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Remembered Today:


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Just came back from a 2 day conference on the fighting around Jericho during February 1918. Had a great time.

You can see the photos I took which contain no explanations, but allow you to admire the desert and possibly and what the soldiers saw on their way down from Jerusalem.




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Great photos, they remind me just how much I miss the place. I used to work in Jericho and the drive down and up from East Jerusalem where I lived always made me smile.

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My interest is more to the ICC battles, and this area while not close is of interest to me.

Do you have photos of the area around Musallabeh along with its Abu Tellul where fighting took place around April to July 1918.

Since these are just beyoud Jericho can you still get there?


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I will see if I have any. BTW, you can look in Google Maps and search for kibbutz Niran. The area north of the Kibbutz has all these channels and north west are the hills, one of which is known as Camel's Hump. Lots of good stories in that area, Aussies fighting Germans, etc.



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Your mention of the "Camels Hump" is the name given by Allenby for the fighting by the Camel Bde at that hill.

Here is a chapter of a book I was working on about the Camel Bde which deals with this battle, I did just post it in answer to someone else question but I hope you can follow it;


By Steve Becker

On the 2 April the exhausted Camel Brigade recrossed the Jordan River at the Ghoraniye bridgehead following the disappointing end of the Amman Raid. However, due to tactical reasons General Allenby needed the Ghoraniye Bridgehead kept open for prospective operations on the east bank of the Jordan River. General Chaytor was placed in command of all forces in the Jordan Valley and tasked with its defence. These forces included the Anzac Mounted Division of the 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades, New Zealand Mounted Brigade and the Camel Brigade.

While the major units of the division deployed around the bridgehead the Camel Brigade was allocated the line from Abu Tell to the Wadi Mellaha, north of the bridgehead which included the Musallabeh feature, attached to the brigade were two regiments of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade supported by the 301st Artillery Brigade RFA (60th Division) and a section of 10th Heavy Battery.

The Camel Brigade was at this time comprised of the following Companies;

Camel Brigade HQ BrigGen Smith VC

1st Anzac Battalion

LtCol Langley & Maj Nobbs 2ic

1st Co

Capt Wright

2nd Co

Capt Mills

3rd Co

Capt Hogue

4th Co

Lt Love

2nd British Battalion LtCol Bassatt

7th British Co

Capt Deas

8th British Co

Lt Inchbald

9th British Co

Lt Brothers

10th British Co

Capt Patterson

4th Anzac Battalion LtCol Mills & 2ic Maj Hemphill (NZ)

13th Co

Capt Nobbs

16th NZ Co

Capt Yerex

17th Co

Capt Hampton

18th Co

Capt Howard


Maj Moore

26 MG Sqn

Maj Millar

Aust Camel FA

Mc Laren

General Smith was given a large area to defend with his battered and diminished brigade he deployed the 2nd Battalion on Musallabeh Hill or Pt 603 and along the Abu Tellul who relieved the 2/4th Royal West Surrey and 2/4th Royal West Kent Regiments of the 160th Infantry Brigade 53rd Division at 6.10 pm on the 2 April, while the 4th Anzac Battalion took up positions along the Wadi Mellaha and the 1st Battalion was in reserve with the two Light Horse regiments of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade when they arrived of whom the 7th Light Horse Regiment reported on the 3rd April. The 301st Brigade RFA (60th Division) and a section of 10th Heavy Battery along with the Hong Kong Singapore battery supported the force along the Wadi El Audi.

The key in the defence of Ghoraniye Bridgehead was Musallabeh Hill lying approx 10 miles north, this large feature jutting out from the Judaean foot hills was 400 yards long and from 150 to 200 yards across extending from the southeast to northeast, the valley sides were steep on its east side as they contoured to the south, on its west side the steep sides limited observation from the top into the wadi below while to the north and west the ground was cut by a number of deep wadis which allowed the Turks some freedom of movement and two large hills named Brown and Green gave the Turkish positions for artillery observers to look onto the Musallabeh position. To the south the position extended throughout the Abu Tellul which had four large features veering in height to 343 ft and from Mesallabeh to the Wadi Aujah the distance was more than 2 miles.

