When the 52nd Division were moving out of Ludd on the 19th November the 75th Division were fighting hard about Latron, where the Turks held the monastery and its beautiful gardens and the hill about Amwas until late in the morning. Having driven them out, the 75th pushed on to gain the pass into the hills and to begin two days of fighting which earned the unstinted praise of General Bulfin who witnessed it. For nearly three miles from Latron the road passes through a flat valley flanked by hills till it reaches a guardhouse and khan at the foot of the pass which then rises rapidly to Saris, the difference in elevation in less than four miles being 1400 feet. Close to the guardhouse begin the hills which tower above the road. The Turks had constructed defences on these hills and held them with riflemen and machine guns, so that these positions dominated all approaches. Our guns had few positions from which to assist the infantry, but they did sterling service wherever possible. In General Palin the Division had a commander with wide experience of hill fighting on the Indian frontier, and he brought that experience to bear in a way which must have dumb-founded the enemy. Frontal attacks were impossible and suicidal, and each position had to be turned by a wide movement started a long way in rear. All units in the Division did well, the Gurkhas particularly well, and by a continual encircling of their flanks the Turks were compelled to leave their fastnesses and fall back to new hill crests. Thus outwitted and outmatched the enemy retreated to Saris, a high hill with a commanding view of the pass for half a mile. The hill is covered with olive trees and has a village on its eastern slope, and as the road winds at its foot and then takes a left-handed turn to Kuryet el Enab its value for defence was considerable.

The Turks had taken advantage of the cover to place a large body of defenders with machine guns on the hill, but with every condition unfavourable to us the 75th Division had routed out the enemy before three o'clock and were ready to move forward as soon as the guns could get up the pass. Rain was falling heavily, the road surface was clinging and treacherous, and, worse still, the road had been blown up in several places. The guns could not advance to be of service that day, and the infantry had, therefore, to remain where they were for the night. There was a good deal of sniping, but Nature was more unkind than the enemy, who received more than he gave. The troops were wearing light summer clothing, drill shorts and tunics, and the sudden change from the heat and dryness of the plain to bitter cold and wet was a desperate trial, especially to the Indian units, who had little sleep that night. They needed rest to prepare them for the rigour of the succeeding day. A drenching rain turned the whole face of the mountains, where earth covered rock, into a sea of mud. On the positions about Saris being searched a number of prisoners were taken, among them a battalion commander. Men captured in the morning told us there were six Turkish battalions holding Enab, which is something under two miles from Saris.

The road proceeds up a rise from Saris, then falling slightly it passes below the crest of a ridge and again climbs to the foot of a hill on which a red-roofed convent church and buildings stand as a landmark that can be seen from Jaffa. On the opposite side of the road is a substantial house, the summer retreat of the German Consul in Jerusalem, whose staff traded in Jordan Holy Water; and this house, now empty, sheltered a divisional general from the bad weather while the operations for the capture of the Holy City were in preparation. I have a grateful recollection of this building, for in it the military attaches and I stayed before the Official Entry into Jerusalem, and its roof saved us from one inclement night on the bleak hills. On the 20th November the Turks did their best to keep the place under German ownership. The hill on which it stands was well occupied by men under cover of thick stone walls, the convent gardens on the opposite side of the highway was packed with Turkish infantry, and across the deep valley to the west were guns and riflemen on another hill, all of them holding the road under the best possible observation. The enemy's howitzers put down a heavy barrage on all approaches, and on the reverse of the hill covering the village lying in the hollow there were machine guns and many men. Reconnaissances showed the difficulties attending an attack, and it was not until the afternoon that a plan was ready to be put into execution. No weak points in the defences could be discovered, and just as it seemed possible that a daylight attack would be held up, a thick mist rolled up the valley and settled down over Enab. The 2/3rd Gurkhas seized a welcomed opportunity, and as the light was failing the shrill, sharp notes of these gallant hillmen and the deep-throated roar of the 1/5th Somersets told that a weighty bayonet charge had got home, and that the keys of the enemy position had been won. The men of the bold 75th went beyond Enab in the dark, and also out along the old Roman road towards Biddu to deny the Turks a point from which they could see the road as it fell away from the Enab ridge towards the wadi Ikbala. That night many men sought the doubtful shelter of olive groves, and built stone sangars to break the force of a biting wind. A few, as many as could be accommodated, were welcomed by the monks in a monastery in a fold in the hills, whilst some rested and were thankful in a crypt beneath the monks' church, the oldest part of the building, believed to be the work of sixth-century masons. The monks had a tale of woe to tell. They had been proud to have as their guest the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem, who was a French protege, and this high ecclesiastic remained at the monastery till November 17, when Turkish gendarmerie carried him away. The Spanish Consul in Jerusalem lodged a vigorous protest, and, so the monks were told, he was supported by the German Commandant. But to no purpose, for when General Allenby entered Jerusalem he learned that the Latin Patriarch had been removed to Damascus. For quite a long time the monks did many kindly things for our troops. They gave up the greater part of the monastery and church for use as a hospital, and many a sick man was brought back to health by rest within those ancient walls. Some, alas, there were whose wounds were mortal, and a number lie in the monks' secluded garden. They have set up wooden crosses over them, and we may be certain that in that quiet sequestered spot their remains will rest in peace and will have the protection of the monks as surely as it has been given to the grave of the Roman centurion which faces those of our brave boys who fell on the same soil fighting the same good fight.

