The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
The Kia Ora Coo-ee. — Published Monthly
The Kia Ora Coo-ee.
"The Kia Ora Coo-ee" is issued jointly for Australian and New Zealand Troops, and it will gather and dispense all interesting information concerning the different Units in Egypt, Palestine, Salonica and Mesopotamia.
Rights of reproduction and translation of contents are reserved.
The Editors will be glad to receive contributions of interest. A glance at our pages will give contributors an idea of the kind of material we require. Draw sketches in ink or lead-pencil, not ink-pencil. Put in as little detail as possible; outline is best.
All material sent in is subject to the censorship of the Chief Field Censor. Members of the Anzac Forces can therefore remit their copies home by post in the usual way.
"The Kia Ora Coo-ee" is published for the benefit of the A.I.F. and N.Z.E.F., and any profits resulting from the sales there of will be utilised in a manner to benefit all ranks.
The Committee of Management is representative of both Australian and New Zealand Personnel, and comprises:
- Lieut.-Col. D. Fulton, A.I.F.
- Lieut.-Col. D. Chaytor, C.M.G.,N.Z.E.F.
- Major J. H. Hammond, A.I.F.
- Capt. W. C. Stillman, A.I.F.
- Lieut. C. P. McKenzie, N.Z.E.F.
- H. S. Gullett
Treasurer: Lieut. W. A. Robertson, A.I.F.
Auditor: Capt. P. L. Johnston, A.I.F.
Secretary and Circulation Manager: Sgt. E. A. Hodda, A.I.F.
Assist. Secretary: Spr. H. Pacini.
Editor: Sgt. C. Barrett, A.I.F.
Art-Editor: W.O. D. Barker, A.I.F.
Sub-Editor: Tpr. M.E. Lyons, N.Z.E.F.
Office: A.I.F. Headquarters, Cairo, Egypt.
It Would seem that the occupation of Damascus and Beirut marks the finishing touches to what has been the great victory of the war. General Allenby's brilliant triumph of September and the early days of October will surely live as one of the most memorable feats of arms in history. The country that baulked Napoleon's aspirations in the East was captured by British, Indian and Australian cavalry in a manner that will add lustre to the traditions of many old established units and will form for the regiments from the Antipodes a new standard of military glory. Undertaken, at the outset, at the instance of expediency——a campaign of self-defence to protect Egypt and the Canal, but pursued in the interests of justice and humanity, to liberate the Holy Land from the centuries of injustice and oppression, this campaign will assuredly go downin history as a wonderful triumph for the various army services, against stupendous difficulties. The Corps of Engineers, with their railways, and the Medical Service in coping with the sickness that is inseparable from a tropical climate, quite apart from the usual routine of their work, have earned for themselves a large meed of praise, when the history of the campaign comes to be written. It is from the humanitarian point of view that most of us will prefer to remember the liberating of this land. As the Acting-Prime Minister of Australia put it, speaking at a gathering to celebrate recent Allied victories: "Nothing has brought more joy to the English speaking world than the cleaning up of Palestine". And it is not only the English speaking world, but throughout the countries of the Allies is this joy shared. Though personal contact with the country may have shattered many of our cherished illusions, the most unimpressionable of us must have been thrilled, at the prospect of liberating what may be called the cradle of the three great religions of the world, from tyranny and oppression—from every form of treatment that made for choking the national aspirations of the inhabitants. It is indeed pleasing to observe the difference a few short months of Britishrule—even the strict rule that martial law necessitates—has wrought in the condition of the country. A sense of security from molestation and the knowledge that they will be permitted— even encouraged—to develop their country, is abroad, that augurs well for the future of Southern Palestine. The rejuvenescence the new regime has brought to this portion of the country will assuredly follow the wake of British rule to the newly conquered territory. When the desperate band of adventurers comprising the Committee of Union and Progress delivered the Ottoman Empire over to the dominance of German militarism, ignoring the Turkish indebtedness to past British foreign policy, they, to use a sporting phrase, backed the wrong horse. The pity of it, for the Turk, that they plunged so heavily. The tottering Turkish Empire, galvanised into action by German military leaders and assisted by a strong leaven of soldiery from the armies of the Central Empires, proved an enemy worthy of our steel. On the blood-drenched hills of the Peninsula, the sands of the Sinai, and the plains of Judea the Turk fought with a tenacity worthy of a better cause When he made his second attempt to gain control of the Suez canal, with an attack upon the British forces at Romani, none of us could but admire the organisation entailed in bringing up his army over the forbidding country. The transporting of his guns and war material over the knee-deep sand was a feat rivalling Napoleon's march upon El Arish. For Napoleon was able to use tracks that the watchfulness of the British Navy made too hazardous for the Turk. Throughout, the mounted troops have looked upon the campaign as their own. In the early days upon the desert, they had it very much on their own. The deep sand made it almost impossible country for the infantry. The memorable engagements at Maghdhaba and Rafa—dwarfed by many later battles—will always be recalled by Australian Light Horsemen and New Zealand Mounted Riflemen as stunts that were their own.
Fittingly, the crowning episode of the campaign was a magnificent cavalry triumph that effectively disposes of the suggestion of some military writers that the day of the cavalryman was past. Military critics will probably be of opinion that Lieut. General Chauvel's march upon Damascus excelled all cavalry achievement of the past. Commenting upon the new addition to the fighting equipment of the Light Horse Mr H.S. Gullett, Official Correspondent with the A.I.F. remarks:
"This great cavalry triumph vindicated the continued use of sword and lance, and will probably lead to the sword being added permanently ro the arms of Australian Light Horsemen. Had the Australian Mounted Division, been armed only with rifles as in previous fights, its performance would not have been nearly so remarkable. Again and again the Australian regiments were able, because they possessed a mounted weapon, to gallop down on the Turks and cause them to surrender. Without the swords they would have been compelled to dismount and go in on foot with their rifles, and it is certain that in many instanceswhen thousands of Turks put up their hands at the galloping advance of the horse and the sight of the sword, there would have been stout and perhaps successful resistance to our men approaching on foot. When the Turks retreated into our cavalry cordon, they were just in that state which is the cavalry leader's dream. They were disorganised and disheartened. Against slow-moving infantry the Germans among them would certainly have fought effectively with machine guns. But the rush of our horse was too much for them. It shattered their last vestige of morale. Before this campaign many experienced Light Horse officers were strongly opposed to the sword, but since they have seen the remarkable saying it has made in hard fighting and in casualties they have entire'y changed their opinion. The Light Horseman has become a cavalryman."