The Wadi Mellahah on the eastern side of Musallabeh Hill proved a difficult obstacle by its steep sides which after the recent rains contain enough water to discourage direct attack in that area while the upper reaches of the Wadi contained a swamp and the muddy ground allowed only limited movement, the position from the Wadi Aujah along the Wadi Mellahah to Musallabeh was more than 5 miles.

On the 9 April the 1st Battalion relieved the 2nd Battalion on Musallabeh Hill at midnight, Langleys Battalion was by far the strongest in the Brigade having suffered fewer casualties during the raid on Amman and so was given a large area to defend. Lieutenant Colonel George Langley still recovering from a wound placed Captain Ernest Mills MC with his 2nd Company on top of Musallabeh Hill, replaced the 8th company, which had completed limited work on the defence. The position was restricted and could hold only one company while the remainder of the Battalion were placed along the Abu Tellul with the 3rd and 1st Companies in posts on the four highest points to cover Pt 603 to the Wadi Auji in the south. The 4th company (less one section attached to the 2nd company) was held in reserve near the Bluff a small hill to the rear of Musallabeh along with Battalion headquarters. All posts along the battalions line was ordered to be placed about 500 yards apart and were to be held at least two officers and 40 men where possible.

The 4th Anzac Battalion had deployed three companies in line along the Wadi Mullaha from Musallabeh Hill to the Jordan River with the 18th company on the left flank and the 13th company in reserve, the position was long and could not be entirely covered with the troops at hand, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Mills instead relied on a number of section posts with interlocking fields of fire to cover the area and the reserve company to counterattack.

The 2nd Battalion had all four depleted companies around the crossing of the Wadi El Audi with the 6th and 7th Light Horse Regiments to their rear. Both Light Horse Regiments provided patrols to cover the gap between the 1st and 4th Anzac Battalions north of the Bluff as well as patrolling on the flanks. On the 9 April the 10th company sent three sections under the command of Lieutenant Thomas Nottidge to support the 1st Battalion and occupied a number of posts on the Abu Tellul while one section of the 9th company under Lieutenant Alexander Worth was sent to the eastern end of the wadi Aujah overlooking the Jordan River.

The Brigade at this time was in a sorry state with many of the animals suffering from the effects of the weather, terrain and disease and well below strength from its losses during the Amman Raid both the 2nd and 4th Battalions had shouldered the brunt of the fighting during this battle and more than half their companies were lucky to muster 80 men, each camel holder being required to hold twelve animals instead of the normal four allowing more men for the firing line.

General Smith ordered the defences constructed with all work to be finished as quickly as possible, as an attack was expected on the bridgehead and all battalions tried to work on the trenches yet the ground was rocky and little impression could be made with the tools available to a mounted Brigade, some wiring was done on the hill however not to any extent.

While Allenbys Army had slipped back across the Jordan river, the German Commander Liman Von Sanders was busy moving troops of the 4th Turkish Army from Amman down to the Ghoraniye Bridgehead this was held by the 8th Turkish Corps just south of Es Salt which included weak units of the 48th Turkish Division and the East Jordan Group known to the Turks as the Seria Group now organized as a below strength mixed Division called Lutfu Murettep, also elements of Pasha II Group of the German Asia Corps and two Turkish Cavalry Regiments (6th and 7th) of the 3rd Turkish Cavalry Division, while to the north in the 7th Turkish Armies sector west of the Jordan River, the 20th Turkish Corps of the 53rd Division moved south of Nablus to threaten Musallabeh and the Ghoraniye bridgehead from that direction.

During the 1st week of April Colonel Selahattin commander of the 53rd Division pushed elements of his division down towards Musallabeh into the Wadis north of that hill and carried out a reconnaissance with the attached 8th Turkish Cavalry Regiment 3rd Cavalry Division of the area to be attacked.

