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Haifa War Cemetery


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The aim of The War Graves Photographic Project is to photograph every war grave, individual memorial, MoD grave, and family memorial of serving military personnel from WWI to the present day and make these available within a searchable database.

Now working as a joint venture with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, this will enable families, scholars and researchers to obtain, via the CWGC or TWGPP websites, a copy of the photograph of a grave or memorial which for many is impossible to visit due to the location.

thiepval_memorial.jpg

This service has only been made possible through the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers, from all walks of life, who feel the need to Remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and who realise the importance for families to see where their loved ones are laid to rest or commemorated. This emulates the CWGC ethos to 'Remember in Perpetuity'

This project aims to photograph in excess of 1.75 million graves or memorials from Commonwealth Nations and many from other military forces around the world.

Please use the search facility to check if a photograph is currently held and available but please remember that the CWGC records hold 1.75 million casualties so we have a little more work to do before the archive can be considered complete.

www.twgpp.com

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Sandie,

When I was in Haifa recently for the rededication of the grave of George R H Sykes, I met a Mr. A. Thompson whom I understand already covers this cemetery on behalf of The War Graves Photographic Project.

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Thank you Michael. Asher Thompson does work in Israel and was photographing Beersheba Cemetery with a chap named Fred Stauss.

I'm always on the look out for 'volunteers' as I think it's such a valuable resource.

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Another soldier from the western hemisphere

P1010405.jpg

SQUIRES

Initials: A

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: British West Indies Regiment

Unit Text: 1st Bn

Date of Death: 07/02/1919

Service No: 6746

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: A. 46

Additional information from http://caribbeanrollofhonour-ww1-ww2.yolasite.com/bwir-s.php

SQUIRES, ALFRED - Listed in Franklins as wounded in Egypt 1918, 3rd Public Contingent, sailed from Trinidad on 28/03/1917 ex H.M.T. "Magdalena". Commemorated on Port of Spain Cenotaph

For more on the British West Indies Regiment see Harry's article here http://www.kaiserscross.com/304501/319801.html

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One of the puzzles of Haifa War Cemetery is the number of graves (aprox. 15) where the date of death predates the capture of the town. The regiments represented by these men are: 1st/4th Norfolk, 1st/5th Norfolk, 1st/4th Essex, 1st/4th Welsh, 11th Australian Light Horse, 1st/8th Hampshire and London (Finsbury Rifles)

At this point, my presumption is that these men were PoWs who died in captivity, were buried locally by their captors, and then later concentrated into this cemetery.

I have chosen Charles Webster to represent these men, and I think that his parents may well have given us a clue as to his fate with their choice of epitaph

P1010398.jpg

WEBSTER, CHARLES REGINALD

Initials: C R

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Norfolk Regiment

Unit Text: "A" Coy. 1st/5th Bn

Age: 20

Date of Death: 10/05/1917

Service No: 240543

Additional information: Son of Charles and Elizabeth Webster, of 4, Station Terrace, Swaffham, Norfolk

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: B. 73

Enlisted at East Dereham and remembered at Swaffam: see http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Norfolk/Swaffham.html

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Some of you may find that the splashes on the headstones here are a bit of an unsightly distraction, but there is little that anyone can do about this. As I have mentioned previously, the IWGC took care to plant a large number of palm trees in this cemetery, which now, a generation or two later, provide welcome shade. The drawback is that these same palms bear fruit, which when ripened attracts flies. During the day birds come to feed on the fruit and the flies, and at night their place at this feast is taken by bats. I believe that this accounts for the numerous splashes on the headstones.

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Michael,

Here we go again - if this is going to be like your thread on Beersheba - this is going to be a fantastic read.

Cheers Andy.

