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2nd Squadron
Wellington Mounted
Rifles Regiment

Copied From the Australian War Museum scanned PDF File AWM 35/5/13
New Zealand Mounted Rifles.  War Dairy for W.M.R. JULY 1916
 
Transcribed to text by Gordon Sylvester NZMRA - September 2011
Transcribers notes: entries of question marks (??) are undecipered
script.

AWM 35/5/13
War Diaries  WMR

Wellington Mounted Rifles
ANZAC MOUNTED Division

JULY 1916                                                                                                      (page 2)
Bir Et Maler

1st                                          FREE DAY

2nd                                           FREE DAY

                                                                                                                                    (page 3)
3/7/16
                        OUTPOST

  1. Right Sector.  consisting of four posts INNER LINE one troop each and 2nd Sqd and four LISTENING POSTS,  OUTER LINE of six men each.
  1. Left Sector.   Consisting of three posts INNER LINE one troop each and four LISTENING POSTS OUTER LINE of six men each.

 

4th        QATIA PATROL.  6th SQD less two troops went out to QATIA leaving camp at 0400 arriving QATIA 0600.  Sent out one troop from here to HAMISAH.  The other troop remained at QATIA.  The other two troops proceeded direct to OGHRATINA arriving there at 0730 immediately putting out observation posts.  At 1000 post EAST of OGHRATINA HOD sighted one TURK, but TURK immediately disappeared and nothing further was seen of him although PATROL was sent out some mile. 
Continuous communication, except for

                                                                                                            (page 4)

some two hours owing to breakage in telephone line and shortage of Signallers.
            Owing to a mistake in a message word went back that a TURKISH PATROL had been seen instead of one TURK.  On top of this Communications failing.  It looked as if something might have happened to the Two Troops OGHRATINA so HAMISAH Patrol was withdrawn to QATIA with orders to follow Lt. Grey who had left with remaining troop to reinforce at OGHRATINA if necessary.  However Troops at OGHRATINA reported all clear in the meantime and moved for QATIA meeting other two troops about one mile west of OGHRATINA.  The whole Squadron then went back to QATIA arriving back there at 1500.  Left here at 1530 for BIR ET MALER reaching Camp at 1715.  On way out PATROL communicated with Capt BOYD at HEAD of new Railway and informed him of PATROL moving out.  QATIA PATROL is responsible for warning working party of any ENEMY.    Party was warned of ENEMY Patrol on the remains.

                                                                                                            (page 5)

4th.                   SOUTHERN PATROL  to BIR EL NUSE of 1 NCO and 6 men detailed by 6th
 SQD reported all clear.
            Marched in 34 men from Training Regiment.

5th.       Carried on with Trench digging in two reliefs of 1 Officer, three Sergts, & 24 men Between in each relief.  First relief working from 0500 to 0700.  Second relief from 0700 to 0900. 
Another party of same strength,( except an Officer was sent out for each post) was sent out in evening and worked from 0530 to 0700.

6th.       Continuation of REDOUBT work from 0500 to 0630.

                                                                                                                        (page 6)

7th                                          SOUTHERN PATROL     =  2nd SQD
                                                OBSERVATION POSTS  = 2nd SQD
                                        Orders out for special reconnaissance to SALMANA in conjunction with remainder of  2nd A.L.H.  BDE.

8th             Lt.  HOLLAND left in charge of CAMP with sufficient men to carry on with necessary Fatigues, Guards, Outposts etc.
Regiment moved with Brigade to QATIA leaving camp at 0355 arriving QATIA 0600, where bivouaced for the day.
2nd Squadron acted as ADVANCE GUARD and O/C 6th SQD detailed one troop as RIGHT FLANKGUARD.   Water and fed up twice here and moved off again in order to reach (within striking distance of) SALMANA at Dawn and to support the 6th Regt & 2nd ALH BDE acting from the SOUTH and 7th Regt ALH from the NORTH.  Spelled for one hour and half at HOD de BABIS and half an hour at 1 mile SOUTH EAST of BIR el ABD.

9th             Arrived some 1 ½ miles to WEST SALAMANA at DAWN

                                                                                                                        (page 7)

            Firing was heard at Dawn and Regiment moved up to position over looking SALMANA about ½ mile distant, but were not required to support in any way.
                                    ORDERS were received at 0500 to withdraw.  No water being available at AFLIN or OGHRATINA.  Regiment withdrew to ER RABAH arriving there 1430.
            Units returned to CAMP BIR ET MALER independently from here according to when each finished watering and feeding.

