Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
michaeldr

Jerusalem surrenders

Recommended Posts

michaeldr

The surrender of Jerusalem took place on 9th December 1917. There are various versions of what happened that morning. One has it that the surrendering party was first met by two British cooks while they were out looking for eggs for breakfast. The cooks passed the Mayor of Jerusalem on to two sergeants, who in turn passed him on to an officer. He called up the Brigadier-General to come and take the surrender. But then the Brigadier-General had to give the keys of Jerusalem back to the Mayor, as the Divisional commander wanted to do the job in a dignified manner. The two sergeants who are usually associated with these events were F. G. Hurcomb and J. Sedgewick. The Mayor's white flag is said to have been a bed sheet taken from a hospital run by the American, Bertha Spafford Vester, and it is now lodged at the IWM

SurrenderofJerusalem.jpg

The surrender

CopyoftheletterofsurrenderofJerusal.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Two days later Allenby was able to telegraph to Robertson in London

Chief Egyptforce to Chief LONDON

repeat to High Commissioner

SECRET

JERUSALEM, 1400, 11th December

1. At noon today I officially entered this city with a few of my Staff, the commanders of the French and Italian Detachments, the Head of the Picot Mission and the Military Attaches of France, Italy, and the United States of America.

The procession was on foot.

I was received by guards representing England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Australia, India, New Zealand, France and Italy at the Jaffa Gate.

2. I was well received by the population.

3. The Holy Places have had guards placed over them.

4. My Military Governor is in touch with the acting Custos of Latins, and the Greek representative has been detailed to supervise the Christian Holy Places.

5. The Mosque of Omar and the area round it has been placed under Moslem control, and a Military cordon, composed of Indian Mahomedan officers and soldiers, has been established round the Mosque.

Orders have been issued that, without permission of the Military Governor and the Moslem in charge of the Mosque, no non-Moslem is to pass this cordon.

6. In accordance with your 46139 cipher M.O.1 of 21st November, the proclamation has been posted on the walls and from the steps of the Citadel was read in my presence to the population in Arabic, Hebrew, English, French, Italian, Greek and Russian.

7. Guards have been established at Bethlehem and on Rachel's Tomb. The Tomb of Hebron has been placed under exclusive Moslem control.

8. The hereditary Custodians of the Wafk at the Gates of the Holy Sepulchre have been requested to take up their accustomed duties in remembrance of the magnanimous act of the Caliph Omar who protected that church.

Allenbysproclamationin3languages.jpg

a copy of Allenby's proclamation as posted

AllenbysproclamationJLM.jpg

Allenby's proclamation being read on the steps of the Citadel

Moslemtroopsguardthemosque.jpg

Indian (and French) moslem soldiers guarding the Mosque of Omar (The Dome of the Rock)

All of the above photographs are from a collection held at the Library of Congress (USA)

Allenby's telegram to Robertson is from 'Allenby in Palestine – the middle east correspondence of Field Marshal Viscount Allenby' edited by Matthew Hughes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
squirrel

Most interesting and thank you for posting the pictures. Many years ago I was staying in Jerusalem and had the odd meal and drink or two in Allenby Square; I often wondered what it looked like in WW1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ian turner

A significant anniversary (especially in today's world) which seems to have been missed in the media.

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Squirrel & Ian,

Many thanks for your interest

and yes Ian, how strange that the anniversary is not more widely remembered; one could speculate endlessly on the reasons for that.

The OH states that "The surrender of Jerusalem on the 9th December was one of the most dramatic incidents of the war." This 'drama' according to the authoress Jill Hamilton, has at least seven different scripts. However if we go with that provided by the OH

then the dramatis personae were as follows:

Privates H. E. Church & R. W. J. Andrews, mess cooks of the 2/20th London [see post #11 below - Pte Church's initials were A. E., not as given in the OH]

Sergeants F. G. Hurcomb & J. Sedgwick, of the 2/19th London, on outpost duty

Majors, W. Beck & F. R. Barry, of the 60th Divisional Artillery, on reconnaissance

Lieut.-Colonel H. Bayley, commander of the 303rd Brigade R.F.A and Captain R. Armitage, battery commander, and others

Brigadier-General C. F. Watson, C.O. 180th Brigade, was the next on the scene

followed by

Major-General Sir J. S. M. Shea, KCMG, CB, DSO, IA, psc. "who had been ordered by General Chetwode to take over the city, arrived by car and formally accepted the surrender of Jerusalem in the name of Sir Edmund Allenby. He established his headquarters at the English Ophthalmic Hospital of St. John on the Jaffa Road."

A lot of the above characters were photographed

First, the two Sergeants and Major Barry

2SgntsMjrBarry.jpg

The second photograph purports to be of The Mayor, Lt-Col. Bailey (should read Bayley) and Brig-Gen. Watson

BrGenWatsonandLtColBayley.jpg

The third is of Maj-Gen Shea and his staff at their new HQ

MajGenSheaandstaffatHQEnglishHospit.jpg

Edited by michaeldr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Sadly it seems that the only people who did not get photographed were the two cooks, Church and Andrews.

