A little dilapidated and worse for wear, the negative of the image above was rediscovered in July 2008. It is a picture of the Memorial at Ayun Kara - one of very few images known to exist of this site.
NZMR troopers and members of the local Jewish community attend the memorial service of the first anniversary of the battle that had taken place on the 14th November 1917. A short time after this service the CWGC moved the men from the battlefield and re-interned them at the Ramleh Cemetery. The memorial site of Ayun Kara was forgotten and years later no one was sure of where the actual site had been, the memorial obelisk had disappeared. Destroyed by whom and when, nobody knows..
The Association understands that the New Zealand and Israeli governments intend to re-establish the memorial again on the old battlefield sometime in the near future.
Photograph taken by Trooper Charles Broomfield - permission given by the Cato family, Ohaupo.
The Action at Ayun Kara on the 14th November 1917 was carried out by the New Zealand Mounted Rifles on heavily entrenched Turkish defences. This successful rout of the enemy is remembered for its daring frontal rush by mounted troops and tactical movements in support by the brigades riflemen and machine gunners.
"...the Waikato stalwarts, led by Major Munro and Lieutenant Johnson, raced across the fire-swept area—a sight worth living to see."
Sergeant C.G. Nicol - AMR.
"The Canterbury Mounted Rifles who were the advanced guard, got into touch with Turkish outposts at 11 a.m. They pushed on, but by midday were definitely checked. Orders were immediately issued to attack the enemy, whose main positions were on a series of hills, with long slopes between them and the sand hills of the coast. The Canterbury Mounted Rifles was on the right of the line, the Wellington Mounted Rifles in the centre, and the Auckland Mounted Rifles on the left. The regiments advanced in line of troop column, and soon were under long range machine-gun fire. There being some high ground on the right front of the Auckland Mounteds, the 3rd squadron, under Major Twistleton, was sent forward to secure it, the other two squadrons taking cover from direct fire in depressions. As the Wellington Mounteds pressed on towards the main position, some cavalry appeared on the left front of the Aucklanders, and Colonel McCarroll, who had been viewing the position from the 3rd squadron’s hill, ordered the 11th squadron [North Auckland Mounted Rifles] to advance as rapidly as possible to ascertain the strength and position of the threatening force. Heavy rifle and machine-gun fire prevented the ˇsquadron getting to the required position, so two troops of the 4th squadron [Waikato Mounted Rifles] under Lieutenants M. E. Johnson and Ryan were detailed to gallop straight at it. This sudden and vigorous move evidently upset the enemy, for they reached the spot with very few casualties..." So began the bloody action that the NZMR Brigade called -"Its most severe engagement of the campaign." (the excerpt above from the official history of the AMR - "The story of two Campaigns" -1920)
Under cover of the fire from the 3rd squadron the other two troops of the 4th squadron pushed on to secure some high ground to the left of the W.M.R., who continued to advance steadily. As soon as the 4th squadron had gained a their objective, the 3rd squadron was drawn into support, and the 11th was sent forward on the left of the 4th. Covered by the 4th, the 11th advanced steadily, but for some time they did not reach any point where they could get a view of the enemy, although heavy rifle fire was coming down all the valleys from the higher positions of the Turks. At 2.15 the patrols of the 11th located some of the enemy concentrating in the orange groves nearby, and Lieutenant Jackson’s troop pushed well forward and found that the enemy was advancing rapidly.
Colonel McCarroll galloped forward, and, seeing that the troop was being attacked, sent in every available man, including signallers, gallopers, and batmen to reinforce, and signalled to the 3rd squadron to come up.
Major Twistleton brought his men up at the gallop in fine style, losing only two horses, although two or three bullet-swept zones were traversed, and dismounted his men within a few yards of the line. Lieutenant S. Reid’s troop was sent in on the right, but heavy enfilade fire gave them a severe time, and the few men who were not killed or wounded had to be called back. At 2.45 the enemy, under cover of heavy artillery fire, started a strong attack. Several of the Turkish machine-guns now began to make their presence felt, and the commander brought up his machine-gun section, which opened a counter fire. The action in this part of the battle now became a machine-gun duel, it being impossible for Colonel McCarroll to move his men until the opposite machine-guns were silenced.
