Volume 2: Letters written on active service, M-W, 1914-1919 - Page 206

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[Page 206]

they found that our troops had surrounded them, fortifications and all.

Well when we got close enough we dismounted and our horses were taken to cover and we tackled them on foot with the bayonet and with the aid of the artillery, we advanced and they surrendered in hundreds as we came on them, but they made things pretty hot while we advanced, because they were like the fox cornered and had to fight or die. So before dark we had captured the whole force and guns, camp and a large Camel transport. It was a hard day for us all but it was a complete success and best of all our losses were very light under the conditions. There were two French officers there to see our work and they said they had never seen such a great and grand sight in all their travels through the fronts, for they go right around, and they said the same as the Turkish officer we captured on the post, he said, the Australians beat "Hell" for they have no fear of gun fire whatever and charge straight ahead till they can get a dig with the bayonet and then of course Johnnie gives in.

But while I am blowing my boys out I must not forget our brave and splendid airmen who help us so. They were over and over us all the time and using their machine gun and flying very low which terrified the Turk for just the day before they were dropping a few bombs on them to cheer them up a little to meet us, so you can imagine how miserable Johns felt, and of course the German planes do not dare to come in sight of our planes, the dirty dogs.

I might mention that the planes that are with us now are all manned by Australians and they are great chaps, they come with us wherever we go like a guarding angel, and of course go a hundred miles further ahead over enemy country and give him a few bombs.

Well after our day's fighting we mounted and leaving a small force to clean up and hold the place we started back for El-Arish with our booty and prisoners, and I tell you it was the worst ride I have gone through.

We had not had a sleep for 3 nights and not any food for two days and our water had spun out and the air was choking with dust. So in spite of it all I went to sleep in my saddle the same as I had done many times before, for my old horse is a good one and quiet.

Well we met our food transport just before daylight, so we got our rations and water and horse feed, and after about an hour's rest we continued our journey back and got back and watered our horses, who were nearly mad for water and food.

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