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michaeldr

Jordan Valley Day

24 posts in this topic

Haifa is not the only 1918 battle which is still remembered in India today

Quote:

Monday, September 24, 2007, Chandigarh, India

Jordan Valley Day celebrated

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23, 2007

The Deccan Horse, one of the oldest cavalry regiment of the Army, celebrated the 89th anniversary of the Jordan Valley Day to commemorate its spectacular victory against Turkish troops in the Middle East, somewhere in the western sector today.

It was on this day during World War-I at Khan-e-Sumeriyah in the Jordan Valley (Palestine) that a troop of Deccan cavaliers led by Risaldar Badlu Singh charged a vastly superior enemy. The Risaldar, though mortally wounded, pressed ahead with the attack and routed the enemy. He was decorated posthumously with the Victoria for his courage in battle.

To mark the occasion, a wreath laying ceremony was held to pay homage to the martyrs, which was followed by a special sainik sammelan. A cultural programme by soldiers and their families and a traditional barakhana were also organised.

The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, Lt Gen Aditya Singh, who is also the Colonel of the Deccan Horse was present at the event.

The Deccan Horse was raised in 1790 by the Nizam of Hyderabad as an Irregular Cavalry. In its 217 years of existence, the Regiment has won over 300 gallantry awards, of which 34 are post-Independence. It has participated with distinction in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars.

[see http://www.tribuneindia.com/2007/20070924/cth1.htm]

The Jordan Valley, 23rd September 1918

From General E. H. H. Allenby's Despatch of 31st October 1918;

Item 18: "……….Numerous bodies of Turks surrendered to the 4th Cavalry Division. One column attempted to escape across the Jordan at Makhadet abu Naj, five miles south-east of Beisan, but was intercepted by the 11th Cavalry Brigade. Part of the column had already crossed to the east bank. It was charged by the 36th (Jacob's) Horse, and broken up, few escaping. On the west bank the remainder of the column was charged by the 29th Lancers and Middlesex Yeomanry, who killed many and captured the remainder, together with twenty-five machine guns."

 

1918_23sept_jordan_valley.jpg

 

At 0600 hrs the 11th Cavalry Brigade of the 4th Cavalry Division moved south along both banks of the River Jordan to cut off the retreat eastwards of the Turkish VIIth Army. The Turks were attempting to escape across the Jordan at Makhadet Abu Naj, five or six miles south-east of Beisan, and indeed some of this column had already crossed over.

Patrols of the 29th Lancers and the Middlesex Yeomanry were fired upon at 0830 hrs by a Turkish force covering the ford. This force, comprised several machine guns and about 200 infantry, and caused fearful casualties before being overcome. In this action Badlu Singh, Ressaidar, of the 14th (Murray's Jat) Lancers attached 29th Lancers, won the last VC of the Palestine campaign and the last awarded to a member of the Indian Army during World War I.

 

badlu%20singh.jpg

 

Ressaidar Badlu Singh was killed whilst winning the VC; he is remembered on the Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial. Details of his action were given in the Second Supplement to the London Gazette, dated 26th Nov., 1918 and in the Gazette of India No.263, dated 31st January 1919:-

"For the most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice on the morning of the 23rd Sept., 1918, when his squadron charged a strong enemy position on the West bank of the Jordan between the river and Khan-es-Sumariveh Village. On nearing the position Ressaidar Badlu Singh realised that the squadron was suffering casualties from a small hill (Khanes Hill) on the left front occupied by machine guns and 200 infantry. Without the slightest hesitation he collected six other ranks and with the greatest dash and utter disregard of danger charged and captured the position, thereby saving very heavy casualties to the squadron. He was mortally wounded on the very top of the hill when capturing one of the machine guns single-handed, but the machine guns and infantry had surrendered before he died. His valour and initiative were of the highest order."

According to the custom of his faith, Badlu Singh was cremated where he fell.

Edited by michaeldr

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Meanwhile on the east bank of the Jordan, the 36th Jacob's Horse was also making contact with the retreating column of Turks and Germans. Captain Braithwaite, with one saber troop and one Hotchkiss troop, was sent off to get a footing in the hilly ground just half a mile from the river, in order to enfilade the hostile line. They went too far however, and were almost surrounded by Germans. Only four or five of his men made it back to their comrades that afternoon and Maunsell gives their casualties as

Killed

1 British Officer (Braithwaite)

2 Indian Officers (Jemadar Atta Ullah and Jemadar Sultan Ahmed)

6 Indian Other Ranks

Wounded

6 Indian Other Ranks

Missing

15 Indian Other Ranks

Maunsell adds the comment that, at this time, these losses represented two complete troops.

The Hampshire Battery (20th Brigade RHA) was then called up from Beisan and went into action in the open 100 yards south-west of Tell Abu Naj, establishing observation from a hillock which also contained HQ, 29th Lancers. Fire was at once opened on machine-guns concealed in rough ground on the opposite bank, which were holding up the squadrons at the fords. The enemy returned accurate fire on the battery from eight well concealed guns. Shells burst all around and between the guns and in this exchange the Hampshires had every one of their guns hit. A squadron of Middlesex Yeomanry crossed over the Jordan at Makhadet Fatahallah ford, charged the Turkish guns and with this the 36th Jacob's Horse were able to break up the escaping column. About 25 machine guns and over 3,000 prisoners were captured. Large amounts of stores were abandoned by the Turks, who also suffered heavy casualties.

