"Lorries" to Jerusalem

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"Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby Steve_Butler » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:40 am

Information and comment would be gratefully received on these series of images taken from a single frame.
I have initially posted these photos on our updates page.
The old saying "that a picture is worth a thousand words" is well borne out with this magnificent silver gelatin photograph taken in Jerusalem in July 1918.
The image has so much to tell, and I am surprised that the only reference stated on the reverse is:-
"Wounded Turks and Germans, transported in Lorries."

There is however much more of a story locked here inside this image - and with everyone's help out there we should be able to bring to life much more that we see at a first glance.
So, Just how many items of interest are shown here? To begin, at least fighting troops from six different countries, possibly seven are visible.

Image

(Fig. 1) By distorting the image and "lifting the black" from the shadows in the back of the first transport truck we are just able to reveal a rather fuzzy likenesses of three wounded German soldiers who appear out of the gloom.
Because the image is from a sequence of photographs taken by the same photographer of the event recorded as the of transporting captured prisoners taken at the Battle of "Abu Tellus", I assume this image is also taken in Jerusalem following that enemy engagement
.
The Action involved an attack by German and Turkish forces on an Australian defensive line in the Jordan Valley on the 14th July 1918.
The Wellington Mounted Rifles played a major role in the battle that lasted all day in terrible conditions for men and horse.

Image

(Fig.2) With this second segment of the photograph enlarged we can see a wounded German soldier's face reflecting a mood of apprehension and tiredness.
Other photos taken this day show the hundreds of German and Turkish prisoners being escorted by Mounted Troops of New Zealand, Australia and India as they are marched on foot from the battlefield to Jerusalem - These men shown here were obviously too injured to march and have been transported by trucks.

On page 133 "The German Attack" recorded in the "History of the Wellington Mounted Rifles", (available free to download from our book section) we can learn of the conditions these men fought in that day:

"...At this time a scorching wind was blowing, and the sun burned with fiendish ferocity, the hospital thermometer registering 130 degrees of heat in the shade - the highest recorded by our troops in the Valley. The conditions were most trying, and it was only by keeping the pack-horses travelling to and fro with water to the firing line
that our men were able to hold out. Even then, many were sick and others fainted. The plight of the Germans was worse than that of our men, for they were without water,and under the pressure which was brought to bear on them..."

Image

(Fig.3) Again I have lifted the black to try and make more sense of the uniforms of these men in the left background.
The two men are obviously mounted soldiers, and I suspect by the cut of the tunics they are Australian Light Horse. Certainly the shoulder flashes would mark them as A.L.H. - I am sure a few members will be able to put me right here?
I am a little perplexed as to the leggings, they appear to be putties rather than the traditional Australian leggings - and I am unsure about the white flash that appears on the left soldiers left arm - is it some sort of rank, or perhaps a scratch embedded on the original glass plate?

(Fig.4) The man in the rear background with his back to camera is helping to unload the first truck in the line. His flowing headdress clearly signifies he is a member of the Indian forces. A large contingent of Indian Lancers are shown earlier in the day escorting many hundreds of Turkish prisoners into Jerusalem.

An interesting observation is the rapid development of heavy vehicles, the truck trays by 1918 have become very sturdy as transport becomes more powerful - although the trip for the wounded must have been extremely painful as the trucks are all fitted with solid rubber tyres - every rut in the road must have been transmitted in a non too gentle manner to the passengers.

Image

(Fig.5) This man appears as spent as his prisoners.
Like all the men here he is covered with the fine white dust of the battlefield - his boots appear to be heavily ingrained with desert sand.
It would be interesting to hear others views - could this man be a Camelier? The shorts and putties don't seem to fit with the A.L.H. uniform, or is he a member of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles? Would someone recognise the shirt pattern? I suspect his shorts are British "Bombay Bloomers" - hopefully more information will come in.

(Fig. 6 & &) The other men that make up the photographic puzzle - the men standing to the rear of the truck tray appear to be Turkish troops while the two men standing to the right of picture appear to be English, wearing Worsley pattern helmets.

Image

full frame enlarged.
Image
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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby Jonsig » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:43 pm

Nice Photographs they are
From my own Knowledge

From what I can make out, It appears to be a Ambulance in the background with 2 racks of stretchers .
Also appears to be an Indian worker or Medic.


In the foreground Left He could be Australian He could be a New Zealander or even British.