The 53rd Division were old sparing partners of the Camel Brigade having first met during the 2nd Gaza Battle in April 1917, there the Camel Brigade come off second best in a long day fight and suffered their highest casualties of the war.

The 145th Turkish Infantry Regiment (46th Division) attached to the 53rd Division led the forces supported by the experienced 163rd Turkish Infantry Regiment and a number of batteries of the 14th Artillery Regiment. These units moved into the hills north of Musallabeh and prepared for the assault while the 8th Cavalry Regiment moved down along the Jordan to threaten that flank.

The success of which all these preparations that the Turks being ready by the 10 April. With the limited artillery available the main weight of the attack would fall on the defence around Musallabeh as its capture would compel the British to abandon the Ghoraniye Bridgehead, attacks would also be made on that bridgehead to pin the British and hasten their departure with the success at Pt 603.

The Light Horse patrols from B Squadron 7th Light Horse Regiment were in contact with small groups of Turkish Infantry and Cavalry during the 8 and 9 April and A and B Squadrons of the 6th Light Horse were sent up the Wadi Auja and Wadi Abeid to protect the open left flank. The Turks started shelling Musallabeh from the 5 April looking for the movement of troops along the Wadi Auja and their Air force came over dropping a large number of bombs in the area which killed a number of animals and disrupted the supply services of the Camel Transport Corps.

On the 10 April Turkish artillery fire increased in strength searching for the Camel Corps posts on Musallabeh, the men were busy working on the defences yet the ground was full of clay and rocks and made work difficult with the summer heat, still with the Turks ever observant a number of men were soon hit inflicting heavy casualties on the exposed soldiers. Among those killed were the defenders of an isolated post of the 4th company manned by Privates John Souter, Claude Jackson, Herbert Garland, Francis ORourke and Walter McAuliffe and a number of others from 2nd company who were hit by shell fire killing John Souter while from the 2nd company Privates Joe Osborne, William fatty Miller and William Taylor were killed, Taylor was No 3 with Souter when hit in the buttocks, he died of these wounds later in the day at the Camel Field Ambulance as did Joe Osborne who had been hit by shrapnel in the throat.

One thing remembered about the Musallabeh position was the flys which swarmed in large numbers getting into every thing from food to drink, it was said that they were worst then those on Gallipoli only bigger while these were smaller and you could get more on a slice of bread and jam. At night the mosquitoes came out to the discomfort of the troops which with the resiant rains had provided ample areas for there breeding and malaria would soon become a major problem.

Once night had fallen the section posts heard movement to their front and soon calls of Allah could be heard in the darkness, all posts were stood to and some nervous fingers fired a few rounds which was taken up by a number of posts however the Turks did not show them selves, much to the disappointment of the men. The troops knew an attack was coming as many of these men were old hands most having been under arms for three years and there were still many Gallipoli veterans in their ranks and knew the signs that the Turks were coming to get them.

At 4 am on the 11 April the Turks made no attempt of surprise when a heavy bombardment was opened on Musallabeh Hill and surrounding posts, this lasted for an hour with one shell falling every second on the hill during which the Turks crept up close to the 2nd companys posts before launching their assault. At 5 am heavy formations of the 145th Turkish Infantry Regiment under Major Ali Riza attacked from the east and north of Musallabeh under the cries of Allah, soon the first soldiers were held up on the thin barb wire screen and shot down in large numbers as more pushed forward only the men of the 2nd company meet them with rifle fire and bombs. The bravery of the Turks was impressive shouting Allah they threw themselves at the defences with abandon despite the intensity of fire directed on them they came on again and again looking for the weak spot in the defences.

The Turks during this time were having to struggle up the steep slopes of the hill which made them visible to Australians on Musallabeh and Abu Tellul and once they became exposed on top the Cameliers opened an effective fire yet couldnt engage those further down the slope without themselves becoming vulnerable to Turkish return fire which by standing up the Turks would pick off any man raising his head above the trench.