The body of Lieutenant (acting Captain) Philip Pipon Braithwaite, Indian Army Reserve of Officers, attached 36th Jacob's Horse, was brought to Haifa War Cemetery for burial.

from the CWGC

Name: BRAITHWAITE, PHILIP PIPON

Initials: P P

Nationality: Indian

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: Indian Army Reserve of Officers

Secondary Regiment: 36th Jacob's Horse

Secondary Unit Text: attd.

Age: 38

Date of Death: 23/09/1918

Awards: Mentioned in Despatches

Additional information: Son of Canon Philip Richard Pipon Braithwaite and his wife Jessie Beatrice Mackenzie Douglas, of The Close, Winchester.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: A. 37.

Cemetery: HAIFA WAR CEMETERY

 

haifa_war_cemetery_grave.jpg

Edited by michaeldr

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He was the son of the Rev. Canon Philip Richard Pipon Braithwaite and his late wife Jessie Beatrice Mackenzie Douglas, of 9, The Close, Winchester. As a youngster Philip Braithwaite was educated at Felsted School from May 1893 to July 1899. He excelled at sports, being Captain of Cricket (1896-99) Captain of the football XI (1898) and Captain of Gym, as well enjoying success at boxing. He attended Gaius College, Cambridge from 1899 to 1902, gaining a BA. Before the war he had been employed by the Indian Government Educational Service. He was gazetted a Second Lieutenant, Cavalry Branch, on 11th December 1914. He joined his regiment on the Western Front on 23rd October 1915 and was made a Lieutenant on 13th November 1915. At the end of September 1917 Lt. Braithwaite was wounded while on a patrol action.

Philip was also the nephew of General Sir Walter Pipon Braithwaite, G.C.B., A.D.C., and the cousin of Lieutenant Valentine Ashworth Braithwaite MC who was kia, 1st July 1916. Under the auspices of the Western Front Association, Diana Kirkby and David Fox have published a very interesting paper concerning Val Braithwaite and his father's memorials to him. In that article mention is also made of Canon Braithwaite's memorial to his son Philip, which can be found in Winchester Cathedral.

Like his brother, "Canon Braithwaite knew the pain of losing a son, a particularly precious son after whose birth his beloved wife Jessie had died of puerperal fever …………………………………………….. In the reformation, virtually every statue in the Cathedral was destroyed. Bishop Fox's Chantry Chapel had many niches, each of which were almost certainly filled with small statues. Canon Braithwaite was involved in the plans to fill the empty niches with new statues. The statue of Saint George was donated by Canon Braithwaite, with the head modelled on a portrait of his son. Captain Philip Pipon Braithwaite of the 36th Jacob's Horse, was killed on 23rd September 1918 during the Battle of Palestine" It was particularly appropriate as St. George is the patron saint of cavalry.

 

braithwaite_as_stgeorge_winchester.jpg

 

This photograph is the copyright of Diana Kirkby and David Fox, whose excellent article should be read in full; please see http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/the...braithwaite.htm

You may also wish to compare the statue with this photograph of

Capt. P. P Braithwaite

 

braithwaite.jpg

 

details are from

'Prince of Wales's Own, The Scinde Horse' by Colonel E. B. Maunsell

'The Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionery Force – July 1917 to October 1918 – Compiled from Official Sources' Second Edition, HMSO 1919

Plus various forum Pals; my thanks in particular are due to Dick, Dominic, Stephen

and indeed, to everyone else who allowed their brains to be picked on this

Edited by michaeldr

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About 10 years ago I was in correspondence with the Archivist at Gonville & Caius College on the subject of P P Braithwaite, and she kindly sent me copies of extracts from The Caian, filling in some detail of PPB.

He was an Exhibitioner from Felsted (I think that's a scholarship).

Unusually, he gained his Varsity Blue for Association Football in his first year, and played for each year he was at the University. He was described in The Caian as "Left Half. A most uesful half, very quick on the ball; tackles well but should learn to keep his place". By his last year, he was "Head and shoulders above the rest of the team", and in the 1902-03 year he appeared in an illustration in the Sporting and Dramatic paper. The drawing was entitled "Braithwaite again", and shoed PPB charging through the Oxford defence!

In the 1901-02 season, Caius won the Inter-Collegiate Cup for the first time, mostly due to PPB ... "Any amount of pluck".

He was also a mainstay of the college hockey team, played a bit for the Cricket XI ("A very fair bat. Should learn not to scrape forward on a slow wicket. Fair bowler. Very good field"), but cricket appears to have died off in his later career at the University.

As a Freshman, he sang at a Freshmens' Concert (a piece by Kipling), and he became President of the Musical Society in 1902-03, playing as part of a String Quartet.

Finally, he was also a prominent member of the Debating Society, proposing on 29th October, 1902, that "Novel reading is not injurious at the present day". Despite a spirited speech ("From his copious quotations and references the opener appeared to have read a vast quantity of novels"), the motion was lost by 30 to 20.

And in case we wondered what he was actually there for, he took a BA in the History Tripos in 1902!

Some years ago (well, ten, to be exact) I looked at the War Diary report of his death. Stupidly, I have mislaid the notes, but from memory I think it was felt that he was a little rash in leading the charge he did. I will have to revisit Kew to check, so I'll get back to you on that.

