Jump to content


Remembered Today:

Photo

Jerusalem December 1917 - Flag of surrender & key of the city


44 replies to this topic

#26 Lancashire Fusilier

Lancashire Fusilier

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,678 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 08 January 2012 - 03:51 PM

Eran,
In Purnell's History of World War 1, Vol 7 there is a very interesting article on the capture of Jerusalem by Brigadier Peter Young, part of which reads :-

" The actual surrender of Jerusalem was not without an element of humour. It seems that the first to learn of the city's impending fall were privates H. E. Church and R. W. J. Andrews of the 2/20th London Regiment. They had advanced into the outskirts to look for water and were told by civilians that the Turks had departed.
About 0800 hours Sergeants Hurcomb and Sedgewick ( 2/19th London Regiment ) met a flag of truce, and not long after two Royal Artillery majors, W. Beck and F. R. Barry, appeared on the scene and had a conversation with the mayor. This escalation in rank of the British officers concerned continued. The gunner majors reported to Lieutenant-Colonel H. Bailey DSO, who felt too junior to accept the surrender. A few minutes later Brigadier-General C. F. Watson, CMG, DSO
( 180th Brigade ) rode up, and, after reassuring the mayor, transmitted the offer of surrender to Major-General J. S. M. Shea, CB, CMG, DSO ( 60th Division ) at Kuryet El Enab.
The latter informed General Sir Phillip Chetwode ( XX Corps ), and about 1100 hours was authorised to accept the surrender. Meanwhile Brigadier-General Watson with a small mounted escort, followed by the mayor in his carriage, had ridden to the Jaffa Gate in order to reassure the populace, and he was the first British soldier to arrive there. Major-General Shea arrived somewhat later by car and, sending for the mayor and the chief of police, accepted the surrender in Allenby's name.
Thus fell Jerusalem for, perhaps the 34th time. And thus it came to pass that when the Prophet of the Lord ( Allah en Nebi alias Allenby ) caused the waters of the Nile to flow, albeit by pipeline, to Palestine, and ancient prophecy was fulfilled and the Holy City was retaken from the Turks. On December 11 Allenby entered Jerusalem on foot by the Jaffa Gate. From the steps of the Citadel in a simple, yet dignified ceremony, a proclamation was read in English, French, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Russian and Italian :
Allenby's Jerusalem Surrender Proclamation -
" To the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Blessed and the people dwelling in its vicinity.
The defeat inflicted upon the Turks by the troops under my command has resulted in the occupation of your city by my forces. I therefore here and now proclaim it to be under martial law, under which form of administration it will remain so long as military considerations make it necessary.
However, lest any of you should be alarmed by reason of your experience at the hands of the enemy who has retired, I hereby inform you that it is my desire that every person should pursue his lawful business without fear or interruption.
Furthermore, since your city is regarded with affection by adherents of three of the great religions of mankind, and its soil has been consecrated by the prayers and pilgrimages of multitudes of devout people of these three religions for many centuries, therefore do I make it known to you that every sacred building, monument, Holy spot, shrine, traditional site, endowment, pious bequest, or customary place of prayer, of whatsoever form of the three religions, will be maintained and protected according to the existing customs and beliefs of those to whose faiths they are sacred ".