Captain Mills was wounded early in the fight and forced to control the battle from his HQ while Lieutenant Arthur Mackenzie took over the company in the forward area directing fire and encouraging the men as the Turks closed in on the posts manned by the 2nd company throwing bombs and firing at the exposed heads of the Cameliers yet as long as the ammunition and bombs held out they knew the posts could be retained. Private Roy Woodhead was killed while carrying bombs from company HQ when a shell hit him, his pay book and a piece of tunic was all that was found two days later.

Lieutenant Harry Malcolm was in charge of one of the most exposed post on Musallabeh this post on the far right flank and was attacked by over 100 Turks from all sides still Lieutenant Malcolm and his small garrison crushed every assault directed at them inflicting heavy casualties on the Turks, he was wounded late in the day yet this isolated post held on.

In another post Private George Spring was the last man left in his Lewis gun section and while wounded held off attacks with his Lewis gun all day constantly exposing himself to the Turks and when his gun was knocked out he calmly fixed it and continued fighting while Private Tom McGrath in command of a section of the company bombers moved from post to post throwing bombs until he was hit in the head, his work and bravery helped the defences during this critical time.

As the struggle developed Private William McGrath, Captain Mills orderly ran messages from company HQ to the isolated posts when the telephone lines were cut, eight times he exposed himself to fire running up and down the mountain with messages and guiding reinforcements without being hit.

Within an hour of the start of the battle the first wave of the Turks appeared broken however the Turks had only gone to ground and opened a intense fire at close quarters on the trenches pinning the 2nd company with machine guns dragged up the hill and from snipers which appeared to be all over while a second assault was organized.

The 4th Company at this time was committed as the Turks pushed around Musallabeh from the north as fighting spread to the Pimple with the 4th Company and the flank of the 18th company which became engaged as it directed fire at the Turks trying to attack the hill on three sides. After 3 hours of fighting the ammunition began to run low and at one stage one of the posts were throwing rocks down on the Turks yet the Cameliers mastered every situation with the skill of Captain Mills and Lieutenant Bob Love of the 4th company who commanded a section post under heavy attack and where his skill at handling the Lewis gun teams broke up two Turkish assaults. At 8.45 am the worst of the fighting appeared over and the 7th Light Horse alerted earlier to support the 1st Battalion was withdrawn other then one Troop of B Squadron under Lieutenant Ducker instead a Troop from B Squadron 6th Light Horse was sent to the right flank of the 4th Battalion to support their open flank.

During this interval the 2nd Battalion was ordered to send a company up to the 1st Battalion as the remainder of reserve 4th company had been committed to support Captain Mills. The 7th Company had been alerted at 6.30 am and moved up as the Turks now hiding behind what ever cover they could find still inflicted casualties on the Cameliers, Lieutenant Arthur Nield was killed shot in the head trying to observe over the trenches for his Lewis gun teams as was Private Bob Quinn while Private Walt Feebry was shot in the neck, Private Tom McKenzie-Campbell from Chicago South Australia was mortally wounded by shell fire, as was Private Bill Raynor and Arthur Brown who were killed. Private Turlough OBrien was almost hit by a shell only to suffer concussion and suffering from shell shock was comforted by his mates as the Turks cut off any hope of evacuation, the Camel Field Ambulance tried to extract the wounded however the Red Cross was no protection from the fire and the wounded had to wait till dark to be recovered. At 9 am Captain Deas took temporary command of his position on Abu Tellul while the Turks continued to shell the area.

By midday the Turks now suffering from the heat were desperate for water many were spared by the Cameliers when trying to find water a habit not reciprocated by the Turks whose snipers were kept busy shooting at any movement. The Battalion signallers had been working all day repairing lines cut by the heavy shell fire, these signallers Corporal Stanley McCallum, Privates John Bond and Lewis Gitsham were on their feet for over 70 hours during the next few days repairing telephone lines and helping out with the defence while under the able command of Lieutenant James Holland the Battalion signal officer.

