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Delta & Western Force


JulianB

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Delta & Western Force appears to have been some some of unit / echelon ??? based at Abbassia in Egypt in 1917.

Can anyone explain what exactly it was, its dates and functions !?

thanks

Julian

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Julian,

from 'The Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force - July 1917 to October 1918' [2nd ed. 1919, as republished by N & M Press]

It appears in their OB lodged between 'Alexandria District' and 'Army Medical Services'

I quote in full

Delta and Western Force

(Ceased to exist, April 8, 1918)

Commander.- Col. (temp. Brig-Gen.) H. G. Casson, CB, CMG

25th Motor Machine Gun Battery (disbanded, 18/1/18)

Not much, I know, but it's a start

If I am allowed to guess, then I would say that the 'Western' in the title refers to the Western Desert of Egypt and that this force was set up to deal with the Senussi. There was an outfit which I have also seen referred to as the Western Desert Force which defeated them at Aqqaquia on 26 February 1916. The Delta & Western Force may have been the last remnant of this (?)

regards

Michael

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Thanks Michael,

I had wondered about the Senussi but Abbassia is near Cairo and thus a long way off. My ggfthr was DAQMG of the D&WF - which I assume is something like deputy assistant quartermaster general ???? - from July to Dec 1917. He notes that the commandant was Casson, AA&QMG was Col Waters Taylor and others there were Major Hill (A), Capt Hodgson (G2), Col Tillard (CRE), Major Holmes (OC ASC), Major Taylor (RAMC), Major Price (G!) and a Major Mills. Apart from that he mentions very little apart from the fact that he was rather bored being in this backwater.

could you enlighten me as to what OB is / was.

also, I'd be very interested in the EEF document you mention - I'll go and look it up in the Brit Libr , if you have the full ref, rather than buy a copy !

thanks anyway

Julian

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Actually I've just looked at the NA cataloge on line and discovered 10 refs in WO 95 and one in WO 154 so next time I'm in Kew, Ill have a look. Just for good measure I tried Google too - but there's nothing there.

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Julian,

the full details of the book are

"A brief record of The Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force

under the command of

General Sir Edmund H. H. Allenby, GCB, GCMG.

July 1917 to October 1918

Compiled from Official Sources

Second Edition

London

Published by His Majesty's Stationery Office

1919"

the price back then was six bob!

today it's ₤15.50 + p & p, from the N & M Press

OB = Order of Battle, as in

'Order of Battle of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force with which are included the names of General Officers and a brief record of service of the major formations'

Alas a 'brief record of service' does not include the D & W Force, but concentrates on the EEF actions to the east of the Suez Canal Jul '17 - Oct '18

The first part also includes Allenby's despatches of Dec 16th 1917, Sep 18th 1918 & Oct 31st 1918

The second half of the book is taken up with a day-by-day coverage of the various actions with plenty of maps and concludes with a Summary of the Terms of the Turkish Armistice (as published) which came into force Oct 31st 1918

(caveat; the maps are reproduced in black only and though A4 size their fine detail/print is not always too clear)

After concentrating on Gallipoli to the exclusion of other 'other theatres' I found this a good and useful introduction

Regards

Michael

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Hi

An interesting book, part of it was written by T.E Lawrence, otherwise know as Lawrence of Arabia.

So the orginal is sought by Lawrence collectors.

The first version was Complied from Official Sources and Published by The Palestine News, Cario, Produced by the Government Press and Survey of Egypt 1919.

The Lawrence bibliograhies refer to the exact bit he wrote, and if I remember correctly he refers "to blowing up trains becoming a national pastime for the Arabs".

Both original printing have the maps in colour, are readily available on the standard internet search engines.

One of my copies has some photos tipped in, must scan and post to see what they are.

Interesting page here about it Link

I looked in "The Hashemite Arab Army 1908-1979", but nothing, also done a quick check of the OH but can't find anything in the index.

Regards

Mart

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