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2nd Squadron
Wellington Mounted
Rifles Regiment

Copied From the Australian War Museum scanned PDF File AWM 35/5/18
New Zealand Mounted Rifles.  War Dairy for W.M.R. DECEMBER 1916
 
Transcribed to text by Gordon Sylvester NZMRA - October 2011
Transcribers notes: entries of question marks (??) are undecipered
script.

AWM35/5/18.
War Diaries  WMR
Pagination starts with cover page as No. 1 in each file

Australian Imperial Force unit war diary
NEW ZEALAND UNITS
Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiments

December 1916
                                                                                                            (page 2)

Mustagidda Dec 1st.              Outposts   No.1 Sect. 6th
1916                                           No. 2        9th
           
2nd.                Camel Escort  9th. Sqd
                        Previous Patrols cancelled & the following Patrol substituted. One troop under an Officer to leave Camp at 0530 & move in an NNE direction until striking rail way Construction Party when the Officer will report to o/c Rail Way Construction.  From here Patrol to proceed to 1330 & report by Telephone.
Remain at Hill 137? until 1600 & return to bivouac?
Outposts               No.1 Sect.            6th
                                No. 2                    9th

3rd.       Outposts         No.1 Sect.    2nd   
                                        No. 2               9th

4th.                               Patrol              6th
Outposts               No.1 Sect.            6th
                                No. 2                     9th
                                Camel Escort      6th

5th                                Patrol             2nd
Outposts               No.1 Sect.           2nd
                                No. 2                    9th
                               Camel Escort      6th

6th                                Patrol              9th
Outposts               No.1 Sect.            2nd
                                  No. 2                  2nd
                                Camel Escort     6th

7th                                Outposts         No.1 Sect.    6th
                                                                No. 2             9th
                                                                                                                                                                (page 3)

8th.                               Outposts        No.1 Sect.    9th
                                                               No. 2             6th

            2nd Squadron as Working Party to assist Field Troop to dig wells some three miles east of  Mustagidda.
            Marched in Lt. Col. Meldrum & resumed commdg. Regt.

9th.                               Outposts         No.1 Sect.    2nd
                                                                No. 2               6th.

10th.                        Camel Escort        6th
                                Working Party        9th
Outposts                No.1 Sect.          2nd
                                 No. 2 Sect.        6th
                                                Major  (temp Lt. Col.)  J. H. Whyte.
                                    Relinquished rank of temp. Lt. Col. & marched out to 2nd. A.L.H. Bde. As Bde. Maj.

11th.                    Outposts         2nd        No.1 Sect.   
                                                       6th        No. 2 Sect.

12th.                             Camel Escort  2nd.
                          Outposts            6th.       No.1 Sect.           
                                                      9th        No. 2 Sect.

13th.                 Outposts         2nd        No.1 Sect.   
                                                     6th        No. 2 Sect.

14th                              Camel Escort  9th.
                            Outposts           2nd.    No.1 Sect.           
                                                       9th       No. 2 Sect.

15th.     One troop  detailed to act as escort to G.O.C. desert column, who  visited Gererat – Parmatta wells.                                     
                        Outposts               6th.        No.1 Sect.           
                                                        9th        No. 2 Sect.

16th                              Camel Escort  6th.
                        Outposts              2nd.      No.1 Sect.           
                                                       6th        No. 2 Sect.

                                                                                                            (page 4)

17th.                    Outposts         2nd.      No.1 Sect.   
                                                       9th        No. 2 Sect.

18th.                             Camel Escort  2nd..
Outposts               6th.        No.1 Sect.           
                                9th        No. 2 Sect.

19th.                     Outposts        2nd.      No.1 Sect.   
                                                       6th        No. 2 Sect.

20th.                             Camel Escort  9th. Sqd.
Outposts   Cancelled
                        Received orders early in morning Bde moving to NS? Valley. Regiment less one Squadron parade at 1530
Right Flank Guard 1 troop of 2nd Squadron Left Rear Guard.
The other troop of 2nd Sqdn detailed to act as Escort to Camel Convoy and to remain on this duty for one week.
Bde moved off at 1330.  Regt dropped out off Column on reaching paramatta wells  (watered rejoining Bde at H) Valley.  From here orders received to proceed Abogimal, arriving there at 1730.  Left Gimal at 1030.  Regiment found one troop as Rear Guard.  Arrived ?Ogla at about 0240 remained here for 1 1/2hrs and proceed to Masmed arriving here just before daylight (0550).  Elarish reported all clear.  Units went into Bivouac & watered

                                                                                                            (page 5)
Mustagidda
Dec 21st. 
         Outpost Line  FA 1 Troop 9th. Sqdn.

