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Hong Kong & Singapore Mountain Battery - Palestine Awards


bushfighter

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I believe that I have located the DCM awards to the Hong Kong & Singapore Mountain Battery for service in Palestine.

Please can any Member help by identifying the recipients of the one DSO, one MC and 3 MMs that I believe the battery also received.

(My source for the details is Lucas' The Empire at War.)

Harry

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Mate,

I have looked into this battery and I hope have got most of them so any others is a great help;

Chajja Singh 1213 Havildar HKS DCM
Day William Lt HKS RGA MID Magdhaba
Evenden Edward Lt HKS RGA MID Magdhaba
Fatteh Singh 1052 Havildar HKS DCM MID Magdhaba
Iman Din Khan 174 A/Subadar HKS MID Magdhaba
Karam Din 699 T/Naik HKS MID 2 Gaza
Kishen Singh 1178 Havildar HKS DCM
Moore William Agnew Maj CO HKS RGA to Tank Corps RAC DSO MC MID Magdhaba
Muldowney Michael J 13318 Sgt HKS RGA DCM
Natha Singh 1041 Naik HKS IDSM
Nawab Khan 722 Havildar HKS DCM MID Magdhaba
Payanda Khan 1000 L/Naik HKS IDSM
Piran Ditta 712 Havildar HKS DCM MID Magdhaba
Piran Ditta 1081 Havildar HKS DCM MID 2nd Gaza
Rahmat ullah 1255 Naik HKS MID
Ram Singh 504 Gnr HKS IDSM
Rur Singh 1159 Havildar HKS DCM MID Magdhaba
Shor Muhammed 1828 Havildar HKS MID 2nd Gaza
Smyth VG Capt HKS RGA to A/Maj MID Magdhaba
Stevens William H 33914 Cpl HKS RGA to A/Sgt MID Magdhaba
Sultan Muhamed 762 Havildar HKS DCM
Tika Khan 1390 Naik HKS MID MM Magdhaba
Waldren Herbert Henry 15682 CQMS HKS RGA MID

These are the ones I have found but there maybe others. I have identified where on some of them but not all were awarded?

In all I have some 357 members of this battery on record, this includes white and Indian soldiers.

I sorry to say I have no details as to how these awards were given, if you have that on file?

Any blanks would help.

Cheers

S.B

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Lieutenant Colonel WA Moore DSO
Govenor Generals Foot Guards
Royal Garrison Artillery
Hong Kong & Singapore Battery (Attached Imperial Camel Brigade)
Royal Tank Corps (Commanding 10th Armoured Car Company)


Distinguished Service Order GV; 1914/15 Star (Capt RGA); 1914/18 British War Medal & 1914/18 Victory Medal MID (Major); India General Service Medal 1908 “Waziristan 1919-21” & “Waziristan 1921-24” MID (Major RA); George V Coronation Medal 1911 (Major WA Moore RGA); Egypt, Order of the Nile, 4th Class.

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CITATIONS

Distinguished Service Order – London Gazette 3rd March 1917 (Imperial Camel Brigade, Battle of Magdabah, 22-23 December 1916)

“For conspicuous gallantry in action. He handled his Battery during action with marked skill, thereby clearing a redoubt which was checking the infantry advance.”

Mentioned in Despatches – London Gazette 6th July 1917 (Imperial Camel Brigade, Battle of Rafa and Gaza 1917)

Lieutenant General Murray “For distinguished services at the Battles at Rafa and Gaza”

Mentioned in Despatches – London Gazette 15th January 1918 (Imperial Camel Brigade, Capture of Jerusalem 1917)

Lieutenant General Allenby “For distinguished services at the Battle Mughar Ridge and the Capture of Jerusalem”

Mentioned in Despatches – London Gazette 30th May 1924 (Royal Tank Corps, Waziristan 1924)

“For distinguished services during the Waziristan Operations”

RESEARCH

General

William Agnew Moore. The son of Reverend William and Annie Moore of Ottawa, born 4th April 1876. Educated at Ottawa College and Princeton Prep School, New Jersey USA before joining the Royal Military College of Canada 1st September 1893. Discharged at his own request due to ill health on 19th December 1895 he joined the Govenor General’s Foot Guards (Canadian Militia), Ottawa, as 2nd Lieutenant 25th January 1899 whilst studying at McGill University, Montreal where he obtained BSc in 1899.

Royal Garrison Artillery May 1900

Moore joined the Regular Forces and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant Royal Garrison Artillery 2nd May 1900. Promoted Lieutenant 2nd April 1901 and Captain 28th September 1912. (Appointed Temporary Major 15/10/15 to 29/12/15) and promoted Major 30th December 1915. Appointed Acting Lieutenant Colonel in command of the Hong Kong & Singapore Battery Imperial Camel Brigade EEF July 1916 to September 1918 when invalided back to UK. Attached to Tank Corps 01/04/21 to 22/07/23. Transferred to the Royal Tank Corps 23rd July 1923 and promoted Major 28th July 1923. He was placed on Half Pay 18th March 1925 and Retired 4th April 1926. He died 19th February 1950, Bedford, aged 72 years.

Moore served in Malta with 19th Company Southern Division RGA and with 17th Company Eastern Division RGA before being posted to 67th Company RGA in Bermuda. Posted to Hong Kong in 1904 joining the Hong Kong and Singapore Battery RGA and then served as Military Attache British Embassy, Tokio, Japan, 1907-1909. Posted to 33rd Company RGA, Golden Hill, Isle of Wight October 1909 until 1912 he was posted back to Hong Kong with 83rd Company RGA in April 1912 after which, in October 1913, he rejoined the Hong Kong and Singapore Battery with whom he was serving on the outbreak of war.

THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1914 TO 1918

As Commanding Officer the Battery was posted to Egypt from 29/09/1915 to 18/03/1916 and joined the Egypt Expeditionary Force attached to the Imperial Camel Corps from 19/03/1916 to 01/08/1918.

Artillery support for the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade was provided by the Hong Kong and Singapore (Mountain) Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. The Battery was equipped with six mountain guns, each of which was designed to be broken down into its separate parts and loaded on to six pack mules (or in this case, camels) for transportation, an arrangement clearly illustrated by the photo below. The camel in the right foreground is carrying the gun barrel while the camel in front of it has the gun's axle strapped lengthways to the saddle frame covering its hump. The other four camels in the photo are carrying the remaining main components of the gun - wheels, recuperator, pole trail, and gun-shield.

Although originally intended for use on narrow mountain trails which were impassable for standard horse-drawn or motorised field artillery, the principle behind the design of the mountain guns applied equally as well to the operational conditions under which the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade would fight: any artillery support attached to the Brigade could not be allowed to slow down the speed or restrict the five-day range of the camels that the cameliers rode in the desert. And in 1916 the only way to guarantee that was to use artillery pieces that could be carried by other camels.

SINAI CAMPAIGN 1916-1917

The Battery took part in the Sinai Campaign, including the Battles of Magdhaba December 1916 and Rafa January 1917.

Battle Of Magdhaba, 22-23 December 1916

Following the victory at the Battle of Romani, British Commonwealth forces, led by General Sir Archibald Murray and his subordinate, Lt. General Sir Charles Dobell, began pushing across the Sinai Peninsula towards Palestine. To support operations in the Sinai, Dobell ordered the construction of a military railway and water pipeline across the peninsula's desert. Leading the British advance was the "Desert Column" commanded by General Sir Philip Chetwode. Consisting of all of Dobell's mounted troops, Chetwode's force pressed east and on 21 December after a night march of 30 miles (48 km) part of the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade and the Anzac Mounted Division commanded by Chauvel entered El Arish, which had been abandoned by the Ottoman forces, who had retreated to Madghaba where the mounted force won a fierce day-long engagement against strong well constructed defences manned by determined defenders.

Situated on the British right flank, the Egyptian outpost of Magdhaba was some 18 miles (29 km) to the south east into the Sinai desert, from El Arish on the Mediterranean coast was the last obstacle standing in the way of the Allied advance into Palestine.
Chauvel with the agreement of Chetwode commanding Desert Column who had arrived that day, set out to attack the Turkish forces at Magdhaba with the Anzac Mounted Division. Leaving at about midnight on 22 December, the Anzac Mounted Division was in a position by 0350 on 23 December, to see enemy fires still some miles away at Magdhaba.

With the 1st Light Horse Brigade in reserve, Chauvel sent the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade and the 3rd Light Horse Brigade's to move on Magdhaba by the north and north–east to cut off the possibility of retreat while the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade followed the telegraph line straight on Magdhaba. The 1st Light Horse Brigade reinforced the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade in an attack on the redoubts but fierce shrapnel fire forced them to advance up the wadi bed. By midday all three light horse and mounted rifle brigades and a section of the Camel Brigade, with Vickers and Lewis Gun sections and HAC artillery were engaged in fierce fighting. Aerial reconnaissance to scout out the Ottoman positions greatly assisted the attack, although the six redoubts were well camouflaged.