While the 75th Division were making their magnificent effort at Enab the Lowlanders had breasted other and equally difficult hills to the north. General Hill had posted a strong force at Beit Likia, and then moved south-east along the route prepared by Cestius Gallus nearly 1900 years ago to the height of Beit Anan, and thence east again to Beit Dukku. On the 21st the road and ground near it were in exceedingly bad condition, and the difficulty of moving anything on wheels along it could hardly have been greater. Already the 52nd Division had realised it was hopeless to get all their divisional artillery into action, and only three sections of artillery were brought up, the horses of the guns sent back to Ramleh being used to double the teams in the three advanced sections. It was heavy work, too, for infantry who not only had to carry the weight of mud-caked boots, but were handicapped by continual slipping upon the rocky ground. The 75th advancing along the road from Enab to Kustul got an idea of the Turkish lack of attention to the highway, the main road being deep in mud and full of dangerous ruts. They won Kustul about midday, and officers who climbed to the top got their first glimpse of the outskirts of Jerusalem from the ruined walls of a Roman castle that gives its name to the little village perched on the height. They did not, however, see much beyond the Syrian colony behind the main Turkish defences, and the first view of Jerusalem by the troops of the British Army was obtained by General Maclean's brigade when they advanced from Biddu to Nebi Samwil, that crowning height on which many centuries before Richard the Lion Heart buried his face in his casque and exclaimed: 'Lord God, I pray that I may never see Thy Holy City, if so be that I may not rescue it from the hands of Thine enemies.'

