2nd Squadron
Wellington Mounted
Rifles Regiment

Copied From the Australian War Museum scanned PDF File AWM 35/5/17
New Zealand Mounted Rifles.  War Dairy for W.M.R. NOVEMBER 1916
Transcribed to text by Gordon Sylvester NZMRA - September 2011
Transcribers notes: entries of question marks (??) are undecipered

War Diaries  WMR
Pagination starts with cover page as No. 1 in each file

Australian Imperial Force unit war diary
Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiments

November 1916
                                                                                                            (page 2)

Nov. 1.
Observation Posts. 6th   Outposts  2nd. Maj. Batchelar temporarily took over command of the Regt vice Capt. Sommerville J. A.  temp.i/c 2nd. Sqan.  31/10/16.
            Capt. Sommerville J. A. Having relinquished temporary command of Regt. appointed Temp i/c of 2nd. Squadron dated 31/10/16.  Capt. Sommerville  C. R. having marched in from Traiining Regt. is appointed 2nd. i/c of 6th Sqan. 1/11/16.
  Capt. Scott J. O. Having marched in from Camp of Instruction resumes temp. command of 9th. Sqan. and (is appointed) resumes Temp. 2nd i/c of 9th Sqan.  Lt. Herrick A. D. relinquishes temp. command of 6th. Sqan and resumes command of Lewis Gun Section 31/10/16.
2nd . Lieut Foley relinquished temporary command of  2nd. Sqan.  30/10/16.

2nd.                  Observation Posts  9th. Sqan.   Outposts 6th. Sqan.  Camel Escort of 1 Sgt. And 12 men to report to Supply Depot  9th. Sqan.  Major C. R. Spragg marched in assumed temporary command of W. M. R. Regt. and resumes command of W. M. R. Regt. dated 1/11/16.
Major Batchelar A. F.  relinquishes command of Regt. and resumes command of 6th . Sqad. dated  1/11/16.

                                                                                                                                    (page 3)
3rd.                   Observation Posts  2nd. Sqan.                   Outposts 9th. Sqan. 

4th.                   Observation Posts  6th. Sqan.   Outposts 2nd. Sqan.  Camel Escort of 1 NCO and 12 O R 6th Sqan.            One Troop from 6th. Sqan. under Lt. Levin went as Patrol to Mazar Caving Camp at 0500 arrived Mazar 0845 left again for camp at 1500 arrived 1830. Nothing to report.  This patrol was sent to act in conjunction with a patrol sent by the Camel Coy. From El Galss.  The Camel patrol had orders to patrol EASTWARDS down the Bardawil as far as BOGHAZ ZARANIK and return via Hill 116.

5th.                   Observation Posts  9th. Sqan.                    Outposts 6th. Sqan

6th.                   Observation Posts  9th. Sqan.   Outposts 9th. Sqan  Camel Escort 9th Sqan.
            Marched in Maj. WHYTE J. H.  From 2nd A.L.H.  Bgde. And appointed Temp i/c of Regiment dated 5/11/16.

                                                                                                                                    (page 4)

6th.       Maj. SPRAGG C.R. relinquished command of Regt and resumed command of 9th. Sqan.    2nd. Sqan relieved Canterbury at Hill 157 leaving camp 0800.

7th.                   Observation Posts  9th. Sqan.                    Outposts 6th. Sqan.
            Maj.  J. H. WHYTE  D.S.O.  appointed Temp. Lt. Col while in command of Regt.

8th.                   Observation Posts  6th. Sqan.                           Outposts 9th. Sqan.

9th.                   Observation Posts  9th. Sqan.                    Outposts 6th. Sqan.

10th.                 Observation Posts  6th. Sqan.                    Outposts 9th. Sqan.  Orders out for move to MAZAR on 11th.  From Major Regt (less 1 Sqan. & 1 troop) to proceed to Mustagidda.  Squadron to go to Arnussi and the troop to Zobalia.  Orders postponed.
Hon. Maj. A. H. Wilkie to be Capt.