After tough fighting in the morning of 23 December, at about 13:00 and after hearing that the enemy still had possession of most of the water in the area, it is claimed Chauvel decided to call off the attack. About the same time, after a telephone conversation between Chauvel and Chetwode pressure was continued to be pressed and an attack by all units took place by which time there was no doubt that the Ottoman soldiers were losing the fight. Both the 1st Light Horse Brigade and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigades made progress capturing about 100 prisoners and by 15:30 the Ottomans were beginning to surrender. By 16:30 the Ottoman garrison had surrendered, having suffered heavy casualties, and the town was captured. The victory had cost 22 dead and 121 wounded.

For this action Moore was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order

Battle of Rafa 9th January 1917

The battle of Rafa, 9 January 1917, was a minor British victory that ended the Sinai campaign of 1916. On 21 December the British had captured El Arish, their main objective, from where they could both protect Egypt and threaten Palestine. Despite the objections of their German chief-of-staff, Kress von Kressenstein, two Turkish detachments remained inside Egypt. The first, at Magdhaba, was captured on 23 December 1917.

This only left a 2,000 strong Turkish force at Rafa, 25 miles east of El Arish (now right on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt). This was made up of two battalions from the 31st Regiment and a battery of mountain guns, defending a strong position at El Magruntein, to the south west of Rafa. This was made up of three groups of defensive works, backed up by a central redoubt on a hill. The position was surrounded by a clear area 2,000 yards wide.

Artillery support for the Anzac Mounted Division's attack on Rafa was provided by the Inverness Battery, 4th (Territorial Force) Horse Artillery Brigade, and the Hong Kong and Singapore (Mountain) Battery attached to the Imperial Camel Corps.

The British dispatched a mobile column under Lt. General Philip Chetwode to attack Rafa. This column contained three of the four brigades of the Anzac Mounted Division, the 5th Mounted Brigade (Yeomanry), the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade and No. 7 Light Car Patrol (made up of six Ford cars each armed with a machine gun).

The British left El Arish late on 8 January. After a night march, they surrounded the Turkish position at El Magruntein at dawn on 9 January. Chetwode’s cavalry force was not well suited to job of storming a strong infantry position. No progress was made during the morning or during most of the afternoon. Between 3 and 4 p.m. news reached Chetwode that Turkish reinforcements were moving towards Rafa, and at 4.30, having made no progress, Chetwode ordered a withdrawal.

Just as Chetwode was issuing this order, the situation changed dramatically. The New Zealand Mounted Brigade captured the central redoubt after a bayonet charge. Soon after this the Camel Corps captured one of the three groups of defensive works. Chetwode immediately cancelled the order to withdraw. The remaining two defensive positions were soon captured.

The battle of Rafa cost the British 71 dead and 415 wounded. The Turks lost 200 dead and 1,635 captured. The British position at El Arish was now secure, and attention could turn towards a possible invasion of Palestine. The War Cabinet decided to postpone any invasion until late in 1917, after the planned spring offensive on the Western Front. Despite this overall policy, the British commander in Egypt, General Murray, soon decided to make an attempt to capture Gaza, to clear the way for the main invasion. Two attempts would be made during the spring of 1917 (First battle of Gaza, 26-27 March, Second battle of Gaza, 17-19 April), and both would end with Turkish victories.

PALESTINE CAMPAIGN 1917-18

This was immediately followed by the Palestine Campaign and the Battery was present at the Battles of Gaza March to October 1917, the Battle of Mughar Ridge November 1917 and the Capture of Jerusalem in December 1917.

The Battle of Mughar Ridge 13th November 1917

The Battle of Mughar Ridge (officially known by the British as the Action of El Mughar), took place on 13 November 1917 during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. Fighting between the advancing Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) and the retreating Yildirim Army Group, occurred after the Battle of Beersheba and the Third Battle of Gaza. Operations occurred over an extensive area north of the Gaza to Beersheba line and west of the road from Beersheba to Jerusalem via Hebron.

Strong Ottoman Army positions from Gaza to the foothills of the Judean Hills had successfully held out against British Empire forces for a week after the Ottoman army was defeated at Beersheba. But the next day; 8 November the main Ottoman base at Sheria was captured after two days' fighting and a British Yeomanry cavalry charge at Huj captured guns; Ottoman units along the whole line were in retreat.

The XXI Corps and Desert Mounted Corps attacked the Ottoman Eighth Army on an extended front from the Judean foothills across the Mediterranean coastal plain from 10 to 14 November. Beginning on 10 November in the south at Summeil an Ottoman counter-attack was eventually blocked by mounted units while on 13 November in the centre a cavalry charge assisted by infantry captured two fortified villages and on 14 November, to the north at Ayun Kara an Ottoman rearguard position was successfully attacked by mounted units. Junction Station (also known as Wadi es Sara) was captured and the Ottoman railway link with Jerusalem was cut. As a result of this victory the Ottoman Eighth Army withdrew behind the Nahr el Auja and their Seventh Army withdrew into the Judean Hills toward Jerusalem.

The Capture of Jerusalem December 1917

The Battle of Jerusalem (officially named the "Jerusalem Operations" by the British) developed from 17 November with fighting continuing until 30 December 1917, straight after the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) victory at the Battle of Mughar Ridge, fought as a consequence of the decisive EEF victories at the Battle of Beersheba and Third Battle of Gaza during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. Before the capture of Jerusalem was secured, two battles were recognised by the British as being fought in the Judean Hills to the north and east of the Hebron–Junction Station line. These were the Battle of Nebi Samwill from 17 to 24 November and the Defence of Jerusalem from 26 to 30 December 1917. They also recognised within the Jerusalem Operations, the successful second attempt to advance across the Nahr el Auja Battle of Jaffa, although Jaffa was captured after the Battle of Mughar Ridge on 16 November. This subsidiary operation took place from 21 to 22 December 1917 between the Tul Keram–Junction Station–Jaffa railway and the sea.

This series of battles was successfully fought by the British Empire's XX Corps, XXI Corps, and the Desert Mounted Corps against strong opposition from the Ottoman Seventh Army in the Judean Hills and the Eighth Army north of Jaffa on the Mediterranean coast. The loss of Jaffa and Jerusalem, together with the loss of 50 miles (80 km) of territory during the EEF's advance from Gaza, constituted a grave setback for the Ottoman Army and the Ottoman Empire.

As a result of these victories, British Empire forces captured Jerusalem and established a new strategically strong fortified line. This line ran from well to the north of Jaffa on the maritime plain, across the Judean Hills to Bireh north of Jerusalem, and continued eastwards of the Mount of Olives. With the capture of the road from Beersheba to Jerusalem via Hebron and Bethlehem, together with substantial Ottoman territory south of Jerusalem, the city was secured.


On 11 December, General Edmund Allenby respectfully entered the Old City on foot through the Jaffa Gate instead of horse or vehicles to show respect for holy place. He was the first Christian in many centuries to control Jerusalem, which is a very important site for many faiths. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Lloyd George described the capture as "a Christmas present for the British people." Allenby remarked, "The wars of the crusaders are now complete". The battle was a great moral victory for the British Empire

Two unsuccessful attacks were made at Amman and Es Salt during March and April 1918 before the Battles of Megiddo, Sharron and the Third Trans Jordan attack in September 1918 after which Moore was invalided back to UK. The final push to capture Damascus on 1st October marked the end of the Ottoman Empire’s campaign.

Moore was in command of the Battery throughout the operations IN Sinai and Palestine and was Mentioned in Despatches twice LG 06/07/1917 (Lt General Murray EEF) and 15/01/1918 (Lt General Allenby EEF) and awarded the Distinguished Service Order LG 23/12/1917 for gallantry at the Battle of Magdwaha on 23rd December 1916. He was also awarded the Order of the Nile, 4th Class, LG 21/09/1918.

INDIA - WAZIRISTAN 1919 TO 1924

After the war he served with “B” Battery Coastal Brigade HK&S Battery before being attached to the Royal Tank Corps in 1921

He was appointed to raise the 10th Armoured Car Company on 22nd January 1921 in Wareham and took the Company to India as their Commanding Officer. The 10th Armoured Car Company absorbed the 10th Armoured Motor Brigade, Machine Gun Corps, in India and took part in the Waziristan Campaigns.

Waziristan 1919-21

This bar was awarded to all officers and men of the Waziristan Force who took part in the operations on the Bannu Line between 1st October, 1919 and 27th November, 1919, both dates inclusive, and the Tank Line between 1st October, 1919 and 20th December, 1921, both dates inclusive, or who served west of Kharkon Algad, between 27th November, 1921 and 16th December, 1921, both dates inclusive; and to troops which occupied the lower Zhob Posts (Brunj Safi, Mir Ali Khel, and Mogul Kot), between 12th November, 1920 and 31st May, 1921, both dates inclusive.

