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TerryK

TURKISH ATTACK ON 5TH MOUNTED BRIGADE 23 APRIL 1916

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Does anyone know the casualties suffered (killed, wounded, PW) by the 5th (Yeomanry) Mounted Brigade when its dispersed squadrons in the Sinai Desert were surprised by a Turkish force on 23 April 1916?

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Hi Terry,

funnily enough, I just finished re-reading a book by an Australian medical officer attached to the 5th Yeomanry Brigade. The doctor, James Brown, was detatched from the brigade's field ambulance and was at Katia, which would place him with the Gloucesters I think (he doesn't name the regiment) in his account.

Anyway, Brown was captured along with the survivors of the squadron at Katia, and then along with the other POWs, moved to Oghratina. Here in his account he says there were 22 officers and about 100 other ranks being held there, of whom some 50 were wounded. In Brown's book, he details accompanying th wounded POWs away from the front and ulitimately to Turkey, where he was held at Afyonkarahissar.

Gullett, in volume 7 of the Australian official histories, mentions Australian troops finding and burying 33 British bodies at Katia after the fight, and that another 70 bodies were buried at Oghratina. The history also mentions an attack on he same day against an outpost of the Royal Scots Fusiliers of the 52nd Division, located at Dueidar, 20 miles to the west of Oghratina in which two officers and 18 men were killed.

Not too exact but hope it helps.

Cheers

Bill

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The 413th Field Company of the Royal Engineers were at Ogratina. I have a note that says they lost 1 Officer killed, 3 Officers and 60 Other Ranks missing in the attack. I will try to check the source.

See also this link on the Worcester yeomanry: http://www.worcestercitymuseums.org.uk/col...dobj3/obapr.htm

It states that at Katia nearly 250 men were reportedly taken prisoner, with 100 were killed or died of wounds. Afterwards, the Regiment could muster only 54 men fit for duty

Nick

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Thank you both. The references were just what I needed.

Terry

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Can you post the title of this book? I am interesting in links to the RGH.

John

Thanks

Hi Terry,

funnily enough, I just finished re-reading a book by an Australian medical officer attached to the 5th Yeomanry Brigade. The doctor, James Brown, was detatched from the brigade's field ambulance and was at Katia, which would place him with the Gloucesters I think (he doesn't name the regiment) in his account.

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Hi there

My Grandfather, Pte Arthur Lee Porter, Wellington Infantry Battalion, New Zealand. Regimental No 10/1320 (although he enlisted as Lee Arthur) was one of 22 (one of 17 from Wellington Infantry Battalion) captured on Chunuk Bair in August 1915 and one of only 25 New Zealand POWs in total of the Turks. After being in hospital in Constantinople he was a POW in the town/city of Afyonkarahisar . There is a lot of mention about Australians taken there, but not alot about New Zealanders. I was wondering if you had any information or literature I could get related to the camp and about New Zealanders held there. Thanks, Jen Porter

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Does anyone know the casualties suffered (killed, wounded, PW) by the 5th (Yeomanry) Mounted Brigade when its dispersed squadrons in the Sinai Desert were surprised by a Turkish force on 23 April 1916?

Hi Terry,

OK, it's a while since you posted this, but there is an excellent account of the actions at Oghratina, Qatia and Dueidar in 'The Yeomanry Cavalry of Worcestershire, 1914-1922' by 'C', though I very much doubt whether it is in print. At Oghratina, the Royal Engineers were sinking wells under the protection of 'A' and 'D' Squadrons of the Worcester Yeomanry when attacked early on the 23rd April. Major Lloyd Baker's squadron of Gloucesters was at Qatia and they were effectively immobilised when the Turkish artillery caught their horses in the lines. They were joined by 'C' Squadron of the Worcesters but, despite the efforts of two other squadrons of the Gloucesters under Colonel Yorke and two squadrons of the Warwicks, they were overwhelmed soon after midday. The rest of the Warwicks were at Dueidar, but it seems that the forward trenches were held by the Royal Scots Fusiliers. A thin wire fence had been erected in front of these trenches and, being a foggy morning, the attacking Turks blundered into it and 'after suffering considerable casualties, they retraced their steps to Mageibra'.

'Australian and New Zealand troops, which occupied Qatia and Oghratina four days later, found evidence everywhere of the severity of the fights at the two places ...'

