Away from the Western Front : 17th – 26th November 1917

Marching North

 

Q12813 Village of Ludd c1918
The village of Ludd near which was the British railhead from February 1918. This is the ancient “Lydda”. Ludd was entered by the 1st Light Horse Regiment, 15th November 1917.© IWM (Q 12813)

 

While other divisions of the EEF advanced east into the Judean Hills, the 54th (East Anglian) Division now marched north along the coastal plain.  It was now the rainy season which at least gave the Finsbury Rifles a chance to catch up with some long overdue laundry.

However, the retreating Ottoman army was not a spent force. They had engaged the New Zealand Mounted Rifles near Ayun Kara only a few days before 162 Brigade arrived.

 

War_memorial_for_New_Zealanders_at_Ayun_Kara
A memorial erected by the people of Richon Le Zion to the memory of the New Zealanders who fell at Ayun Kara on November 14, 1917.

 

Date: 17/11/17
Bn (here 2 companies) left MEJDEL 0830 for ESDUD arriving 1245 Bivouac formed and rations for meal issued. Bn preceded again 1500 for JEBNAH.
Location IN THE FIELD Date 18/11/17
Bn arrived JEBNAHIGOO and bivouac formed for the night. Men and animals much fatigued after long march but all ranks extraordinary cheerful. Weather fine but overcast. Brigade group overtaken.
Date 18/11/17
Brigade packed up and proceeded with Bde Column for AJUN KARA further 9 miles northwards. Left bivouac at 13.30 reached destination 17.30 and bivouac formed for the night. AJUN KARA a French Jewish settlement (ZIONIST) of modern and European appearance. Good rye bread obtained for all ranks from the inhabitants who welcomed the appearance of a BRITISH force. Turks reported as having commenced retiring through township fourteen days previously.
Date 19/11/17
Bn proceeded with brigade group eastwards to LUDD leaving Bivouac at 0845 reaching LUDD 1230 and bivouacking in olive groves NORTH of the town. Men much fatigued. Remainder of day spent in squaring bivouacs and washing.Very wet night.
Location LUDD Date 20/11/17
Bn resting. Kit inspection and washing during morning. Weather dull and overcast much rain about at intervals. 2 companies from BEIT HANUN caught up with the Bn and reported (1200) Bde on an advanced outpost here. 1/11 London in reserve.
Date 21/11/17
Bn in reserve. Day spent in bathing and washing and kit inspections.
Date 22/11/17
Bn in reserve. Day spent in bathing and washing and kit inspections. Company training for 1 hour during morning. Quiet day. Weather fine but cold. 2nd Lieut Tierce and 20 of other ranks rejoined the Bn from BEIT HANUM.
Date 23 to 24/11/17
Company and specialist training
Date 25/11/17
Holy Communion at Bn HQ at 0800 Quiet day in bivouac. Voluntary camp fire service in evening at 17.30
Date 26/11/17
Company and specialist training

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