NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES

Jaffa, Jerusalem, Jericho and onto Amman

A section of four Troopers from the NZMR Brigade ride into the newly occupied city of Jaffa.
After the successful attack on Ayun Kara a few miles to the South on the 14th November 1917 the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade immediately chased the Turkish Forces North and captured the port of Jaffa on the 16th.
A few days later the New Zealanders again set out to harass the enemy, but on the 24th November the Brigade found an enemy entrenched and far from beaten, and were in turn driven back after they were unable to hold a bridgehead across the River Auja.

A few miles inland Turko German Forces surrendered Jerusalem the following month on the 9th December 1917. The war in the Middle East was not yet over with the fall of the Holy City, and periods of fierce fighting continued on until October of the following year.

This footage was probably taken late November or early December 1917 when General Chaytor and the NZMR established its Headquarters in the Jaffa Town Hall, a position seen to the right of the Tower in the newsreel (movie is set on a loop play). In behind the movie I have placed a modern colour photograph showing Yefet Street, the main street of the old city. This image is sited very close to the original news camera location. However only part of the old three storey 'Serrani' Town Hall facade is still visible in the modern photograph. Most of the old Ottoman building was destroyed on 4 January 1948 when members of a militant group, the "Lehi", detonated a truck bomb outside the Town Hall killing 26 people. - the City today is planning to rebuild the old civic building.

note: movie is only 1 meg in size, but it may take a little while to download for those of you on dialup connections.



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THE PRIZE DRAWS EVER CLOSER
1917 photograph taken from the routed Turkish trenches atop of Nebi Samuel overlooking the road into Jerusalem - From this high vantage point the Anzacs have their first views of the ancient city of David. On the distant horizon across the rocky barren landscape the "Augusta Victoria", the massive "show piece" German Protestant centre built by the Kaiser in 1907 that includes the Evangelical Lutheran Church with a 65-meter bell tower and a hospice for Christian pilgrims, is clearly recognised in the far distance left of centre.
In the foreground empty food and munitions boxes sit in a traverse section of trench workings that stretches along the length of Nebi Samuel - A landscape devoid of vegetation provided little cover for the advancing forces.
Jerusalem surrendered 9th December 1917 - The Ottoman Turkish Empire relinquishing control of the Holy city after more than 500 years of occupation.

General Allenby marches past an honour guard of Auckland Mounted Riflemen to enter Jerusalem on foot.
A detachment of Auckland Mounted Riflemen present arms as victorious General Allenby enters Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate after the city surrendered December 1917. In recognition that Jerusalem represented the centre of the world's three major religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Allenby elected to enter the city on foot in reverence to those faiths.
New Zealand and Australian mounted troops were given the honour of bearing arms up to the gates of the city.
The white and shaded oblongs attached on the sides of the puggarees around the soldiers hats show that the men are members of the AMR.



Hat badge of the 8th South Canterbury Squadron

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