Bombay bloomers came out after WW1, they had buttons so you could adjust the height.
The shorts and shirt are just the Issue K.D shorts and 3 button grey British Pattern Shirt.
This was worn in this style as a relaxed form of dress in the camps and in the field at times.
It is not a Camelier uniform They wore the standard uniform of country of origin.
it is not impossible that he is one, but no way of knowing

No 2 may be a Austrian if not German

The men in Pith helmets could be from any country i.e. NZ AUS British as we all wore them.
Although something about them looks British.

"Some of the men standing at the rare of the truck may be the drivers of the truck or even medics".

One of the Australians standing side on appears to have an early puggaree with the band of colour
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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby greg » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:53 pm

Hi Steve,

Just by looking at the three men on the left, (which you have not provided a close up :cry: ) They look a bit Maori or Pacific Islanders. The other chap (in the shorts) I would say is Kiwi. You dont often see Tommies or Aussies dressed like this chap :!:
The shoulder flashes on the other chaps must indicate they are Aussies surely.
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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby Jonsig » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:08 am

I think you will find Australians wore shorts and shirts as well
They all seem to have sun tans making them look dark even the Germans do in this photo.
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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby Steve_Butler » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:25 am

Image

Hi Greg
Here are your three men you asked to see in a closer view.
I am glad you did as it made me have a closer look at the two Englishmen on the right. (I say Englishman, as although Jonsig re-affirms that all troops were issued with the Worsely pattern helmet, the colonial troops went more for the lighter and broader brimmed model felt hat.) My greater reason to state that these two are English is that the Military Police in the Middle East were English provos - and I am nearly certain that the metal disc worn by the soldier above is in actual fact a Military Policemans on duty "GORGET" - I have had a look to try and find a English WWI Gorget to compare - but at this stage thats my bet.

A Gorget originally was the throat protection piece of the Middle Ages suit of armour. The gorget has been retained as a piece of insignia for many centuries and was worn by on duty German military police of the old German military forces as far back as 1740. The "Feldgendarmerie" wore the metal gorget ("Ringkragen") on a chain around their necks. Because of their unpopularity amongst the German rank and file, the "Feldgendarmerie" were often known as "kettenhunde" ("chained dogs") in reference to their duty "ringkragen". I believe after WWI the English introtuced the "Bassard" arm band to replace the gorget - I am not sure on this and would like some input here - however German MP's continued with the gorget through WW2 and to modern day - I also believe the collar flashes worn today by British and other nations army general staff are "cloth" variations of the gorget - but I will willingly stand corrected on that - I would like to see any images members have of WWI gorgets!

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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby Jonsig » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:59 am

Steve they had MP Brassards, armlets in WW1. "It was a black Brassard with red MP."
The disc hanging around the neck of the chap in the photo looks a bit like the shape of a German military Dog tag the Turkish tag I think was the same shape also, ID tag worn by all military, it may be a souvenir
The paper tag on the button looks like the medical tag, that they attached to the wounded.
I have a used Medical tag from 1917.

Hope this is of some help
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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby greg » Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:10 pm

Well guys I think the item around his neck is a pair of goggles!! And I was wrong about the Maori fella :oops:

But there is amazing details coming out of the photo!!
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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby Jonsig » Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:22 pm

Lol yes Greg

I think you are 100% spot on about the goggles....
As I said I think some of them are the drivers of the vehicles that is why they are so dusty open cabs.
The googles would help with all that dust, if you were driving, cough the lungs... :lol:
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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby Steve_Butler » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:21 pm

Image

On the subject of ambulances - Greg sent this image up for a revamp, and a bit of digital magic has lifted the photograph somewhat.
Titled "New Zealand Ambulances"
No matter what I did I could not read the writing on the canopy.

Did you want a large file of this posted back email Greg?
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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby greg » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:08 pm

No thanks steve, keep the file on "file" please. Note the fellas standing to the right. Very similar to the fellas from the previous photo!! Might be the same lot :D

The next question is... What is the make of the Ambulance?? Anyone?? :P
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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby hbtoday98 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:34 pm

these trucks in the bottom photo are not on duels the trucks beind the much larger truck are running duels.
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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby hbtoday98 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:45 pm

try this link NZ sent fords from AUS
http://www.mtfca.com/books/ford_times.htm
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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby hbtoday98 » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:47 pm

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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby greg » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:36 am

Sorry to say that the above link has failed? :(
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Re: "Lorries" to Jerusalem

Postby hbtoday98 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:37 am

THE PHOTO SEARCH WAS OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGESS 6000 PHOTOS OF THE MIDDLE EAST(Bombed British opthalmic [i.e., ophthalmic] hospital, Jerusalem, 1918)MAY HAVE A CONNECTION TO THESE PIC
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