11th.           Observation Posts  9th. Sqan.                   
                    Outposts 6th. Sqan.
                     Maj.  C. R. Spragg to be Temp. 2nd. i/c Regt. vice Maj. J. H. Whyte  D.S.O. 2nd A.L.H.  Bgde.  dated  27th July 1916.
            Capt. J. A. Sommerville to be Temp Major vice Major C. R. Spragg appointed  temp. 2nd. i/c of Regt.  Dated 22nd. Sept. 1916.
Lieut. N. G. Grant to be Temp Capt. Vice Capt.  J. A. Sommerville, appointed Major dated 22nd Sept. 1916.

Major J. A. Armstrong marched in from Hospital and resumed command of 2nd Sqan.

12th.                 Observation Posts  6th. Sqan.  Outposts 2nd. Sqan.   Camel Escort 9th Sqan.
                        Maj. Sommerville J. A. relinquishes temp command of 2nd. Sqan. and assumes temp command of 9th Sqan.    Capt. Grant N. G. Relinquishes temp. 2nd i/c 9th Sqan and is attached as Temp. 2nd i/c of 2nd Sqan.

Orders out to move on 13th. at 0700.  Object to develope water supply at Mustagidda, Arnussi, and Zobalia.

13th.                 Regiment (less 1 Sqan) moved to starting point at 0650 and moved off with Bgde. at 0700.   Arrived Mazar 1130 watered and fed up immediately.
            From Mazar 6th. Sqan went to Arnussi and 1 troop 2nd Sqan to Zobalia.

                                                                                                                                    (page 5)

Nov. 13th                     Regiment arrived Mustagidda and Arnussi good, just on 1400 and pitched camp.  Water supply at Mustagidda and Arnussi good, but not so good at Zobalia. 
Horses drank freely both at Mustagidda and Arnussi, but horses at Zobalia had to be taken to Arnussi for watering.        All posts in place by 1600.  Visual communication obtained Mustagidda – Zobalia and Mustagidda Zobalia via Mazar obtained by nightfall.  Communication by telephone to Mazar also laid.
Obtained touch with Camel Corps, north of Mustagidda on Bir El Mazar – El Arish road, and arranged for patrolling of ground between them and us by day and by night.
OC 6th Sqan. at Arnussi to arrange for necessary patrolling of ground between Arnussi and Zobalia by day and night.
Zobalia post arranged for the patrolling of the country between them and Canterbury Sqan. at Malha by day and night.

Outposts at Mustagidda.     2nd Sqan. detailed outposts and necessary patrols to the north and northeast by day and night.
                                                9th. Sqan. detailed outposts and necessary outposts patrols to the south, southeast and west by day and night.  Patrols to be sent out twice during the night time and place to be varied.
Posts as above to be found as above by Squadrons/named.

                                                                                                                              (page 6)

1916                One observation post by day and night found by 2nd. Sqdn.
Nov. 13.
   Posts at Arnussi and Zobalia to send in “all clear” reports as early as possible in the morning, at 1150 and 1750.  Regt HQ’s rendering  them in their turn to Bdge. Hqrs.  
            Lewis Gun officer to arrange for an Enemy Aircraft Alarm Post daily.   
Orders received for a patrol of an officer and three sections to reconnoitre Bir el Gererat to the North, to the East, and to the South.  Patrol under Lieut. Levion left Arnussi at 0645 and arrived back in camp at 1205.  Tracks of Bedouins and camels, all fresh, were seen leading in an Easterly direction.  Tracks to the north were all old.
Tracks in a south westerly direction were of horses and appeared to have circled round  Bir el Gererat within about a mile, strength of party about 1 section.

                                                                                                                                 (page 7)

Nov. 14.
  Settling down in Camp.

15.                   At 2115  Arnussi post rang up that they could hear firing east of their Camp. The outpost reported having heard two bursts of firing about 2miles away and had seen the flashes.  Everything was quiet during the remainder of night.

16.                   An Officers patrol under Lieut. Cruickshank went out to try and discover for what reason the firing had occurred and where.  Patrol travelled east for about three miles and then north for about ½  mile, when they came across Camel tracks, these were followed ½ mile and found to lead towards Arnussi.  At this point they appear to have parked.  The riders then seemed to have divided themselves into two parties and occupied two ridges about eighty yards apart and fired some sixty rounds from these positions.  About his number of empty cartridge cases were found here.

