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Could be an interesting story here.


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Recently in America I bought a WW1 War medal too..... J-3243. PTE. L. KLUGMAN. R.FUS. The seller told me he was from Russia and lived in the US.

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First name(s)


Last name


Service number





Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)


38th, 39th and 40th Battalions (Jewish).

Birth place




Enlistment place


Death year


Death day


Death month


Cause of death


Death place


Theatre of war

Egyptian Theatre

Supplementary Notes



Military, armed forces & conflict


First World War

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Great Britain

Soldiers Died in the Great War database © Naval and Military Press Ltd 2010

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There is an entry or two on J/3243 J Klugman of 39th Battalion RF in the British Jewry Book of Honour 1922 which is online at Forces War Records, you need a sub to see it.

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Page 26 – 27 Royal Fusiliers in the Great War by H.C. ONeill.

(My highlights)

In the meantime the old idea had sprung to life once more and the Government was pressed to allow the formation of a Jewish unit for Palestine. The movement was led by Mr. Vladimir Jabotinsky, and was strongly supported by Dr. Weizmann, the President of the Zionist Organisation. In April, 1917, the War Cabinet decided to allow the formation of the unit. In August its formation was announced under the name of "Jewish Regiment of Infantry"; but this description was subsequently withdrawn and the Jewish battalions became the 38th to 42nd Royal Fusiliers, with their depot at 22, Chenies Street, W.C., and their camp at Plymouth.

The battalions were chiefly intended for the reception of Russian Jews, to be enlisted under a special convention with M. Kerensky's Government. Permission to use Kosher food was granted with the assurance that the battalions would be employed on the Palestine front, and would be granted a Jewish name and badge if they distinguished themselves.

About 2,000 Jews joined from England, a proportion of them being volunteers. Their enlistment was stopped after the fall of M. Kerensky's Government and the victory of the Bolsheviks in Russia ; but, in the beginning of 1918, a widespread movement of voluntary recruiting began in the United States and Canada. Jews in the Argentine were also allowed to enlist, and practically the whole of the able-bodied young Jews in the liberated part of Palestine (Judea) applied to be enlisted. These various sources involved large numbers ; but owing to technical difficulties connected with the numerous nationalities and difficulties of transport, only a small proportion of those overseas could actually be enlisted. But altogether about 10,000 joined the Jewish battalions, of whom over three quarters were volunteers; and some 5,000 actually served in Palestine. The recruiting campaign in the United States, Canada, the Argentine, and especially Palestine, evoked unprecedented enthusiasm, both Zionist and pro-British.

The 38th Battalion, under Lieut.-Colonel J. H. Patterson, landed in Egypt in January, 1918, to complete their training, and went to the front in June, 1918. They reached Ludd on June 6th, and were inspected by General Allenby, for the second time. After a few days they marched off to take their share in the line and took over the three miles lying between Jiljilia (some three miles west of the Nablus road) and Abwein. They speedily won their spurs in the tasks of the hour—scouting,patrolling and trench digging—and were then given a most trying part of the line in the Jordan valley. The seven miles for which they were responsible stretched westward from the Jordan above Jericho, and seemed at times to be almost an island in a sea of enemies. On the west was a gap which offered a constant invitation to the enemy ; but the battalion ably supported the Anzac Mounted Division in harrying the Turks and discovering

their plans. They also took part in Allenby's attack in September by capturing the ford of Umm-esh-Shert on the night of the 21st, and so enabling the mounted troops to cross the river towards Es Salt (Ramoth Gilead) and outflank the Turks. In this operation they were assisted by the 39th battalion, commanded by Lieut.-Colonel E. L.Margolin, a former officer of the Australian Expeditionary Force. The force known as Patterson's column crossed the Jordan and occupied the road between Tel Nimrin and Es Salt until the collapse of the Fourth Turkish Army and Second Turkish Corps, when they returned to Jerusalem with a large body of Turkish and German prisoners. They had performed distinguished service,

and were awarded a number of distinctions.

Se also Page 91-92 in Armageddon, 1918: The Final Palestinian Campaign of World War 1 by Cyril Falls, available as a selected high-light in Google Books.




Finally an extract from God, Guns and Israel: Britain, The First World War and the Jews in the Holy City by Jill Hamilton.

(Again from Google Books and again my highlights :)

By 4.30 in the afternoon of 23 September, El Salt was encircled. Margolin, who was later made military governor, and his men, exhausted by fighting, stayed to secure the town. In a typed letter to the former President of the United States, Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt, dated 20 October 1918, Patterson described the advance:

I was at this time commanding a Force officially known as “Patterson’s Column’ of the 38th & 39th Battalions. We pursued the Turks to El Salt and personally I went to Amman where I saw the surrender of the Turkish Army on the East side of the Jordan. Amman is the ancient Ammon mention in 2nd Samuel chapter 2…The Turkish Army being now ‘knocked out’ there was nothing more for my Column to do, so we recrossed the Jordan and camped at Jericho and finally re-entered Jerusalem in Triumph, bring with us about 4,000 prisoners.

The 38th and 39th are now encamped some 9 miles from Jaffa resting after our arduous fights and marches. How arduous these were will be gathered from the fact that I have at this moment many Officers and men of the 38th Bn in Hospital, mostly fever cases from the Jordan Valley….Is it not a strange thing the whole movement which led to the freeing of Palestine was actually pivoted on Israel, (i.e. the Jewish Bns), holding the enemy on the Jordan?”


(I would imagine the men of the 39th Battalion would also have contracted the same fever, and if Leo died as a result, this would be consistent with the categorisation of "Died" in Sioldiers Died in the Great War.)



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