The 10th Armoured Car Company

The 10th Armoured Car Company who arrived with the 9th Company proceeded to Bareilly, where a number of Ford box-bodies were issued to them for training.

At the end of 1921 they went up to the North West Frontier and there absorbed the 5th, 7th and 16th Armoured Motor Batteries of the Machine Gun Corps. These three units comprised the 10th Armoured Motor Brigade. They were armed with Jeffrey Quads.

The Company were operating on both the Takki Zam Line and in the Tochi Valley, and were daily in active patrols with the picqueting infantry.

Waziristan 1921-24

This bar was awarded to all troops, authorised public and private followers and civilian personnel borne on the War Establishment (India) who served in North and South Waziristan, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan Civil Districts and that portion of the Mianwali District which lies west of the River Indus, also the military posts of Mari Indus and Darya Khan, east of the River Indus, between 21st December, 1921 and 31st March, 1924, both dates inclusive.

Awarded to the 7th, 9th and 10th Armoured Car Company, Royal Tank Corps.


Two events were noteworthy - the first being in March 1922, at Idak, when a pigeon carried by the cars reported an ambush, flying five miles in five minutes.

Later in the year the Company was in action again against a raiding party at Hinnis Tangi Ridge. In July 1923 six cars moved 140 miles in 171/2 hours taking part in the surrounding of the Hisa Mahal, Nadha State. The Maharaja received an ultimatum and soon afterwards lost his throne. Colonel Commandant K Wigram CB CSI CBE DSO congratulated the Company on their performances.

Moore, as Commanding Officer of 10th ACC RTC, was Mentioned in Despatches LG 30/05/1924.

Major Moore returned to the UK in 1924 and retired in 1926.



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Geoff,

Many thanks for that detail on Maj Moore.

I had thought he had a MC but it appears that was incorrect.

I have written an articale on the Battle at Magdhaba which deals with the ICC part of this battle;

The Battle of Magdhaba

By Steve Becker

With the Allied Victory at Romani in August had for the moment relieved any direct pressure of a Turkish invasion of Egypt. This and the present advances to Mazar in September had taken the Allied Army towards the major Turkish stronghold in the Sinai at El Arish, and allowed the strong mounted units of the Army to carry out a number of lighting strikes against the isolated Turkish posts in the Sinai.

By the end of November 1916 General Archibald Murray, the Commander and Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, now felt that he was ready to comply with the Commander General Imperial Staff Instructions and advance on El Arish and clear the region of the Turks, which would not only relieve any direct pressure on Egypt from invasion by the Turkish Army, and, also keep large numbers of Turkish troops from moving to other fronts. General Murray was also aware that there were at present only two Turkish Divisions in the Palestine-Sinai Area. These Divisions the 3rd in the area of Gaza and the Sinai, and 27th around Damascus in Palestine, was known as Arab Division, which were recruited from the local population and thought to be less then trustworthy, both were under strength and combined contained between 6,000 to 10,000 men.

On the 19 December the Camel Brigade was officially formed, and began to assemble around El Mazar, General Clarence Smith VC MC slowly organized his scatted companies into the new Camel Battalions, with the attached Hong Kong and Singapore Battery of Mountain Artillery, for an advance on El Arish. This organization was in such a hurry that no Machine Gun Company or Field Ambulance were attached and only ten companies had arrived in time to take part in the advance. The last unit to arrive was the 14th company, under Captain Tolmer, and was made up of ex-Light Horsemen, many of whom had served on Gallipoli, they had left Abbassia on the 13 November with the new 2nd Battalion HQ, and along with the 15th New Zealand company, had been on patrol in the area of El Geeila and the Canal till called to the Brigade on the 16 December. The 1st Battalion detached the 4th company to Bir El Abd, while Lieutenant John Williams’s section came under command of the 1st company.

The Camel Brigade at this time consisted of the following companies;

Camel Bde HQ

Gen Smith VC

1st Camel Battalion

Maj Langley

4th Co

Capt Denson

6th British Co

Capt Pettit

7th British Co

Capt Gregory

12th Co

Capt Smith

2nd Camel Battalion

Maj Bassett

3rd Co

Capt Naylor

5th British Co

Capt Wilson

14th Co

Capt Tolmer

3rd Camel Battalion

Capt Wright

1st Co

Lt Cashman

11th Co

Capt Creswell

15th NZ Co

Capt McCullum

HK&S Battery and

1/1 Welsh FA

Maj Moore

To carry out the Raid on El Arish, the Command of the Desert Column was given to General Philip Chetwode, and consisted of the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division, under General Harry Chauvel, composed of the 1st and 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigades, the New Zealand Mounted Brigade and attached was the newly organized Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

The Turkish Garrison at El Arish was believed to be around 1600 strong from the 1st and 2nd Battalion’s and the MG company of the 80th Turkish Infantry Regiment (27th Division), attached to the 3rd Division, and well entrenched while smaller Turkish garrison from the 2nd Battalion 80th Turkish Infantry were situated at El Magdhaba. The 3rd Battalion 80th Turkish Infantry was at Abu Aweigila, along the Wadi El Arish which protected the Turkish rail head at El Kossaima.

Air reports from the 67th Squadron Australian Flying Corps continued to come in on the Turks during December and the latest report on the 20 December stated that the Turks appeared to be withdrawing from El Arish, General Murray immediately ordered General Chetwode to advance on El Arish and confirm this report. He allocated the 52nd Lowland Infantry Division for the occupation, only it was slow in moving, thus allowing the swifter mounted units of the Desert Column to move on El Arish that night.

The Camel companies had a quiet night as they had been assigned to travel on the longer southern route, as the horses of the Light Horse Brigades were still not accustomed to the smell of the Camels, and in the morning of the 21 December, after a long night march of 23 miles from Mazar units of the Desert Column had surrounded the town, which was found to be clear of the Turks. The sight which greeted the Cameleers in the morning was a long line of dehydrated exhausted Scotties from the 52nd Division, who had been left behind by their Battalions during the night, water was given to these men only the Cameleers were told to leave them as they had to push on to the town.

The settlement of El Arish was like an oasis in the desert with palm trees, grass and the many white roofs of the mosque and the houses, and the troops took advantage of this to rest after a long night march.

The unopposed capture of the town promptly allowed the British to use it as an advance base, and the rail and water pipe lines were advanced towards the town. El Arish was also used to ship in supplies and move up the remainder of the Infantry, which began to arrived on the 22 December, it also gave General Murray an important base, which would prove invaluable in the months ahead, with the arrival on the 22nd of General Chetwode, who without delay ordered General Chauval to pursuit the withdrawing Turks. Patrols were sent out to establish in which direction the Turks had gone as they could move to the east and the border post at Rafa or along the Wadi to El Magdhaba, this was soon evident when word came in by air of the increased garrison at El Magdhaba and Chetwode ordered Chauval to take his Division and the Camel Brigade and advance on El Magdhaba that night.

The Garrison at El Magdhaba now consisted of around 1700 men from the 2nd Battalion under Major Izzat Bey, and 3rd Battalion under Major Rushti Bay of the 80th Turkish Infantry Regiment (27th Division), under the Regimental command of Khadir Bey, there was also a number of irregular units and a small Turkish Camel company with one battery of four mountain guns from the 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment, completed all the available troops in Sinai, other then the 1st Battalion and most of the MG company of the 80th Infantry Regiment, which had returned to Khan Yunus.

Magdhaba was a small settlement on the north side of the Wadi El Arish, which at this time of year was dry and contained the only wells for many miles. The town itself lay partially in the wadi and was about 20 miles from El Arish and over 30 miles from Rafa. The Turks had heavy fortified the surrounding area with five large redoubts, these were placed to cover all the approaches and to strengthen them a number of trenches were dug on their flanks to cover the redoubts. The four guns were placed to the north of the wadi near the village to cover the open ground to the north-west which was flat and open of hard sand bare of all cover for over four miles, to the north-east the ground was covered with low scrub bushes while to the south the terrain was broken by a large number of sand dunes.

At El Arish as the troops prepared for the march, there was a scarcity of water in the town until more wells could be dug, a supply column of camels from the Camel Transport Corps was dispatched from Mazar in the afternoon and the troops would have to wait until it arrived to draw rations. This column subsequently became lost and mixed up with the 52nd Infantry Division as it struggled up to El Arish, with the result the long delayed supply column arrived during the night few of the animals got a full drink before they had to leave at midnight.

The men and animals of the Camel Brigade had no time to water and as they carried five days water supply in there fantasise conveniently there was no immediate need of resupply. The Brigade was ordered to be concentrated in the wadi El Arish by 10 pm and all seven companies moved into their order of march, meanwhile there was some delay in moving as the mounted units continued to be resupplied before beginning there march, the 3rd company under Captain Fred Naylor along with the 7th company under Captain Fleming Gregory were detailed to remain behind and to help defend the town while the 4th company under Captain Herbert Denson, less the one section still with the 1st Company, was to remain at Bir el Abd.