What a fight it was for Nebi Samwil! The Turk had made it his advanced work for his main line running from El Jib through Bir Nabala, Beit Iksa to Lifta, as strong a chain of entrenched mountains as any commander could desire. General Maclean's brigade advanced from Biddu along the side of a ridge and up the exposed steep slope of Nebi Samwil, not all of which, in the only direction he could select for an advance, was terraced, as it was on the Turks' side. He was all the time confronted by heavy artillery and rifle fire, and, though supported by guns firing at long range from the neighbourhood of Enab, he could not make Nebi Samwil in daylight. Round the top of the hill the Turk had dug deeply into the stony earth. He knew the value of that hill. From its crest good observation was obtained in all directions, and if, when we had to attack the main Jerusalem defences on December 8, the summit of Nebi Samwil had still been in Turkish hands, not a movement of troops as they issued from the bed of the wadi Surar and climbed the rough face of the western buttresses of Jerusalem would have escaped notice. The brigade won the hill and held it just before midnight, but the battle for the crest ebbed and flowed for days with terrific violence, we never giving up possession of it, though it was stormed again and again by an enemy who, it is fair to admit, displayed fine courage and not a little skill. That hill-top at this period had to submit to a thunderous bombardment, and the Mosque of Nebi Samwil became a battered shell. Here are supposed to lie the remains of the Prophet Samuel. The tradition may or may not be well founded, but at any rate Mahomedans and Christians alike have held the place in veneration for centuries. The Turk paid no regard to the sanctity of the Mosque, and, as it was of military importance to him that we should not hold it, he shelled it daily with all his available guns, utterly destroying it. There may be cases where the Turks will deny that they damaged a Holy Place. They could not hide their guilt on Nebi Samwil. I was at pains to examine the Mosque and the immediate surroundings, and the photographs I took are proof that the wreckage of this church came from artillery fired from the east and north, the direction of the Turkish gun-pits. It is possible we are apt to be a little too sentimental about the destruction in war of a place of worship. If a general has reason to think that a tower or minaret is being used as an observation post, or that a church or mosque is sheltering a body of troops, there are those who hold that he is justified in deliberately planning its destruction, but here was a sacred building with associations held in reverence by all classes and creeds in a land where these things are counted high, and to have set about wrecking it was a crime. The German influence over the Turk asserted itself, as it did in the heavy fighting after we had taken Jerusalem. We had batteries on the Mount of Olives and the Turk searched for them, but they never fired one round at the Kaiserin Augusta Victoria Hospice near by. That had been used as Falkenhayn's headquarters. General Chetwode occupied it as his Corps Headquarters soon after he entered Jerusalem. There was a wireless installation and the Turks could see the coming and going of the Corps' motor cars. I have watched operations from a summer-house in the gardens, and no enemy plane could pass over the building without discovering the purpose to which it was put. And there were spies. But not one shell fell within the precincts of the hospice because it was a German building, containing the statues of the Kaiser and Kaiserin, and (oh, the taste of the Hun!) with effigies of the Kaiser and his consort painted in the roof of the chapel not far from a picture of the Saviour. Britain is rebuilding what the Turks destroyed, and there will soon arise on Nebi Samwil a new mosque to show Mahomedans that tolerance and freedom abide under our flag.

When the 75th Division were making the attack on Nebi Samwil the 52nd Division put all the men they could spare on to the task of making roads. To be out of the firing line did not mean rest. In fact, as far as physical exertion went, it was easier to be fighting than in reserve. From sunrise till dark and often later the roadmakers were at work with pick, shovel, and crowbar, and the tools were not too many for the job. The gunners joined in the work and managed to take their batteries over the roads long before they were considered suitable for other wheels. The battery commanders sometimes selected firing positions which appeared quite inaccessible to any one save a mountain climber, but the guns got there and earned much credit for their teams.

On the 22nd Nebi Samwil was thrice attacked. British and Indian troops were holding the hill, but the Turks were on the northern slopes. They were, in fact, on strong positions on three sides, and from El Burj, a prominent hill 1200 yards to the south-east, and from the wooded valley of the wadi Hannina, they could advance with plenty of cover. There was much dead ground, stone walls enclosed small patches of cultivation, and when troops halted under the terraces on the slopes no gun or rifle fire could reach them. The enemy could thus get quite close to our positions before we could deal with them, and their attacks were also favoured by an intense volume of artillery fire from 5.9's placed about the Jerusalem-Nablus road and, as some people in Jerusalem afterwards told me, from the Mount of Olives. The attackers possessed the advantage that our guns could not concentrate on them while the attack was preparing, and could only put in a torrent of fire when the enemy infantry were getting near their goal. These three attacks were delivered with the utmost ferocity, and were pressed home each time with determination. But the 75th Division held on with a stubbornness which was beyond praise, and the harder the Turk tried to reach the summit the tighter became the defence. Each attack was repulsed with very heavy losses, and after his third failure the enemy did not put in his infantry again that day.

