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AWM35/5/20.
War Diaries  WMR
FEBRUARY 1917
Pagination starts with cover page as No. 1 in each file

Australian Imperial Force unit war diary
NEW ZEALAND UNITS


Transcribed to text by Gordon Sylvester NZMRA - December 2011
Transcribers notes: entries of question marks (??) are undecipered
script.

 

 

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WAR DIARY
Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiments
February  1917

Wilder Hod                                                                             (page 2)

Feb 1st. Training in attack practice.  Regimental morning. Men lectured on care of Saddlery.  Horses exercised afternoon

2nd.      0900 Training in morning.  Instruction in Reconnaissance
                        Afternoon instruction by Squadron’s Leaders in Map & compass work to N.C.O’s.  Bombing class 1800    Lecture in Signalling by Signalling Officer to Officers and N.C.O’s

3rd.       Duty Regt.  Exercised horses  Cleaning of Saddlery
                        2nd/Lieut  C.N.N. Allison reported to H/qrs ANZAC Mtd  Divn for duty.
                        1 man admitted Hospital  Sick

4th.                   Major C. Dick assumed command of WMR during temporary absence (on leave) of Lt. Col. W Meldrum CMG D.S.O.
               1015            Regiment paraded for Divine Service.  Horses exercised.

Wilder Hod                                                                 (page 3)
5th                    Morning Training.   Protection Squadron working independently

  1.  On march ending with
  2. Outpost line for night

Afternoon Training.  Instruction by O/c  Sqds to Officers & N.C.O.’s Map & Compass work
2 I/c  Sqdn instructing in care of arms
Horses exercised marched in from Details  12 O/rks

6th                    Duty Regt.  2nd. & 6th. carried out ‘musketry’ on range in morning fire five rounds deliberate.  No musketry in afternoon owing to (re????ing) of targets. 
                        Horses exercised.  One Officer and one orderly for Aerial Post.

7th        Training morning.  Reconnaissance by Sqds (assuming in enemy country) opposed by small enemy force.
            Afternoon same as for 5th 2nd I/C instructed ‘men’ in care of horses. 
Horses exercised.  Marched in 9 Draughts

Wilder Hod                                                                                                     (page 4)
8th.                   Regt carried out attack practice as a Regt morning and in the afternoon.  2nd. I/C  instructed ‘men’ care of saddler + horses were exercised  Sig officer instructed Officers + N.C.O’s in signalling in evening.

9th.                   Duty Regt  Musketry on range on morning but Paraded over to range to BDE details for afternoon.   Exercised horses.

10th.                 Exercising of horses  Throughout week ending 10th. Feb  classes were carried out for the following  Bombing,  Lewis Gun,  Signalling. Marched in from Details seven O/r’s

11th.                 Church Parade  Horses exercised.

12th.                 Duty Regt Musketry all day. 6th.Sqd found two Mounted standing patrols to proceed some 4 ½ E of El Elarish to be posted by 1800 + leave at 0600. 
                        Strength 1 N.C.O. + 6 men.  Marched in from Training Regt 9 O/rks.

Wilder Hod                                                                                         (page 5)
13th.                 Attack practice by troops in morning.  Troop leaders instruction to N.C.O’s in map reading and compass work. 2nd. I/C’s sqds instructed men in care of armsand exercised horses.

14th.                 Morning reconnaissance by sqds assuming in enemy and opposed by small enemy force.  As for Sunday in afternoon except 2nd I/C instructed in care of horses instead of arms

15th.     Duty Regt.  Musketry as far as possible all day except 6th. Sqd could not shoot not arriving back in time from assisting Artillery practice.  Horses exercised. 
                        9th.Sqd found patrols as for 12th.

16th                  Attack practice repeatedly in morning.  In afternoon as on Tuesday 2nd. I/C instructed in care of saddler.  Horses exercised. Signalling instruction for Officers and N.C.O.’s   at 1800.
                        To hospital 2nd Lieut A Hall.

Wilder Hod                                                                                         (page 6)
17th.                 Horses exercised.  Courses of Instruction for Hotchkiss Gun, Lewis Gun, Signalling & Bombing were carried out throughout the week.

18th.                 Horses exercised.  Church Parade 1000
                        Marched in from School of Instruction 3 O/rks

19th.                 Kit Inspection under Squadron arrangements.  Horses exercised. 
Marched in from school of instruction 2 O/rks

20th.                 Parade by Squadrons of men and horses in full marching order .  Horses exercised.  Orders issued for move to Sheik Zowaiid on 22nd. inst.
                        Marched in from school of instruction Capt. G. L. Sommerville.

