GO TO NZMR SITE MAP


AWM35/5/19.
War Diaries  WMR
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.

 

 

RETURN TO WAR DIARIES MASTER PAGE



WAR DIARY
Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiments
JANUARY  1917


Kilo 139                                                                                                                      (page 2)
Jan 1st.               Bde. moved to Kilo 139 at 1000
                                    Regiment paraded at 0945.  2nd Sqd found 1 Troop as advance guard.  Arrived
 Kilo 139 at 1230 and went into “Bivouac”
Outposts Each Regiment found two posts, strength of each post 1 Section.
 2nd Sqd. found outposts night of 1st.                                                  
2nd.                  Usual routine  Outpost 6th. Sqdn

3rd.                   Usual routine 19 O/r’s from details Kantara.  Outposts 9th Sqdn.
  Orders out for move back to previous bivouac at 1330

4th.                   Regiment paraded at 1400 at 1325  Brigade arrived bivouc 1545.
                        Weather at Kilo 139 was very cold with a high wind nearly all the time.  A
 considerable amount of rain fell throughout our stay there.

5th                    Usual routine
                        To hospital Lieut. (temp. Capt) N. G. Grant.  Temp Capt N.G.Grant relinquishes temp. appointment of Captain on marching out to Hospital 
       
6th                    Usual routine

7th                    1 Officer & 1 man aerial observation post.  Usual routine.  44 O/Rks from
                        Details Kantara & 25 remounts

8th.                   BDE moved out eastwards along the beach at 1300. Lieut Grant. N. G. Having
 marched.  Resumes temp. rank of Captain

                                                                                                                        (page 3)
Field Jan 8th.   Watered and fed at 52nd. Div troughs and then proceeded to place of assembly
 arriving at 1430, fed up here ( 1 ½ miles east of El Arish).  Column left here at 1600 and proceeded to Sheik Zowaid arriving at 2200 remaining here until 0100

9th.                   Leaving Zowaid at 0100 column proceeded on the way to Rafa.  Column halted SW of Rafa and our Bde moved on across Egyptian Frontier just south of the BP on Hill 330 and halted near Hill 350.
                        The Bde left Hill 350 at 0430 and moved in a northerly direction across the flat for 2 ½ miles the Regt as Bde reserve halted behind knoll about 1 mile SE of C redoubt where Bde has established their HQ. 
In the meantime AMR & CMR continued their advance towards the north  dismounted deployed and attacked the enemy from the East and Northeast respectively.
After five minutes halt the Regt less 6 Sqdn under Maj. Batchelar, who was left as Bde reserve moved to the North to support CMR and with further orders to protect the Brigade from any attack from direction of

                                                                                                (page 4)
Khan Yunus on the coast.
The Regiment reached a position 500 yards East of Police Barracks at 10.30am and positioned with CMR.
Dispositions were then made  as follows  One Troop under Lieut Cruickshank
occupied a position three miles NE of Police Barracks covering the country between the Coast and Five miles south.
One Troop under Lieut Allison patrolled from Police Barracks  to Coast and a  third troop under Lieut Pierce supported  Lieut Cruickshank and patrolled to Khan Yunus.
At 1230 9th Sqd, two troops of 2nd.Sqd with three Lewis Guns and two Machine Guns took up a position between CMR and AMR (?800) yds C4 redoubt and(?) pressed forward steadily and by 0230 the  ???? held by the 6 Troops of the Regt was about 400 yards from redoubt.
At 1440 a Turkish M G officer and three Germans were received at  Regt HQ
from Lt. Pierce.  The Turkish Officer gave us valuable information as to enemy approaching from El Shellal.  This was immediately forwarded to Bde and the prisoners followed almost immediately.
At 0345 CMR connected up on our right + AMR pressed up on our left

                                                                                                (page 5)
At 1610 Lieut Cruickshank sent a message direct to BDE that 500 Turks were
advancing from the East.
At 1645 orders were received that a general advance was to take place.  These
orders were acted on at about 1700 the redoubt was carried.
Prisoners were received, its Regt revealed, arrangements were made for attending to the wounded and the outlaying posts were called in with orders to cover the Ambulance parties until they had completed their work. 
Led horses had already been called up. The Regt less covering parties moved back with the Bde to Sheik Zowaiid (arriving?) bivouac at 2130.
The covering parties and Ambulances arrived 0100.
                        The Bde left Sheik Zowaiid at 0630 and the Wellington Regiment were detailed to remain behind to protect Field Ambulances and Escort them back to El Arish.
Regiment paraded at 0700 and moved to a position East of Zowaid village (?thr ??ring ) at posts on arrival there. One troop under Lieut Lever proceeded to Rafa as burial party, leaving at  0900 and returning at1630.
Line posts of eight men each were put out at night.
Two troops of 6th Sqdn under Lieut Cruickshank and

Sheik Zowaiid                                                                                                 (page 6)
10th. Jan           one Lewis Gun went to support party guarding prisoners.  Prisoners moved
                        off shortly afterwards and the two troops moved with them, but the Lewis Gun section reported back to Regiment.
Wounded, mostly Turkish continued to come in throughout the day.

11th.                 Regiment (less 1 troop) left Zowaiid at 1200.  Leaving one troop as rear guard and
 two sections as left flank guard.  Part of the Ambulance had moved for El
Arish earlier in the day escorted by Capt. Sommerville with remaining two
 troops of 6th. Sqd.
                        An enemy plane bombed Zowaiid Village (???????) giving rear guard time to get clear.
                        At 1415 a halt was made for feeding up  Column moved on again at 1515 arriving El Arish at 1945.
                        Regt reached bivouac at 2030
                                                Casualties          Killed                                   Wounded
                                                                        Off    O/R                                Off   O/R
                                                                                    9                                              12
Transcribers note. Some text in brackets, after the wounded figure is unreadable.

