Camp and Combat on the Sinai and Palestine Front: The by Edward C. Woodfin (auth.)

By Edward C. Woodfin (auth.)

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Additional info for Camp and Combat on the Sinai and Palestine Front: The Experience of the British Empire Soldier, 1916–18

Example text

There were three distinct types: yeomanry, light horse/mounted riflemen, and camel corps. The yeomanry, drawn mostly from the British midlands and London, were traditional cavalry, carrying swords and expected to fight on horseback. There were also some troops of Indian lancers, who performed the same sort of function. Secondly, the Australian Light Horse and New Zealand Mounted Rifles were “mounted riflemen,” a type of reconnaissance and rapid strike force who were trained primarily to move by horse and then fight on foot.

The backbone of the force that marched into the Sinai was the infantry. Of 14 divisions of infantry that began 1916 in Egypt, only four would stay for the advance through the desert. These men were all British Territorial troops (considered the least valuable of the 14 to Whitehall). They were the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division, with men from Lancashire and Manchester, the 52nd (Lowland) Division, comprised of both Lowland and Highland Scots, the 53rd (Welsh) Division, with Welshmen and a hodgepodge of men from various parts of England, and the 54th (East Anglian) Division, drawn from not only East Anglia but also London and Northampton.

In years to come, Graves Registration officers would have to search for them again, along with hundreds of other lonely graves in remote dunes. 3 To men who served in the British army in the Sinai, though, their experience stands as an ideal summary of the pain, suffering, and difficulties of their Great War. Politics and military movements As in Sir John R. ” The soldiers who sat in Egyptian camps in early 1916 had not been sent to capture Sinai, nor was that plan even being seriously discussed.

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