The advance to take Jerusalem began on November 18 and the fighting lasted until December 9 when Jerusalem fell.
The rains came early that year and the troops in their thin cotton khaki without greatcoats and with few blankets suffered terribly from teh wet and the cold. In the Palestine of those days a donket track was considered a good road, and supply, even by camels, was immensely difficult. Still 75th Division, which included Ghurka and Indian units with experience of warfare on the North-West Frontier, thrust through the Beb-El-Wad ( Gate of the Valley ) which strategically speaking is the western entrance to the Jerusalem area. On November 21 75th Division took Nabi Samweil, a village on a commanding height which is a key to Jerusalem. It is said to be the point that King Richard 1 obtained his first glimpse of the Holy City.
In recognition of their feat, the 75th Division took a key as their divisional badge.
During the next few days the Turks counterattacked furiously and fruitlessly, while at the same time their garrison in the village of El Jib defied the efforts of XXI corps. Allenby now decided to consolidate the ground gained and to reinforce his front line before making his final attack on Jerusalem. A lull of a fortnight ensued. During this time XX Corps relieved XXI Corps and the Turkish storm troops made numerous counterattacks against the British line with varying success.
There was a curious incident on November 30 when some 80 men of the 74th Division, owing to a faulty map, got to Beit Ur El Foka behind Turkish lines, and bluffed 450 of them into surrendering, bringing back 300 prisoners. On December 1 a battalion of the Turkish 19th Division attacked an Australian post at El Burj. A Battalion of 52nd Division, which was on its way to rest, came on the scene somewhat providently, and despite its determination the entire Turkish storm battalion was wiped out, losing more than 100 killed and 172 prisoners. It was afterwards learned from deserters that the Turks were geratly puzzled by the way in which this unit completely vanished. The British casualties were less than 60. There were further Turkish counterattacks during the early days of December, which as it turned out, served no useful purpose but caused them heavy casualties among their comparatively few good troops.
There was another brief lull before, on December 8, General Sir Phillip Chetwode ( XX Corps ) began his final advance. Once more the main difficulties were the rain, which fell incessantly on December 7 and 8, and the supply problem, for which animal transport were employed. The camels did not like the cold and the wet but 2000 Egyptian donkeys did useful work in the hills.
By this time, the Turkish 7th Army still had only 15,500 men, hardly enough to defend Jerusalem or rather the ring of hills which were its outworks. The Turks had spent a great deal of trouble on their defences and in some cases had provided three tiers of fire trenches. With sufficient men of high morale the position may have proved practically impregnable, but the series of disasters since Beersheba had shaken the Turks, who, as we have seen, had lost many of their best men in a series of counterattacks. The British onslaught at dawn on December 8 was favoured by mist and rain, though it delayed the progress of the 53rd Division. Although the fighting was indecisive in that they did not get across teh Nablus Road, the Turks were discouraged when they found that some of their strongest defences, such as Deir Yesin, had fallen. In the evening they began to withdraw, and on the morning of December 9, the Turks had left Jerusalem.

During campaign to capture Jerusalem from November 25 to December 10, British casulaties totalled 1,667, a number exceeded by that of Turkish prisoners of war alone ( 1,800 ). Since the end of October the British had 10,000 animal casualties, half of them killed, that is to say 11.5% of the force's horses, camels, mules and donkeys.

#27 Lancashire Fusilier

Lancashire Fusilier

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,678 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 08 January 2012 - 06:02 PM

Eran,
Here is a nice photograph of Allenby entering Jerusalem by the Jaffa Gate following the capture of the City.

Attached Files



#28 Eran

Eran

    Second Lieutenant

  • Old Sweats
  • 102 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Palestine campaign, especially Jerusalem

Posted 08 January 2012 - 11:56 PM

Hi Kevin,

Many thanks for your input. I've read Gilbert's book and although the chapter describing these events is written in a humorous way, it still seems to describe the real events from the narrow angle Gilbert was a witness to. Some parts of his book were based on notes taken in the field and some were written a few years after the war, probably including this chapter, which probably explains mistakes like the names etc.

About the flag – It was made of a pillow-cover taken from the Italian Hospital, that was run at that time by the members of the American Colony of Jerusalem (They ran a few hospitals at that time). This story is mentioned in many sources, for example – Bertha Spafford's book about the American Colony.

As far as the disorientation of the cooks – That to me is one of the strangest parts of the story, although there is no doubt it happened. By comparing maps, it seems that the battalion's HQ was on the slopes a bit behind and above (South-West) of Lifta. Knowing this area very well, I can tell you the only possible way the cooks could go that far was by circling the village (Definitely not a town!!) from the North, crossing a deep valley, climbing a very steep hillside and arriving to Jaffa Road (Described in Gilbert's version), East of Lifta. What a hike!!!

About the flag – No, it was not returned to the hospital (The pillow-cover was split to create the flag). According to one source, Brigadier-General Watson returned to the place and found the flag, brought it to the Larson's (The Photographer) and asked them to keep it for him. A few days ago I found a book written by Larson's son, who claimed that is father found the flag, later given to Watson, who gave it to Lady Allenby, who gave it the IWM. This version of the story seems to me more reliable.