It was well after midnight when the force finely set out with the Light horse regiments leading setting a brisk pace as they moved off towards Magdhaba, the night air was clear and cold and the firm ground allowed the horses to move swiftly. Meanwhile the Camel Brigade moved slowly along the wadi as the men fought off the effects of another night in the saddle and the bitterly cold night sent a chill to the bone, there was no smoking on the ride when a few puffs on a weed would have made all the difference. The Camel Brigade was slower then the Light Horse however the troops maintained their distance without a difficulty as the Division followed the main trail from El Arish to Magdhaba which ran along the telegraph line and the wadi.

At 3.50 am on the 23 December the lights of the camp fires at Magdhaba could be seen in the distance as the troops push on till around 5 am when a halt was called 4 miles from the objective there the troops rested till morning when General Chauvel and staff made a reconnaissance of the Turks and found that the smoke from the camp fires covered the town and the surrounding area, and the view of number of redoubts was obtained along with the extent of the enemies position.

The Camel Brigade had halted and dismounted near the Inverness battery as the camels and their holders moved to the rear, this like the Light Horse regiments required that every one in four men in the company be used to hold the animals and so were left out of battle while the remainder of the men would carry out the attack, the holders moved the camels into the wadi out of sight as the battalions sorted their companies out and began to move forward to the form up point. Some of the camel companies were at full strength having just arrived in the desert while most had been in the field for some time and there unit strength was low.

At 7.50 am reports was received by aircraft that they had been fired on by the Turks and that there was no sign of any Turkish reinforcements beyond Ruafa 8 miles south-east of Magdhaba which held a small garrison. General Chauval was now limited to the time he could spend at Magdhaba as most of the animals had not drunk for some time and with a battle to be fought during a hot day and little water at Magdhaba meant that the town would need to fall quickly or the animals would be in trouble.

Orders for the attack were issued at once with the 3rd Light Horse and NZ Mounted Brigades moving to the east and north-east to attack while the 1st Light Horse Brigade was held in reserve, the Camel Brigade was directed to pin the Turks frontally and allow time for the envelopment by the Light Horse. There were only three batteries of artillery available to support Chauvel, these were the Somerset and Inverness batteries of the RHA, with twelve 18 pounder guns and the Hong Kong and Singapore Battery with six 10 pounder Mountain guns, both the RHA Batteries deployed to the north the Camel Brigade Head Quarters where they could bring fire on the Turkish’s redoubts and search for he Turkish guns while the Hong Kong and Singapore Battery was moved closer to the action next to the Wadi to cover the Camel battalion’s advance. The action would commence once the mounted troops were in position and the battle would start with the artillery commencing fire.

As the Light Horse manoeuvred into position the companies of the Camel Brigade moved forward on foot only the Camel Brigade was at a disadvantage with over four miles to travel before they could reach the Turkish defences. The Cameleers set off at 9 am with the 3rd Battalion leading followed by the 1st Battalion with the 2nd Battalion in Brigade reserve, the going was without interference as the men approached to within Turkish artillery range with the companies strung out over a wide area of desert.

The Camel Brigade deployed 3rd Battalion under Captain Charles Wright to lead the attack with the 1st company under Lieutenant John Cashman and the attached one officer and seventeen men of the 4th company in front, the 15th New Zealand Company under Captain John McCallum in support and the 11th company under Captain Randolph Creswell in battalion reserve. The 1st Battalion under Major George langley was in direct support of the 3rd Battalion with the 6th company under Captain Hubert Pettit and the 12th company under Captain George Smith in Battalion reserve while the 2nd Battalion under Major John Bassett was held in reserve with the 5th company under Captain Charles Wilson detached to guard the Hong Kong and Singapore Battery and Brigade HQ leaving only the 14th company under Captain James Tolmer with the 2nd Battalion as the Brigade reserve.

By 9.25 am the New Zealand Brigade was in position with the 3rd Light Horse Brigade as they moved to secure their form up points. The artillery opened fire at 9.55 am as they searched for the Turkish battery when the New Zealand Brigade decided to attack not waiting for the Camel Brigade to get into position only due to the terrain and the heat affect on observation for the guns was limited as the fall of shot could not accurately be corrected. At this time the attacking companies were still moving into position with the 1st company on the right closest to the wadi while the 15th New Zealand company was moved to the open left flank to extend the firing line, both deployed on a one section frontage in three lines with the Lewis guns on the open left flank to enable them to engage the Turkish redoubt and cover the advance, with the 11th company still followed behind the 1st Company. To the 3rd Battalion’s rear deployed Major Langley’s 1st Battalion with its 6th company in support and the 12th company still in reserve.

At 10 am a message was dropped by plane reporting the Turks were withdrawing (these were Turkish soldiers who were deserting), and Chauvel seeing the Camel brigade was still short of the Turkish defences quickly ordered the 1st Light Horse Brigade into action. Meanwhile the 1st company was still progressing in extended order as the men moved up across the barren surface in parallel ranks 200 yards apart until the Turks started to target them forcing the men to ground where they lay exposed to the Turkish fire for some time before commencing to move in section rushes of 25 yards covered by each section shooting at the redoubt in the distance. Capt Wright seeing the 1st and 15th NZ Company held up along the wadi ordered the 11th company forward, only as they approached the line now found themselves exposed to the Turkish fire and joined the 1st company sheltering in the sand.

As the Camel companies approached the Turkish redoubts they came under a violent fusillade from rifle fire and artillery and the mistaken reporting of the Turks came home to the leading squadrons of the 1st Light Horse Brigade as a intense fire was directed at them forcing the Brigade into the wadi as they retired out of range while the 3rd Light Horse Regiment was detached to the attack dismounted along the wadi around 10.30 am.

At 1115 am Major Moore was directed by the Commander Royal Artillery to move the Hong Kong and Singapore Battery across the Wadi into a position to the west of No 2 redoubt and behind General Cox 1st Light Horse Brigade Headquarters to provide direct fire onto the redoubt and cover the advance of the Camel companies and the 3rd Light Horse Regiment, this could also bring the battery under effective fire from the Turkish guns.

By 11.50 General Chauvel dispatched a report to Chetwode telling him of the progress of the battle which was still going well only time was getting on and the Turks defences were still to be reached. Major Langley had in the meanwhile seen the lack of progress by the 3rd Battalion and moved the 6th company forward on the 15th NZ companies open left flank to extend the firing line and to bring fire onto the Turks in Number 3 redoubt, only to find the exposed surface could not be overcome when the Turks had all the advantages of position and could make little progress with the Turkish fire directed at them from both front and their left flank.

The Camel Brigade was still struggling across the open terrain in front of redoubt No 2 where the firepower of the Turks was at its maximum on that long flat surface. General Chauval had placed his chief reliance on this attack only the terrain and skilful placement of the Turks defences, all were contributing to the lack of progress. By midday this attack had died down as the amount of fire directed on them was too heavy, this fire despite its ferocity was very inaccurate only this mattered little when you’re under it. The 1st company at this time had taken cover in a wash out which lead into the main wadi and were arranged in depth which gave shelter to the men, meanwhile the 11th and 15th companies were fully exposed the full fury of the enemies fire as the men pushed there faces into the compacted sand or looked for that all to rare tuft of grass or that small mound of sand to escape the swarm of bullets passing over head. The men had quickly became exhausted by the advance with the weight of ammunition and equipment, the movement from position to position, the distance travelled and the hot sun along with a lack of water as their water bottles were soon were empty, added to the fact that ammunition was limited to their basic load and with the constant firing and time in action this was running out and any resupply would be difficult and dangerous.

At 12.15 pm the word came in to commit the Camel Brigade reserve as both Battalions were now in the sand and unable to move. This reserve consisted of just the 14th company under Captain Tolmer who took only 2 sections into the attack leaving the remainder under Lieutenant Leonard Young only these were shortly committed in support after 20 minutes.

At 1.05 pm a report had come in of the lack of water at Bir Lahfan where a field troop of engineers had been sent to investigate, this was a significant problem as there was no water closer then El Arish and unless Magdhaba should fall, and this didn’t look like it would happen soon, the horses would be in trouble. With reluctance General Chauvel telegraphed to Chetwode at 1.50 pm to say that the progress of the action was disappointing and that he was going to order the troops to break off the battle.

Meanwhile in front of redoubt No 2 the companies of the Camel Brigade were progressing and had gained touch with the left flank of B and C Squadron of the 3rd Light Horse Regiment in the wadi El Arish about 100 metres from the Turks. A quick discussion ensured as the officers decided on the best approach as they had to cross a wide level stretch of open flat ground and in the end a charge was called. The exhausted 11th Company was quickly brought up to align with the 1st Company and bayonets attached as the men made ready for the last effort. In the intervening time the 15th NZ Company and the 6th Company would provide covering and suppressing fire with the all company Lewis gun sections at both the No 2 redoubt and the flanking No 3 redoubt.