11th          Redoubt work carried in early morning and in Evening.        

12th          OUTPOSTS  2nd & 6th Sqd
                                                                                                                        (page 8)

13th                Observation Posts  9th Sqd
                        Southern Patrol      9th Sqd
                        Capt.  SOMMERVILLE J. Appointed Temp in command of Rest Camp.
                        9th SQD vice Major SPRAGG temp CAMP COMMANDANT PORT SAID.
                        Carrying on of Redoubt work was done every day.

14th                  Marched in from Training Camp  Twenty men.

15th                  OBSERVATION POSTS   6th SQD
                        Southern Patrol    6th Sqd.
                        Outposts left Sector    9th SQD  1    Night of 15th  & 16th
                                         Right Sector  2nd SQD     Night of 15th  & 16th
                                        To Hospital  2nd Lt. Grey
                        Marched in from Training Regiment
            1 Machine Gun Section marched to Hill 72 and are attached? to M.G.  N.Z.M.R.

                                                                                                                                    (page 9)

17th                            OUTPOSTS
                                    LEFT SECTOR   6TH SQD
                                    RIGHT SECTOR 9TH SQD.
            Carrying on of REDOUBT work night and mornings under Squadron arrangements.

PROMOTIONS
Capt. HULBERT  E. J. Staff Captain NZMR BDE to be Major (vice Maj. SAMUEL A. M. seconded to TRAINING REGT.) and to remain seconded dated 12/4/16.
Capt. BATCHELAR  A. F. (6th Sqd) to be Major (vice Maj. HULBERT E. J. Seconded dated 12/4/16.
11/474  S.S.M.  JAGO G.E. to be 2nd Lieut. and is seconded for duty with ANZAC CAMEL CORPS dated 15/7/16.

POSTINGS
                        The following officers are posted to the NZMR MACHINE GUN SQUADRON as from 15/7/16 and seconded from their units while so employed.
                        2nd Lieut. BATCHELAR D. E. to be Section Commander.
                        Lieut. CHAPMAN R. F. to be Section Commander.
                                                                       
                                                                                                                                    (page 10)

17th.
                        Attached to IMPERIAL CORPS  27 Other Ranks.

18th.      QATIA PATROL  2nd Sqd.
                        Marched in from Training Regiment 44 Other Ranks.
                        From Hospital  2nd Lieut. GREY E. J. 6th SQD.

                                                                                                                                    (page 11)

19th                              REGIMENT paraded at 1545 and assembled? to starting point some at BDE WELLS.  BDE moved off at 1600 arriving QATIA 1800.  Our orders were to move on to OGRATINA at 2000.  These orders were cancelled owing AEROPLANES reporting Enemy in strong number at OGRATINA  BIR el ABD, BAYOD and MAGIEERA. 
We remained at QATIA all night.

20th      Orders were received during the night to send out at 1220 each of two troops in strength to OGHRATINA, SAGIA and HILL 245.  PATROLS to at 0300.
OGHRATINA Patrol under Major BATCHELAR fell in trenches with ENEMY at dawn his screen riding within forty yards of their OUTPOSTS but only two horses were injured, one was lost the other was hit through the nose.  Machine Gun fire opened on Maj Batchelar’s right flank but did no damage.  Signal Communications was difficult owing to clouds.  Maj. Batchelar established  Posts some 2 ½ miles
WEST of DERATINA? and on front 1 ½ miles long running North and South of this hill.  Sniping was continuous throughout the day on this front.
At 0805 SAGIA Patrol reported 150 camels
                                                                                                            (page 12)

20th and Horses two miles South of OGHRATINA moving Northwest.  Relief Patrols went out to OGHRATINA, SAGIA and HILL 245.
                        At 1225 Lt. HARDING who went out in command of relief patrol to SAGIA reported enemy erecting several tents some three miles distant in NORTH EASTERLY direction.  They were observed to th...? outpost of six men?
At 1240 SAGIA Patrol reported Turks advancing in extended line one and half miles from SAGIA towards QATIA.  Nothing further of note until 1440 when Lt. HARDING  reported many appeared to be running in close formation about three companies strong.  At 1000 Turks reported to be closing in.  They entered South of SAGIA IR HOD, but they did not make themselves aggressive during remainder of
day.
                                    Two Guns of AYRESHIRE  Battery arrived in afternoon and had shelled OGHRATINA HILL, and a small demonstration was made against the ENEMY towards  OGHRATINA.  Enemy replied with what appeared the MOUNTAIN GUNS but did no damage.  BRIGADE Removed back to a bivouac 1 ½ miles South E of GATIB GANIT, feed up here and arrived back in CAMP shortly after midnight.