What a man, though. Typical example of that breed of late-Victorian/Edwardian public schoolboys who, whatever we might think of them, put service very much before self.

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I have recently obtained PPBs medals and would welcome any further information or photographs, thanks, Paul

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ID: 6   Posted (edited)

Mates,

 

An interesting account is given by the Turks about one such action when the remains of the 13th Depot Regt (only a Bn size unit) was attacked by what seams like Indian Cavalry;

 

shown 1918 Allied reports Yilderim Army Group (500 men) reported a battalion was routed by a British force of cavalry and armoured cars Forty six were speared and virtually all the rest numbering 470 were taken prisoners.

 

The only details on where this happened shows the 13th Depot Regt moved from Baalbek to Nazareth in July 1918 (shown with 3xBns + 137th MG Co).

 

So was the attack some where near Nazareth in Sept 1918 to be speared?

 

I should add the 13th Depot Regt was shown by British reports with the 11th Corps July 18 with 8th Army.

 

This was incorrect as the 11th Corps was in the Caucasus and had been disbanded into the 11th Caucasus Div, late 1916.

 

The 8th Army at that time had the 22nd Corps and the German Asia Corps.

 

Cheers


S.B

Edited by stevebecker

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On 5/9/2009 at 12:39, Steven Broomfield said:

 

He was an Exhibitioner from Felsted (I think that's a scholarship).

 

Not a scholarship as 'they' would regard it, assuming that the Fenland Tech had the same system as Oxford: there is a distinction between a 'scholar' and an 'exhibitioner'. In my day scholars had a relatively smart gown - or at least not too ludicrous; an exhibitioner had a longer version (and thus less ludicrous) of the 'commoner' gown - which was/is pretty ludicrous (IMHO). Of course, in these enlightened days, probably all such distinctions in garb (or even awards - maybe they do not even exist any more?) have been abolished so that everyone can live in drab uniformity and not suffer from some form of inferiority complex (doubtless deeply psychologically damaging, as proved by Dr Cringeworthy-Wrighton-Brown in a seminal DPhil thesis of 1988 ).

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ID: 8   Posted (edited)

Liebregiment,

 

I am sorry that the illustrations above are no longer available via Photobucket,* and I regret that a quick search of my files on the machine here have failed to unearth the originals

The above posts were however the basis for the article on PPB which appears in 'Pro Patria Mori – Felsted School's Great War Fallen' [ISBN: 978-0-9956755-1-3] published in November 2016

The details and the pictures can also be seen on the school's web-site here

http://archives.felsted.essex.sch.uk/of/warmem/2014/index.php

I hope that this is of some help, and congratulations on the addition to your collection

 

regards

Michael

 

* EDIT TO ADD: I have now resurrected my illustrations with the help of the URLs of the copies used by Felsted School. My thanks to the school for this favour and for preserving my content

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

9 hours ago, stevebecker said:

So was the attack some where near Nazareth in Sept 1918 to be speared?

 

Steve,

This map should help

1918_23sept_jordan_valley.jpg

Edited by michaeldr

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On 5/9/2009 at 14:39, Steven Broomfield said:

He was an Exhibitioner from Felsted (I think that's a scholarship).

30 minutes ago, nigelcave said:

Not a scholarship as 'they' would regard it, assuming that the Fenland Tech had the same system as Oxford: there is a distinction between a 'scholar' and an 'exhibitioner'. 

 

 

Nigel & Steven,

 

The text of the school's book which is mentioned above, puts it thus

"He gained a Leaving Exhibition from Felsted to read History at Caius college, Cambridge,..."

[caps as provided by the school]

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It is likely to be one of two things.

 

It might be that Felsted had an endowed exhibition at Caius; or, perhaps, it offered leavers an internal Exhibition who were going on to university - quite likely Oxford or Cambridge. The latter is the more likely and so, poor chap, he probably did not get to wear a sartorially rather more satisfying gown. It was quite common amongst public schools to have a university scholarship fund for those who gained admission to such an institution until the days of paid tuition fees.

 

Perhaps it is time that they made a comeback?

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Many thanks Michael, I really appreciate this, I shall of course try to add to your wonderful research, I am currently looking at his Football career (and sports in general) and his Indian career and his relationship to Guru Gopalan Nair a disciple of Vidwan Ettan, may thanks again, Paul

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Glad to have helped, Paul

I look forward to hearing from you further on PPB

 

Best regards

Michael

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I am correlating some new bits of information, but in the meantime, here is a nice picture I have found, I have taken the liberty in colourising it  

ppb9.PNG

ppb9 Colorized (4).png

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Now, that's a good photograph

Many thanks Paul

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ID: 15   Posted (edited)

All,

 

Michael created quite a challenge - To identify the whereabouts of the sites mentioned, related to these events. As some of these sites don't

appear on today's maps (disappeared or changed names), it took a few days. 

 

Avi Navon, former chairman of The Society for the Heritage of WWI in Israel (Map edict...) helped me on this, plus the local ranger of the

National Parks & Nature Reserves Authority and a few others from that area.  Hopefully, I'll have even more details in a few days. 

 

 

So - Most references are to Jordan River's fords (Makhadat = Ford) in the area south of Kfar Rupin:

 

Makhadet abu Naj (or Naji) & Tell Abu Naj (Naji) - the name doesn’t exist anymore. Seems it's within a Nature Reserve called Ain Jinda.

I'm to receive some more info about these sites next week. 