The 75th Division endeavoured to reach El Jib, a village on the hill a mile and a half to the north of Nebi Samwil. The possession of El Jib by us would have attracted some of the enemy opposing the advance of the Yeomanry Mounted Division on the left, but not only was the position strongly defended in the village and on the high ground on the north and north-west, but our infantry could not break down the opposition behind the sangars and boulders on the northern side of Nebi Samwil. The attack had to be given up, but we made some progress in this mountainous sector, as the 52nd Division had pushed out from Dukku to Beit Izza, between 3000 and 4000 yards from El Jib, and by driving the enemy from this strong village they made it more comfortable for the troops in Biddu and protected the Nebi Samwil flank, the securing of which in those days of bitter fighting was an important factor. It was evident from what was happening on this front, not only where two divisions of infantry had to strain every nerve to hold on to what they had got but where the Yeomanry Mounted Division were battling against enormous odds in the worse country to the north-west, that the Turks were not going to allow us to get to the Nablus road without making a direct attack on the Jerusalem defences. They outnumbered us, had a large preponderance in guns, were near their base, and enjoyed the advantage of prepared positions and a comparatively easy access to supplies and ammunition. Everything was in their favour down to the very state of the weather. But our army struggled on against all the big obstacles. On the 23rd the 75th Division renewed their attack on El Jib, but although the men showed the dash which throughout characterised the Division, it had to be stopped. The garrison of El Jib had been reinforced, and the enemy held the woods, wadi banks, and sangars in greater strength than before, while the artillery fire was extremely heavy. Not only was the 75th Division tired with ceaseless fighting, but the losses they had sustained since they left the Plain of Ajalon had been substantial, and the 52nd Division took over from them that night to prepare for another effort on the following day. The Scots were no more successful. They made simultaneous attacks on the northern and southern ends of Nebi Samwil, and a brigade worked up from Beit Izza to a ridge north-west of El Jib. Two magnificent attempts were made to get into the enemy's positions, but they failed. The officer casualties were heavy; some companies had no officers, and the troops were worn out by great exertions and privations in the bleak hills. The two divisions had been fighting hard for over three weeks, they had marched long distances on hard food, which at the finish was not too plentiful, and the sudden violent change in the weather conditions made it desirable that the men should get to an issue of warmer clothing. General Bulfin realised it would be risking heavy losses to ask his troops to make another immediate effort against a numerically stronger enemy in positions of his own choice, and he therefore applied to General Allenby that the XXth Corps - the 60th Division was already at Latron attached to the XXIst Corps - might take over the line. The Commander-in-Chief that evening ordered the attack on the enemy's positions to be discontinued until the arrival of fresh troops. During the next day or two the enemy's artillery was as active as hitherto, but the punishment he had received in his attacks made him pause, and there were only small half-hearted attempts to reach our line. They were all beaten off by infantry fire, and the reliefs of the various brigades of the XXIst Corps were complete by November 28. It had not been given to the XXIst Corps to obtain the distinction of driving the Turks for ever from Jerusalem, but the work of the Corps in the third and fourth weeks of November had laid the foundation on which victory finally rested. The grand efforts of the 52nd and 75th Divisions in rushing over the foothills of the Shephelah on to the Judean heights, in getting a footing on some of the most prominent hills within three days of leaving the plain, and in holding on with grim tenacity to what they had gained, enabled the Commander-in-Chief to start on a new plan by which to take the Holy City in one stride, so to speak. The 52nd and 75th Divisions and, as will be seen, the Yeomanry Mounted Division as well, share the glory of the capture of Jerusalem with the 53rd, 60th, and 74th Divisions who were in at the finish.