22nd    Verbal orders at mid day that BDE was moving in the morning. 
                        Marched out 3 N.C.O.’s for Commission in field

23rd.     Regiment.  Paraded at 1755 & joined up with BDE who moved off at 1800
  Picked up Rations at a Divisional (Kitchen?)  and moved (moved?) On again at  0130  for Madghaba arriving within about five miles of destination at 0715 where horses were fed and Men had their breakfast.  After a short spell COLUMN moved on two miles where a halt was made for (direction?) purposes and Regiments were given their objectives.
            CMR received orders to attack from the NORTH towards Aladali,  WMR  to attack on CMR’s right, & the? AMR Regt had orders to swing around left flank and come in from N EASTERLY direction.
            At 0900 o/c WMR sent in 2nd and 6th Sqds with four Maxims and three Lewis Guns to the attack.  They advanced across the open flat towards the Enemy’s trenches moving in SW in line of Troop Columns with Screen about 1500 to 1700 Yards in advance.  Both Sqdns moved forward to within

                                                                                                            (page 6)
Madghaba
Dec  
        [cont] a mile of enemy’s trenches, the Screen in the meantime having advanced to within ⅓ mile of Enemy position.
23rd.   
                       
They were then received with Enemy Artillery from four Mountain Guns & at about 1600 yds here they dismounted, retired horses and advanced on foot.
            In the meantime the Screen advanced steadily right up to the trenches but drawing fire from all along the line they turned and galloped back to cover some 300 yds behind a ridge and then dismounted.
                        The ‘Main Body’ of 2nd & 6th Sqds continued to advance under the support of M G & Lewis Guns fire to within 600 yds of Enemy trenches, here they came under fairly heavy MG & Rifle fire.
At 1100 the 9th Sqdn were bought up to support left flank of 6th Sqdn.  They dismounted under shell fire some 1500 yds of Trenches & sent back the horses.  They advanced steadily under fire to the left of 6th Sqdn.  moving up within 500 yds of trenches.
           
                        At 1230 a message was sent to BGDE by o/c Regt that he intended moving forward to press the attack & suggesting that the 3rd (?) ALH and C M R should do so simultaneously.
                        At 1240 a message was received from the CMR suggesting we should attack with them.  A reply was sent that we would move forward with (??????) at 1315.

                                                                                                                        (page 7)
Madghaba
Dec 
                             At about 1315 the 3rd ALH BDE. were seen to be advancing on our
23rd.     left, they joined up at 1330 and the WMR Regt. advanced with them.  Enemy’s fire was steady and persistent but the advance assisted by MG and Lewis Gun fire was kept steadily up.
                                   
                                    At 1550 the Enemy under the steady & constant pressure showed signs of breaking up.
                                    At 1555 bayonets were fixed and when at a distance of about 80 yds from the trenches, and saw the white flags go up.  Some of our ‘men’ stood up thinking it was all over, but some Turks on the right opened fire, so the men went down to it again, and for about five minutes, MG,  Lewis Gun & Rifle fire was kept up, when the White Flags were shown along the line in front.
                                   
                                    The Turks came out of the trenches without their rifles.  The whole line then moved up, position taken and prisoners secured.  (?In) immediately steps were taken to collect prisoners and search the ground for dead and wounded and word was sent back for horses to be bought up.

                                                                                                            (page 8)
Madghaba
Dec
      Bringing in of our wounded to DIV  (receiving? station?) was completed by
23rd.     2130.
                                                Casualties
                                                Killed                          Wounded
                                                1 Officer (Lt. Harding)
                                                5 Other Ranks 25 Other Ranks
                                    At about 1800 Regiment left battle field for Div rendezvous arriving  about 0645, fed up and had tea.
           
  Dec 24th.         Orders were received to proceed to our Bivouac at Masmi (?) and BDE moved off at 0915.  6th. SQD supplied 1 Troop as advance guard.  Reached Camp at 0520.
            Outposts          1 Troop  2nd Sqdn
Outpost Line                              6th. Sqdn

25th.                            
Outpost Line                   9th. Sqdn

26th.                            
Outpost Line                    9th Sqdn

27th.                             BDE moved to new Camp site on Beach some five miles west of EL  Arish.   Marched in from Detail 14 Other Ranks.

28th.                             Stood to arms at 0550 Cancelled

29th.                             BDE inspected by G. O. C. Desert Column
                                    One Officer & one Other Rank for (?Aerial)  Observation Post. Reliefs sent (???) Daily.

                                                                                                            (page 9)
Wilder Hod
Dec
                 G.O.C Desert Column inspected Bde. dismounted and afterwards rode around lines.
29th.

30th.                             Usual Routine.

31st.                             Usual Routine
                                               
                                                Officers          Other Ranks     Riding     Pack       Draught
Total Strength                           23                     526                 469         23                24
                        Includes 1 Officer & 88 at detail  Kantara
                                                           
                                                            Signed  W.  Meldrum  Lt. Col.
                                                                        Com.  Wellington Mounted Rifles Regt.
                                                                                                1/1/17

                                                                                                           

[END]