BIR ET MALAR                                                                                             (page 13)

22nd                 Regiment marched to ‘Starting Point’ at 0100 we supplied one Squadron to supply 3 screen & supports to screen and two troops as right flank guard.  Left ‘starting point at 0115 arrived bivouac at 0150, finally leaving here for QATIA at 0300 arriving at 0445.
                        Patrols of two troops each immediately moved out to SAGIA and Hill 245.
                        At about 0600 seven prisoners arrived, captured by Maj. Armstrong’s screen (O/C Sagia patrol).  Patrol reported TURKISH Post and small body of Infantry about 2 ½ miles NE of HOD AS SAGIA.  The HOD itself was clear but Turks advancing on it from Easterly direction.  At 0850? Enemy screen advanced on HOD and Patrol returned to high ground S.W. of HOD EL SAGIA.
                        Col. Meldrum went forward to position taken up at HOD ET AMEIA and ordered one troop to move forward as screen and one in support.  There were the two relieving troops, the other two troops held themselves in support.  HOD was again occupied enemy having retired about one mile E

                                                                                                            (page 14)

BIR ET MALER
22nd

...of HOD.  At about 1330 relieved PATROL returned to QATIA, Col. Meldrum also returned. Capt. Sommerville (O/C relief Patrol to SAGIA) sent in a clean report on line of OUTPOSTS taken up by enemy, who did not appear to try and conceal themselves in anyway.
HILL 245 Patrol had little to report in fact only movement they saw was NE of SAGIA.
                                    ENEMY AEROPLANES active.

                                                                                                           
BIR ET MALER                                                                                             (page 15)

24th                                                  Regiment paraded at 0120 and moved to ‘starting point’ Brigade left  ‘Starting Point at 0120 arriving ROMANI at 0145 moving from her at 0300, they arrived at QATIA 0515.
                        Wellington Regiment supplied two Troops as Rearguard and two troops as LEFT FLANK GUARD.
                        On arrival at HAMISAH QATIA two troops of 6th SQD under Maj. Batchelar proceeded to HAMISAH and obtained touch with Canterbury and Auckland  on their right.  Relief PATROL moved out from QATIA at 1015.
                        One Troop of 9th SQD detailed as Escort to guns during morning took part in a demonstration towards SAGIA after being relieved buy another troop from 9th.  On nearing SAGIA TURKS Were found to be in strength on high ground and it was found necessary to retire, this was carried out for the loss of one man killed.
                                                CASUALTIES
                                                KILLED          1
                                                WOUNDED    1
                                                                                                            (page 16) 
                                                                               
26th                Regiment paraded at 0150 and moved to starting point.
                        Brigade moved at 0200 arriving bivouac at 0230  Leaving here again at 0330 we arrived at QATIA 0500.  Shortly after leaving bivouac Wellington Regt. Sent out a PATROL of two troops to Hill 110.  On arrival at QATIA a further patrol of two troops was sent to HILL 245.  There were signs of HILL 245 having been occupied during the night, but this patrol could only sight ‘TURKS’ some three miles away towards MAGEIBRA.  Reliefs was sent out to these positions in the morning, but there was nothing further to report.
            At 1530 6th SQD moved out towards OGHRATINA with the Guns and after the guns had fired, escorted them back to QATIA.
            BRIGADE left QATIA at 1920 and arrived CAMP BIR ET MALER, 2200.

                        Remounts taken on strength  59
                                                                                                            (page 17)

28th          Regiment paraded at 0145 and joined Brigade at starting point.
                   Regiment acted as Advance Guard to the Brigade.  Leaving here at  0200, 2nd SQD provided the screen and 9th., two troops as Right Flank Guard.  Arrived Bivouac 0230 and remained there until 0330 when Brigade moved to QATIA arriving there at 0515 and found all clear.  The SCREEN however gained touch with Enemy near DGBA and finding them to be in considerable strength retired a short distance taking up a position some 400 yards WEST of  UM DGBA HOD.
            Two TROOPS of 6th SQD and two of 9th under Maj. SPRAGG were immediately sent forward as to reinforce 2nd SQD.  The remaining two TROOPS of 6th SQD had already moved out on the SAGIA PATROL under Maj. BATCHELAR.
            Maj. SPRAGG took his command forward on the left flank of 2nd SQD to check any further advance from that direction.  Two Australian MACHINE GUNS also pushed forward to the left 7 Cant? Maj. Armstrong (O/C 2nd SQD)