After a furious fusillade the Auckland machine-gun sergeant, in worried tones, reported his gun out of action. “That’s all right,” replied the Colonel, “so is the Turk’s,” for at the moment the enemy guns were abandoned.
13/3161 Trooper Hugh Gordon Haswell, was with the 11th Reinforcements, A Squadron, Auckland Mounted Rifles and was killed in the action at Ayun Kara on 14 November 1917.
He is buried at Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel.
Meanwhile, the W.M.R. had pushed up the hill on the right, and there came under a very heavy fire. Two troops of the 3rd squadron were sent further to the right, to a spot where they could bring enfilade fire against the Turks assembled in a valley. The Hotchkiss guns and machine-guns, under Lieutenant Kelly, were also sent in, and did great execution.
Afterwards they described this chance as “the machine-gunner’s dream.” While this drama was being enacted, the counterattack was rapidly developing. It was estimated that fully 600 fresh infantry were flung against the Regiment, which by now had suffered very severe casualties. In many places the attackers got within bombing distance of the thin line. The A.M.R. men on one small hill having been all killed or wounded, theTurks established themselves on it and brought an oblique fire against the main position. The situation was now veryserious, and two orderlies were sent with orders for the fourth squadron to come up, but both were wounded. Eventually a message was got through, and the Waikato stalwarts, led by Major Munro and Lieutenant Johnson, raced across the fire-swept area—a sight worth living to see.
They regained the hill, and in spite of heavy opposition worked round the enemy’s left, and were able to enfilade the main line. This move nonplussed the Turks, who then fled in disorder towardsthe orange grove, under the heaviest fire that could be put across.
Colonel McCarroll had just collected his squadronleaders to organise pursuit when he was wounded in the neck and then in the shoulder. Major Whitehorn then took command, but the colonel before receiving medical aid, rode to brigade headquarters and arranged for support in the event of a night attack. The Turks kept up a heavy artillery fire until dark, after which the victorious troopers consolidated their position and removed the wounded.
The A.M.R. lost heavily, 15 being killed, including the gallant Lieutenant J. D. Stewart, of the 3rd squadron; 74 wounded, including Lieutenant-Colonel McCarroll, Captain Twistleton, M.C., and Lieutenants K. J. Tait, M.C., S. C. Reid, G. L. King, C. G. R. Jackson, and E. A.H. Bisley.
Captain Twistleton and Lieutenant King died of wounds. The W.M.R. lost 8 killed and 44 wounded; the C.M.R., one killed and six wounded; and the machine-gun squadron, eight killed and 18 wounded. The Turks, who retired during the night, lost 160 killed and 250 (estimated) wounded. The Turks who made the counter attack were part of a fresh force that had just arrived from its victories in Romania, and they apparently were unprepared to meet troops of the quality of the desert horsemen. One wounded prisoner remarked to an Aucklander, “Inglizee no run,” and he seemed to be rather perplexed over the fact that a thin and out numbered line had refused to budge in the face of what seemed inevitable disaster. The secret of the victory was the simple fact that the mounted riflemen were actuated by a spirit which did not permit of retreat being considered when committed to a definite action. It was the same attitude of mind which defied set principles of war on Gallipoli. It had its foundations in an extraordinary confidence, resolute and highly capable leadership, and the sense of personal responsibility which possessed the men of the Regiment.
Wounded in the same action, 13/1087 Trooper Arthur Robins.
The following morning the village of Ayun Kara was reported clear of the enemy, and, with a company of “Camels” on the left and the 1st Light Horse on the right, the brigade moved forward towards Jaffa, meeting with no resistance.
On the way they passed through the village of Richon le Zion, where for the first time they met Jews. One member of the community was a brother of Rabbi Goldstein, of Auckland. The joy of these people at being freed from the tyranny of the Turks was unbounded. They treated the New Zealanders most hospitably—an exceedingly pleasant experience after the tremendous effort they had just made, and the harsh hungry times spent in the south with its hostile Bedouins.