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P1010402.jpg

KAUFFMAN, ALBERT EDWARD

Initials: A E

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Army Service Corps

Age: 32

Date of Death: 17/10/1918

Additional information: Son of Isaac and Clara Kauffman; husband of Mabel L. Kauffman, of 44, Somerleyton Rd., Brixton, London. Born in London

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: B. 16

A surprising amount of further information can be gleaned from the MiC –

Albert Edward Kauffman enlisted in the ASC with number DM164073. He became an Acting Corporal and was then commissioned on 23rd March 1918. As 2nd/Lieutenant Kauffman he entered the EEF at Alexandria on 27th April 1918 and died on 17th October 1918. He was entitled to the Victory and British war medals

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Lance Corporal Shur's MiC provides somewhat less information, however, we learn that his first name was Alexander,

that he was entitled to the Victory and British War medals,

and that he died intestate

SHUR.

Initials: A

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Lance Corporal

Regiment/Service: Royal Fusiliers

Unit Text: 40th Bn

Date of Death: 04/04/1919

Service No: J/4591

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: A. 82

P1010403.jpg

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From the Naval History Net

Tuesday, 20 January 1920

Ivy, convoy sloop, boat accident, all drowned

CORBETT, George E, Ordinary Seaman, SS 9760

MANN, Adam, Ordinary Seaman, J 79193

WOODCOCK, Frederick C, Able Seaman, J 21383

Further details about this class of sloop the Anchusa Class can be seen here http://www.leander-project.homecall.co.uk/Sloops.html

From the CWGC

Name: CORBETT

Initials: G E

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Ordinary Seaman

Regiment/Service: Royal Navy

Unit Text: H.M.S. " Ivy"

Date of Death: 20/01/1920

Service No: SS/9760

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

P1010452.jpg

Name: MANN

Initials: A

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Ordinary Seaman

Regiment/Service: Royal Navy

Unit Text: H.M.S. "Ivy"

Date of Death: 20/01/1920

Service No: J/79193

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

P1010459.jpg

Name:

WOODCOCK

Initials: F C

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Able Seaman

Regiment/Service: Royal Navy

Unit Text: H.M.S. "Ivy"

Date of Death: 20/01/1920

Service No: J/21383

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

P1010460.jpg

On a personal note, an unfortunate accident very similar to this one, happened to my father's ship just after the end of the next war. The Tenby's boat was involved in such an incident and eight crewmen lost their lives on Sunday 16th December 1945

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Name: HANSEN, GEORGE

Initials: G

Nationality: New Zealand

Rank: Trooper

Regiment/Service: New Zealand Mounted Machine Gun Squadron

Unit Text: 2nd

Age: 28

Date of Death: 11/10/1918

Service No: 10344

Additional information: Son of Charles and Rachel Hansen, of Killinchy, New Zealand

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

P1010639.jpg

As far as I can tell, George Hansen is the only Kiwi buried in this cemetery. He died of disease (see http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~sooty/nzef1918flu.html)

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

And this is the only Indian in this cemetery

Name: DEREMAO

Initials: T V

Nationality: Indian

Rank: Clerk

Regiment/Service: Indian Army Postal Service

Unit Text: Indian Field Post Office

Date of Death: between 01/01/1918 and 31/08/1921

Service No: 359

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

P1010652.jpg

Note that the headstone spelling of the family name, the regimental number, his rank, and the date of death are all at variance with the details shown on the CWGC Debt of Honour listing.

Serjeant D'Eremao in is buried in Haifa War Cemetery because his religion was Christian. Indians of the Moslem and Hindu faiths have their own cemetery which is next to this one, and there, Moslems were buried and,one presumes, the ashes of cremated Hindus were scattered.

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Name: MILLS

Initials: F J C

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Army Cyclist Corps

Unit Text: 54th Div.Cyclists Coy

Date of Death: 30/10/1918

Service No: 21469

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

P1010524.jpg

The Long, Long Trail has the following on the 54th Division's page

"Divisional Mounted Troops

East Anglian Divisional Cyclist Company - left February 1917"

And the Order of Battle given in 'The Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force …etc...' has no mention of a Divisional Cyclists Company either.

Does anyone have any ideas?