The two sergeants were made much of however, and later they posed on a northern hill (probably somewhere between the Mt. of Olives and Mt. Scopus) with the old walled city as a backdrop

2SgntsandOldCityinbackground.jpg

regards

Michael

with thanks to the Library of Congress (USA)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Charles Fair

Michael, It's not quite forgotten. 40 of us in the 19th London Regiment Old Comrades Association commemorated this event at our annual Jerusalem Dinner last Saturday held in the Civil Service Club in London. I am looking forward to next year's do already.

Very many thanks for sharing these photos. You have two featuring Sgts Sedgwick and Hurcomb that I had not seen before. If I understand you correctly, are these from an album held in the Library of Congress?

Charles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

quote: If I understand you correctly, are these from an album held in the Library of Congress?

Charles,

So glad that the event was not completely forgotten

and pleased that you had such a good time at the dinner.

Yes, the photographs come from the collection of G. Eric and Edith Matson

held at the Library of Congress (USA)

and some 13,700 of the 20,000 images are available on-line here http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/matpchtml/matpcabt.html

Below is another shot of the two heroes, clipped from one of the Matsons' stereographs

thetwosergeants.jpg

best regards

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
charlesmessenger

Fascinating photographs. I have always imagined the immediate reaction of the two Sergeants to being invited to take Jerusalem's surrender 'Wot me, Guv?' After all, they were Londoners!

Charles M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Thanks for your comments Charles

I wonder if either you, or perhaps Charles F., can identify for me which sergeant is which;

that is to say, who is Hurcomb and who Sedgwick in the above photographs?

One seems to be very much the 'old hand'

with his high collared jacket, his Overseas Service Stripes on one arm and his Wound Stripe on the other

regards

Michael

Note to myself - check with 'search' first, before asking questions

quote from Charles Fair's post of 22 july 2006

"Sgt Frederick George HURCOMB (numbers 3876 and 611058)

believed to have enlisted about mid April 1915

Wounded 20/02/18 at Talat ed Dumm

resided 60, Grafton Rd, St Pancras"

so I suppose that identifies Sgt. Hurcomb as the one wearing the high collar & wound stripe

It may also indicate that one (or more) of the shots were taken quite some time after the surrender

Edited by michaeldr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Temporary Viking

Great material

There are many versions of this story, the version I would prefer to believe (naturally) is that given to me by my grandfather Pte Albert Edward Church of the 2/20th London regiment. He and Pte R J W Andrews were the two who first met the surrender party from Jerusalem.

Besides my grandfathers account this event was also recorded in the published history of The Second Twentieth by Capt W.R. Elliot MC, reported in the Kentish Mercury March 21st 1919 and included in a speech during the presentation of the Kings Colours by H.R.H Prince Albert on the 10th of April 1920

Between the Wars my grandfather was a regular guest of honour at the annual Jerusalem dinner held by the 20th London regiment where the keys were always on display. When the regiment was absorbed into the Royal West Kent the keys were transferred to the RWK regimental museum which is now housed at Maidstone museum where the keys are on display.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

T-V,

Many thanks for adding those details

As I said above, they do get a mention in Official History,

Military Operations Egypt & Palestine from June 1917 to the end of the war, Part I

see page 252

"The first to encounter the Mayor and his party appear to have been Privates H.(sic) E. Church and R. W. J. Andrews, mess cooks of the 2/20th London."

I am sorry that I did not find a photograph of them; do you by any chance have one which you can add here?

regards

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

The historians of the surrender seem to have had something of a problem with names and initials.

As well as the Church example, I see that in the account given by

'The Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force ...etc... Compiled from Official Sources' published by HMSO

the writer gives the same spelling for the name of the artillery Lt.-Col. as that given by the Jerusalem photographer

ie. Lieut.-Col. H. Bailey, DSO.

Can anyone confirm which is correct - Bayley or Bailey?

regards

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
charlesmessenger

I suspect that it was Hadrian Bayley, who won his DSO while commanding the 15th County of London Battery RFA TF in France in 1915. The award was gazetted on 29 Oct 15.

Charles M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Temporary Viking

Michael,

Not surprisingly there were no official war photographers about when my grandfather stumbled across the surrender party. This is the only photograph that I have of him; it is an interesting creative photograph as it shows my grandfather writing a letter whilst thinking about his wife and children The image behind him is a photograph of my grandmother, my father (seated on her lap) and my uncle.

My father was born in September 1915 so we believe this to date from sometime in 1916.

The 2/20th London regiment were deployed to France in June 1916 (Vimy Ridge area) and then via Marseilles to Salonika in November 1916 before being sent to Egypt in June 1917.

I’m not sure of the significance of my grandfather wearing short trousers and if this would narrow down the date of this photo to perhaps post western front en route to Salonika but then again my father looks about 9 months old (so I am reliably informed by the womenfolk in my family) so this could even date from his time in France or prior to going to France.