 

Khan-e-Sumeriyah - It is today within Sdei Trumot (Today called Churvat Shimrit). However, the battle itself seems to have tale place east

of there: "...when his squadron charged a strong enemy position on the West bank of the Jordan between the river and Khan-es-Sumariveh

Village...". From the text it seems that the exact place is...

 

Khanes Hill - Probably, the exact place of the battle where Ressaidar Badlu Singh made his heroic charge. I'm a bit pessimistic about locating

this specific hill, but still have some hopes that a specific expert of that area might be able to help with this too.  

 

Makhadet Fatahallah - Still under this name on the maps, east of Bardala. Also known as Um Tzutz.

 

Makhadet Mas'udi -  Still under this name on the maps, east of Shadmot Mehola

 

 

Michael - Thanks for this thread!

 

Eran

 

 

Edited by Eran Tearosh

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3 hours ago, Eran Tearosh said:

Makhadet abu Naj (or Naji) & Tell Abu Naj (Naji) - the name doesn’t exist anymore. Seems it's within a Nature Reserve called Ain Jinda.

I'm to receive some more info about these sites next week. 

 

Eran,

 

Many thanks for your in-put here; I really appreciate the assistance of experts such as Avi, yourself and our ranger service

 

I still have a map from 1976 and find that Tel Abu e-Naj is marked on it

To help with orientation - Beisan [today's Beit She'an] is the town in the top left hand corner

and I have added the name Tel Abu e-Naj in latin characters

 

598c22cd6ec3a_MapJordanValleyTelAbueNajcrop.jpg.dcf208d53f35161d41391e435e8e2b04.jpg

 

I hope that this is of help

Michael

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Thanks. It does help. That Tel still exists with a similar name (Niaj instead of Naji), but as you see - The Tel is on the east bank of the river, while from the

description of the event I came to impression (Wrong impression, it seems...) that the Tel is on the west bank.

 

Anyway - the most important part is Khan-e-Sumeriyah & Khanes Hill (Possible translation: Hill of the Khan?). Hope to have more info of these next week.  

 

Eran

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ID: 18   Posted (edited)

On 9/29/2007 at 18:50, michaeldr said:

Meanwhile on the east bank of the Jordan, the 36th Jacob's Horse was also making contact with the retreating column of Turks and Germans. Captain Braithwaite, with one saber troop and one Hotchkiss troop, was sent off to get a footing in the hilly ground just half a mile from the river, in order to enfilade the hostile line. They went too far however, and were almost surrounded by Germans. Only four or five of his men made it back to their comrades that afternoon and Maunsell gives their casualties as

Killed

1 British Officer (Braithwaite)

2 Indian Officers (Jemadar Atta Ullah and Jemadar Sultan Ahmed)

6 Indian Other Ranks

Wounded

6 Indian Other Ranks

Missing

15 Indian Other Ranks

Maunsell adds the comment that, at this time, these losses represented two complete troops.

The Hampshire Battery (20th Brigade RHA) was then called up from Beisan and went into action in the open 100 yards south-west of Tell Abu Naj, establishing observation from a hillock which also contained HQ, 29th Lancers. Fire was at once opened on machine-guns concealed in rough ground on the opposite bank, which were holding up the squadrons at the fords. The enemy returned accurate fire on the battery from eight well concealed guns. Shells burst all around and between the guns and in this exchange the Hampshires had every one of their guns hit. A squadron of Middlesex Yeomanry crossed over the Jordan at Makhadet Fatahallah ford, charged the Turkish guns and with this the 36th Jacob's Horse were able to break up the escaping column. About 25 machine guns and over 3,000 prisoners were captured. Large amounts of stores were abandoned by the Turks, who also suffered heavy casualties.

 

The crop of the 1976 map shown below identifies the second point Makhadet Fatahalla ford, where the Middlesex Yeomanry crossed the River Jordan to charge the Turkish guns, thereby freeing the 36th Jacob's Horse so that they could get to the escaping column

The distance between the two points is 5 to 6 kms

 

598c2ffd37a15_MapJordanValleyTelAbueNajcropii.jpg.a201a0e032db3a35259aeadfdc68fcce.jpg

Edited by michaeldr

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ID: 19   Posted (edited)

On 9/29/2007 at 18:48, michaeldr said:

badlu%20singh.jpg

 

Ressaidar Badlu Singh was killed whilst winning the VC; he is remembered on the Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial. Details of his action were given in the Second Supplement to the London Gazette, dated 26th Nov., 1918 and in the Gazette of India No.263, dated 31st January 1919:-

"For the most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice on the morning of the 23rd Sept., 1918, when his squadron charged a strong enemy position on the West bank of the Jordan between the river and Khan-es-Sumariveh Village. On nearing the position Ressaidar Badlu Singh realised that the squadron was suffering casualties from a small hill (Khanes Hill) on the left front occupied by machine guns and 200 infantry. Without the slightest hesitation he collected six other ranks and with the greatest dash and utter disregard of danger charged and captured the position, thereby saving very heavy casualties to the squadron. He was mortally wounded on the very top of the hill when capturing one of the machine guns single-handed, but the machine guns and infantry had surrendered before he died. His valour and initiative were of the highest order."

According to the custom of his faith, Badlu Singh was cremated where he fell.

