be nearby. See page 602 in volume VII of The Official History of Australians in WW1.
Kabr Mujahid is about 10 miles E of Jericho across the Jordan.
Keefr Hudr is Kefr Hudr about 2 miles N of Es Salt.
Latroun is now called Latrun and it is about 12 KMS SE of Ramleh, now spelled Ramla. There is a well known monastery at Latrun.
Leban refers to Leban Station is on the railway line running south from Amman about 10 miles from Amman.
Limber - a two-wheeled cart designed to support the trail of an artillery piece. Artillery pieces had their own two wheels and the ends (the trail) behind the gun barrel were lifted onto the axle of the two wheeled limber, allowing the gun to be towed.
Lussallabeh – possibly Mussallabeh
Lieut J.D. Macansh – see page 672 of Vol Vll of Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18 (H Bean). The account of the raid is so similar that one suspects Smith and Bean might have had the same reports in front of them.
M.C. – Military Cross.
M.M. – Military Medal, awarded to personnel of the British Army to personnel of Commonwealth countries, below commissioned (ie Officer) rank, for bravery in battle on land. It was the "other ranks" equivalent to the Military Cross (MC), (which was awarded to commissioned officers and occasionally to Warrant Officers although WOs could also be awarded the MM).
Mountain Guns are artillery pieces designed for use in areas where usual wheeled transport is not possible. They are generally capable of being broken down into smaller loads for transport by humans, horses, tractors or trucks.
Mussallabeh is about 5 miles west of Um esh Shert and 15 miles N of Jericho.
Naaur is now called Na’ur or Naour and is about 5 miles S of Wadi Al Seer or Ain-es-Sir.
Patiala Infantry - the battalion was raised in 1705 and was the first battalion of the state forces of the Maharaja of Patiala. It is the oldest infantry battalion in the Indian Army. In May 1900, the battalion was re-designated as First Patiala Imperial Service Infantry and during WW1 took part in operations in the Middle East under the British Expeditionary Force.
Red Hill is on the east side of the Jordan about 3 miles N of Umm es Shert.
Rosh Pina is about 10 miles north of the northern point of the Sea of Galilee and about 25 miles N of Semak.
RMO – Regimental Medical Officer.
Gen Ryrie – Sir Granville De Laune Ryrie was born in Michelago NSW on 1 July 1865, into a farming family. At the beginning of WW1 Ryrie was given command of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade. He was in the Suez Canal area and then joined the Battle of Gallipoli on 19 May 1915, where he was wounded twice. He was rejoined the LH Brigade for the Sinai and Palestine campaign and was involved in the famous charge of the light horse in the Third Battle of Gaza in which Australian forces capture Beersheba.
Sangars – a sangar is a temporary fortified position with the protection constructed of stones (now usually built of sandbags and similar materials). Sangars are normally constructed in terrain where the digging of trenches would not be practical. The term is still used by the British Army. The word was adopted from Hindi and Pashto and probably derives originally from the Persian word sang, "stone".
Semak is no longer on the maps but is at the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee, about a kilometre from where the River Jordan runs into the Sea of Galilee.
Shun Nimrin or Shunet Nimrin – this is now probably the town of Shunet Nimrin which is about 5 miles from Hajla on the road to Amman.
Shunet Nimrin.Enab - Kuryet El Enab is a small village adjacent to Abu Gosh about 8kms W of Jerusalem.
Solomon’s Pools is about 2 miles SW of Bethlehem.
Star, Shell & Scrap posts – see map on page 670 of volume VII of The Official History of Australians in WW1.
Taal-ed-Dumm or Talat ed Dumm, is about 5 miles WSW of Jericho.
Tel-el-Truny is about 6 miles north of Jericho on the edge of or in Wadi Auja.
Tel Es Sultan is about 1 mile N of Jericho.
Tiberias is about midway up the west coast of the Sea of Galilee.
Umm es Shirt is Umm esh Shert which is on the Jordan about 8 miles N of Ghoraniye.
Wadi is the Arabic term for a watercourse of any description from a wide valley to a small creek.
Wadi Auja is about 6 miles north of Jericho.
Wadi Hanein was a Jewish settlement. Could not find it on a map but based on volume VII of The Official History of Australians in WW1, it is about 25kms NE of Esdud not far from the present town of Ramla.
Wadi Kell – Tel es Sultan lies on the Wadi el Kell.
Wadi Mellaha runs into the Jordan River from the west between Ghoraniye and Umm es Shert but extends to NW of Um es Shert.
Ziza is a station on the railway line about 12 miles south of Amman.]
[Transcribed by Miles Harvey for the State Library of New South Wales]