                                                                                                                        (page 18)

had one troop overlooking the HOD and the remainder of his SQD were on his right, but with a gap of some 600 yards in between.  This gap was filled by two Australian Machine Guns and a troop of  the 6th  ALH to support them.
            Lt.  North reported that some of his TROOP were still available if required so he was redirected to reinforce Capt. SOMMERVILLE’S right and as far as possible to join up with SAGIA  PATROL’S left.
            The LEWIS GUNS under Lt. HERRICK had been sent forward in support Maj. ARMSTRONG previous to machine guns going forward on his right flank.
            The two troops of 9th SQD, who had been on right flank guard was now available and were sent under Maj. SPRAGG to support Maj. BATCHELAR as the enemy were pressing in on that flank.  This left Lt. GRANT in charge of extreme left
 with two troops of 9th., and Capt. SCOTT on his right with two troops of 6th. SQD.
            The TURKS showed signs of advancing in strong numbers pretty well the whole morning, but nothing eventuated,

                                                                                                            (page 19)

            Col. MELDRUM was now in command of the whole left flank.
It was intended to clear the UM DGBA HOD during the morning, but owing to apparent forward movement of the enemy this attack was withheld until 1445.
            At 1445 two guns shelled the HOD and the whole line in the immediate rear of  the HOD moved forward.  The Turks did not lead the advance, but those of  them in the HOD moved back and giving very little target as there were  small gullies for their retreat along to the ridge and the whole HOD was cleared in some twenty minutes and as the attacking force withdrew to original position.  Eight prisoners  were taken and it is estimated the enemy may have lost some fifty killed.
            Our casualties were two killed and three wounded.
                        The guns immediately, the attack had been  ??? horse?, shelled the outskirts of the HOD on the Eastern side particularly range until they reached the edge  ???????  ???????? North and South  ???????  this they?????????? with shrapnel

                                                                                                                        (page 20)

29th                              Immediately after engagement C Squadron from 6th ALH relieved attacking troops who retired to QATIA watered and fed up.
                        At 1900 BRIGADE left QATIA for CAMP.  Regiment supplied rear guard and left flank GUARD.  Arrived CAMP at 2115.
                        The TURKS, by the end of the day had entrenched some 1000 yards WEST of OGHRATINA and established a strong position there.

                                                REGIMENTS total casualties for day
Killed               3
Wounded         1
Missing        1  (Sent forward with Section to Scout)
Maj. SPRAGG  marched in from Rest Camp and took up command of 9th SQD dated  27/7/16.
            Capt. SOMMERVILLE relinquished his command of 9th Squadron and is appointed 2nd command of 2nd Squadron dated 27/7/16

                                                                                                                        (page 21)

30th                  Regiment paraded at 0220 and marched to Starting Point.  Brigade moved off from here at 0230.  The M.R. provided Left Flank Guard and Rear Guard.
  Arrived Bivouac  at 0314.  Left Bivouac at 0400 and arrived QATIA shortly after 0530.
After clearing Bivouac  O/C 2nd Sqd detailed one troop  proceed to HAMISAH.
                        All clear was reported from all patrols throughout the day.  A Troop relieved HAMISAH Patrol at 1100.
                        One Prisoner was taken in a HOD South of QATIA by HAMISAH Patrol.
                        BRIGADE left QATIA    for CAMP at 1900.  Regiment supplied Advance Guard.  Arriving Camp just after 2100.
                        Three Officers Patrols were left out.  Lt. Lyons and 3 O/R took Patrol  towards HAMISAL.  Lt. Fosset and 3 O/R towards SAGIA.

                                                                                                                        (page 22)

30th                  and Lt.Allison, 1 Sgt and 9 O/R went on a Special Patrol making their starting point HIL 110.  From there they had orders to move in SE and feel for the enemy and if managed to gain day touch to open rapid fire and then retire.

                        All Patrols returned safely to Camp.

                        Marched in Capt. BAX  T.B.

                        STRENGHT,  Month ending 31/7/16
                                    Officers                         25
                                    Other Ranks                 461
                                    Horses                         516
                        The above shortage carried by M.G. SECTIONS, join MG SQD at Hill 70
                                                                        Signed W Meldrum  Lt. Col CMD WMR.

 

[Transcribers comment:  This is the worst file to read, so far let alone interpret.
Month Ends .]