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Name: ROBERTSON, WILLIAM MARR

Initials: W M

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Northumberland Fusiliers

Unit Text: 3rd Bn

Secondary Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment)

Secondary Unit Text: attd. 25th Bn

Age: 20

Date of Death: 12/07/1919

Additional information: Son of Mrs. J. Robertson. Born at Queen's Park, Glasgow

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

P1010572.jpg

Like the Army Cyclists Corps in the previous post, the Northumberland Fusiliers are not often heard of here, or The King's (Liverpool Regiment) for that matter. However, on the Long, Long Trail, the 59th Division's page informs that

"The units moved to the area south and south east of Lille after the Armistice, going on to Noeux les Mines and Bethune between 4-7 December. Here the units began to demobilise. Some units moved after a few days to Dunkirk to assist with a dispersal camp, through which coal miners were prioritised for early demobilisation. Divisional HQ was located at Vaudricourt Chateau from 6 December 1918 and then at Le Beau Marais near Calais from 8 March 1919. In May, the battalions of 176th Bde left to go to Egypt."

Lieutenant William Marr Robertson is remembered at his former school, see http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/warmemscot-post-38096.html

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Two families who between them lost seven sons in the Great War

The Burchett family is represented in Haifa by Edwin, the elder of the three brothers

P1010534.jpg

Name: BURCHETT, EDWIN

Initials: E

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Wiltshire Regiment

Unit Text: 1st/4th Bn

Age: 40

Date of Death: 01/11/1918

Service No: 220046

Additional information: Son of William and Eliza Burchett, of Pot Common, Elstead, Godalming Surrey; husband of the late Ellen Maud Burchett. His brothers, Arthur and Colin also fell

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

The two brothers of Edwin

Name: BURCHETT, ARTHUR

Initials: A

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Serjeant

Regiment/Service: Coldstream Guards

Unit Text: 1st Bn

Age: 24

Date of Death: 14/09/1914

Service No: 7882

Additional information: Son of William and Eliza Burchett, of Pot Common, Elstead, Godalming, Surrey. His brothers, Colin and Edwin also fell

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. F. 3

Cemetery: VAILLY BRITISH CEMETERY

Name: BURCHETT, COLIN

Initials: C

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Middlesex Regiment

Unit Text: 17th Bn

Age: 24

Date of Death: 11/12/1917

Service No: G/48086

Additional information: Son of William and Eliza Burchett, of Pot Common, Elstead, Godalming, Surrey. His brothers, Arthur and Edwin also fell

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. E. 14

Cemetery: LEBUCQUIERE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION

The Lynn family is represented in Haifa by James; again, the eldest of the brothers

P1010664.jpg

Name: LYNN, JAMES

Initials: J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Serjeant

Regiment/Service: Royal Army Service Corps

Unit Text: 906th Coy

Age: 37

Date of Death: 07/08/1920

Service No: EMT/57074

Additional information: Son of James and Elizabeth Lynn, of Mousetown, Coalisland, Co. Tyrone. One of four brothers who died on service, two of whom are buried in Belgium, one in France and the fourth in Israel

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

906 Company, ASC, was formed 20th February 1917 and disbanded 30th June 1922

They served with Ismaila District in Egypt, as Corps Troops with the Desert Mounted Corps, and with North Force. Their role was 52 Auxiliary (Petrol) Company

These details are taken from Col. Michael Young's history 'Army Service Corps 1902-1918' (ISBN 085052 730 9) which also informs that Serjeant Lynn's service number prefix indicates that, post-war, he re-enlisted under AO 4/19

James' brothers were

Name: LYNN, WILLIAM EDWARD

Initials: W E

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Serjeant

Regiment/Service: Royal Irish Fusiliers

Unit Text: 1st Bn

Age: 21

Date of Death: 17/07/1916

Service No: 5700

Additional information: Son of James and Elizabeth Lynn, of Mousetown, Coalisland, Co. Tyrone. One of four brothers who died on service, two are buried in Belgium, one in France and the fourth in Israel