 

Reverting to the action of Ressaidar Badlu Singh VC, the Palestine Exploration Fund map sheet IX seen here

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/s/4uf81o

and

598c5f2f18472_MapPEFJordanValleyKhanesHill.jpg.f747ba4d1cdcf63f140ddce0ca519bfd.jpg

shows Tell el Khaneizir (in May 1878) which by 1918 was probably known as Khanes Hill, being one of two hills near to each other, the other being Tell Abu Faraj

The map of 1976 however shows not two, but three hills in this vicinity - see the crop below

My guess is that Khanes Hill is the north-western of these three

Or, perhaps it's the central one of those three?  :huh:

(but until we hear from Eran & Co, it's only a guess on my part)

598c4eb4808f6_MapJordanValleyKhanesHillcropii.jpg.14ea0adfa8fe9c749f233ee3a4abc57d.jpg

 

Edited by michaeldr

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Philip Pipon Braithwaite was born in Abbotsham, Devon, the youngest child of Canon Philip Braithwaite and his late wife Jessie (née Douglas) of The Close, Winchester.

 

He had a brother and three sisters, but his mother died of puerperal fever 10 days after his birth. In 1882 his father married a second time to Emma Vidal in Bridgwater, Somerset.

 

Philip went to Felsted with a scholarship, and was one of the finest athletes that Felsted has ever had: Captain of Cricket, Football, Fives and Gymnasium. He was a contemporary of John "Johnny" William Henry Tyler Douglas the cricketer and boxer

 

In football he was described as " ...played a splendid game, both, in attack and defence ... was, as usual, the best of the halves ..." and in cricket "...A good field, and a very useful change bowler ..." He received his first XI Colours in 1897.

 

He twice entered for the Boxing Competition at Aldershot and won the bronze medal in 1898 and the silver medal in 1899. (The silver medal was noted at auction in 2014 with Kidson-Trigg auctioneers, Shrivenham).

 

Ongoing up to Caius he gained his Blue for Association football, and represented Cambridge against Oxford in the four matches from 1900 to 1903, and was unfortunate enough to be on the losing side on each occasion. He was a strong and determined half-back, and a keen tackier. He also gained his half-Blue for boxing, representing the Light Blues in the middle-weights in 1901, and played in the Cambridge hockey team.

 

He received his Higher Certificates in Greek, French, Additional Mathematics, Scripture and History in 1896, and on October 3rd he was elected as a member of the Debating Society (and nominated as Secretary the following year). In a meeting held in the school's library on March 14th, the motion before the House was “That in the opinion of this House the best interests of games are best served by the avoidance of anything that tends to lower amateur status”. Philip was for the motion and disagreed with the honourable member who spoke before the Secretary when he said that it was a disgusting sight to watch amateurs batting all day long.

 

The motion was carried by 11 votes to 2. On April 3rd he was the Honourable Proposer for the motion “in the opinion of this house the prevalence of cheap literature, as instanced by the spread of magazines, is deteriorating to the human intellect” and won by one vote.

 

 

He became Captain of the School after being House Prefect in 1896, Prefect in 1897 and Senior Prefect in 1899. Most importantly he was a good all-round character and pursued in whatever came his way; tried not to become a man of success but rather tried to become a man of value.

 

For example, he took part in the school's 'general entertainment' where the Felstedian magazine reported 'though he was rather out of tune at the beginning, improved towards the end'236 and by 1897 he played remarkably well and became a second violinist performing with the Glee Club.

 

He gained a Leaving Exhibition from Felsted to read History at Caius College, Cambridge, where he played for four consecutive years in the University Association Football XI.

 

As a freshman, he sang a piece by Kipling at a freshmen’s’ Concert and he became President of the Musical Society in 1902-1903, playing as part of a String Quartet.  

 

He was also a prominent member of the Debating Society, proposing on 29th October 1902 that "Novel reading is not injurious at the present day". Despite a spirited speech ("From his copious quotations and references the opener appeared to have read a vast quantity of novels"), the motion was lost by 30 to 20. He was described in The Caian as "Left Half. A most useful half, very quick on the ball; tackles well but should learn to keep his place". In his last year, he was "Head and shoulders above the rest of the team", and in the 1902-03 year he appeared in an illustration in the Sporting and Dramatic paper.

 

The drawing was entitled "Braithwaite again", and showed him charging through the Oxford defence. In the 1901-1902 season, Caius won the Inter-Collegiate Cup for the first time, mostly due to Braithwaite who showed "Any amount of pluck".

He also played for the college hockey team, and for the Cricket XI: "A very fair bat. Should learn not to scrape forward on a slow wicket. Fair bowler. Very good field".

 

Braithwaite was also a member of the Corinthians Football Club from 1903-5 until he departed for India

 

On February 28th 1903, Sunderland as the champions of the professionals met Corinthians representing the amateurs, at Tottenham Hotspur's ground in competition for the Sheriff of London's Charity Shield.    Sunderland's team consisted of ; Doig; McCombie, Watson; Farquhar, McAllister, Jackson; Hogg, Robinson, Miller, Hewitt and Bridgett.  The Corinthians were :- G. E. Wilkinson; Rev. W. Blackburn, W. U. Timmis,  P. P. Braithwaite, M. Morgan-Owen, H. Vickers; M. H. Stanbrough, R. Corbett, R. G. Wright, C. F. Ryder and B. O. Corbett.