Around 2 pm the men of the Light Horse and Camel Brigade leaped into action and with wild cheers from dry throats the men surged across the open ground under a ferocious fire from the Turks, dropping a number of men, only the troops pressed forward as they gained the Turkish breastworks the Turks quickly put up their arms and made signs of surrender. This charge was under the protective cover of the 3rd Light Horse Regiment Machine gun section’s Lewis guns as well as four Vickers guns of the 1st Light Horse Brigade Machine gun Squadron who did valuable work protecting the charging men until gaining the Turkish works.

The 1st company (with the section of the 4th company) under Lieutenant Bill Cashman were the first into the redoubt along with the 11th company under Captain Randolph Creswell who set about clearing the trench, only few of the Turks were prepared to fight it out as they appeared just as fatigued as our men. During the charge Lieutenant John Williams 4th Company was wounded along with a many men from the 11th and 1st companies including the Schuyler brothers from 11th company and Lieutenant Cashman’s batman Bert Hopkinson who had been shot multiple times as he tried to take photo’s of the charge. One of the lucky soldiers was Pat Doyle 4th Company, who on jumping into the Turkish’s trench found his rifle empty and grabbed the firearm of a Turkish soldier preparing to shoot him down, only his weapon was also empty and all Pat received was a burnt hand from the hot gun barrel as he took the weapon from the surprised Turkish soldier.

As the men sorted the mess out in the redoubt, an intense fire was still coming from redoubt No 1 across the wadi to the south east. The captured Turks were found to be just as thirsty as our men and pressure was applied to the remainder of the redoubts to increase there will to give in. In all there were 3 officers and 92 men taken prisoner and clearing the redoubt was completed by 2.30 pm.

This first foot in the door was just what General Chauvel was after and he quickly sent a report to Chetwode that the battle was no longer in doubt of victory and asked to dispatch a water column to meet him on the return. In fact around this time the attacks by our troops on redoubts No 3 by the New Zealand Mounted Brigade and No 6 by the 3rd Light Horse Brigade were progressing as the Turks was now showing signs of collapse.

These attacks at 2.30 pm had the Wellington Mounted Regiment, the 8th and 9th Light Horse regiments still around 500 yards from their objectives, while the Canterbury Mounted Regiment was a little closer, these regiments now took time to reassess their positions and resupply with ammunition before the final push to their objectives. All Troops and Machine Gun sections had expended much of their ammunition during the advance and full magazines were required for the final assault.

In the meantime in redoubt No 2 the 3rd Light Horse Regiment and the 1st and 11th companies lined the trenches taking the Turks in redoubt’s No 1 and No 3 under fire as the 6th, 14th and 15th companies were directed towards the centre of the village. The 12th company was committed at this time only it failed to get into action before the battle had ended and only provided support to the advancing companies. The reserve ammunition was also brought up as many of the weapons of the 3rd Battalion needed resupply.

This last advance by the Camel Brigade into the town was still under a heavy cross fire from the remaining redoubts particularly from redoubt No 1 across the wadi and the 14th Company was severely hit losing Private Norman Huon killed while Corporal Percy Butcher was mortally wounded. The advance was helped by the use of the company Lewis guns under Sergeant Francis Fitzhardinge who was active in using his guns to support the attack until he was wounded.

It was around 3.20 pm that sections of the 1st and 11th Companies moved into the wadi to provide more direct fire support to the attack on the No 1 Redoubt as the Light Horse moved into position to assault.

Around 4 pm both A and C Squadron of the 3rd Light Horse Regiment had moved to help the 2nd Light Horse Regiment in their assault on redoubt No 1 which with the advance by the camel companies and fire from the guns the last flames of resistance were failing.

It was also at this time that the capture of redoubt No 3 and No 6 by the New Zealand Mounted Brigade and the 3rd Light Horse Brigade was successful with a charge by these regiments which took these redoubts with many prisoners only cost was high in the 8th Light Horse Regiment many casualties.

At 4.20 pm redoubt No 1 was finally captured by the 1st Light Horse Brigade with a charge by Major William Markwell and Troops of A and B Squadron 2nd Light Horse and A and C Squadron of the 3rd Light Horse regiments. It was here that Khadir Bey commander of the Turkish garrison was taken prisoner, of whom a surrender was promptly guaranteed, only until that happened and the word was passed to the other redoubts the advance would continue as elements of the New Zealand Mounted and 3rd Light Horse Brigades moved through the eastern end of the village and across the wadi to attack the southern redoubts and assist the 10th Light Horse Regiment, during which Lieutenant Johnstone of the 8th Squadron Canterbury Mounted Regiment took the four gun battery of Turkish artillery. This also allowing the lead companies of the Camel Brigade to complete their attack into the western end of the village and by 4.30 pm all resistance was ended.

The victory now allowed General Chauvel to dispatch those troops not needed back to El Arish while a number of Regiments cleared the battlefield of prisoners and war material. Those returning met the supply column on the track allowing them to water and rest while the remainder of the troops cleared the battlefield and buried the dead. Together over 1282 prisoners including the commanding officer and two Battalion commanders were taken while 97 bodies were buried of the Turks. The total casualties for the Anzac Mounted Division were given as 146 of which 5 officers and 17 men were killed most of who fell to the 8th Light Horse Regiment.

The Camel Brigade officially reported only 1 man killed and 1 officer and 27 men wounded of whom one died of wounds.

The records show the Australians in the Camel Battalion’s lost 1 man killed with 1 officer and 19 men wounded of which 1 man died from wounds.

The 15th NZ Company accounts report 15 men wounded for the battle only records show four men are confirmed, while the casualties in the British companies were not recorded, only the 6th company came into action and was not seriously engaged.

Cheers

S.B

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Steve & Geoff

Many thanks indeed – I’m preparing an article for Durbar (http://imhs.org.uk/ ) and this information is very useful.

My preliminary research on awards to the HK&S Mountain Battery has thrown up:

  1. DSO x 1. As listed & illustrated.
  2. MC x 4. Subadars Iman Din Khan and Alim Sher, and Lieutenants F.L. Skilton & B.L. Tyler.
  3. Serbian Medal for Bravery (Silver) x 1. 699 Gunner Karam Din.
  4. MM x 5. 1390 Naik Tikka Khan; 918 Gunner Ghulam Mohamed; 1642 Gunner Nihal Singh; 1624 Acting Naik Labh Singh; 1422 Acting Naik Ghulam Hussain.
  5. DCM x 9. As listed.
  6. MiD. Not yet checked.
  7. IDSM. It should be zero because the battery was an Imperial unit paid for and directed from London. The 3 IDSMs you list Steve were in fact all to members of Indian Army batteries fighting in East Africa.

HOWEVER the bible (The Indian Distinguished Service Medal by Rana Chhina, InvictaIndia 2001) lists two IDSM awards to the HK&S mountain battery: 1623 RGA Gunner (Acting Naik) Jinder Singh and Senior Sub Assistant Surgeon Chaudri Mauli Baksh; both awards were made in 1919 and were listed under EGYPT.I am trying to check through Rana to see if an administrative error was responsible for these awards.

There may be more awards out there waiting to be identified.

What, please, is the reference that points certain awards directly at Maghdaba?

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Mate,

I will have to double check but I think they were shown in the War Diary or from the Gazette following the Battle of Magdhaba 23-12-16

The War diary is hard to read in most parts.

Thanks for the correction to the IDSM soldiers, I surpose thats the hard part of this research that there were more then one HKS Bty during the war. I don't know how many others in a different bty I have on my list when dealing with Indian and British soldiers in the HK&S bty/s.

These two offciers with the MC are,

Skilton Francis Lisney Lt HKS RGA to Major

Tyler Leonard Benjamin Lt HKS RGA (he appears the LB not BL Tyler.)