The fighting of the Yeomanry Mounted Division on the left of the 52nd was part and parcel of the XXIst Corps' effort to get to the Nablus road. It was epic fighting, and I have not described it when narrating the infantry's daily work because it is best told in a connected story. If the foot sloggers had a bad time, the conditions were infinitely worse for mounted troops. The ground was as steep, but the hillsides were rougher, the wadis narrower, the patches of open flat fewer than in the districts where infantry operated. So bad indeed was the country that horses were an encumbrance, and most of them were returned to the plain. After a time horse artillery could proceed no farther, and the only guns the yeomanry had with them were those of a section of the Hong Kong and Singapore mountain battery, manned by Sikhs, superb fellows whose service in the Egyptian deserts and in Palestine was worthy of a martial race. But their little guns were outranged by the Turkish artillery, and though they were often right up with the mounted men they could not get near the enemy batteries. The supply of the division in the nooks and crannies where there was not so much as a goat-path was a desperate problem, and could not have been solved without the aid of many hundreds of pack-donkeys which dumped their loads of supplies and ammunition on the hillsides, leaving it to be carried forward by hand. The division were fighting almost continually for a fortnight. They got farther forward than the infantry and met the full force of an opposition which, if not stronger than that about Nebi Samwil, was extremely violent, and they came back to a line which could be supplied with less difficulty when it was apparent that the Turks were not going to accept the opportunity General Allenby gave them to withdraw their army from Jerusalem. The Division's most bitter struggle was about the Beth-horons, on the very scene where Joshua, on a lengthened day, threw the Canaanites off the Shephelah.

The Yeomanry Mounted Division received orders on the afternoon of November 17 to move across Ajalon into the foothills and to press forward straight on Bireh as rapidly as possible. Their trials they began immediately. One regiment of the 8th Brigade occupied Annabeh, and a regiment of the 22nd Brigade got within a couple of miles of Nalin, where a well-concealed body of the enemy held it up. Soon the report came in that the country was impassable for wheels. By the afternoon of the next day the 8th Brigade were at Beit ur el Foka - Beth-horon the Upper - a height where fig trees and pomegranates flourish. Eastwards the country falls away and there are several ragged narrow valleys between some tree-topped ridges till the eye meets a sheikh's tomb on the Zeitun ridge, standing midway between Foka and Beitunia, which rears a proud and picturesque head to bar the way to Bireh. The wadis cross the valleys wherever torrent water can tear up rock, but the yeomanry found their beds smoother going, filled though they were with boulders, than the hill slopes, which generally rose in steep gradients from the sides of watercourses. During every step of the way across this saw-toothed country one appreciated to the full the defenders' advantage. If dead ground hid you from one hill-top enemy marks-men could get you from another, and it was impossible for the division to proceed unless it got the enemy out of all the hills on its line of advance. The infantry on the right were very helpful, but the brigade on the left flank had many difficulties, which were not lessened when, on the second day of the movement, all Royal Horse Artillery guns and all wheels had to be sent back owing to the bad country. Up to this point the fight against Nature was more arduous than against the enemy. Thenceforward the enemy became more vigilant and active, and the hills and stony hollows more trying. All available men were set to work to make a road for the Hong Kong and Singapore gunners, a battery which would always get as far into the mountains as any in the King's Army. The road parties laboured night and day, but it was only by the greatest exertions that the battery could be got through. The heavy rain of the 19th added to the troubles. The 8th Brigade, having occupied Beit ur et Tahta (Beth-horon the Lower) early on the morning of the 19th, proceeded along the wadi Sunt until a force on the heights held them up, and they had to remain in the wadi while the 6th Mounted Brigade turned the enemy's flank at Foka. The 22nd Mounted Brigade on the north met with the same trouble - every hill had to be won and picqueted - and they could not make Ain Arik that day. As soon as it was light on the following morning the 6th Mounted Brigade brushed away opposition in Foka and entered the village, pushing on thence towards Beitunia. The advance was slow and hazardous; every hill had to be searched, a task difficult of accomplishment by reason of the innumerable caves and boulders capable of sheltering snipers. The Turk had become an adept at sniping, and left parties in the hills to carry on by themselves. When the 6th Brigade got within two miles of the south-west of Beitunia they were opposed by 5000 Turks well screened by woods on the slopes and the wadi. Both sides strove all day without gaining ground. Divisional headquarters were only a short distance behind the 6th, and the 8th Brigade was moved up into the same area to be ready to assist. By two o'clock in the afternoon the 22nd Brigade got into Ain Arik and found a strong force of the enemy holding Beitunia and the hill of Muntar, a few hundred yards to the north of it, thus barring the way to Ramallah and Bireh. Rain fell copiously and the wind was chilly. After a miserable night in bivouac, the 6th Brigade was astir before daylight on the 21st. They were fighting at dawn, and in the half light compelled the enemy to retire to within half a mile of Beitunia. A few prisoners were rounded up, and these told the brigadier that 3000 Turks were holding Beitunia with four batteries of field guns and four heavy camel guns. That estimate was found to be approximately accurate. A regiment of the 8th Brigade sent to reinforce the 6th Brigade on their left got within 800 yards of the hill, when the guns about Bireh and Ramallah opened on them and they were compelled to withdraw, and a Turkish counter-attack forced our forward line back slightly in the afternoon. The enemy had a plentiful supply of ammunition and made a prodigal use of it. While continuing to shell fiercely he put more infantry into his fighting line, and as we had only 1200 rifles and four mountain guns, which the enemy's artillery outranged, it was clear we could not dislodge him from the Beitunia crest. The 22nd Mounted Brigade had made an attempt to get to Ramallah from Ain Arik, but the opposition from Muntar and the high ground to the east was much too severe. Our casualties had not been inconsiderable, and in face of the enemy's superiority in numbers and guns and the strength of his position it would have been dangerous and useless to make a further attack. General Barrow therefore decided to withdraw to Foka during the night. All horses had been sent back in the course of the afternoon, and when the light failed the retirement began. The wounded were first evacuated, and they, poor fellows, had a bad time of it getting back to Foka in the dark over four miles of rock-strewn country. It was not till two o'clock on the following morning that all the convoys of wounded passed through Foka, but by that time the track to Tahta had been made into passable order, and some of these helpless men were out of the hills soon after daylight, journeying in comparative ease in light motor ambulances over the Plain of Ajalon.

