Thursday, 31 May 2018

Inflicting Death by Night

Friday 31st May 1918

The 1st/5th Battalion are near Jaffa in Palestine. Yesterday evening a battalion of 32 Sikh Pioneers arrived their area to clear the banks of the River Auja of all vegetation, seeking to prevent any enemy patrols sneaking up to the battalion's front.

A patrol of one officer and nine other ranks moved out last night and, passing under a culvert in the railway embankment, proceeded to a nearby mound. No enemy were found on the mound but voices and much movement were heard some way away,sounds carrying a long way at night. The patrol got to within 150 yards of those making the noise and saw four camels heading north-east. 

The patrol then crawled north and east and in this manner got within 70 yards of a sentry group. Crawling towards this group the patrol suddenly came upon a sleeping picquet of eight Turks. These they bayoneted but their screams gave the alarm and six more Turks, whom the patrol had not seen in the long grass, jumped up and fired at them, the sentry group was also alarmed and turned to reinforce the picquet. The patrol's rearguard also reported more enemy coming from the mound whereupon the patrol fought its way through and saw two more Turks fall. The Turks did not follow up and the patrol got away under the culvert and arrived back in our lines at 3.45 this morning. They estimate that at least ten enemy were killed or badly wounded. The patrol had one man wounded.

Source: X550/6/8

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