Thanks again,

Eran

#29 Eran

Eran

    Second Lieutenant

  • Old Sweats
  • 102 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Palestine campaign, especially Jerusalem

Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:11 AM

Lancashire Fusilier

Thanks. The qoute mentions Watson as the first British soldier in Jerusalem. Actually, Major Cooke was there before - He was sent forward down Jaffa Road by Bailey, to take over the Post-Office next to the city walls.

Thanks again,

Eran

#30 Lancashire Fusilier

Lancashire Fusilier

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,678 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:23 AM

Eran,
As there was only 3 hours ( 0800 - 1100 hours ) between the 2 sergeants Hurcomb and Sedgewick meeting the flag of truce at 8 am, and Major-General Shea accepting the surrender at 11 am. Could you place Major Cooke into the time frame given in Brigadier Young's account, and let me know the source for Major Cooke inclusion.

#31 Eran

Eran

    Second Lieutenant

  • Old Sweats
  • 102 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Palestine campaign, especially Jerusalem

Posted 09 January 2012 - 03:00 PM

Eran,
As there was only 3 hours ( 0800 - 1100 hours ) between the 2 sergeants Hurcomb and Sedgewick meeting the flag of truce at 8 am, and Major-General Shea accepting the surrender at 11 am. Could you place Major Cooke into the time frame given in Brigadier Young's account, and let me know the source for Major Cooke inclusion.



Hi Lancashire Fusilier,

As you probably know, there are several different sources with different versions of the events. One of the difficult issues is the question as to when did General Shea met with Jerusalem's Mayor and exactly where that short 'Surrender Ceremony' took place. As far as the time Genral Shea met the Mayor – Every hour was mentioned between 11.00 up to 16.00.

At 11.00 Shea was authorized to accept the surrender and just then started his way to Jerusalem by car from Karyat El-Anab (Abu-Gush – In the British sources it is called many times Enab). He was delayed as his car was stuck in mud at the improvised passage of Wadi Surar. Most sources state that Shea met the mayor at noon, 12.30 or 13.00. Most sources place this event near the Post Office.

Although written in a way of being 'Politically correct' it seems that the best (and most detailed) version is in the British OH (Page 252-254):

Military Operations

Egypt & Palestine

From June 1917 to the

End of the war

Captain CYRIL FALLS


As far as Major Cooke – He was one of Lieut.-Colonel Bayley's battery's commanders. Just before the arrival of Brigadier-General Watson, Bayley sent Cooke forward with his orderly and an Arab Policeman (From the Mayor's delegation) down Jaffa Road to take over the Central Post Office (Where the Telegraph was). The time is between 09.00-09.30.

Another official source available on the net which can help a lot:
http://www.archive.o...e/n175/mode/2up

Eran

#32 Lancashire Fusilier

Lancashire Fusilier

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,678 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:40 PM

I am pleased to have found a photograph of Allenby attending the reading his December 11, 1917 Jerusalem Surrender Proclamation.

Attached Files



#33 michaeldr

michaeldr

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 8,178 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:01 PM

LF,

A small point, but for accuracy's sake, Allenby did not himself read the document. As he told Robertson in his telegram of that same afternoon
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.

[details from 'Allenby in Palestine the middle east correspondence of Field Marshal Viscount Allenby' selected and edited by Matthew Hughes, Army Records Society, 2004, ISBN 0-7509-3841-2]

regards
Michael

#34 Lancashire Fusilier

Lancashire Fusilier

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,678 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:49 PM

Michael,
Many thanks for that important information, none of the reports go into detail, other than saying Allenby " read " his Proclamation from the steps of the Citadel. I always assumed that as it was given in numerous languages, others had also read it aloud, with Allenby reading the English version. Your quotation from his telegram, that it was in fact read in his presence, properly records the event. It was still nice to have a photograph of this important event taking place.
Regards,
Leo

#35 Lancashire Fusilier

Lancashire Fusilier

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,678 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:01 PM

Michael - photograph text amended accordingly.
Leo

#36 michaeldr

michaeldr

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 8,178 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:07 AM