I have a picture of “The Keys” to the city of Jerusalem somewhere, I will try and find them and post here.

post-15266-1197749137.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Charles M.,

Thanks for giving the full & correct name of Lt.-Col Hadrian Bayley DSO

I see he was also awarded the Order of the Nile, 3rd Class, [LG 9 Nov '18]

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

T-V,

Many thanks for the picture of your grandfather Pte. Church;

as you suggest, a very clever composition showing the whole family

If the photograph of the Keys to Jerusalem turns up, then please add it too

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

One more character had a walk-on part in this drama and, not unusually for him, it was in a borrowed costume. However he did refer to it as "..for me the supreme moment of the war."

Seven Pillars of Wisdom [Ch. LXXXI, p. 462, The Prize] by T. E. Lawrence

"Later came urgent orders for me to go up at once to Palestine by air. Croil flew me to Suez. Thence I went up to Allenby's headquarters beyond Gaza. He was so full of victories that my short statement that we had failed to carry a Yarmuk bridge was sufficient, and the miserable details of failure could remain concealed.

While I was still with him, word came from Chetwode that Jerusalem had fallen, and Allenby made ready to enter in the official manner which the catholic imagination of Mark Sykes had devised. He was good enough, although I had done nothing for the success, to let Clayton and me along as his staff officer for the day. The personal Staff tricked me out in their spare clothes till I looked like a major in the British Army. Dalmeny lent me his red tabs, Evans his brass hat; so I had the gauds of my appointment in the ceremony of the Jaffa gate, which for me was the supreme moment of the war."

regards

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Temporary Viking

"Sgt Frederick George HURCOMB (numbers 3876 and 611058)

believed to have enlisted about mid April 1915

Wounded 20/02/18 at Talat ed Dumm

resided 60, Grafton Rd, St Pancras"

so I suppose that identifies Sgt. Hurcomb as the one wearing the high collar & wound stripe

It may also indicate that one (or more) of the shots were taken quite some time after the surrender

Michael, do you know if there is any significance as to why one of the two sergeants has sergeant chevrons on both sleeves whilst the other only has them on his right sleeve?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

quote: do you know if there is any significance as to why one of the two sergeants has sergeant chevrons on both sleeves whilst the other only has them on his right sleeve?

T-V,

I had noticed that myself, but I have no answer I'm afraid.

I hope that one of the others can enlighten us

regards

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Charles Fair

Michael - thanks for the additional photo of the two sergeants. Yes, that would be my best guess as to which is which. No idea why one is missing his stripes on one arm.

If anyone would be interested in attending the next Jerusalem Dinner (I think on 6 Dec 2008) then please let me know. We are hoping that we might be able to borrow the keys one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wulsten

cracking post credit to all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Temporary Viking
Michael - thanks for the additional photo of the two sergeants. Yes, that would be my best guess as to which is which. No idea why one is missing his stripes on one arm.

If anyone would be interested in attending the next Jerusalem Dinner (I think on 6 Dec 2008) then please let me know. We are hoping that we might be able to borrow the keys one day.

Charles,

As an infrequent visitor to the forum I have only just read your post regarding the next Jerusalem Dinner in 2008

I would be very interested in attending. Could you notify me when this will be and how I go about joining this event.

For your information the set of keys that the 2/20th had are held by the regimental museum of the Queens Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum which is now housed at Maidstone as a part of the county museum. (http://www.museum.maidstone.gov.uk/pages/index.asp?area=140)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

quote from post #9 above:

"I have always imagined the immediate reaction of the two Sergeants to being invited to take Jerusalem's surrender 'Wot me, Guv?' "

Charles M,

The other evening I watched a repeat of an old history programme on the local TV

It covered these events and if I understood it correctly, they interviewed an old gentleman [the programme must have been made about 25 years ago] who was one of the small boys on the left of the photograph shown in post #1 above. His recollection of the event was not quite 'Wot me Guv' but you were very nearly right.

As he told it, the sergeants' main priority was not the keys to the Holy City, but matches! They had plenty of cigarettes, but had not seen any matches for about ten days and they were desperate for a smoke, going round everyone in the mayor's party asking if they had a match to spare.

Regards

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Charles Fair
As an infrequent visitor to the forum I have only just read your post regarding the next Jerusalem Dinner in 2008

I would be very interested in attending. Could you notify me when this will be and how I go about joining this event.

I must have missed this one. It would be great to have you at the next dinner which will be at the Civil Service Club on 6 Dec 2008. Please send me an email (not a PM) via the forum and I can send you the newsletter. Regards, Charles F

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Charles Fair
As he told it, the sergeants' main priority was not the keys to the Holy City, but matches! They had plenty of cigarettes, but had not seen any matches for about ten days and they were desperate for a smoke, going round everyone in the mayor's party asking if they had a match to spare.

That sounds like the 2/19th - good scroungers all! Thanks for the anecdote Michael. You wouldn't happen to recall the name of the programme would you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Charles F,

I am not sure, but I think it was from the series 'Pillar of Fire'. I'm afraid that I could not tell you whether or not it was ever dubbed into English or screened in the UK

regards

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...