SINAI station

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SINAI station

Postby Steve_Butler » Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:27 am

This unexpected and welcome letter arrived today (13th Mar 08) - this generous offer is a great opportunity for members to update info and ask questions

Hi Steve,

By way of introduction I am currently the New Zealand RSM of the NZ Contingent working for the MFO in the Sinai. I am also a RNZAC WO1 and have served in all of the NZ Armored Units since I joined the Corps in 1983. As you will be aware the NZMR eventually evolved into the current RNZAC within the NZ Army. I have served with Lt Col Kinloch and know him well I was also his gunner in three troop for about a year, before becoming the Troop Sergeant.

I have tried to visit most of the battlefields where New Zealanders fought here since my arrival in Nov 07 and I will shortly return to NZ in May 08. I recently visited the cemetery in Beer Sheeba (now known as Beer-sheeva) on the request of a family member for some photographs of a family members grave. During that visit I placed a NZ poppy on all NZ graves in the cemetery.

The NZ contingent from here will participate in ANZAC Day ceremonies in Gallipoli, Cairo Jerusalem and Beer-sheeva so if any of your members have anyrequests for photos etc please ask and I will do my best to facilitate.

Also another event occurring of note is the Australian Government will unveil a new memorial in Beer-sheeva on the 28th of April at 1630hrs, both myself and my Commanding Officer Lt Col P Hibbs will be official guests as well as a few contingent members. The new memorial is represented by a Mounted Rifleman on horse back jumping a trench with turkish soldiers. I will provide further information and photos after the ceremony.

If you would like any further information or have any requests please ask and I will endeavour to help out where I can.
Regards

K.M.FOSTER
WO1
RSM NZCON
Op FARAD
Ext 3038

AKE AKE KIA KAHA
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Re: SINAI station

Postby Steve_Butler » Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:47 am

Dear Kevin,

There are many questions I would like to ask - perhaps I will limit myself to just a couple for now! :)

I am curious as to the condition of the 12" water pipe that the Egyptian Labour Force and the English Engineers punched across the Sinai - does any of the original pipe survive today? - is it still in use at all? - where does it terminate now as it is after all Egyptian water, or is it sold on??

Then the railway - What gague did they keep? the old 3' 6" or convert to the French one metre - or some other?

What does El Arish look like today?

and THANKS FOR THE CONTACT.
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Re: SINAI station

Postby TerryKinloch » Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:15 pm

Hello Kevin,
Nice to hear from you! Have you seen my new book detailing the NZMR Bde operations in your neck of the woods? I have sent LtCol Hibbs a copy for the North Camp Library - I hope it arrives before you RTNZ. Have you been able to get to Magdhaba?

Steve,
When I was in MFO I looked for evidence of the old double pipeline but found none. It, like the desert railway, was doubtless torn up years ago. You may be interested to know that Egypt is building a new fresh water canal extending from the Sweetwater Canal across Sinai - it is roughly half-way now. There is also a new railway being built.

Terry
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Re: SINAI station

Postby greg » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:24 pm

Hello and welcome Kevin,

Have been working on several places where the Mounteds travelled and fought through in Google Earth.
Sinai-Palastine 1916-1919.kmz
(18.76 KiB) Downloaded 943 times
. This is all pretty rough at the moment and will need some more work before it is "released for discussion. If you and Terry could have a look and see if the places I have placed are correct. I know it may be a big ask but have a go. I have done much on Gallipoli as well but need some feedback to be able to carry on, Bersheeba is also being ploted. Anyone with ideas???


Regards

Greg
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Re: SINAI station

Postby Steve_Butler » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:39 am

What a fantastic piece of work you are engaged in there Greg - Marvelous!
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Re: SINAI station

Postby greg » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:48 pm

Thanks Steve. Quite time consuming but worth the effort. If anyone would like to make some suggestions, ple feel free to do so.
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Re: SINAI station

Postby greg » Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:18 pm

G.I. Bradley
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Re: SINAI station

Postby Steve_Butler » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:03 pm

Obviously a week or so has passed since I received the above letter from Kevin and I am unsure whether he has received my reply or these posts placed here on this thread.

I have with the original email Kevin's email address. I am hesitant to post that address here, as he did not give me permission to do so.
Understanding this and the fact that Kevin may not have been able to read these posts I will forward any posts that arrive at this thread directly to his email on your behalf.
This is a good opportunity to contact a serving soldier in place where our forefathers fought all those years ago - please post your requests here, and I will forward.
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Re: SINAI station

Postby Steve_Butler » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:43 pm

With a further email to Kevin in the Sinai I received a reply today.
It appears he has trouble logging onto our site - or parts of it - so I presume he is unable to read the forum.
I asked if he was still attending the service at Beersheeva for the Australian statue on Anzac Day - and as always I pushed for some photos for the site.
I post his email here:

Hi Steve,
Yes we are still going and are hoping that the border will be open and Gaza is quiet. By way of an update on that project its a bronze statue and it is in a different location to where I thought it was going. One of my WO's who saw the area said the the Australian Govt had spent "millions" on this project. But I will get plenty of pics, I have a lot of Beersheeva, Mt Scopius and Kantara which I will burn to a CD of DVD for you.

I have looked at the site but occasionally the firewall here blocks a lot of sites so access is a little hit and miss.

Terry Kinloch asked about his book "Devils on Horseback" we received it here both the CO and myself read it. I enjoyed it immensely and read it in two days, it certainly has given me a better understanding of what the NZMR achieved. The book was presented to the Force Commander on the 26th of March at a formal function. I understand that he has read it and he quite enjoyed it. The book is now resident in the North Camp library for all to enjoy.

There was also a question about the orignal pipe line laid for water, I asked quite a few of the liasion officers and COU who travel that area more freely than I can but none of them know anything about it. Personally I would be surprised if anything was left any scrap metal around here is quickly salvaged by the bedoiun and sold. They have even been caught outside the camp here digging up metal pipes and wiring from the old airfield to sell off. But I will continue to ask.

Gaza is also a total no go area as are some areas of Israel as I recall a query about a site in the Gaza.

I visited Mt Scopius two weeks ago and was quite touched about it. I also met several of the groundsmen who tend the graves, one gentlemen Mohamed spoke very highly of the Kiwis, however he had not seen that many visit. I will be there on ANZAC Day and I will place a poppy on every NZ grave, I will do the same at Beersheva.

Regards

Kevin


Image

Modern day Beersheeva - The Beersheba Railway Station (March 2008)
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GOOGLE MAP

Postby TerryKinloch » Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:14 am

Hi Greg
Good work on the Google map. A few of your locations are a bit off (for example, you show Magdhaba at Lahfan). If you look closely at my maps in 'Devils on Horses' you will see the locations as I understand them; also, I have a lot of maps that will help steer you to the exact locations.

Terry
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Re: SINAI station

Postby greg » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:24 pm

Hi Terry,

I used your map from your book but I dont have any idea where Lahfan is! If you could send me some maps I would like to get it right! Many thanks in advance. By the way if you can give me the co-ordinates of Magdhaba that would be great!! :D

Regards

Greg
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