21st.                 Horses exercised and preparation made for leaving camp.

Wilder Hod                                                                 (page 7)
In field.
22nd.    0700            Bde left lines at Marsaid for Sheik Zowaiid.  Watered horses at 52nd Art? Troughs in Wady  Elarish and proceeded to place of assembly at El Risa.  The column left here at 0805 and proceeded to Sheikh Zowaid (?at MGG)  arriving at 1445, remaining here until 0100.

23rd.                 Leaving Sheikh Zowaid at 0100 column proceeded to Khan Yonus
                        2ndSquadron under Maj J. A. Sommerville formed the Advance guard.
                        1 troop under Lt. (Lynch?) right flank.  1 troop under Sgt Gibbons left flank guard. 
            0530            Advanced guard came under fire 1 ½ miles from  (???? East of)            Khan Yonus from advanced Turkish trenches.  The enemy retired to an advanced redoubt 1500 yards from Khan Yonus.

            0630            The 7th Squadron under Capt.  Wilder with a Lewis Gun & 2 Maxim guns into positions on the left of the enemy position.

0745    Message received from Lt. Foley right flank, sniper shooting, he has taken up a position extreme right flank & reporting small Turkish? (?????????) for?

23rd.                                                                                                                 (page 8)
In field             Khan Yonus
            0750            General retirement ordered. 9th. Sqdn covered retirement of OMR, & 2nd. Sqdn WMR
            0830            Message received from BDE to expedite retirement.  9th. Sqdn retired by troops  covered by 2 Maxims & 3 Lewis Guns.  Lewis guns covering retirement of Maxims.
            1030            Bde. assembled and retired to Rafa, and then moved back to bivouac at Sheikh Zowaiid.
Casualties  Capt. J.O. Scott wounded, 1 O/rank killed,   (1 Off.) 6 wounded.
            1530            Bde moved out to new bivouac 2 miles NE of Sheikh Zowaiid on the beach.
(Side Note 10th to 24th Regt Training)

24th.                 Day was devolved to general cleaning up and resting.  Major Wilkie toHospital.

25th.     1030            Church parade.  At conclusion of Church Parade General Chaytor presented Military Medals to 11/128 Cpl D. H. Strachan 2nd. Sqdn,  No. 11/583 L/Cpl J. Lipper 2nd. Sqdn,  No.11/1517 Cpl. O. Hughes, Lewis Guns.
                        Lt.  (L.I? Russell?)  to hospital

26th.     0555            the Regt. left for reconnaissance of the day of an area of country lying SE and S of Rafa. The Bde moved out at 0615. 2nd. Sqdn under Major J. A. Sommerville supplying left flank Guard.  9th. Sqdn under Capt. Walder reconnoitred from 296 (Rafa 1: 25,000)
                       
In field                                                                         (page 9)
Jan 26th. to 255 where 2nd. Sqdn was occupying.  One troop with Capt.  G.L. Sommerville worked from BP at Karm In Molseh.  West of the Boundary line to 255.
                        3 troops from 6th Sqdn with HQ’s & Lewis gun worked from position west of BP 330 to 255.  One Turk deserted, sent in at 1055 by 9th. Sqdn.
            1440    Regt left 255 for Zowaiid and formed rearguard to column of return march.

27th.     Horses & men were rested after previous days work.  4 men marched in from Training Regt.

28th.     0555 The Regt reconnoitred an area of country lying NE and E of Rafa.
                        Bde left bivouac at Zowaiid at 0615.  CMR finding advanced guards.  2nd Sqdn found right flank guard.
            1030            Column reached Rafa & proceeded to reconnoitre.  9th Sqdn reconnoitred road
                        Rafa - Abasan El Kebir to cross road ½ west of El Fukhari.  6th. Sqdn reconnoitred track 2 miles SE of Rafa – Abu Khatli to cross road ½ mile west of  El Fukhari.  BHQ 2nd. Sqdn & Lewis Gun marched on bearing 75° from  Hill 281 - & road ½ west of El Fukhari.  One No sign of enemy except small patrol of 12 cavalry who retired NE to Abain El Kebir.
            1445            Column returned to Zowaiid.  2nd. Sqdn advance guard, 6th. Sqdn left flank Guard.

In Field                                                                        (page 10)
                                    Strength month ending 28th. Feb
                                    Officers           Other Ranks     Riding     Pack       Draught
                                                    22                         490                      510             16             33

                                                                        Signed E. MacIntyre 2/Lt
                                                                        ADJ
                                                                        Wellington Mounted Rifles Regt.