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With Our Army in Palestine   By:

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WITH OUR ARMY IN PALESTINE

BY

ANTONY BLUETT

LATE OF "A" BATTERY, H.A.C., AND EGYPTIAN CAMEL TRANSPORT CORPS

LONDON: ANDREW MELROSE LTD. 3 YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN, W.C. 1919

TO MY WIFE

FOREWORD

Little has been said, and less written, of the campaigns in Egypt and Palestine. This book is an attempt to give those interested some idea of the work and play and, occasionally, the sufferings of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, from the time of its inception to the Armistice. Severely technical details have been reduced to a minimum, the story being rather of men than matters; but such necessary figures and other data of which I had not personal knowledge, have been taken from the official dispatches and from the notes of eye witnesses.

Here I should like most cordially to thank the following old comrades for their generous help: Capt. B. T. Hinchley, R.A.S.C., late of the Egyptian Camel Transport Corps, and L. Allard Stonard, Esq., late of "A" Battery, the Honourable Artillery Company, for permission to print their excellent photographs, which will, I am sure, add materially to the interest of the book; and R. Arrowsmith, Esq., late of "A" Battery, the Honourable Artillery Company, whose admirable notes have been of the greatest assistance to me in compiling some of the later chapters.

ANTONY BLUETT.

HIGHGATE, July 1919 .

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

I. MERSA MATRUH AND THE SENUSSI 1

II. "SOMEWHERE EAST OF SUEZ..." 19

III. ON 'UNTIN' AND SOME OTHER MATTERS 38

IV. KANTARA AND THE RAILWAY 46

V. THE WIRE ROAD 63

VI. "THE LONG, LONG TRAIL" 75

VII. ON THE FRINGE OF THE HOLY LAND 88

VIII. THE FIRST BATTLE OF GAZA 98

IX. THE RETREAT 113

X. THE SECOND ATTEMPT 127

XI. TEL EL JEMMI AND THE CAMELS 144

XII. CAVE DWELLERS AND SCORPIONS 157

XIII. IN THE WADI 170

XIV. THE ATTACK ON BEERSHEBA 184

XV. GAZA AT LAST 196

XVI. THE ROAD TO JERUSALEM 211

XVII. OÙ L'ON S'AMUSE 223

XVIII. IN THE JORDAN VALLEY 235

XIX. THE VALLEY OF CHAOS 247

XX. IN FULL CRY 260

XXI. OVER THE LADDER OF TYRE 270

XXII. DESERTED VILLAGES IN LEBANON 281

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

FACING PAGE

NATIVE MARKET AT MERSA MATRUH 16

SUNDAY MORNING IN THE GULF OF SUEZ 32

FELUCCAS BRINGING SUPPLIES TO KANTARA (see p. 54) 64

"THE LONG, LONG TRAIL" 80

I. CAMOUFLAGING A TENT WITH DESERT SCRUB (see p. 29) 144

II. A CAMEL CONVOY 144

SUMMER IN THE WADI GHUZZEE 176

IN THE JORDAN VALLEY WADI AUJA 240

I. A WATER CONVOY 256

II. THE VALLEY OF CHAOS BEFORE THE TURKISH RETREAT 256

THE VALLEY OF CHAOS AFTER THE BOMBING RAID (see p. 255) 272

WITH OUR ARMY IN PALESTINE

CHAPTER I

MERSA MATRUH AND THE SENUSSI

It is a little difficult to know the precise place at which to begin this narrative. There are, as it were, several points d'appui . One might describe the outward voyage, in a troopship packed to three or four times its normal peace time capacity; where men slept on the floors, on mess tables, and in hammocks so closely slung that once you were in it was literally impossible to get out until the whole row was ready to move; and where we were given food (!) cooked and served under conditions so revolting as to turn the stomach at the bare sight of it... Continue reading book >>




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