Leo,

The photographer from the American colony took several photographs of this event and in post #2 here http://1914-1918.inv...showtopic=88077 Haddad Bey can be seen reading the Arabic version.
Other pictures from the Matson Collection can be seen via the LoC, USA, here http://www.loc.gov/p...r 1917&co=matpc
including Brig-General Borton who seems to have read the English version and a Franciscan monk who apparently read out the Italian and/or French versions (there are two photographs with different captions and there may even have been different monks - it's difficult to tell *)

The event is described on pages 259-261 of the OH 'Military Operations, Egypt & Palestine, from June 1917 to the end of the war, Part I' with a list of those taking part and their place in the little procession from the Jaffa Gate. As hinted at in Allenby's telegram to Robertson, the terms of the proclamation had been drawn up in London by the British Government, and sent to Allenby some three weeks earlier.

regards
Michael

edit: * Looking at the enlargement, I rather think that there were two monks

Edited by michaeldr, 02 March 2012 - 08:39 AM.


#37 Lancashire Fusilier

Lancashire Fusilier

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,678 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:29 PM

Michael,
Many thanks for the links, and information.
I had not seen the previous thread, which is extremely comprehensive, with great photographs.
I am pleased the photograph I posted of the proceedings, was taken from a different vantage point.
I do not know if you viewed a thread I ran on British Uniforms, the illustrations of which were very lifelike. One of the illustrations used ( copy attached ), was based on the photograph of Sgt. Hurcomb taken at the time of the Jerusalem surrender.
Regards,
Leo

Attached Files



#38 michaeldr

michaeldr

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 8,178 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:55 AM

Eran,

Below is another photograph from the Matson collection at the LoC (USA) which I thought might be of help here
Per their caption this one shows the countryside over which the British would have moved to meet the Mayor and his party on their way out from Jerusalem

Posted Image

Quote:
Title: The surrender of Jerusalem to the British, December 9th, 1917. Deir Yasin trenches and approach to Jerusalem
Creator(s): American Colony (Jerusalem). Photo Dept., photographer
Date Created/Published: 1917 Dec. 9.
Medium: 1 negative : glass, dry plate ; 4 x 5 in. or smaller.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-matpc-05994 (digital file from original photo)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.


Is this the correct way around, or has the photograph been flipped?

regards
Michael

#39 Eran

Eran

    Second Lieutenant

  • Old Sweats
  • 102 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Palestine campaign, especially Jerusalem

Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:43 AM

[Posted Image

Hi Michael,



There are quite a few photographs in the Matson collection which relate to the Turkish trenches. The one you attached is defiantly one of the best.



There were five Turkish trench systems West of Jerusalem Starting from the North-West and moving south:

The hill west of Beit-Iksa

The Liver & Heart redoubts (Today Har Hamenoochot)

The Deir Yasin Trenches (The photograph you enclosed)

The Chirbet Chamama Trenches (Near the Valley of the Communities of Yad-Vashem)

Tumulus Hill's Trench (Kiryat Yovel)



Only one trench system can be seen today, the one at Chirbet Chamama. The trenches in the photograph you enclosed don't exist today as the neighborhood of Har Nof was built in that area.



The photograph is fine. In the valley next to the main road you can see the houses of the Jewish village of Motza and on the far right side (Up hill) some of the houses of the Arab village of Kolonia. The main road you see is today the side road passing through Motza ilit, nicknamed 'The seven sisters'. Above the road, on the horizon, you see the pointed hill of Kastel, which was the center of the line held by the 60th London Division. Today's modern Jerusalem Tel-Aviv road (Number one) was built following the little side track that leaves the main road where that road makes a big sharp curve to the left, a bit after Motza.



Best regards,



Eran



#40 michaeldr

michaeldr

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 8,178 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:17 AM

Eran,

Many thanks for confirming that the photo is OK. I mistook Motza for Lifta, if that makes sense.
I still have my certificate (but seem to have misplaced the medal) for completing 24kms of the Jerusalem March in 1978. We finished by walking up through Motza village to Jerusalem; so no real excuse for my mistake! That was a time before I became hooked on the history of the Great War, otherwise I would have paid more attention to the geography.

