Jump to content

Remembered Today:

RHA (TF) Nablus to Haifa - Tin Hats, Mules and a Turkish Band


Notts Gunner
 Share

Recommended Posts

Primed by the list of NCOs, Gunners and Drivers of the Notts Batteries RHA supplied to me by David Porter (thanks mate) I am undertaking research on the men of the batteries and their experiences.

In my initial "thrashing around" I have come across the IWM film "Advance in Palestine" which covers events from September 1918.

There is a section showing 1/1 Notts and a HAC Battery firing (18 pdrs?), limbering up and moving off. The officers and men are wearing "battle bowlers" rather than the Wolseley helmet. When was this headgear adopted in Palestine? The British, Indian and maybe West Indian infantry in the film also sport tin hats - ALH men do not.

Next question - the RHA guns appear to be drawn by mules. Am I mistaken on this? Mules would surely be too slow to keep up with mounted units

Finally, on a personal note, my uncle, who was a driver in the Notts Battery told me he witnessed the ambush and capture of an entire Turkish Army Band. To my amazement a section of the film shows a "Captured Turkish Band". When I saw it I could hear my Uncle Len laughingly admonishing me - "I fizzing told you about that.!"

Pleased to receive your thoughts

Malc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

Hi

'Tin hats' were introduced gradually during the autumn of 1917 - October and November, it seems, and possibly later for some units. By then the army was fully committed to advance on Jerusalem, and the logistics system was in a pretty hectic state, so the issue of this new kit was fairly ad-hoc. I'm not sure when the ALH received their's, but don't imagine a single trooper would have given up his slouch hat to wear a tin hat instead!

Personally, I'm not aware of the RHA ever using mules to pull guns. Perhaps these were extra animals attached to a regular team to pull the gun over rough or steep ground?

Cheers

Stuart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mate,

During the later stages of the fighting in 1918 Tin hats were issued, but few where worn?

There are some photos of the 4th LHR (4 LH Bde Australian Mounted Div) in these during the Sept - Oct battles but few other LH Regts wore them.

During the Turkish retreat large numbers of Turks were captured so a band was always possible.

This (the Band) could be used to assist the movement of these prisoners as music can make the small numbers of allied to watch them.

Because of the numbers of prisoners whole units had to be used as escorts.

While I have seen not direct mention of any bands being captured, I wouldn't discount that account.

Cheers

S.B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Gents

I didn't think mules were used either. Maybe they were short of horses?

I've posted a still from the watermarked movie. Mules or horses?

Malc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gents

File too big. Should be viewable now

Malcpost-108994-0-07274100-1427303678_thumb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hm, a tricky one. Quite tall for mules, but very long ears for horses. To be honest, I wouldn't like to say, sorry!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm bamboozled too. Maybe theres's an equine expert out there who can give us the answer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mate,

Sorry I missed the Mule bit.

Amazingly the aussie band was mounted on mules, there a number of photos of this.

during 1918 a mounted band was formed for one of the aussie mounted Div's, soon both mounted Divs had one and when not in use they were used at Bde level.

Why they mounted them on mules is unknown?

Cheers

S.B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I would say that they are Mules hauling the limbers. Stranger things are certainly seen, see photo from AWM showing a Lighthorseman on a donkey.! :w00t:

Cheers, S>S

post-52604-0-13634200-1427412901_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Gents

In the movie it looks like the drivers are riding a horse and the paired animal is a mule.

The film was made right at the end of the campaign and though it purports to show A HAC and Notts Batteries crossing the plain to rejoin the Aussie Mtd Division in late September 1918, I wonder if it was staged and filmed later. AMD war diary states that the horses had fared badly on the march to Homs - maybe this was filmed later and they had to draft in some mules. Or maybe they struck a loan deal with the AMD Mounted Band!

Love the Digger on the Donkey, classic!

Malc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mules were certainly used by the Mountain Batteries of the RGA


However there is also a ref to their use by the RFA in Farndale;


see his page 106 where he quotes from the WD of the 303rd Brigade RFA on the Sheria fighting


“... 13 men were killed, 26 wounded and 39 horses and mules were killed or wounded.”



regards


Michael


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Gents

I've had a look at Lieutenant-Colonel Preston who wrote in his book on the Desert Mounted Corps (1921)...

"Mules were in use in the transport to a certain extent all through the campaign, but the experience of the 1917 operations led to their being replaced by horses in all transport that was required to keep up with the cavalry. Their hardihood, soundness, and remarkable freedom from disease, no less than their patience and docility, render them admirable for infantry transport, and even, possibly, for field artillery, but they suffer from then serious disability, from the cavalry or horse artillery point of view, that they cannot go the pace. Left to themselves, they can march indefinitely, but, if pushed along faster than their natural gait, they rapidly lose condition, and soon become so debilitated as to be well nigh useless. As this natural pace is slower than that of horses, they must always be pushed when acting with cavalry, and this fact renders them unsuitable for use with mounted troops."

I guess, until evidence appears to the contrary, that mules were used as film stand ins for knackered neddies

Thanks again

Malc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Malc

I wonder if you could look up the list of personnel and see if Driver Edward Vincent James 196598 served with the battery.

Many thanks

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Chris

Believe you've solved this per your post on another thread?

KRs

Malc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...