Cheers

S.B

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Mate,

These are the known men I have listed as being with the HK&S MB, with so many being the same name with only a Regt number to identify them has been hard, much like a Welch Regt;

Abdey Khan 2160 Gnr HKS RGA
Abdul Gham 1116 Havildar HKS
Abdullah Khan 1417 Gnr HKS RGA
Abdullah Khan 1633 Gnr HKS
Abdullah Khan 2054 Gnr HKS RGA
Abdullah Khan 2137 Gnr HKS RGA
Ahmed Khan 1332 Gnr HKS
Ahmed Khan 1630 Gnr HKS
Ahmed Khan 1663 Gnr HKS
Ahzam Khan 1690 Gnr HKS RGA
Alam Din 1661 Gnr HKS
Alam Sher 886 Gnr HKS
Ali Halder Shan 407 Havildar Maj HKS
Ali Shan 1536 Gnr HKS
Alim Sher 1614 A/Subadar HKS MC
Alim Sher Khan 1613 Gnr HKS
Allah Bux 2074 Gnr HKS
Allah Dad 658 Gnr HKS
Allah Dad 1600 Gnr HKS
Allah Dad 1763 Gnr HKS
Allah Dad 1662 Gnr HKS
Allah Dad Khan 1848 Gnr HKS RGA
Allah Dad Khan 2036 Gnr HKS RGA
Allah Din 431 Havildar Major HKS
Allah Din 743 Gnr HKS
Allah Din 1091 Gnr HKS
Allah Din 1458 Jamadar HKS
Allah Din 1667 Gnr HKS
Allah Ditta 1326 Gnr HKS
Allah Ditta 1547 Gnr HKS
Allah Ditta 1899 Gnr HKS
Allah Ditta 1939 Gnr HKS
Allah Ditta 1965 Gnr HKS
Allah Ditta Khan 1927 Gnr HKS
Allah Yad Khan 1612 Gnr HKS
Allah Yar Khan 1669 Gnr HKS
Amar Singh 1212 Gnr HKS
Anwar Khan 2016 Gnr HKS RGA
Arim Khan 1690 A/Naik HKS RGA
Arsala Khan 1920 Gnr HKS RGA
Asharaf Khan 1596 Gnr HKS
Atma Singh 1730 Gnr HKS
Attah Muhd 1582 Gnr HKS
Aulia Khan 1972 Gnr HKS RGA
Aurangzeb Khan 861 Naik HKS
Aurangzeb Khan 1253 Gnr HKS
Aurangzeb Khan 1808 Gnr HKS RGA
Bachan Singh 5677 L/Naik HKS
Bagh Ali 1535 Gnr HKS
Bagh Ali 570 Sub HKS
Bagh Din 1539 Gnr HKS
Bagi Khan 1973 Gnr HKS RGA
Bahadar 1502 Gnr HKS
Bahadar Khan 1648 Gnr HKS
Bahadar Khan 1687 Gnr HKS
Bahawal Buksh 887 Gnr HKS
Baksh Chaudri Mauli Dr Sub Assist Surgeon HKS IDSM
Banta Singh 1552 Gnr HKS
Banta Singh 1683 Gnr HKS
Barkat Khan 2094 Gnr HKS RGA
Bhagat Singh 922 Naik HKS
Bhagat Singh 1773 Gnr HKS
Bhagel Singh 1728 Gnr HKS NKG listed on Indian Army Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial KIA 17-8-18
Bhan Singh 1598 A/Naik HKS
Bhan Singh 1646 Gnr HKS
Bhola Khan 1590 Gnr HKS RGA
Bholar Singh 1219 Gnr HKS
Bhuda Khan 1493 Gnr HKS
Bishen Singh 928 Havildar HKS
Bostan 1305 Naik HKS
Bur Singh 1509 Gnr HKS
Bur Singh 1756 Gnr HKS NKG listed on Indian Army Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial KIA 18-10-18
Bur Singh 1777 Gnr HKS
Buta Khan 1484 Gnr HKS
Buta Khan 1655 Gnr HKS
Buta Singh 1779 Gnr HKS
Chajja Singh 1213 Havildar HKS DCM
Chapman Benjamin F Lt HKS / RGA killed in OP buried Gaza War Cemetery Palestine KIA 19-4-17 2nd Gaza
Chet Singh 1558 A/Naik HKS
Chetu 766 Havildar HKS
Dad Khan 1975 Gnr HKS RGA
Dalel Khan 1118 Gnr HKS RGA
Dalip Singh 1787 Gnr HKS
Daulat Khan 1103 Gnr HKS RGA
Day William Lt HKS RGA MID Magdhaba
Diwan Ali Khan 1223 Havildar HKS
Drab Khan 1251 Gnr HKS
Drab Khan 2093 Gnr HKS RGA
Evenden Edward Lt HKS RGA MID Magdhaba
Fakir Khan 1082 Gnr HKS
Fateh Muhd 1701 Gnr HKS
Fatteh Singh 1050 Jemadar HKS
Fatteh Singh 1052 Havildar HKS DCM & MID Magdhaba
Fazal Ahmed 1403 Gnr HKS
Fazal Dad 1308 Naik HKS
Fazal Dad 1379 Gnr HKS
Fazal Illahi 1541 Gnr HKS
Fazal Illahi 1666 Gnr HKS
Fazal Karim 1650 Gnr HKS
Fazal Khan 1393 Gnr HKS RGA
Fazal Khan 1533 Gnr HKS
Fazal Khan 1864 Gnr HKS RGA
Fazal Khan 2135 Gnr HKS RGA
Fazal Khan 2186 Gnr HKS RGA
Feroze Khan 1281 Gnr HKS RGA
Gauhar Khan 1250 Naik HKS
Gauhar Khan 2052 Gnr HKS RGA
Gauher Khan 1137 Naik HKS RGA
Ghulam Ali 1143 Gnr HKS
Ghulam Hussain 1422 Gnr HKS
Ghulam Hussain 1706 Gnr HKS MM
Ghulam Mehdi 1087 Naik HKS
Ghulam Mohamed 918 Gnr HKS MM
Ghulam Muhd 1616 Gnr HKS
Ghulam Muhd 1626 Gnr HKS
Ghulam Muhd 1632 Gnr HKS
Gillies Donald 69539 Saddlier HKS /RGA died dysentery buried Kantara War Memorial Cemetery DoD 31-8-17
Haider Khan 810 Naik HKS
Halpin Joseph James Lt HKS RGA
Hambly Reginald James Harvey Capt HKS RGA
Hari Singh 1819 Gnr HKS
Harnam Singh 1027 Havildar HKS
Harnam Singh 1167 Gnr HKS
Harnam Singh 1520 Naik HKS
Harnam Singh 1580 Gnr HKS
Harnam Singh 1684 Gnr HKS
Harnam Singh 1742 Gnr HKS
Harnam Singh 1789 Gnr HKS NKG listed on Indian Army Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial KIA 29-3-18 Amman
Himat Khan 749 A/Naik HKS RGA
Hira Khan 1962 Gnr HKS
Hira Singh 1804 Gnr HKS
Ibrahim 1833 Gnr HKS
Ibrahim Khan 1672 Naik HKS
Ilahi Buksh 919 Gnr HKS
Ilm Din 1496 Gnr HKS
Imam Ali 1649 Gnr HKS
Imam Bux 2209 Gnr HKS
Iman Din Khan 174 A/Subadar HKS MC & MID Magdhaba
Indar Singh 535 Havildar HKS
Indar Singh 737 Havildar HKS to Havildar Maj
Indar Singh 1211 Gnr HKS
Indar Singh 1589 Naik HKS
Indar Singh 1729 Gnr HKS
Indar Singh 2166 Gnr HKS
Indar Singh 2169 Gnr HKS
Inder Singh 1754 Gnr HKS
Inder Singh 1783 Gnr HKS
Isar Singh 1829 Gnr HKS
Isar Singh 1945 Gnr HKS
Isea Khan 2085 Gnr HKS
Ishan Singh 2117 Gnr HKS
Ishar Singh 2170 Gnr HKS
Ismail Khan 2133 Gnr HKS
Itbar Khan 1619 Gnr HKS
Itbar Khan 1845 Gnr HKS RGA
Itbar Khan 2158 Gnr HKS RGA
Izot Bey 2190 Gnr HKS
Jachhman Singh 1788 Gnr HKS
Jachman Singh 1794 Gnr HKS
Jagat Singh 1512 Gnr HKS
Jagat Singh 1577 A/Naik HKS
Jagat Singh 1578 Gnr HKS
Jagat Singh 1810 Gnr HKS
Jagat Singh 1917 Gnr HKS
Jagat Singh 15772 Gnr HKS RGA
Jahan Khan 1294 Gnr HKS
Jahan Khan 1309 A/Naik HKS
Jahan Khan 2206 Gnr HKS
Jahan Khan 2211 Gnr HKS
Jalal Din 1481 Gnr HKS
Jalal Khan 2162 A/Naik HKS
Jamal Din 1428 A/Naik HKS (see Jumal Din)
Jayem A Sgt HKS RGA
Jender Singh 1623 A/Naik HKS
Jetha Singh 1892 Gnr HKS
Jewala Singh 1680 Gnr HKS
Jewan Khan 613 Havildar Major HKS (see Jiwand Khan)
Jhanda 1483 Gnr HKS
Jhanda Singh 1204 A/Naik HKS
Jhanda Singh 1617 Gnr HKS
Jhanda Singh 1911 Gnr HKS
Jhauda Khan 1603 A/Naik HKS
Jhoda Khan 1603 L/Naik HKS (see Jhauda Khan) DoD 30-12-18
Jind Singh 1554 Gnr HKS
Jinder Singh 1623 Gnr HKS (see Jender Singh) IDSM
Jiwala Singh 1680 Gnr HKS (see Jewala Singh)