(all copy above on this page taken from AMR history - "The story of two Campaigns" - published 1920)
Trooper Frederick Foote was a Gallipoli man that had fought through all the actions of World War One as a signaller with the Auckland Mounted Rifles.
The Action at Ayun Kara was to be his last. In his later years he decided to write down his thoughts of the day a New Zealand Brigade took on a Tukish Division and won.
The Association is in debit to his family in presenting his story to the public for the first time, January 2010.
The Turks were attacking on the flank with a division. Our regiment was ordered in to hold this attack up. We had to charge across the open end of three or four gullies under heavy machine gun fire.
My poor little horse was true to form on each charge, he galloped out to the centre where the machine gun fire was the heaviest and then dropped to a jog and brought me out of the fire last. It was very exasperating and very frustrating, and added greatly to the strain of the action we were working into.
As we crossed the first valley a most peculiar incident happened to me --- the galloping horses put to flight a small bird, probably a lark, it rose close to my horse, and as it did it chirped or whistled, a perfect “V” “E” in Morse Code. V.E. was used at the end of every message.
It was the abbreviation for ‘very end’. I read the signal perfectly, my hair rose on end. So this was the battle I had been waiting for, by sunset my fate would be decided. This bird call V.E. was too distinct, far too clear to be ignored.
It never left my mind and I have never forgotten it, I was the only one in the group around me that could read the Morse Code. If it was not quite accidental I was the one the message was sent to.
13/2187 Trooper Frederick Foote
I am not a believer in the super-natural. Put it another way, say I keep a very open mind on the subject, for I know strange unexplained phenomenon do occur. I have never heard a bird since make a call anything like the Morse code for V.E.. However whether it was a supernatural message or purely accidental, I read it as a message for me. To a great extent we had grown into fatalists in the Army, we felt that when a bullet had our number on it we would get it, whether we were down the line or up the front. An aeroplane would strafe us, a bomb would fall our way or a sniper would hang us on the bead of his telescopic rifle.
We crossed all the valley openings and pulled into a little shallow hollow and handed over to the horse holders. The troops disappeared over a very low rise and we rushed up and set up a helio and signal station. The bullets were passing about three feet above our heads in a steady drone, a noise like an amplified beehive. The Turks had a mountain gun firing shrapnel, we had no artillery.
The Turks put on the pressure and our men fell back to the rise about two chains above our signal station. We called for reinforcements urgently, and were told the Camel Corp was on its way, but it never came. Our men decided that ten to one was too big an odds to fight and decided to pull out and take up another position. They called out for the horse holders to make ready, the horses were only three chains away being held in a tight compact group.
I slipped down and got a dead troopers horse, as my little remount could never carry me out. The Colonel came along the line saying, “There is no retreat from this ridge we stay here. If we are over run this division of Turks will get behind Wellington and Canterbury and they will be obliterated.” The Colonel was walking up and down, cold as a frosty night. The bullets were droning within six inches of his head, round which he had a great white bandage showing a red stain, and no hat. He called everyone into the firing line. “ Tie the horses together, and the horse holders come in, signallers, officers, batmen, and all get your rifles and get in.” It was all open bare country, one hundred yards on our left the sand hills started bordering the Mediterranean.
It was a lovely day, not too hot and perfect soft sunshine. The ground was covered with short grass, pretty little dandelion flowers were scattered along the field. The Doctor and Padre seemed to be the only two not in the firing line. Walking wounded were struggling out of the line and stretcher bearers were bringing out others. I grabbed my rifle and spare bandolier and went in, I had only a chain to go.
We had such a thin line, about six feet between each man. I took a quick survey of the situation, there were three close lines of Turks advancing on us and in the rear there seemed to be endless reserves. I flopped down on the grass and got to work. During the whole three years I was on active service I never knew if I had ever hit an enemy till this day, twice I saw my target double up in front of me. They were so close that I had some sort of chance of seeing the effect of some of my shots. Usually you fire at shrubs, trenches, or patches of stones, where fire is coming from. The enemy keep too well covered for you to have the opportunity of shooting directly at a man. Of course there are exceptions also.
