Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiments
Deir El Belah (page 2)
April. 1st. Usual routine.
2nd. Regt marched out with Brigade to form outpost line from Hill 320^< 320 Goz
El Taire. CMR left sector WMR centre and AMR right sector.
2nd. Squadron with 2 Maxim guns and 1 Lewis held left sector
6th. Squadron with 2 Maxim guns held centre
9th Squadron with 2 Lewis guns held right sector, ??? ?????? ??? the positions were entrenched
3rd. 0500 Reconnoitring patrol sent out in direction of Tel. El. Jemmi and reported all
clear at 0600. After which 2 day observation posts established and squadrons spent the morning in deepening & replenishing their trenches.
1530 Regt. relieved by Regt. from Imperial Division and returned to Camp at Deir
The Lewis guns (3 in number) and all equipment pertaining thereto were returned to Ordnance stores at Khan Yunus.
Deir El Belah (page 3)
4th. Usual routine. Horses exercised.
12 Hotchkiss Guns with equipment complete were issued to the Regt. 4 per
5th Regiment exercising horses 1 Officer and 1 NCO per Squadron to attend lecture on Gas at Div. Headquarters.
6th Regiment exercising horses.
7th Regiment exercising horses. Usual routine.
8th. Regiment paraded for divine service at 0930 Paraded again mounted at 1155
joined up with Brigade and marched out to form an outpost line in the same ground and with the same dispositions as on the 2.4.1917
Capt. J.B. Hine having marched in from N.Z.M.R. Training Regt Moascar is appointed 2nd. I/ command of 2nd Squadron. 3.4.1917.
Capt. J.O. Scott marched in from hospital 8.4 .1917
Capt. J. O. Scott and Lieut. P.J. North marched out to N.Z.M.R. Training Regt. Moascar.
Deir El Belah (page 4)
9th. 0500 Reconnoitring patrol sent out in direction of Tel-El- Jemmi and reported all clear as at 0600 after which two day observation posts were established and Squadrons Spent the morning improving their trenches.
1300 Regt relieved by Regt from Imperial Mtd Division and marched back to camp
at Deir El Belah.
10th. Regt paraded at 0730 and reported to RE at El Demeing?.
At 0800 proceeded to Wadi crossing at Tel-El-Jemmi and El Demeing divided the Regt into two working parties for the purpose of improving the roads across the wadi at Jemmi and El Mensur.
At 1300 work was stopped on the road and the Regt was sent onto ????
canvas tanks at Wadi Ghuzze to hold the water which was being brought out by Camels & Regt ??????? ?? at 1600 and marched back to camp.
11th. Duty Regt. A picquet of 2 Officers and 81 O/R to Administration
Commandant Deir El Belah at 1000 for 24 hours ???????????????????.
Classes for instruction and gas where held at 1000 and 1600.
Major C.R. Spragg to take command of 9th Squadron with effect from? [ 11/4/ 1917]
Marched in from Hospital Lt. A.D. Herrick 10.4.1917
Marched in from N.Z.M.R. Training Regt Moascar ??????????? on strength 23 O/R 10/4/1917
Deir El Belah (page 5)
12th. Horses exercised. Gas helmet drills were carried out
No/ 1217 Temp Sgt. John Powell has been awarded the following decoration
Croix de Guere G.R.O. No. 279 List 2721 of 30.3.1917
13th. Horses exercised. Classes of instruction in Gas at 1000 and 1400 were held
Marched out to Hospital 2 O/R
14th. Duty Regt Horses exercised. Inspection of Saddlery by O/C Squadrons
Instructional classes in Gas at 1000 and 1400 were held
Class of instruction for Hotchkiss gunners
Marched in from Training Regt Moascar 3 O/R. 13.4.1917
Marched out to School of Instruction Cairo 2 O/R
15th. 1000 Church Parade. Recieved orders to be ready to move.
Deir El Belah (page 6)
16th Preparing to shift camp. Bivouacs’ left standing until the afternoon
1630 All baggage and accessories removed to Brigade Headquarters Dump.
1800 Regt fell in & joined up with Brigade at 1810 at Eastern End of Belah Lagoon.
Order of march C.M.R. W.M.R. A.M.R. M.G.S.
1830 Brigade moved off & marched to Shellal via Beri Sela – arrived Shellal a 600
17th. 0630 Watered horses in Wadi Ghuzze at Shellal crossing.
Moved onto Eastern side of Wadi and relieved C.M.R. as covering troops to ANZAC Division
0830 Moved out as Advance Guard along the Rafa Beersheba Raod with the 2nd Squadron moving on both sides of the road and 9th Squadron on the left taking up a frontal of about 2 ½ miles with ???? squadron in reserve. We came in contact with Enemy cavalry along 500 contour who retired without offering much resistance of our advance.
Continued the advance to point 550 Beit Abutaha
17th. and put out observation posts and held the ground until 1830. Troops of
C.M.R. holding ground on our right and 22nd Mounted Brigade on our left.
1830 Acted as rearguard to Brigade & returned to Wadi Ghuzze as Shellal &
bivouaced for the night.
18th. 1000 Moved out as reserve Regt to Brigade and moved out in direction of point 500
Deit Abu Taha with 1 troop as left flank guard & two troops as right flank guard retired to Shellal at 1830. Arrived back 2000. Watered and fed moved out with Brigade at 2300 in direction of point 280 South East of Tel-El-Jemmi at 0600
19th. Arrived at point 280 S.E. of Tel-El-Jemmi at 0600- Enemy aeroplane bombed Brigade. C.M.R. only Regt affected by bombs.