No reason could be given for firing in this way.  From tracks it was estimated there were about twenty five camels.  Our party after searching these positions travelled south and came across two camel tracks and one barefooted printing going towards Arnussi until about 700 yds.

                                                                                                                                    (page 8)

Nov. 16.            distance from HOD, where the camels appear to have been left.  Two barefooted men moved towards the camp to within 500yds.  From here they crawled to within about 300yds.  Tracks then proceeded in a round about way back to the camels which moved away in an easterly direction.
                        Brigade wired requiring a report on a WELL on a bearing75° from Bir-el-Malhat four miles distant.
                        Zobalia sent out a patrol and located a stone well N.E. of Zobalia, which from bearings was the one referred to by Brigade.  Water found to be brackish and horses would not drink much.  Direction of well approximately about E Bir-el-Zobalia.  Bearing of 165° from Mustagidda,  76° from Bir-el Malha.
                        Lieut. Harding  M. A. relinquished appointment of Acting Staff Officer on Bdge. Hqrs.
                        Capt. Allard, Intelligence Officer 42nd Div attached to Regt.

17.                  Troop at Zobalia relieved by another troop from 2nd Sqdn.
                        Marched in Lt. M. A. Harding from Bgde. Hqrs.


                                                                                                                                    (page 9)

Nov. 18
.            Usual Routine

19.                   Usual Routine

20.                   9th. Sqdn. Relieved 6th Sqdn. At Arnussi.  6th. Sqdn. Took over 9th Sqdn. ground at MUSTAGIDDA.

21.                   Usual Routine

22.                   Usual Routine.  Marched in 45 O/R, 45 Riding and 10 packs.

23.                   Usual Routine

24.                   Orders out for Bgde. to move to new Bivouac at Mustagidda

25.                   Moved to (new) Bivouac under Unit arrangements.  All units to be clear of lines by 0830.  Squadron at Arnussi and Troop at Zobalia to move on 26th. and rejoin Regt.
            Marched out  1 NCO Cavalry School.  1 MAN Lewis Gun Course. Both at Zeitoun.
Outpost Line            Two troops one from 2nd.Sqan.  And one from 6th. Sqan.

26.                   Marched In.             Arnussi Post.   9th. Sqan.
                                                Zobalia Post.   1 Troop 6th. Sqan.

                                                                                                                                    (page 10)

Nov 26.
            One troop from 6th Sqan. under Lieut Bird patrolled to Gererat.  From here a patrol of 1 N.C.O. and 6 men proceeded to Hill133 reported to Officer in charge I.C.C. Post there and returned to troop at Gererat.  Patrol then returned to Bicouac Outpost Line 2nd. Sqan. & 6th. Sqan.

27.                   Outpost line divided into two Areas vis:-
                                    No. 1. Sector  Both requiring 1 troop each, with A.M.R. on our right
                                    No. 2. Sector              and C.M.R.on our left flank.
                                                            Found by 2nd &   9th.

28                    Outpost           6th.   &   9th.

29.                   The following patrols were found when ever duty Regt.

  1.   To a point (Hill) 133 with orders to connect with camel patrol there.  Strength of Patrol  1 N.C.O. and 6 men.
  2.   To Arnussi and connect with 1st A.L.H. Bgde.  1 N.C.O. and 4 men.
  3.   To Bir el Gererat and remain out all day leaving camp at 0530 and returning by 1730.   Strength of patrol  1 Troop under an Officer.

Patrol found by 9th Sqan.
                        All patrols returned safely.   Outposts 6th  &  9th Sqan.  Camel Escort (1 N.C.O. & 12 O/R) to report to Supply Depot.   -   2nd Sqan.

Nov 30. 
                                                                                                                      (page 11)
                        Outposts  2nd & 9th. Sqans

                        Strength for month ending 30 Nov. 1916
                                    Officers            O/Ranks          Riding              Pack              Draught
Effective                           22                    430
Details                                1                      33             481                  21            23
Attached                             2                       4
Schl. Of Instr.
Division                                                     16
Port Said etc.
                                       25                       483

(Patrols and Outposts were supplied by Regt. during month.)

[Transcriber’s Note:-  Abbreviations and names are exactly as typed on relevant page.]