Thanks again
& Hag Purim Sameach
Michael

#41 BillyH

BillyH

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweat
  • 917 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wirral
  • Interests:Bebington, New Ferry & Port Sunlight soldiers,
    cemeteries & war memorials.

Posted 12 September 2012 - 04:14 PM

This is a little bit away from the original post, but I have a photo of a beautiful stained glass panel in St Georges Cathedral in Jerusalem, dedicated to the 60th London Division in 1917.
If anyone wants a readable copy of it then PM me with an e-mail address.
Photo attached (hopefully)

Regards, BillyH.

Attached File  60th London.JPG   90.95KB   3 downloads

#42 Eran

Eran

    Second Lieutenant

  • Old Sweats
  • 102 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Palestine campaign, especially Jerusalem

Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:56 AM

Dave – Many thanks.


Here are three interesting Great War stories connected to St George's Cathedral in Jerusalem:


First, what the people of St George's Cathedral write about the place during the war:

During the First World War most of the staff of the Cathedral were advised to leave by the British Foreign Office and the Cathedral and its close were used by the Turks as a military depot and boarding house. The Bishop’s residence became the home and headquarters of Djemal Pasha, the Turkish General in Jerusalem.
Bishop Blyth died in London in 1914 and his successor, Bishop Rennie MacInnes, took up residence in Cairo, access to Jerusalem being impossible at this time. Following the Balfour declaration and Allenby’s entry to Jerusalem in November 1917, Bishop MacInnes returned.
The surrender of Jerusalem was signed in the Bishop’s residence on 9th December 1917 and the Cathedral was reopened after a closure of three years.

Regarding the signing of the surrender – A different source (Also within the Cathedral's people) writes:
The surrender agreement which ended hostilities in Jerusalem in 1917 was signed on what is now the Bishop's desk.

Regarding the home of Djemal Pasha, here is a link to a photo:
http://www.jerusalem...n159-14463.html



The second & third stories (Canon & Christmas) come from an interesting source which I wrote about earlier this year in response to an old thread, post 59.
( http://1914-1918.inv...pic=17021&st=50 )

Here's the quote:

Fourteen days after the city was captured, on Christmas day, the Cathedral of St. George had a most unique Christmas program. During the war, the bishop was compelled to leave. The church was taken care of by the American Colony. Much of the inside had been dug up in search of "Can(n)on". Someone had told the Turk that the British had a canon in the Cathedral, and they were determined to find it. But, the canon left with the bishop. On Christmas morning the cathedral was packed. The Old Testament lesson was read by an orthodox Jewish Rabbi, the New Testament lesson by a Greek Patriarch, the sermon was preached by an Englishman, an American presided at the organ, and a choir of Welsh Tommies furnished the singing. What a service!


Eran

#43 BillyH

BillyH

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweat
  • 917 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wirral
  • Interests:Bebington, New Ferry & Port Sunlight soldiers,
    cemeteries & war memorials.

Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:46 AM

That's an amusing story about the canon Eran!
There is also one other WW1 interest window in the Cathedral dedicated to Thomas Lancaster Steele (RAF)
Photos attached.

BillyH.

Attached File  1 delete.JPG   86.37KB   1 downloadsAttached File  2 delete.JPG   96.83KB   0 downloads

#44 Eran

Eran

    Second Lieutenant

  • Old Sweats
  • 102 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Palestine campaign, especially Jerusalem

Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:30 PM

Billyh,

Thanks. Interesting and a bit strange. Thomas Lancaster Steele (RAF) was from New-Zealand. Why would he specifically been given this honour at this Cathedral and not others?


Michael,

You asked about Steele some years ago (1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=14798).
You referred there to a photo of the scraps of his plane. Can you point at that photo and do you have any information as to why would Steele be honored in St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem?

Eran


#45 michaeldr

michaeldr

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 8,178 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:40 AM

Michael,

You asked about Steele some years ago (1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=14798).
You referred there to a photo of the scraps of his plane. Can you point at that photo and do you have any information as to why would Steele be honored in St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem?

Eran




Eran,

I have posted the picture and details on the other thread, see http://1914-1918.inv...0
I regret that I have no explanation for him being so particularly remembered at St. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem

All the best
Michael




Reply to this topic