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. F. 4

Cemetery: AUCHONVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY

Name: LYNN, ROBERT

Initials: R

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Driver

Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery

Unit Text: 87th Bty

Age: 30

Date of Death: 06/08/1915

Service No: 45206

Additional information: Son of James and Elizabeth Lynn, of Mousetown, Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, Ireland. One of four brothers who died on service during the First World War; two are buried in Belgium, one in France and the fourth is buried in Israel

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot I. Row E. Grave 9

Cemetery: HOP STORE CEMETERY

Name: LYNN, JOHN

Initials: J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Unit Text: 1st Bn

Age: 26

Date of Death: 09/08/1916

Service No: 4471

Additional information: Son of James and Elizabeth Lynn, of Mousetown, Coalisland, Co. Tyrone. One of four brothers who died on service during the First World War; two of whom are buried in Belgium, one in France and the fourth in Israel

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: VII. D. 32A

Cemetery: LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY

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Burchett of the Coldstream Gds was according to his papers 3rd Btn

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quote from the Australian OH "The mean little mud village of Semakh stands on the southern edge of the Sea of Galilee, about a mile east of the outflow of the Jordan. The railway from Deraa, emerging from the great gorge of the Yarmuk, follows the Jordan plain in a north-westerly direction to Semakh, and then proceeds almost due south to Jisr es Saghir, where it crosses the river."

Photograph of Semakh from Bavarian State Archives

http://www.gda.bayern.de/bestaende/viewer/viewer.php?show=/bestaende/palaestina/bayhsta_bs-palaestina_1296

taken while flying over the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee, looking towards the west.

Notes extracted from 'Five Years in Turkey' by Liman von Sanders

[page 289] Captain von Keyserlingk, headquarters' commandant of the Fourth Army, took command at Semakh.

Major Willmer was placed in temporary charge of the entire Yarmuk valley district from Deraa to Semakh and directed to send reinforcements to Semakh and El Hammi by rail from among the troops retreating through the East Jordan section. Semakh was of special importance as the turning point of the Tiberias front and of the Yarmuk valley front.

MapSemakhvonSanders0001.jpg

[page 291] On the evening of September 22nd the commander of the Eighth Army gave a fatal order to von Oppen's group, which at that time had reached the western exit from the mountains west of Beisan. During the night Colonel von Oppen wanted to break through the slight cavalry of the enemy between Beisan and the Jordan in a northerly direction, and to march towards Semakh, presuming correctly that his arrival would be very welcome as a reënforcement to our front at and on both sides of Semakh. [von Oppen's detachment had a fighting strength of 700 Germans and 1,300 Turks of the 16th and 19th Divisions see the British OH, p.546] At 9 p.m. he had given orders to that effect when he was called to Wadi Shubash for conference with the leader of the Eighth Army. Djevad Pasha disapproved the plan of Colonel von Oppen and directed him to cross to the east bank of the Jordan. How decisive the support of von Oppen's group would have been for Semakh and the Tiberias front is clear today; the safety of the retreat of the Seventh and Eighth Armies depended on the security of that front.

[page 294] After crossing the Jordan on the 23rd, Colonel von Oppen again wanted to take the northerly direction to Semakh. All instructions had been given, when orders came from the Eighth Army to take a southeasterly direction and retire on the Fourth Army. Again the correct decision of Colonel von Oppen was crossed by orders from above. After starting the march in the direction ordered, and which appeared to him the wrong one, this excellent leader soon lost touch with headquarters of the Eighth Army, decided to turn northward and took the road to Er Remtheh towards Deraa.

In this way it came that the Seventh Army and the remnants of the Eighth Army were converging towards the line Mezeirib-Deraa, instead of retiring on the broad front Semakh-Irbid as ordered.