We were getting very short of ammunition, all our machine guns had heated and jammed. During the four or five hours they had put through large quantities of ammunition. We fixed bayonets and carried on, waiting for the final Turkish charge. I kept six cartridges in my magazine, a few bullets are a great help to a bayonet in a rough and tumble.
We had machine gun belts passed along and were pulling the bullets out and firing one by one. I saw a Turk leave his place and run fifty yards to the left. It was obvious what he was up to, a little sand mound with some grass on top would enable a sniper to infiltrate our line. I waited and watched for him, his head came up through the grass and he took a quick look, then his rifle came up and he came higher. I already had a bead on the shot and I let him have it. He came forward as he fell, I kept watching for a while, every few minutes, but he never moved.
In the excitement and pressure of the battle I neglected to keep watching the sand mound. The Turks were not more than two chain in front of us, three lines of them, we could see the buttons on their uniforms. The drone of bullets either hitting the ground in front or flying over head never ceased. We rose on our knees, took quick aim and flopped down to reload. I had forgotten to watch the sand mound. I was on my knees just in the act of pressing the trigger, I do not know if I pressed it or not, I got a shattering blow in the right elbow, it jarred me back six inches, then I got another blow in the upper arm. The bullet went round the main artery, round the bone and out. If it had cut the artery I would have bled to death, there was no one to help, all were fighting for their lives.
Smashed and mangled, an x-ray of Fred's elbow after being hit by a high velocity bullet. (double click to enlarge.)
If I had missed the shattering blow in the right elbow, I would not have been knocked the six inches that caused the second bullet to pass through my left upper arm, instead of under the armpit where the sniper intended it to go.
It was fired from the little sand mound on our left where I had shot a sniper twenty minutes before, and through the pressure of the battle I had overlooked watching. I heard at a later date that the second sniper was not over looked and died on the sand mound also.
The Regimental Doctor and the Padre were sitting down in a hollow fifty yards from the firing line. The doctor had no equipment for applying dressings to wounds, as it had all been used. I do not consider that excused them, from saying a few words of comfort, and walking with the walking wounded for a few hundred yards on their journey out, or giving the stretcher bearers a helping hand as they so very, very bravely toiled that afternoon.
As I staggered away from the line, falling every minute, the doctor and the padre were the only two men sitting down and not helping stretcher bearers or wounded. It is on occasions like this that the real manhood, if it is in a man, shows.
My elbow was completely blown out, the shattered bones were protruding, and I was badly shocked and kept falling down with my elbow banging in the dust and dirt. The Divisional dressing station was half a mile away down a long grassy slope. I made towards it and after awhile I could stagger along without falling. Half way down I came under shrapnel fire from the mountain gun, three or four bursts and the shrapnel tore up the grass in circles round me. Fate has a say in ones life. How those shrapnel bullets missed me I will never know, the way the grass was torn up in circles around me. I would say I had one chance in a million of staggering on and not being hit. There were dead and wounded there, they had been walking out like I was, but did not have the one chance.
I arrived at the Field Dressing Station, somebody came along and put a field dressing on my wounds and put my arm in a sling. I was shot through both arms and had no hand for service. Somebody came along with a cup of soup and held it to my lips so I could drink it. Oh! The flavour and taste of that soup, it stands out alone all these years.
Someone laid me on a stretcher and put a rug over me. I heard afterwards that the Turks did not charge, they stayed where they were about thirty to fifty yards away. Was it the sun shining on our bayonets that stopped them closing, or was it the fact that we stayed in line where we were, and this influenced their decision against coming to close quarters. If they had rushed at the last we did not have a hope, I also heard that the Turks left more dead on the field than we put men into the firing line.
account by: 13/2187 Trooper Frederick James Foote.
The following account is extracted from H.S. Gullett (1944) The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, pp. 474 - 476.