Jiwan Singh 931 Gnr HKS
Jiwan Singh 1359 Naik HKS
Jiwan Singh 1682 Gnr HKS
Jiwand Khan 613 Havildar Major HKS
Jiwand Singh 1168 Naik HKS
Jowala Singh 2122 Gnr HKS
Jowand Singh 2227 Gnr HKS
Juma Khan 1907 Gnr HKS
Juma Khan 1944 Gnr HKS
Jumal Din 1428 A/Naik HKS
Jumma Khan 2105 Gnr HKS RGA
Kadu Khan Gnr HKS RGA
Kafait Ali 2242 Gnr HKS
Kala Khan 1542 Gnr HKS RGA
Kala Khan 1712 Gnr HKS RGA
Kala Khan 1958 Gnr HKS RGA
Kala Khan 2096 Gnr HKS RGA
Kalander Khan 1766 Gnr HKS RGA
Kalu Khan 1109 Gnr HKS
Karam Dad 1651 Gnr HKS
Karam Dad 2028 Gnr HKS
Karam Din 699 T/Naik HKS MID & Serbian Silver Medal 2 Gaza
Karam Khan 1489 Gnr HKS
Karam Khan 2196 Gnr HKS RGA
Khalas Khan 1501 L/Naik HKS NKG listed on Indian Army Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial DoD 17-12-18
Khan Bahadar 18 Langri HKS
Khan Bahadar 1265 Havildar HKS RGA
Khan Bahadur 1985 Gnr HKS RGA
Khan Bahadur 2014 Gnr HKS RGA
Khan Malak 2225 Gnr HKS RGA
Khan Muhammed 1477 Gnr HKS RGA
Khan Muhammed 1870 Gnr HKS
Khan Muhammed 1970 Gnr HKS
Khan Muhammed 2084 Gnr HKS
Khan Muhammed 2261 Gnr HKS
Khan Muhammed 2273 Gnr HKS
Khawaj Ali 703 Gnr HKS
Khuda Dad 1868 Gnr HKS
Khushi Muhd 1527 Gnr HKS
Kishen Singh 1178 Havildar HKS DCM
Kishen Singh 1740 Gnr HKS buried Gaza War Cemetery KIA 19-4-17 2nd Gaza
Kurshaid Khan 1837 Gnr HKS RGA
Kutab Din 1160 Naik HKS
Kutab Khan 2080 Gnr HKS
Labh Singh 1624 A/Naik HKS MM
Lakha Singh 1192 Naik HKS
Lakka Singh 1192 Naik HKS (see Lakha Singh)
Lal Khan 896 Gnr HKS RGA
Lal Khan 897 Jemadar HKS RGA
Lal Khan 1078 Naik HKS
Lal Khan 1492 Gnr HKS RGA
Lal Khan 1544 Gnr HKS RGA
Lal Khan 1691 Gnr HKS RGA
Lal Khan 1832 Gnr HKS RGA
Lal Khan 1898 Gnr HKS RGA
Lal Khan 2017 Gnr HKS RGA
Lal Khan 2215 Gnr HKS RGA
Lal Khan 2253 Gnr HKS RGA
Lal Khan 2272 Gnr HKS RGA
Langer Khan 2101 Gnr HKS RGA
Mardan Ali 1591 Gnr HKS
Maula Dad 1161 Gnr HKS
Maula Dad 1584 Gnr HKS
Maula Dad 2241 Gnr HKS
Mawaz Khan 752 Gnr HKS RGA
Mawaz Khan 1365 Gnr HKS RGA
Mawaz Khan 1884 Gnr HKS RGA
Mawaz Khan 2022 Gnr HKS RGA
Mawaz Khan 2220 Gnr HKS RGA
Mehar Khan 1914 Gnr HKS RGA
Mehar Khan 2106 Gnr HKS RGA
Mehar Khan 2246 Gnr HKS RGA
Mehdi Khan 1372 Naik HKS RGA
Mehdi Khan 1627 Gnr HKS RGA
Mehdi Khan 1668 Gnr HKS RGA
Mehdi Khan 2099 Gnr HKS RGA
Mehr Dad 2026 Gnr HKS
Mian Khan 1170 Naik HKS
Mian Khan 1488 Gnr HKS RGA
Mian Khan 1872 Gnr HKS RGA
Mian Muhd 1604 Gnr HKS
Mir Dad 1823 A/Naik HKS
Moore William Agnew Maj CO HKS RGA invail to UK 9-18 later to Tank Corps RAC (10th Arm Car Co) Indian Army NWF 1921-24 DSO 3xMID OofN 4th class DSO - Magdhaba MID - Rafa MID - Jerusalem MID - Waziristan 1924
Muhammad Ali 646 Havildar HK RGA
Muhammad Zaman 1817 Gnr HKS NKG listed on Indian Army Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial KIA 2-2-18
Muhd Ali 856 Subadar Maj HKS
Muhd Ali 1974 Gnr HKS
Muhd Ali 1988 Gnr HKS
Muhd Ali 2011 A/Naik HKS
Muhd Ali 2195 Gnr HKS
Muhd Ali 2207 Gnr HKS
Muhd Ali Maj HKS
Muhd Khan 597 Subadar HKS
Muhd Khan 701 Havildar Major HKS RGA
Muhd Shah 1653 Gnr HKS
Muhd Yafar 1605 Gnr HKS
Muldowney Michael J 13318 Sgt HKS RGA DCM
Muzaffar Khan 1290 Naik HKS NKG listed on Indian Army Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial KIA 21-11-17
Nadu Khan 1703 Gnr HKS
Narain Singh 1595 Gnr HKS RGA
Nawab Khan 722 Havildar HKS DCM & MID Magdhaba
Nawab Khan 1546 Gnr HKS
Nawab Khan 1549 Naik HKS
Nawab Khan 1670 Gnr HKS
Niaz Ali 1659 Gnr HKS
Nihal Singh 1642 Gnr HKS MM
Niyaz Ali 1713 Gnr HKS
Nizan Din 35 Dvr HKS
Nur Dad 2217 Gnr HKS
Nutta Singh 1041 Naik HKS RGA (see Natha Singh)
Pelwan Khan 756 Gnr HKS RGA
Phuman Singh 1778 Gnr HKS RGA
Phuman Singh 2167 Gnr HKS RGA
Piran Ditta 712 Havildar HKS DCM & MID Magdhaba
Piran Ditta 1081 Havildar HKS DCM & MID 2nd Gaza
Rahim Dad 2182 Gnr HKS
Rahm Ali 900 Gnr HKS
Rahmat Khan 735 Hav HKS
Rahmat ullah 1255 Naik HKS MID
Rajah Khan 1586 Gnr HKS
Ram Singh 1465 Gnr HKS
Ram Singh 1761 A/Naik HKS
Ranja Khan 1694 Gnr HKS
Rur Singh 1159 Havildar HKS DCM & MID Magdhaba
Sadhu Singh 1621 Havildar HKS
Sardar Ali 1999 Gnr HKS
Sardar Ali 2187 Gnr HKS
Sardar Muhd 1597 Gnr HKS
Sarwan Walli 616 Gnr HKS
Saudagar Singh 1745 Gnr HKS NKG listed on Indian Army Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial KIA 19-4-17 2nd Gaza
Shah Muhd 1543 Gnr HKS
Sham Singh 380 Jemadar HKS
Shana Khan Gnr HKS RGA
Sharah Khan 1657 A/Naik HKS
Sher Muhd 1545 Naik HKS
Shor Muhammed 1828 Havildar HKS MID 2nd Gaza
Skilton Francis Lisney Lt HKS RGA to Major MC
Smyth VG Capt HKS RGA to A/Maj MID Magdhaba
Sodargah Singh 1563 A/Naik HKS
Stevens William H 33914 Cpl HKS RGA to A/Sgt MID Magdhaba
Sultan Ahmed 1705 Gnr HKS NKG listed on Indian Army Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial KIA 26-3-17 1st Gaza
Sultan Alam 1711 A/Naik HKS
Sultan Muhamed 762 Havildar HKS DCM
Sykes Vincent A 9850 Gnr HKS / RGA buried Kantara War Memorial Cemetery DoW 20-5-17 2nd Gaza
Taja Khan 1588 Gnr HKS
Tara Singh 1439 Gnr HKS
Tara Singh 1807 Gnr HKS
Tara Singh 1940 Gnr HKS
Tejah Singh 1439 Gnr HKS
Tika (Tikka) Khan 1390 Naik HKS MID & MM Magdhaba
Tyler Leonard Benjamin Lt HKS RGA MC
Udham Singh 1820 Gnr HKS
Udham Singh 1906 Gnr HKS
Udham Singh 1928 Gnr HKS
Waldren Herbert Henry 15682 CQMS HKS RGA MID
Waryam Singh 1748 Gnr HKS
Wasawa Singh 1826 Jemadar HKS NKG listed on Indian Army Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial KIA 23-3-16
Wazir Khan 2183 Gnr HKS
Wir Singh 1210 Gnr HKS
Wir Singh 1415 A/Naik HKS
Wir Singh 1416 Havildar HKS
Wir Singh 1611 Gnr HKS
Wir Singh 2155 Gnr HKS
Wiran Singh 1022 Gnr HKS
Yar Muhd 1639 Gnr HKS
Yasin 1316 Gnr HKS
Yasin Khan 1364 Gnr HKS
Zaman Ali 302 Jemadar HKS
Zaman Khan 1252 Gnr HKS
Zaman Khan 1815 Gnr HKS RGA
Zaman Khan 2262 Gnr HKS

Cheers

S.B

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Wow that's a seriously impressive bit of research !