 

A match report stated "With little or no grass to be seen and the surface in a greasy condition, accurate passing and kicking became very difficult.     The conditions appeared to affect the professionals but little and they gave a display of collective excellence from the start to finish.    The amateur forwards were an untried combination; they had not played together before and they proved totally ineffective.  

Lord Kinnaird, President of the Football Association presented the medals and shield. 

He is mentioned in the 1906 published book “Annals of the Corinthians Football Club” by Corbett as well as being noted on the memorial now housed at the National Football museum 

 

Corinthian FC lost more players than any other football club during First World War

 

 

On leaving Cambridge in 1905 he was appointed Vice-Principal of the Teachers' College at Sindapet, Madras (an amazing post for one so young). After a year and a half he was promoted to be an Inspector of Schools in Malabar, and in 1912 he went as Master to the Mayo Chiefs College at Ajmer.

 

On taking up his residence in South India he joined the Southern Provinces Mounted Rifles, and was selected as one of their representatives at the 1911 Delhi Durbar

 

Awarded 1911 Delhi Durbar medal. 2nd LT Braithwaite PP Southern Provinces Mounted Rifles, Other Remarks--Educational Department Cannanore. Page 438 of the roll

 .

He was also noted as taking great interest in Pundit Gopalan Nair, a sage like teacher and great scholar of Sanskrit and Malayalam, having corresponded throughout his time in India

 

When war broke out he at once applied for a commission in the Indian Army Reserve of Officers, and after a year's training at Meerut as a Second Lieutenant with the 21st Cavalry on the 23rd October 1915 he was sent as  a replacement, attached to the 36th Cavalry (Jacob's Horse) in France

 

The 36th Cavalry (Jacob's Horse) landed in France in November 1914 as part of the 8th (Lucknow) Cavalry Brigade, seeing action at Festubert and the second battle of Ypres. 

 

Promoted to Lieutenant on 13th November 1915, he saw service on the Somme in 1916 awaiting the great breakthrough which never happened. 1917 Saw the regiment see action at Cambrai making many attacks.

 

At the end of 1917 the regiment moved to Palestine and there he was promoted Temporary Captain.

 

Noted thet at the end of September 1917 he was wounded while on a patrol (no further information but could have been the action which killed him)

 

He was killed in action on the East bank of the Jordan Valley on 23rd September 1918 during the Battle of Palestine.

The 11th Cavalry Brigade of the 4th Cavalry Division was moving south along both banks of the Jordan to cut off the eastwards retreat of the Turkish VIIth Army.

 

The Turks were attempting to escape across the Jordan. General Allenby's despatch of 31st October 1918 reported “...Numerous bodies of Turks surrendered to the 4th Cavalry Division. One column attempted to escape across the Jordan at Makhadet abu Naj, five miles south-east of Beisan, but was intercepted by the 11th Cavalry Brigade. Part of the column had already crossed to the east bank.

 

It was charged by the 36th (Jacob's) Horse, and broken up, few escaping.

 

On the west bank the remainder of the column was charged by the 29th Lancers and Middlesex Yeomanry, who killed many and captured the remainder, together with twenty-five machine guns." This was the action in which Ressaidar Badlu Singh won his VC.

 

Another report, after describing Badlu Singh's action, says, "Meanwhile on the east bank of the Jordan, the 36th Jacob's Horse was also making contact with the retreating column of Turks and Germans. Captain Braithwaite, with one saber troop and one Hotchkiss troop, was sent off to get a footing in the hilly ground just half a mile from the river, in order to enfilade the hostile line.

 

“They went too far however, and were almost surrounded by Germans. Only four or five of his men made it back to their comrades that afternoon and he was killed".

Maunsell gives their casualties as;

 Killed

1 British Officer (Braithwaite)

2 Indian Officers (Jemadar Atta Ullah (Indian Order of MeritP and Jemadar Sultan Ahmed)

6 Indian Other Ranks

Wounded

6 Indian Other Ranks

Missing

15 Indian Other Ranks

Maunsell adds the comment that, at this time, these losses represented two complete troops.

 

After this, "A squadron of Middlesex Yeomanry crossed over the Jordan at Makhadet Fatahallah ford, charged the Turkish guns and with this the 36th Jacob's Horse were able to break up the escaping column.

About 25 machine guns and over 3,000 prisoners were captured. Large amounts of stores were abandoned by the Turks, who also suffered heavy casualties".

His father wrote: "It is a great comfort to feel that all who knew him admired his noble character. He crowned as it were his beautiful life by dying in a holy cause in the Holy Land." Major (later Lt Colonel) Edmund Nixon, who had been at Felsted from 1893-1897, of the 36th Jacob's Horse at Cawnpore wrote:

 

"The regiment has lost one of the most conscientious, zealous and painstaking officers that I have had the privilege of having under me. His Squadron has sustained an incalculable loss - to them he was indeed as they say, 'Father and Mother'. His brother officers will find him hard to replace, while I have lost a personal friend dating back to Felsted days".

 

He was mentioned in General Allenby’s Despatches, London Gazette 22 January 1919

 

His obituary in the Felstedian said, "It would be difficult to over-estimate the wonderful influence for good that he exercised at Felsted. Indifferent to popularity, he always championed the cause of right, and anything wrong was never allowed to go by without his doing his utmost to check it. By his death the School loses an old Felstedian of whom she may be justly proud. We feel sure that the grit which he showed in his school days remained to the end, and he has left behind him a wonderful example for present and future generations of Felsted boys to try and emulate".