As Cox's brigade entered Deiran, the New Zealanders on the left closed on Wadi Hanein, and further to the west advanced towards Richon. No opposition was met until Wadi Hanein was reached, but the 1st Light Horse Brigade reported columns of troops crossing their front towards the New Zealand sector. Soon after midday Meldrum's brigade advanced strongly, with the Canterbury Regiment on the right, the Wellingtons in the centre, and the Aucklands on the left, and soon located a stoutly-held enemy line running across the sand-hills. Machine-gun and rifle fire for a time obstructed the advance in the centre, but the Wellingtons, with a dashing bayonet attack, in which twenty Turks were killed and two machine-guns captured, drove through the resistance. The Aucklands on the left were then held up by a strong body of infantry, which was being rapidly reinforced, and the regiment came under fire from a battery towards Richon. At 2.30 the Turks opened heavy fire from all arms upon the Aucklands, and a quarter of an hour later a force of 1,500 advanced to the attack.
The New Zealanders, lying down in the open, shot rapidly and accurately; but they were few and scattered, and the Turks, favoured in their approach by cover from the little sand-hills, closed quickly and in overwhelming numbers on the Auckland position. Lieutenant-Colonel J. N. McCarroll,' the commanding officer, reported the situation serious and asked for reinforcements; but only one squadron of Wellingtons was available. For some time a hot duel was waged at close quarters by the rival machine-gunners, but at 4 o'clock the Turks, who were now very close to the New Zealanders, dashed forward with the bayonet and hand-grenades. McCarroll had all his men, including batmen and gallopers, in the firing line. The shouting enemy got within fifty yards of the riflemen; then the Aucklands, who had taken severe punishment with absolute steadiness, rose and met the Turks with the bayonet. The Turks had the numbers, but they were no match with the steel for the powerful young New Zealand farmers. As the two lines closed, the fighting was bloody, but brief; then the Turks broke and fled, leaving 162 dead and a large number of wounded on the ground. The New Zealanders had one officer and twenty other ranks killed, and nine officers and seventy-eight other ranks wounded.
This counter-attack was the last effort made by the enemy to save his Jaffa-Ramleh-Jerusalem communications. With the loss of Junction Station, in the east, the advance of the yeomanry in the centre, and the failure of his spasmodic assault near Richon, his whole line was in retreat by the evening of the 14th (November).
CHILDREN OF ZION - 1917
Jewish children and their teachers assemble for a photograph in front of the schoolhouse. A recently re-discovered photograph (20th July 08) presented to the Association from Trooper Charles Broomfield's collection that has been held secure by his family for over ninety years. Taken by Charles near the Battlefield of 'Ayun Kara'.
(Comment from editor Steve Butler)
Late last year I received a wonderful story translated from Hebrew by Gal Shaine in Israel. Gal is an active member of our association, regularly supplying snippets of information that he and his fellow historians of the Israeli WW1 Association gather as they research events of the Great War as it effected their area of old Turkish Palestine, now the modern state of Israel. Gal's home is situated to the south of Jerusalem at Richon le Zion, and because of this his prime focus has been the "Action of Ayun Kara" which was an entirely New Zealand Mounted force attack on the Turkish defensive line just outside that original Jewish settlement.
Before I get to the story I would like to add something that all us New Zealanders understand as a fact of life - Because we are such a small nation population wise, and remotely placed on the globe - we are most times forgotten on the world stage - or worse, considered to be someone else entirely. In the Great War - often referred to as English, or heaven forbid - Australian! (nod, nod, wink, wink).
And so it seems it was the case with the highly successful NZMR attack at Ayun Kara. Gal informed me as late as just a few years ago some of the old people of Richon thought that they had been wrong in thinking the troops that freed their homes from Turkish rule were English, but they had reasoned, because of their strange wide brimmed hats they were Australian! Well I am pleased to say the record has been finally put right with the NZMR acknowledged in the Museums and history books as the rightfully recognised soldiers from the South Pacific.
I would like to think that the photo that Charles took all those years ago (above) are the children referred to in Aviram Hochberg's story - it is quite possible - perhaps Aviram is one of the older boys swinging from the branches of the tree in front of the school house - I certainly would like to think so!