[page 296] On September 24th Captain von Keyserlingk at Semakh came into contact with British cavalry that came from the south. For the defence of the defile and of the town of Semakh, he had in all 120 Germans, eighty Turks, eight machine guns and one gun. At 4 a.m. on the 25th a British cavalry brigade attacked Semakh on the east bank of the Jordan.

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From the Australian OH

"On the 24th Grant moved with the 4th Light Horse Brigade to El Afule; next morning, when it was reported from the air that the enemy was evacuating Semakh by motor-launch, he was ordered to march by Beisan upon the settlement there. Grant had for the undertaking only the 11th Regiment and one squadron of the 12th*, but was promised that the 5th Light Horse Brigade would join him on the march. The brigade cleared Beisan on the afternoon of the 24th, and reached Jisr el Mejamie in the evening. Grant was ordered to attack Semakh at dawn on the following morning; if he found the position strongly held, it was left to his discretion to await the arrival of reinforcements."

(* It should also be mentioned at this point that some of the 4th LH Brigade's Machine Gun Squadron also took part see the Brigade's WD)

MapSemakh25Sept1918AustOH0001.jpg

The War Diary of the 11th Light Horse Regiment by Lt. Col J. W. Parsons DSO, has the following:

25th September 1918: 0330 hrs

The Regiment moved out from Jisr Mejamie as advance guard to the Brigade with one section of Machine Guns. All wheels were left behind. 'C' Squadron was detailed as advance guard with one section of Machine Guns. 'A' and 'B' Squadron were detailed to make the attack mounted. The Regiment was moving along the Road from Mejamie to Semakh in line of troop columns when the enemy opened fire at close range with Machine Guns and rifles. A guide from the regiment occupying the Jisr Mejamie bridgehead accompanied the Regiment forward and reported shortly before the enemy opened fire that there was still another two miles to go before the station and outbuildings were reached. In this he was wrong, the consequence was that the fire was quite unexpected although fortunately there were no casualties. The plan of attack was for the Machine Guns to give covering fire from the railway onto the town, whilst the attack was made mounted by 'A' and 'B' Squadrons, charging in line with swords drawn. The strength of the enemy from the first burst of fire was estimated at six machine guns with about one hundred rifles. On account of the unexpected fire from the enemy it was decided to attack the village from the east with the squadrons mounted supported by Machine Gun fire. In launching this attack the whole of the Machine Gun Squadrons came into action and did very effective work. The two Squadrons accordingly went in in two lines, one along the railway and swinging left charged through the village, the other engaged the enemy who were protecting his flank with machine gun and rifles about two hundred yards to the East of the village. The country was bad for a charge on account of the numerous pitfalls and long spiked thistles, there were nine men injured from falls alone.

The light at this time was bad and the position of the enemy could be located only by the flash of the rifles and machine guns, but apparently this was sufficient as a target for our own machine guns who kept the fire from the enemy guns in the outer defences well down and under control. One troop of the third squadron was sent as an escort with the machine guns, the other three troops of this squadron watched the road and the railway running eastwards to Deraa. This squadron eventually connected with the squadron east of the village The squadron in charging through the village found [margin note 0430 hrs] it very strongly held by the enemy particularly about the railway station where a dismounted bayonet charge by the two squadrons met with very stubborn resistance. After charging through the village 'A' Squadron and part of 'B' Squadron dismounted on the eastern side and under a bayonet charge organized by the C.C. of 'A' Sqdn the railway station was attacked. The enemy had overwhelming odds in their favour, in addition to outnumbering the attacking party they were securely barricaded behind stone walls twelve inches thick, and were armed with machine guns, automatic rifles and bombs. In further addition to this the enemy fought with determination stimulated with a liberal issue of rum. In fact in nearly every position vacated by the enemy in the outer defences, which were overrun by the mounted troops in the charge mounted, [hand written addition unclear] bottle of rum was found, and in several places especially about the machine gun positions the bottles were partly full, and numbered about half a dozen. [Brigadier General W. Grant has it that, rather than rum, there was "a very liberal supply of Arak" and that, together with threats of shootings from LvS, this "accounted for the stiff fight put up by the enemy." see the Brigade War Diary] The enemy sniped out of the windows from the railway station and the railway carriages, and the troops attacking these places had practically no concealment. In one case alone it is recorded one of the men of this regiment after being arrested by a German officer refused to acknowledge the arrest and grappling with the German, eventually killed him with a sword and made his escape. Captain W F Whitfield who led one bayonet attack was shot at point blank range and killed by an automatic rifle and the intensity of the fighting for the station might perhaps be gauged by the fact that within a radius of thirty yards there were twenty of the enemy killed with the bayonet. It has further been reported that Captain Whitfield was treacherously killed, through part of the enemy holding up their hands whilst the remainder continued firing from the loop holes and windows in the railway carriages.