 

He is buried in the Haifa War Cemetery, grave A.37. Inscription: "A good soldier of Jesus Christ".

 

The 1920 Felstedian reported, "A Memorial Statuette has been unveiled in Winchester Cathedral and dedicated to the late Capt Philip Braithwaite". In the reformation, virtually every statue in the Cathedral was destroyed. Bishop Fox's Chantry Chapel had many niches; each of was almost certainly filled with a small statue. Canon Braithwaite was involved in the plans to fill the empty niches with new statues, and personally donated the statue of Saint George, with the head modelled on a portrait of his son. It was particularly appropriate as St George is the patron saint of cavalry. 

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ID: 21   Posted (edited)

Mate,

 

Thought I'd look at the Ottoman Army on this front during that time to see if the Units could be found?

 

This Area was under the control of the 4th Army which accounts give the following troops;

 

shown Erickson Sept 1918 2nd Corps (62nd Div) Jordan Group (24th Div 3rd Cav Div) 8th Corps (48th Div Prov (comp) Div) + 12th Regt (47th Div) (900 men 14 Mgs) Circassian Cav (400 men)

 

For maps the 24th Div was on the Western side of the Jordan and the 3rd Cav Div on the Eastern side.

 

shown Sept 1918 Allied reports (24th Div) 70 MG's in 2nd Regt (740 men) 58th Regt (790 men) and 143rd Regt (530 men) + attack/storm Co (70 men) Div Cav (175 men) , shown July 1918 Allied reports (last mention of there artillery) 2Bn/43rd FAR (7x 75mm guns) 1Bn/39th FAR (7x 75mm guns), shown July 1918 Allied reports (support units) 7Co/4th Pnr Bn, 2Co/6th Telegraph Bn, 24th Bearer Co, 44th Field Hosp, 72nd Baky & 3rd MT Column, and

 

shown Sept 1918 Allied reports (3rd Cav Div) 6th Cav Regt (300 men 8 Mgs) 8th Cav Regt (380 men 8 Mgs) + camel Co (100 men)

 

The 7th Army was in that area to the West and the 24th Div some times shown with that Army

 

shown Aug 1918 Allied reports 7th Army HQ (500 men) attack/storm Co (82 men) Cav escort (80 Cav) Bakery Sect (80 men) band (36 men) - shown Sept 1918 Allied reports 20th Corps (26th Div and 53rd Div) 3rd Corps (1st Div and 11th Div)  + 4th Cav Regt (320 men 5 Mgs)

 

The 20th Corps being the closest to the 24th Div.

 

Maps seam to show the 24th Div retreating on both sides of the Jordan to the north

 

These are the known Div positions of the 24th Div Head Quarters per the date given;

 

At Mezra’at el Garbiyye 12.02.18 at Havvâre 15.04.18 at Serîa Nehr'i 24.09.18 at el Mahruk 26.09.18 at Dera’a Stn 01.10.18 at Nebk Stn 03.10.18 at Hums Stn 05.10.18 at Katma Stn 10.10.18 at Tel Sîr 19.12.18 at Ereg'lu i Konya 14.05.19 at Nigde 01.09.19 at Ankara 12.09.19

 

This shows the 24th Div Survived the battles of Sept and Oct 1918 even if reports show the Div reported captured outside Damascus Oct 1918

 

Reports do not show how the 24th Div retreated

 

2nd Regt (740 men) 58th Regt (790 men) and 143rd Regt (530 men) + attack/storm Co (70 men) Div Cav (175 men)

 

meaning what Regts retreated via the east or western side of the Jordan, but the 24th Div was a strong Div, for this date in the war

 

What I found interesting was the 2nd Regt, which rear guard suffered that attack at Beersheba by the 4th LH Bde, did they kill that Indian officer and his men?

 

Hope this adds a few ideas to this action.

 

S.B

Edited by stevebecker

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ID: 22   Posted (edited)

Leibregiment,

 

Thanks indeed for those additions

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Steve,

 

The situation here was so chaotic and the front line so very, very, fluid, that The Advance of the EEF etc etc by Pirie-Gordon does not even try to cover it with the maps

The best that he could do from British records is to show what they thought was the situation at 22:00 hrs on 22nd September 1918; ie. the evening before the Action at Abu Naj. His next map [not shown here] gives the situation at 22:00 hrs on the 25th September.

 

599033e4ea88c_MapEEFsitu2200hrs22ndSEPT1918cropOttomanGermanretreat.jpg.533a19bb3877299f055b9b22ffec227b.jpg

 

Maunsell writing in his PoW's Own The Scinde Horse might be as close as we can get. He devotes four pages to the action at Abu Naj – these two cover most of the details.

 

59903479ade9b_MaunsellsTheScindeHorseActionatAbuNaji.jpg.f9bcb87ef8687a914d60c78855cf8ba4.jpg

599034ab61c4a_MaunsellsTheScindeHorseActionatAbuNajii.jpg.83fddcf732762169e6cad9777423f22e.jpg

 

So there were Germans and Turks, with infantry, machine guns and artillery, but exactly which units is unclear.

The notes in the British OH [Vol.II, p.546] suggest that the 11th Cavalry Brigade including their Hants Battery had come up against the retreating forces under Von Oppen. Specifically mentioned are 1,300 Turks and 700 Germans of the 16th & 19th Divisions, however you will also note the remark that “The remainder of the Turks and a flood of fugitives from other formations which attempted to follow, were captured....”