First a covering letter from Gal:
"I've set down and translated the school essay. It was written in old fashioned somewhat "biblical" Hebrew and I tried to translate it in the same spirit. Except for one place, he always calls who fights the Turks "English". Even in that one place he adds that the English are New Zealanders. The "English" he saw on the mountains were the WMR. The "English" who passed through the village (Nes Tsiona) were of the CMR.
Gal Shaine 1st sep 2007"
Testimony by Aviram Hochberg Taken from a school essay he wrote 1918:
"A quarter of an hour passed and we shall see all the Turkish armies climbing the mountains above the village, fortifying themselves in their defence trenches. At the ninth hour exactly the first shots were heard from the side of the Turks. There were more after any minute that passed.
Suddenly the English started firing and their bullets crossed above our heads making a buzz and whistle that the death (angel) is a coming. At the first hour of the battle we were terrified and exited, but soon we were used to the shooting and we shall climb a high balcony from where we see the spectacle of war. Once in a few minutes we could hear the thunder of English guns and shortly afterwards seeing it exploding over the Turkish soldiers. All sounds of war turned into terrible furious anger of God, smoke, blood and clouds of smoke. After tough fighting we saw the Turks leave their first positions and retreat. Line after line they were running down the mountain's crest with shells exploding between their lines, many falling dead and the remaining running exhausted to find shelter at the Orange groves.
Now on the position the Turks had retreated from, we already see the English stand shooting their machine guns bullets of death with no break on the escaping Turks. An hours passed, and another one, and all Turks left the ridge of mountains, running north. At the third hour after noon the first of the English got in the village. We all hurried in joy to meet our saviors to which we waited for three years. They soon left the village, heading further to push the enemy back. Shooting went non stop, until darkness fell. After the shooting [ceased] the country was covered with English (New Zealanders) and much were we happy. I went for a night sleep with my heart full with joy and hope for the future, but then I could not fall asleep for the cry and moan of the casualties could be heard even from distance, begging for help. The next morning some of our village we went the field of death to collect the wounded. What a terrible scene it was! The mountains that were always covered with green grass and beautiful flowers, where shepherds were herding their sheep, were now covered with the dead, wounded and blood here and there. Dead Horses, rifles lying on the ground and crater everywhere from the shells. Smell of gun powder and dynamite everywhere. The wounded were collected and we shall send them on the camels of the English to the hospital that was [opened] in Rishon"
Below, another viewpoint of the battle. As transcribed from the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regimental War Diary for the 14th November 1917. Written in the Field.
Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment
Summary of events and information.
Remarks and references: Palestine 1/63360 sheet 16
November 14th 1917
At 0815 the Regiment moved N.E. along the road towards YEBNA with the Brigade and at 0915 crossed the bridge in Square W. 16 B. and moved independently N.W. down the WADI EL TANHANAT and watered the horses in the WADI about Square V21 C & D, the 9th Squadron (Major Wilder) holding the ground to the N.N.E., of the WADI while the remainder of the Regiment entered. At 1115 the Regiment less 2nd and 9th Squadrons joined the Brigade at EL KUBEIBEH. At 1125 the 6th Squadron (Major Sommerville) moved to the North of KUBEIBEH. And moved along the left of an orange grove in support of C.M.R. coming under heavy Machine Gun and rifle fire.
(Sgd) E. MacIntyre, Captain
Adjudant W.M.R., Regiment.
About 1200 the 2nd and 9th Squadrons rejoined the Regiment.
At 1330 the 9th Squadron advanced against position in V 13 a coming under heavy Machine Gun and rifle fire. The position was rushed with bayonet and the hill cleared, the enemy retiring leaving about 20 dead and two Machine Guns (including a British Lewis) Gun in our possession. The 9th Squadron pushed forward on to the next ridge about 1200 yards to the NORTH where they were held up by Machine Gun and rifle fire.
At 1330 the 2nd Squadron (Captain Herrick) and 2 M.G. took up a position in old enemy trenches in Square V 13 and from which oblique fire could be bought to bear on the enemy pressing on the left of 9th Squadron and A.M.R., right.