The Machine Gun Squadron in the meantime had surrounded the village from the east and to the north and supported the dismounted bayonet charge, but on account of the stone buildings and the effective concealment of the enemy, the fire was not very effective. The barrage opened up by this squadron when the attack was first made kept down the enemy machine gun fire and considerably helped in the final capture of the town.

From the commencement of the mounted charge to the actual surrender of the town was exactly two hours. The following officers were killed: Capt. W.F. Whitfield, Lieut. F.G. Farlow MC, Capt. H.J. Gee MC, and eleven other ranks, and two other ranks died of wounds."

In writing this War Diary, Colonel Parsons quite correctly, only refers to the casualties of his own regiment, however there were others that day: two from the brigade's machine-gunners and one from the 12th ALH. This agrees with the Brigade War Diary, where the number of fatal casualties in the action is given as 17: adding the two wounded men who died later that same day and the total reaches 19. [11th ALH also lost 61 animals killed, 37 wounded and a further 2 had to be destroyed.]

The 19 officers and men Killed or DoW, also agrees with the information given by James Pinkerton Campbell (a civilian photographer, who joined up as a 45 year old private in 1914, and was later commissioned as Official Photographer to AIF in Egypt, March 1918) who counted and photographed the graves - see http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/B00288

All 19 bodies that were buried by the shore of the Sea of Galilee were later transferred to Haifa War Cemetery, and today, all 19 lie next to one another, in a single line across the cemetery. Over the next few weeks I intend that this thread will follow along that line, moving from right to left

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GEE

Initials: H J

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: Australian Light Horse

Unit Text: 11th

Date of Death: 25/09/1918

Awards: M C

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: B. 62

P1010474.jpg

Herbert John Gee – born in England on 2nd June 1877; previous service given as 12 years with 15th The King's Hussars, 5 years as Sgt, 2½ years in Reserves; enlisted AIF 29th December 1914; commissioned 1st April 1915; served at Gallipoli where he was wounded twice; promoted Lieutenant in November 1915; served in Egypt & Palestine and twice MiDs by General Sir Archibald Murray; promoted Captain in November 1917; awarded the MC 'for distinguished service in the Field' 1st January 1918

Buried at Semakh in Grave No.1 by Chaplain J. Best; reburied at Haifa, October 1923

edit: As others were transferred from Semakh to Haifa War Cemetery in 1919, I have again checked Captain Gee's record (page 25) and it may well be that the 1923 date does not in fact relate to the actual transfer (but perhaps to a notification of the transfer?)

Edited by michaeldr
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See post # 27 above – quote from Lt-Col Parsons

"Captain W F Whitfield who led one bayonet attack was shot at point blank range and killed by an automatic rifle and the intensity of the fighting for the station might perhaps be gauged by the fact that within a radius of thirty yards there were twenty of the enemy killed with the bayonet. It has further been reported that Captain Whitfield was treacherously killed, through part of the enemy holding up their hands whilst the remainder continued firing from the loop holes and windows in the railway carriages"

This point is also covered by the Brigade's WD, Appendix 266 (2 pages, commencing page 49 of the pdf) describing the attack at Semakh on the 25th September 1918:

"The enemy showed several white flags at the station buildings and as our men collected round them to disarm them were fired on and we suffered most of our casualties owing to this treacherous action. Capt. Whitfield lost his life in this way whilst leading a bayonet charge."