Interestingly, according to 'C', 'a secret-service agent ... said [around mid-April] that a regiment of Turkish infantry and some German officers had arrived at El Arish and also two new guns'. It seems that the secret service had as much influence then as they did recently over Iraq!

My interest in this is that my father and two of his brothers were with the Worcester Yeomanry on Gallipoli. While my father was medically evacuated back to England, his younger brother withdrew with the regiment to Eqypt and was one of those captured at Qatia. He spent the rest of the war as a prisoner, initially at Afyon Karahissar, later in Angora. Whether he stayed there or was moved around, as was the case with some prisoners, I have no idea.

Best wishes,

Nick

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Just a personal recollection,

in about 1970 I had the unexpected good luck to meet "Sgt-Major Lovell" of the Gloucesters Yeomanry during a day-trip to Gloucester.

He was one of those wounded in the 23 April attack, and indeed lost a leg as a result. He became a grocer and continued with his pre-war hobby of collecting war medals! I can say without any qualification that it was the most stunning private collection I have ever seen, and would rival the contents of some regimental museums. I believe it was dispersed mostly by auction when he died some years later.

LST_164

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For some more info on the battle, follow this link:

http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/chapter.asp?volume=8

to Volume VII of the Australian Official History of WW1 – The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, 1914–1918. The engagement is rather well covered on chapter VII.

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to Volume VII of the Australian Official History of WW1 – The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, 1914–1918. The engagement is rather well covered on chapter VII.

Have just read this chapter. I couldn't speak for the officers because all those in my family who were yeomen were troopers. About half of those who fought at Oghratina, Katia and Dueidar had previously been on Gallipoli, so were not entirely 'indifferently trained for actual warfare'. Also, not all the wounded were left to 'the customary brutality of the Bedouins' but were evacuated by camel (an excruciating experience in itself, I gather!), and some were hospitalised in Damascus.

Terry, The Worcester Yeomanry account includes a list of the names of those killed on the 23rd, which I could post if you like.

Best wishes,

Nick

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I thought I might reinvigorate this thread by posting a list of books I've used when researching the action at Qatyia on the 23rd April 1916: excuse the personal points of view!

Preliminary Bibliography for sources on the action at Oghratina and Qatiya, 23rd April 1916

Simon Fielding 04 October 2009

Anglesey, George Charles Henry Victor Paget. A History of the British Cavalry, 1816-1919. Volume 5., Egypt, Palestine and Syria, 1914-1919. London: Leo Cooper, 1994.

A substantial account that places the cavalry operations of Imperial forces in context

Bruce, Anthony. The Last Crusade: The Palestine Campaign in the First World War. London: John Murray, 2002.

Modern popular historical account – clear summary of the Qatiya affair

Buchan, John. The History of the Royal Scots Fusiliers (1678-1918). London: T. Nelson and Sons, ltd, 1925.

Details the defence of Deuidar

C. The Yeomanry Cavalry of Worcestershire, 1914-1922. Stourbridge [Eng.]: Mark & Moody, 1926.

Outstanding account of the Worcesters’ defence of Oghratina – excellent maps

Davies, Celia. Brian Hatton: A Biography of the Artist (1887-1916). Lavenham: T. Dalton, 1978.

Details the artistic life of one of the Worcesters’ officers – useful for their social context.

Fox, Frank. History of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Yeomanry, 1898-1922: The Great Cavalry Campaign in Palestine. London: Allan, 1923.

Another excellent account with many details of the fighting.

Gullett, H. S. (Henry Somer), 1878-1940. The Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, 1914-1918: 1914-1918. Official history of Australia in the War of 1914-1918, v. 7. Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1939.

Kress von Kressenstein, Friedrich. War in the Desert. [Washington]: Historical Section, the Army War College, 1936.

Details of the attack from the perspective of the german commander of the Turkish force: a cursory reference.

Lambert, Angela. Unquiet Souls: The Indian Summer of the British Aristocracy, 1880-1918. London: Macmillan, 1984.

Some more social context on the Yeomanry officers especially Lord Elcho of the Gloucesters.

MacMunn, George Fletcher, and Cyril Falls. Military Operations, Egypt and Palestine: From the Outbreak of the War with Germany to June 1917. London: H.M. Stationary Office, 1928.