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

Churning this one back into circulation, it's been very helpful as a friend is related to Villiers Gordon Smyth listed as Captain with the Hong Kong and Singapore Mountain Battery.

Can anyone provide more details of his WW1 and post WW1 career in the RA?

I have these details:-

Lt Col Villiers Gordon Smyth RA DSO OBE. Birth 11 Oct 1892 in Christchurch, Hampshire, England.
SMYTH, Villiers Gordon, D.S.O., g*, y. Born 11/10/92.
Royal Artillery, commissioned as 2nd Lt. 23/12/11. then Lieutenant on 23/12/14. Captain 8/8/16 (actg. Maj. 13/7/17 to 12/11/19) ;
Acting. Lt-Col. 28/7/18 to 16/9/18. After end of hostilities reverts back to Captain. Promoted as Major 1/5/29. then Lt.-Col. on 24/5/38.
Staff Capt. Western Command. (temp.) 25/9/20 to 31/3/21.
Adjt. Territorial Army 1/4/21 to 30/9/24. Capt. Instructor, in Gunnery. (Artillery.) School of Artillery. 1/4/27 to 31/3/30.
He also had two trips out to India and back in 1935 and 1936.
1914-21. Egyptian.Expeditionary.Force: -/8/16 to 31/10/18.
Mentioned in Despatches (published in London Gazette on 6/7/17, 14/6/18 and 5/6/19.
Entitled to British War and Victory medals. Distinguished Service Order.
His Medal Index card shows he went Overseas as a Captain and Adjutant, RA. First entered Theatre (Egypt) 6 September 1916.
He was already a DSO before 1922. (enquiry dated 23 March 1922, presumably asking for medals). Officers had to apply, Other Ranks had theirs issued automatically.
He married Veronique Walker in Singapore in 1915. He was the son of Colonel Owen Stuart Smyth and Henrietta Mary Ann Catherine Wilson.
Presumably, Colonel O S Smyth was also RA?
If VG was in Singapore in 1915, and then be attached to the EEF in September 1916, is that when the HK&S were moved to Egypt or had he returned to the UK and thence to Egypt (independently?).
Any details of his DSO (or OBE(?).
Thanks in advance, a brilliant read of very erudite research.
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Kevin (Post #11)

Greetings

Reference your question on the movement of the HK&S Battery to Egypt, here is a paragraph from an article on the Battery that has been submitted to WFA for posting on its 'Other Theatres of War' page:

'After war had commenced in 1914 the commander of No. 1 Company (Hong Kong) requested an overseas operational deployment for his sub-unit. This was granted in September 1915 when the War Office requested a four 10-pounder gun battery be deployed to Egypt; the number of guns required was then increased to six. No. 1 Company was the nucleus of this new battery but drafts were allotted from No. 4 Company in Mauritius and No. 5 Company in Singapore; there was keen competition throughout the battalion to be selected for this deployment. The battery strength was: 3 British officers, 3 Indian officers, 205 Rank and File and a few British non-commissioned-officer (NCO) specialists. Initially mules were the pack animals. The battery embarked at Hong Kong on 8th November 1915, called in at Singapore to collect the draft from that station, and disembarked at Suez; the draft from Mauritius joined in Moascar near Ismailia where the battery was attached to the Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade. Initially the Right and Centre Sections were employed along the line of the Suez Canal.


The breech-loading 10-pounder mountain gun had been hurriedly introduced in 1903 after the failure of the 2.5-inch muzzle-loading mountain gun during the South Africa war. The new gun weighed 183 kilograms and the barrel was jointed for easy animal-packing. The caliber was 2.75-inches and the length of the assembled gun was 1.94 metres. Shrapnel ammunition and star shell were issued; the range was 5,486 metres but the gun sights were only engraved to 3840 metres. The recoil was controlled by a ‘check rope’ round the trail.

Harry

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Thank you both for the additional information.

I knew you were the guys to know what is what!

I thought I had seen some reference to the HK&S as being very much a "family" unit with men being drawn from only a very few select families or areas, in a similar way to Gurkhas, and that when announced it was to serve in the War competition for selection was fierce.

Certainly reading the long list of Names earlier in this thread, there are numerous instances of similar or identical Names.

Must have been a nightmare for an incoming English officer to know who was which!

They seem to have been an elite unit in some respects, especially it seems, in pride in their unit.

From what further research I have, both his father, Owen Stuart Smyth and grandfather William Powell Stuart Smyth, all achieved the rank of Lt Cols, at least.

3 generations at least, must be fairly unusual?

Now I'm back to Boer War and Indian Mutiny etc stuff!

Thanks!

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  • 5 months later...

I read this post with a lot of interest, a my wifes grand-father was a member of this Battery. His details are:

John Bawden Bunt, born 9 Jul 1889, died 27 Aug 1972.

26132 Battery Quarter Master Sargent, later promoted to 2nd Lietent.

He was stationed in Hong Kong, where he married Harriet Amelia Westgate on 15 Oct 1917.

He was posted to the EEF on 17 Nov 1917, according to his medical card.

There are a few notes on his card, but I'm unable to work out what they mean. I'd be happy to share this is someone could work out what it means.

I've yet to find his service record or signup papers.

Any help would be most useful to fill out his story.

He later went on to pay a number of vists to Palastine, as it was then, and was invloved in the formation of Israel, at least that is the familty tale.

John Bawden Bunt (1889-1972) 19813.pdf

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Mate,

I have no record of him in the HK&S MB so far?

Can you confirm he served in that unit?

Waldren Herbert Henry 15682 CQMS HKS RGA MID

IS known as the BQMS but I don't have any details on how long he served in that job, so he may have been replaced by John Bunt later in the war (by the dates given).

You should also known that other batteries of the RGA served in that thearte of war and he may have been with one of these?

Cheers

S.B

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Here is a further record showing his medal allocation. This also states he was commissioned on 18 June 1918, which may mean a field commision. No evident to support that yet.

Also apicture of him in uniform, the badges seem to confirm his rank.

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Thanks, I've asked for these records.

I've also discovered that his brother Edward Trezise Bunt, service number 8481, also served in the RGA. I've also asked for his records as well.

So I now have three brothers who served in WWI, two in RGA and one in the RE, who died in France.

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  • 3 weeks later...

John Bawden Bunt 26132

Joined 16 April 1907, as Boy at Plymouth No.3 Depot.

Through the ranks, till posted as a Gunner to No.88 Battery Hong Kong.

Posted to EEF 16 Sept 1917, arrived in field 15 Nov 1917, joined No.1 Mountain Battery HK&S RGA.

BQMS 22 Feb 1918 with 13th Mountain Battery RGA, EEF, posted to 1st Mountain Battery on the same day.

Posted 4th Company HK&S RGA on 27 April 1918

2nd Lieut 18 June 1918, posted next day to 9th British Mountain Artillery Brigade RGA

6 Jul 1918 posted from 16th Mountain Battery to 13th Mountain Battery

He then had a period of illness and some leave (3 months March - June 1919) and rejoined No.1 Mountain Battery HK&S on 29 Jun 1919, still in Egypt.

He embarked from Alexandria 24 Oct 1919, not clear where to, record is too difficult to read. I assume back to Hong Kong with his unit. But could have been UK, as his wife traveled from Hong Kong to the UK in Feb 1919.

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  • 5 years later...

Hi All,

 

My Great Grandfather Robert Parmenter was in Egypt area between 1917 and 1920 I believe, he was a Gunner with 12 and 13 Mountain Battery RGA.

His Regtl. No, is 160139.

I a small envelope with a small amount of crucial paperwork, certificate of employment during the War, Certificate from Egypt expeditionary force and his Demob papers.

 

You guys sounds like pro researchers and I'm struggling to find anything about his postings, all I've found so far is his medal card which I cant make head nor tail of as the writing is so bad....

 

Not sure if this posting will be read as yours were a while back, any reply would be most appreciated.

 

Best regards,

 

Stuart

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