0930 Received orders to report to B.G.C. 5th. Mtd? Brigade to attack Sausage Ridge. Issued rations Moved off without watering at 1015 Reported at ANZAC Mtd Divn. On way received orders to not independently ??????
Under D.H.Q. but report to 5th Mtd Brigade H.Q. to ascertain position. Left 1100 Moved to West End of Sausage Ridge. Reconnoitred position with O/C Inverness Battery.
19th 1130 Attacked along Ridge supported by Inverness Battery. Front lines 9th.
Squadron on right 6th Squadron on left on reserve 2nd Squadron.
1230 Had progressed halfway along ridge against considerable opposition –
Steadily increasing from redoubt on East end of Ridge. Two guns of Ayreshire Battery then came up & one Battery of Leicestershires.
Between 1200 & 1300 about 600 Turks reinforced Redoubt.
1315 Position reported to D.H.Q. reinforcements asked for in order to take the ridge.
1400 Received orders from N.Z.M.R. Brigade that Desert Column did not want attack pressed. As reinforcements were not available.
1430 Turks pressed forward in Wadi on left of Sausage Ridge and the Warwick S
Regt (5th. Mtd? Brigade) retired from Wadi.
Mounted? Artillery fire on Wadi and in Redoubt to East of position
1500 2nd Squadron pushed in remaining Machine Guns owing to increasing pressure by enemy
1515 About 300 or 400 Turks advanced on right front all guns were directed on redoubt & right front to prevent enemy counter attacks.
19th. 1530 Two squadrons of reinforcements were asked for but refused
1535 Right of line pushed 300 or 400 yards.
1545 Reported situation to D.H.Q. all guns kept firing and Enemy positions & by
1645 counter attacks on right flank was driven back with heavy loss & front
1645 Leicester Battery recalled to 1st ALH Brigade.
1800 Received orders to retire at dusk in conjunction with 5th Mounted Brigade.
Redoubt heavily shelled and maintained? By HE and shrapnel.
1830 Received amended orders not to retire until 1945 to enable 5th A?? Brigade to
1845 The RU Guns withdrawn
2020 Front line withdrawn, Mounted and moved off, 3rd Sqdn rearguard. 3rd
Auckland sqdn left flank guard.
0100 Bivouaced Tel-El-Jemmi after watering.
Side Note :- Casualties
Killed 1 O/R
Died of wounds 1
20th. 1000 Rejoined Brigade & moved out after issuing rations to point 370 West of
Goz El Sleil?. Rested until 1600
1630 Moved out to take-up outpost lines at point 360 East of Weli–Sheikh–Nuran.
WMR on left CMR and AMR on right. 6th Squadron occupied Redoubt on Hill 360. 9th Squadron had listening post 600 yards on left of point 360.
1800 Watered Horses at Shellan Crossing.
1000 Watered horses at Abu El Heeia Crossing. Relieved at 1700 by 5th LH Regt (2nd ALH Bde). Moved back to Abasan El Kebir joining Brigade ?Mek? at 1900 & bivouaced for the night.
22nd. 1100 Received orders to move to point 310 to take up outpost line, moved out.
1430 Moved out and watered at Abu Sitta enroute. Arrived point 310 at 1700 & formed reserve Regt to Brigade.
23rd. Patrols under 2nd in Command of Regt moved out in direction of Khir-bit-Erk point 380 & 300. A patrol to 380 unable to reach its objective owing to presence of enemy and returned to Kir Bit Erk point 380 & 300. Patrol 380 unable to reach its destination owing to presence of enemy. Ordered to Kir Bit Erk. Patrols commenced to withdraw. At 1600 watered horses en route at Abu El Hissih? Crossing and arrived at bivouac at point 310 at 1800.
Remainder of Regt entrenching strong position West side of Wadi Ghuzze about 500 yards N of point 310.
Lt. Col W Meldrum took over temporary command of NZMR Brigade dated 23/4/17.
Major Dick took over temporary command of WMR Regiment 23/4/17
24th. Patrol of two troops to Kir Bit Sihan. Patrol of one troop in direction of Sausage Ridge South of B in Wadi El Baha. – Patrol of one troop to Khir Bit Erk moved out at 0600 Returned to bivouac at 1600 according to orders.
Remainder of Regiment continued ???? work of entrenching post 600 yards North of point 310.
25th. Patrol work same as for 24th April
26th. Patrols same as for 24th April
1800 Regiment moved back one mile west of point 310 & bivouacked for the night.
27th. Patrols same as on 24th April
Remainder of Regiment working on trenches between point 330 inclusive to point 310.
Lt. C.B. Easther to be Temp ADC to GOC NZMR Brigade to date 23/4/1917
28th. 100 men from Regt working on trenches between points 330 and 310
1700 Regiment moved out & took up outpost lines 360, 330 310 each the 2nd Squadron on right 6th centre 9th left. Each Squadron putting out two posts. AMR Regt on our right CMR in reserve
29th. Relieved at 1330 (by Battalion from 74th Inf Division) joined up with Brigade and moved to position quarter of mile West of Tel-El-Fara and bivouaced for night.
Major C.R. Spragg appointed temp Lt. Col and ordered to take command NZMR training Regt. Moascar. To date from 26/4/1917
30th Watered horses. Regiment resting
Strength of Regt
Officers Other Ranks Horses
20 462 566
Signed C.A. Dick
W. M. R. Regt.