The Brigade WD has a second, longer report on this action (4 pages, commencing page 56 of the pdf) where the following is found

"Several of our casualties, including one officer, were caused through the treacherous use of the white flag. In one case a man walked up to and was shot within 2 yards of the white flag by an enemy standing just behind the man who held the white flag."

P1010475.jpg

WHITFIELD, WESLEY FRANK

Initials: W F

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: Australian Light Horse

Unit Text: 11th

Age: 39

Date of Death: 25/09/1918

Additional information: Son of Frank Whitfield and his wife, Mary Matilda Shoreland; husband of M. Whitfield, of "Granville," Brown St., Armidale, New South Wales. Born at Birmingham, England

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: B. 61

Wesley Frank Whitfield – born England 16 March 1879; educated King Edward's Grammar School Birmingham; by profession, an electrical engineer; previously served with 5th Regt. Imperial Yeomanry and 1st Warwickshire Volunteer Garrison Artillery [among his effects are listed "2 S. A. Medals with 5 bars" and 1 other medal]; took competitive examination for commission in AIF in March 1915; enlisted May 1915 and commissioned Second Lieutenant; sailed from Brisbane 2 June 1915; served on Gallipoli from 29 August 1915; in December 1915 he developed jaundice and was evacuated to Malta; rejoined force in Egypt, February 1916 and promoted Lieutenant in March 1916; in the EEF served as Troop Officer, Divisional Water Officer (Australian Mounted Division) and Regimental QM; promoted Captain in August 1918 and posted to 'A' Squadron, 7th September 1918; killed in action at Semakh 25th September 1918;

buried by Chaplain Best at Semakh in Grave No.2; re-interred at Haifa in 1919

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FARLOW

Initials: F G

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Australian Light Horse

Unit Text: 11th

Date of Death: 25/09/1918

Awards: M C

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: B. 60

P1010477.jpg

Frederick Garnet Farlow – at the time that he enlisted he was a 28 year old farmer from Grafton, NSW; joined 'B' Squadron, 11th LHR 24 March 1915; promoted Corpl. 29th March, and Sergt. 15 April 1915; sailed from Brisbane 16 June 1915; on arrival at Gallipoli transferred to 5th LHR 29 August 1915 and rejoined 11th LHR 22 February 1916; Tempy. Sq. S. Major from 2 April 1916 and confirmed SSM 4 July 1916; commissioned Second Lieutenant 29 July 1916 and appointed MG Officer; promoted Lieutenant 5 January 1917; MiD by General Sir Archibald Murray, LG 6 July 1917 (relates to events Oct'16-Feb'17); wounded in the right leg at Gaza on 19 April 1917; awarded the MC 'for distinguished service in the field' 5 June 1917; sick (abscess) and to hospital 24 December 1917 and then rejoined unit 11 January 1918;

Buried by Chaplain J. Best at Semakh in Grave No.3; transferred to Haifa in 1919

Three Farlow brothers served in the Great War and two died with the 11 LHR in Palestine; the other casualty was

FARLOW, HAROLD HAMILTON

Initials: H H

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Trooper

Regiment/Service: Australian Light Horse

Unit Text: 11th

Age: 28

Date of Death: 01/05/1918

Service No: 2308A

Additional information: Son of Charles and Julia Farlow; husband of Mrs. M. A. Farlow, of Aloomla, Queensland. Native of Maclean, New South Wales

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 58

Memorial: JERUSALEM MEMORIAL

The third brother, Merton Glynn Farlow also served in the 11th LHR, returned to Australia and was discharged from the AIF 18 August 1919

