The New Zealanders in Sinai and Palestine
Introduction by Field Marshal Sir Edmund H. H. Allenby, G.C.B., G.C.M.G
Introduction by Field Marshal Sir Edmund H. H. Allenby, G.C.B., G.C.M.G.
The New Zealand troops who served in Palestine formed part of the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division, which was composed of Australian and New Zealand Brigades that had fought in Gallipoli.
The Division had its full share of fighting in the conquest of the Sinai Peninsula, and in the first and second battles of Gaza in March and April, 1917.
When I assumed command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, in June, 1917, the New Zealanders were already veteran troops proved in many a battle. Two more years of hardship and danger were to pass before they saw the end of their labours. Two years of unceasing toil, crowned with much glory.
The summer of 1917 was spent in preparing for the campaign.
On the evening of October 30th the troops destined for the attack on Beersheba moved from their rendezvous. On the evening of the 31st Beersheba fell.
In this action the New Zealanders took a prominent part; and, thenceforward until the 7th November, they were continually engaged in bitter fighting north of Beersheba. Afterwards, moving to the coastal plain, they joined in the advance through Philistia.
At Richon le Zion, on the 14th November, they defeated a determined and heavy Turkish counter-attack by a brilliant bayonet charge. From November 16th to 25th, in the neighbourhood of Jaffa; and in December, on the river Auja, great deeds of valour were done by the New Zealanders.
In February, 1918, the Jordan Valley became the scene of their activities.
From March 23rd to 31st they fought the Turks and the weather in the daring raid to Amman. Again, they cooperated in the raid to Es Salt, from April 30th to May 4th; and they shared the victory over the Turks and Germans on July 4th. page xivWhen the autumn campaign was in progress, the New Zealanders took a leading part in defeating the Turkish IV. Army. In the Jordan Valley, and thence eastward, over their old battlefields of Shunet Nimrin, Es Salt and Amman, to the Hedjaz railway, the men of New Zealand fought and marched to final and complete victory. Nothing daunted these intrepid fighters; to them nothing was impossible.
I am proud to have had the honour of commanding them; and they have my congratulations, my thanks and my good wishes.