Wilder Hod                                                                                                     (page 7)
12th.                 Usual routine.  A guard of 1 NCO & * for drinking well. ( * text missing)

13th.                 One Officer & 1 O/Rk. Aerial observation Post.

14th.                 Usual Routine.

15th.                 Usual Routine Guard for Well.
           
16th                  One Sqd  from each Regt. proceeded on a reconnaissance of the country ESE
 and SSE of El Arish for some 12 miles.  W.M.R. Sqd. remained in support at
 Shakal, the A.M.R. and C.M.R. Sqd moving on several miles to the South &
S East.
                        Sqd. left camp at 0915 & arrived back at 1845.

17th.                 One NCO and 8 men escorted a limber to Lafhan, leaving camp  at 1145 on
16th they bivouacked there the night.  Left at 0600 for Maghdaba arrived there
1100.
5%  Officers & O/Rks. Granted leave to Cairo and Port Said for three days.
Field Troop dismantled field engines etc., and returned for Lafan at 1400 arriving there at 1745
 
18th.                 Limber and escort returned from Lafhan leaving there at 0630 and arriving
 1130, dropping material at Desert Column H.Q. on their way back.
                        Usual routine.
Side note  18th.  4 men per Sqd. for Lewis gun Signallers course to be carried on daily until
 further orders.

19th.                 Marched in 14 O/rks.
                        One Officer & 1 O/Rk, for aerial lookout.
                        Guard of 1 N.C.O. & 3 O/Rks.  (Mounted 1600 on 17th.).
                        One troop under Lieut. Allison proceeded to Aweigla in order to clear ground                    
 of any enemy for armoured cars which were due
                                                                                                                                    (page 8)
19th.                 Aweigla about 1045 on 20th. inst.
                                    Troop left bivouac at 1200, with one ration for horse & man, camels with
                                    remainder of rations had already left under separate escort earlier in the
                                    morningfor Lafhan .
                        Patrol  arrived Lafhan at 1630 and bivouacked for the night.  They found
                        plentiful supply of water for the horses here.
                                    2nd. & 6th.Sqde carried on with advance & flank Guard training and instruction
 in Map reading & compass work, to be carried out between 0900 & 1000.
                        9th. Sqd as duty Sqd. remained in and carried on with map reading & compass
 work also class of instruction in bombing
 
20th.                 Protection party under Lieut. Allison left Lafhan at 0500 arriving Aweigla
                        1040 finding all clear. Armoured cars arrived 1045.
                        Patrol watered & fed up here leaving again for Lafhan at 1245 watering Magdhaba on the way through arriving Lafhan 1800, and bivouacked for the night.
                        No training but horses were exercised as usual.  A sports meeting was held in
                        afternoon within the Regiment.
                        Three days leave at of 5% for Officers and “men” granted Cairo & Port Said.

21st.                 Lieut. Allison and troop arrived Camp at 1200, they left Lafhan 0830.
                        Usual routine.

22nd.                Three Officers and 8 O.rks.  detailed for map work.  A section of country was
 detailed off by Bde. and the party left at 0800 to make a sketch of same.
 Training as for 19th..             
2nd. Lieut Holland detached for duty with Camel Transport  Corps dated 20/1/17.
                        Marched in on 21st.from Training Regt.
                                    Major C. Dick             HQ
                        2nd. Lieut . E. MacIntyre          6th Sqdn
                             do         E.R. Black             9th.
                             do         A. Holland            2nd.
                        and four other ranks.
Further leave granted at rate of 10% Officers & Other Ranks.
Duty Regt.  Exercising of horses.

23rd.                 Lieut. E. H.  Beamish taken on strength of N.Z.E.F. again and seconded for
                        duty as a Company Commdg. at N.Z. Convalescent Hospital Hornchurch
                        dated 5/4/16.
                        Training reconnaissance in the morning for 2 ½ hours.
                        Afternoon instruction for Officers & N.C.O’s in Map reading and compass work.  Field sketching.
Men instructed in care of arms, horses and saddler.
Lectures also given on the importance of the duties of protection, proper method of taking over sentry posts & the posting and relieving of sentries.

24th.                 Training same as for 23rd.
                        Lieut. R.T. Bird  attached Bde. H.Q. for Instruction.

25th.                 Duty Regt.
                        Marched in from Details Lieut. P. J. North
                        Training Regt Cadre.  Two N.C.O’s   2nd & 6th. used range for musketry

Wilder Hod                                                                                                     (page 9)
Jan 26th.           Training in morning Attack practice.
                                    Afternoon as 23rd. inst.
                                    Marched out to Training Regt. for Cairo Two N.C.O.’s

  27th.                 Exercising of Horses.
                                    9th. Sqd. H.Q.,  Lewis Guns, those of 2nd & 6th who had not shot previously          
fired five rounds deliberate.

28th.                 Exercising of horses.  Men proceeded on leave to Cairo.

  29th.                 Two Squadrons and other details to disinfectant train El Arish leaving camp
 1030                          
30th.                 One Squadron & those who did not proceed on 29th. inst. For disinfecting
                        purposes left camp for El Arish at 0930.
           
31st.                 2nd. 6th. & 9th. all musketry on range.  12 other ranks instructed in the use of
                        Maxim Gun.
                                    Strength month ending 31st. Jan
                                                            Officers           Other Ranks     Riding     Pack       Draught
                                                               27                      496                 499         22             24

(In pencil 23rd. to 31st. Regt Training)