By the afternoon the Turks foiled in their frontal assault directed troops towards the Wadi Auja and the 3rd and 10th companies on Abu Tulul or Pt 343, B Squadron of the 7th Light Horse moving from Tell Et Truni checked them on the upper reaches of the Auja and a mixed force of the 7th and the remainder of the 10th companies were sent to Abu Tulul with a number of Machine gun sections of the Brigade Machine gun Squadron as the 3rd company was now drawn to the north to support the defences around Musallabeh.

At 3 pm the Turks were seen massing in the Wadis Bakr and Mereighat to attack the positions on Abu Tulul and at 4 pm a heavy bombardment fell around Musallabeh under cover of which elements of the 163rd Turkish Infantry Regiment assaulted, this time they gained a hold at the base of the hill and still were unable to maintain there position, Sergeant Charles Ledingham of the Brigade Machine gun Squadron beat off one attack after other as they rushed his position, his section using their Vickers guns and bombs held them off enabling a quick counterattack which drove the Turks out of their limited gains and down the slopes by the aggressive used of the bayonet and bomb. At 4.30 pm the remainder of the 10th company was moved up to support the 7th company while Lieutenant Walkers troop of C Squadron 7th Light Horse supported by moving around Musallabeh from the south to help clear snipers from the sector, this pressure stopped the Turks in the threaten area and relieved the danger from that flank.

By dark the Turks had enough after three separate major assaults on the Musallabeh Hill position they had failed to gain any ground and had squandered many lives. Despite the courageous attempt the Turks were now exhausted by the battle and had no water all day, furthermore the attacks around the Ghoraniye Bridgehead had also failed and during the night the Turkish commander ordered the assaults stopped and withdrew taking with them theyre many wounded.

As blackness fell over the battlefield the stunned soldiers of the 1st Battalion searched for their mates and waited for the battle to be resumed, however despite the silence of the night there was much movement in the dark as the Turks withdrew. This allowed the Medical Corps to remove their own wounded and supplies to be brought up. The casualties were heavy amongst the engaged companies and the men were exhausted by their experience, the 2nd company whose strength never numbered more than 100 men had lost around 60 casualties.

With the coming morning patrols of the 2nd Battalion and A Squadron 7th Light Horse Regiment were dispatched covered by the A Squadron 6th Light Horse, they found and counted over 170 dead Turks around the Musallabeh position and discovered they had withdrawn into the hills to the north, one Turkish Cavalry soldier was captured by C Squadron 7th Light Horse Regiment. On the 12 April the Brigade changed its positions as the 2nd Battalion took over the left flank along the Abu Tellul and the 1st Battalion concentrated in the centre, the 4th Battalion remained in its present location. One company of the Patiala Imperial Service Regiment moved up to assist the 2nd Battalion.

Patrols continued during the week to encounter groups of Turks and the Hill was shelled however there was no serious fighting in this area, a number of deserters came in and on the 15 April the Commander and Chief General Allenby arrived to inspect the Brigade, he complemented the men on their actions and recommended that Musallabeh Hill or Pt 603 should be renamed the Camels Hump in Honour of the Brigade for their stout defence.

This was to be the last major action by the Camel Brigade and the casualties again reflected the aggressive bravery of the Camel soldiers.

The casualties to the Australians of the 1st Battalion were one officer (Lieutenant Nield), 18 men killed and four officers and 82 other ranks wounded of which two men died of wounds, principally all in the 2nd Company.

The 2nd Battalion reported three men killed and nine men wounded while the Brigade Machine Gun Squadron did not record any casualties.

The 4th Anzac Battalion reported their losses as three men wounded while New Zealanders of the 16th Company were not engaged and recorded no casualties



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Great Photos and most interesting subject and area.

I visited it in the early 1990's on a pilgramage before I became actively interested in 1 WW. I did go to the CWGC site in Jerusalem to pay my respects to the men who died in this campaign.

Thank you for posting the pictures.


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