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McCARTHY, JOHN

Initials: J

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Sergeant

Regiment/Service: Australian Light Horse

Unit Text: 11th

Age: 28

Date of Death: 25/09/1918

Service No: 911

Additional information: Son of Thomas and Mary Ann McCarthy, of Tolga, North Queensland. Born at Kiama, South Coast, New South Wales

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: B. 59

John McCarthy – a labourer aged 24 on enlistment 1 March 1915 to 3rd Reinforcements 11th LHR; served on Gallipoli from November 1915 with 2nd LHR and was A/Sergt for a time; rejoined 11th LHR as Private 22 February 1916; promoted L/Corpl 9 July 1916 and Corpl (temp) 4 August 1916; confirmed Corporal 4 November 1916 and promoted L/Sergt 31 July 1917; promoted Sergeant 18 January 1918; a brief period of sickness (septic sores) 18-24 June 1917; attended School of Cookery Instruction and NCO's Course 1st Class in January 1918;

Buried in Grave No.4 at Semakh by Chaplain J. Best; reinterred at Haifa 1919

P1010478.jpg

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The fifth grave is that of William Edward Ludlow Hughes; one of the two men who died of wounds sustained in the action at Semakh. And here at Haifa, for the first time, the order established at Semakh has been broken: at Semakh, Lance Sergeant Hughes was given grave number 15

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HUGHES, WILLIAM EDWARD LUDLOW

Initials: W E L

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Lance Sergeant

Regiment/Service: Australian Light Horse

Unit Text: 11th

Age: 23

Date of Death: 25/09/1918

Service No: 159

Additional information: Son of Edward John Hughes and Emma Hughes (or Culliford), of Quilpie, Great Western Line, Queensland. Born at Brisbane

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: B. 58

Aged 19 when he signed-up, Hughes was originally from Brisbane, and had been working as a Station Hand. The early dates on his record look (to me at least) a little confused - 'Joined on 1st Jany 1915' however he signed the page on 17 April 1915 (and the same date for the oath) while the medical examination has 1st Jany 1915 crossed out and 27 May 1915 substituted. He is listed as with the ALH 1 Jan to 24 March 1915; Private 11 LHR 24 March and transferred to 2 LHR, 29 August 1915 on arrival at Gallipoli; a spell in hospital from 20 November to 4 December 1915; he reverted to the 11 LHR on 22 February 1916 in Egypt; promoted to L/Corpl 30 April 1916 and then Temp/Corpl. 7 July 1917; promoted Corpl. 20 September 1917 and transferred to 4th LHR on 14 October 1917; spent 10 days at the Imperial School of Instruction in December 1917; rejoined the 11 LHR 26 January 1918 and promoted L/Sgt. 10 September 1918; Wounded in action at Semakh (GSW to the head) and died that same day

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P1010481.jpg

THORN, KENNETH STANLEY WILLIS

Initials: K S W

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Corporal

Regiment/Service: Australian Light Horse

Unit Text: 11th

Age: 22

Date of Death: 25/09/1918

Service No: 38

Additional information: Son of George Henry and Maud Mary Thorn, of Goondiwindi, Queensland

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: B. 57

Kenneth Stanley Willis Thorn joined on 18 March 1915. He was originally from Southport, Queensland, employed as a Clerk/Telegraphist and aged 18 years 11 months. With the 11 LHR from 1 April 1915, he reached Gallipoli on 29 August 1915 and was transferred to 5 LHR, but attached for duty to 2 LH Brigade Signal Troop; in hospital 3 November to 9 December 1915 with Debility; reverted to 11 LHR in March 1916 and promoted L.Corp, then Temp. Signal Corporal; promotion to Signal Corporal confirmed 27 June 1916; at the EEF School of Instruction 25 April 1918 to 29 May 1918; promoted Sgt (temp) 11 August 1918 and reverted to Cpl. 15 September 1918 (this period was to substitute for Sgt Poole, while the latter was in hospital)

Killed in Action. Buried by Chaplain J Best at Semakh in Grave No.5; reinterred at Haifa in 1919

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