At 1330 an order was received from Brigade to support A.M.R. on the left who were being heavily counter attacked so at 1400 the 2nd Squadron (Captain Herrick) galloped forward and rushed the hill on the left of the 9th Squadron held by M.G. and enemy riflemen, rushed and cleared the position, capturing a M.G., and killing a number of retreating enemy.
From here enfilade fire was bought to bear on the enemy attacking A.M.R., who were forced to retire after suffering heavy casualties.
At 1600 the 6th Squadron charged the position in front of them.
(Sgd) E. MacIntyre, Captain,
Adjudant, W.M.R., Regiment
[Transcribers note: page ends, Regimental War Diary continues]
14th … clearing it, and capturing more M.G., and inflicting heavy casualties amongst the enemy.
With the advance of the 9th Squadron pushed forward slightly to the right. At dusk the firing ceased and the line prepared to hold on for the night. Rifle pits were constructed and listening posts put out and touch gained with C.M.R. on the right and A.M.R. on the left – see next page.
15th 0400 the Regiment stood to arms and the line reported all clear. At 0600 in full daylight there was no sign of the enemy in front who had retired during the night. This was confirmed later by C.M.R., who sent out patrols to the village NORTH of KUBEIBEH and to point 240 who reported all clear.
Our casualties, Captain Herrick, and 10 men killed. Lieutenant Baigent and 38 O/ranks wounded. Lieutenant W.R. Foley, Lieutenant E.R. Black, and 2 O/ranks wounded and remained on duty. Captures, 5 M.Gs., and 2 British Lewis Guns and innumerable rifles and ammunition. Prisoners 2 Officers (one wounded) and 7 O/ranks while about 25 wounded Turks were evacuated.
Enemy casualties :- 150 Turkish dead were left lying on the position.
(Sgd) E. MacIntyre, Captain
Adjudant, W.M.R. Regiment.
[Transcribers note: War Diary continues next page with new entry. ]
The 9th Squadron under Major A.S. Wilder M.C.. gallantly stormed the position on V at the point of the bayonet capturing one M.G. and one Lewis Gun and killing a large number of the enemy. From this position the Squadron pressed on to a ridge about 1200 yards to the NORTH where it was held up by heavy fire but on the 2nd Squadron taking the ridge on its left at 1600 the Squadron rushed the position with the bayonet routing the enemy and capturing more Machine Guns. The following officers and other ranks did good work during this action.
Major A.C. Wilder M.C.
Lieutenant W.R. Foley
11/1257 L/Corporal L. Woodward.
11/973 Corps A.H. Barwick
11/1255 Corps B. Draper
[Transcribers note: War Diary continues next page]
When a strong force of the enemy were counter attacking our lines (Lieutenant, Temp Captain) A.D. Herrick gallantly galloped at the head of the 2nd Squadron under heavy M.G. and rifle fire to a position 200 yards of the enemy holding the ridge on the left of 9th Squadron. From here the enemy position was rushed, capturing a Machine Gun that was inflicting heavy casualties amongst our troops and from this position was able to enfilade a force of the enemy who were working round the flank this forcing three other enemy M.G.’s to retire that were inflicting heavy casualties on the Auckland Regiment, and on our own 9th Squadron. He was twice wounded after taking up his position but continued to direct the fire and movements of his men until he received a fatal wound.
Throughout he displayed great leadership, initiative and most daring and his magnificent example was a great stimulant to all the men under him.
On Captain Herrick being killed Lieutenant C.J. Pierce took over command of the 2nd Squadron and handled his men very ably and efficiently and did gallant service. The following also did good work during this action.
2/Lieutenant W.J. Hollis
11/768 Corporal L. Gledhill
11/1457 Corporal H.A. Martin
11/1487 Trooper A.F. Perrott
10/3619 Trooper C.R. Kelland
[Transcribers note: end of WMR reports for 14th November 1917 – Brigade moves next day towards Jaffa.
Transcribed from originals, file references 4-35-5-29part one - by Steve Butler June 2010.
View individual troopers records on the Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database :