Sheffy, Yigal. British Military Intelligence in the Palestine Campaign, 1914-1918. Cass series--studies in intelligence. London: F. Cass, 1998.

Brief coverage of the action but superlative on intelligence background and photo reconnaissance.

Teichmann, O. Diary of a Yeomanry Medical Officer: Egypt, Gallipoli, Palestine and Italy. [s.l.]: Naval And Military Press, 2002. originally t fisher unwin 1921

Medical officer who was wounded at Gallipoli and missed Qatiya fighting – but god detail of the reconstruction of the Yeomanry brigade and later actions.

Thompson, R. R., and J. B. Ramsey. The Fifty-second <Lowland> Division, 1914-1918 ; Thompson, R.R., Lt.-Col. ; Maps and plans compiled from official sources and drawn by Captain J.B. Ramsey. Glasgow: Maclehose, Jackson, 1923.

Much more focused account of the Deuidar fighting.

Account of Sir Lionel Darrell c-in-c RGH Gloucestershire Records Office

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My first post!

I'm researching George Seymour KILBY of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. His name is in the back of of Fox's History of the RGHY as one of the POWs from the action at Qatia on 23 Apr 1916 (although there's a typo - 'GS Lilbey'). His medal card/CWGC record states his date of death as 22 May 1916 so I'm guessing that he died whist in captivity.

My question is this; where did he die? I believe that the POW's were first taken to Oghiritina, then to Jerusalem. Does anyone know of any dates when the POW's were moved?

Regards,

Richard

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ID: 14   Posted (edited)

Hello,

 

A delayed reply, I know, but hopefully of use!  On 22 May the PoWs from Qatia reached Afronkarahissar, in Turkey.  This was an extremely cramped and poorly prepared camp, where the 165 other ranks were squeezed into just three rooms.  It was bitterly cold and wet, and the men were still in their desert uniforms.  There was also a suspected cholera outbreak at the camp, but I'm not sure if this was a real outbreak or not.

 

All the best

Stuart 

Edited by Stuart24

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For an account of what transpired at Qatia (Katia) on 23 April 1916,  then 'The Road to Yozgad: My War 1914-19' by Lt. Arthur HOLYOAKE, Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars, transcribed and edited by Douglas BRIDGEWATER; published in 2013 is well worth reading  (ISBN 978 1  90833 6743).The diary provides a fascinating insight into what it was like to be a prisoner of War at Yozgad.

 

Philip

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Thanks Philip - one of the men I'm interested in was a (failed) escapee from Yozgad, so I've ordered myself a copy of that.

 

sJ

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Yep, copy ordered here too!

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For life at Yozgad, Cedric Hill's 'The Spook and the Commandant' and Elias Jones' 'The Road to En-Dor' are both excellent as well.

 

I'm working at the moment on a couple of small booklets, one about Qatia/Katia and one about British PoWs held in Turkey in WW1.  I'll put a notice in the 'Classifieds' section when complete.

 

All the best

Stuart

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I have 'The Road to En-Dor' but not the other - thanks!

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I have a few Qatia bits and pieces posted here https://greatwarresearch.com/2016/04/22/bewdley-yeomen-at-qatia-23rd-april-1916/ Stuart: let me know if there's anything you can use. 

 

Simon 

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On 7/7/2016 at 11:06, Stuart24 said:

I'm working at the moment on a couple of small booklets, one about British PoWs held in Turkey in WW1.  

I came across this today and it seems that there may be some useful information held at the CWGC archive

see their

http://www.cwgc.org/media/14236/ac_part_1_sections_07-08.pdf

in particular

414 WG 43612 Graves Of British Prisoners Of War In Turkey. 6 Feb. 1918 - 18 Dec. 1924

Main topics: registration of prisoner of war graves in Middle East and Asia Minor by DGRE; tracing graves of prisoners of war; exhumation and concentration of graves; reports of location and condition of graves including:

Schedule of dead prisoners from Essex Regt., giving causes of death, with letter etc., 19 July 1919.

Schedule of prisoners died in Bagdad Railway construction works, with later etc., 11 May 1920.

Schedule of British war graves in Taurus mountains, with letter etc., 13 Jan. 1920.

 

Note items 415-419 also cover graves in Asia Minor

 

I hope it helps

 

Good luck

Michael

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