5990352548b4f_BritishOHnotesonActionatAbuNaj.jpg.90210b549e1b20420262a9387da1591d.jpg

 

I hope that this is of some help

Regards

Michael

Edited by michaeldr

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On 8/10/2017 at 15:17, michaeldr said:

 

Reverting to the action of Ressaidar Badlu Singh VC, the Palestine Exploration Fund map sheet IX seen here

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/s/4uf81o

and

598c5f2f18472_MapPEFJordanValleyKhanesHill.jpg.f747ba4d1cdcf63f140ddce0ca519bfd.jpg

shows Tell el Khaneizir (in May 1878) which by 1918 was probably known as Khanes Hill, being one of two hills near to each other, the other being Tell Abu Faraj

 

 

I was going to suggest using these for location purposes when I started reading this thread - but then came to this entry. If it is any consolation to you searchers of GW Palestine, the Turkish policy of Turkifying old non-Turkish place names creates a similar problem over here when trying to track down ancient sites recorded by their given name as in pre-1923 surveys. By the way, the RGS also has excellent maps of many regions such as Palestine and Anatolia that can be usefully consulted to locate the whereabouts of places under their 'original' name. 

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ID: 24   Posted (edited)

Mate,

 

So they are saying these were the remains of the Asia Corps?

 

Asia Corps German - shown Sept 1918 Allied reports (4280 men 199 Mgs 250 cav) (Pasha II Group 16th Div and 19th Div) Pasha II Group 701st FAR (G) 1Bn (2x 77mm guns) 2Bn (4x 105mm how) 3Bn (4x 105mm how), 15th AA Bty (4x 77mm AA guns Mobile MT) Turkish 2Bn/48th FAR (8x 75mm Guns) 16th Heavy (Agir) How Bty (4x 150mm how) 140th Heavy (Agir) How Bty (1x 150mm how) 120th AA Sect (146th Infantry Regt) (2x 77mm AA guns) Support units - (German) Cav Sqn (701st 702nd Cav Troops) (G) 88th 89th 130th SAA Columns 212th Field Hosp 73rd and 74th Bakys

 

Pasha II Group - 701st Bn (450 men 50 Cav 27 MG's) 702nd Bn (450 men 50 Cav 27 MG's)

 

shown Sept 1918 Allied reports (16th Div) (86 Mgs) 47th Regt (860 men 26 Mgs) 48th Regt + 248th MG Co (760 men 31 Mgs) 125th Regt (580 men 32 Mgs) attack/storm Co (70 men) Div Cav (150 men) + 1Bn/146th Regt (German) (450 men 29 MG's) Div Artillery last shown shown July 1918 Allied reports 2Bn/53rd FAR (7x 75mm guns) 4Bn/27th FAR (3x 75mm Mountain guns) 10Bty/14th FAR (3x 75mm Mountain guns) + 74th Heavy (Agir) How Bn (236Bty 257Bty (2x 105mm How 4x 150mm how) Support units - shown July 1918 Allied reports 1Co/1st Pnr Bn 1Co/6th Telegraph Bn 16th Field Hosp 152nd Camel transport 172nd 173rd MT Column 153rd SSA 49th Field Hosp 54th Baky

 

Movements of this Div is shown as;

Kalkile 28.12.17 Miske 18.09.18 Bediyye 21.09.18 Far’ûn 23.09.18 Tâberya 25.09.18 Dera’a Stn 27.09.18 (last known) reported captured outside Damascus Oct 1918 shown CO 32nd Regt captured at Kiswe with CO's 3rd Cav Div and 6th Cav and 8th Cav Regts with 78th Regt 29/30-9-18

 

shown Sept 1918 Allied reports (19th Div) (84 Mgs) 57th Regt (610 men) 72nd Regt (410 men) 77th Regt (470 men) attack/storm Co (70 men) Div Cav (100 men) Div Artillery last shown July 1918 Allied reports 13th FAR (1Bn/9th FAR 4x 75mm guns) 2Bn/25th FAR (7x 75mm guns) or 1Bn/19th FAR (8x 75mm guns) 1Bn/25th FAR (8x 75mm guns) + 263Bty 63rd Heavy (Agir) How Bn (4x 105mm How) 72nd Heavy (Agir) How Bn (5Bty 12Bty 13Bty (5x 105mm How 4x 150mm how)

 

Movements showns;

Silvad 06.01.18 Nablus 17.09.18 Kalkile 21.09.18 Far’ûn 25.09.18 || (surrendered) reported captured outside Damascus Oct 1918

 

Clearly they retired around this area, and unit strengths are at the start of the battle, so how many remained is any body's guess. But they disovled as formed units by Deraa on the 27 Sept.

 

German units I high lighted with only the two Bn's (2Bn & 3Bn/146th Regt and 703rd Bn in the 4th Army retreating on Deraa.

 

As you stated there were also units of the 7th Army retreating thought this area who's 3rd and 20th Corps added to the mix.

 

Why they retired the Asia Corps (8th Army that way is unknown as it was closer to the coast when the 20 Sept Attack started? But as shown in the maps the Asia corps was pushed east after the breakthough along the coast by the 4th and 5th Indian Cav Div's.

 

Cheers


S.B

Edited by stevebecker

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