The arrangements for the withdrawal worked admirably. The 8th Mounted Brigade, covering the retirement so successfully that the enemy knew nothing about it, held on in front of Beitunia till three o'clock, reaching Foka before dawn, while the 22nd Brigade remained covering the northern flank till almost midnight, when it fell back to Tahta. The Division's casualties during the day were 300 killed and wounded. We still held the Zeitun ridge, observation was kept on Ain Arik from El Hafy by one regiment, and troops were out on many parts north and east of Tahta and Foka.

On the next two days there was nothing beyond enemy shelling and patrol encounters. On the 24th demonstrations were made against Beitunia to support the left of the 52nd Division's attack on El Jib, but the enemy was too strong to permit of the yeomanry proceeding more than two miles east of Foka. The roadmakers had done an enormous amount of navvy work on the track between Foka and Tahta. They had laboured without cessation, breaking up rock, levering out boulders with crowbars, and doing a sort of rough-and-ready levelling, and by the night of the 24th the track was reported passable for guns. The Leicester battery R.H.A. came along it next morning without difficulty. I did not see the road till some time later and its surface had then been considerably improved, but even then one felt the drivers of those gun teams had achieved the almost impossible. The Leicester battery arrived at Foka just in time to unlimber and get into action behind a fig orchard in order to disperse a couple of companies of enemy infantry which were working round the left flank of the Staffordshire Yeomanry at Khurbet Meita, below the Zeitun height. The enemy brought up reinforcements and made an attack in the late afternoon, but this was also broken up. The Berkshire battery reached Tahta the following day and, with the Leicester gunners, answered the Turks' long-range shelling throughout the day and night. On the 27th the enemy made a determined attempt to compel us to withdraw from the Zeitun ridge, which is an isolated hill commanding the valleys on both sides. The 6th Mounted Brigade furnished the garrison of 3 officers and 60 men, who occupied a stone building on the summit. Against them the enemy put 600 infantry with machine guns, and they also brought a heavy artillery fire to bear on the building from Beitunia, 4000 yards away. The garrison put up a most gallant defence. They were compelled to leave the building because the enemy practically destroyed it by gunfire and the infantry almost surrounded the hill, but they obtained cover on the boulder-strewn sides of the hill and held their assailants at bay. At dusk, although the garrison was reduced to 2 officers and 26 men, they refused to give ground. They were instructed to hold on as long as possible, and a reinforcement of 50 men was sent up after dark - all that could be spared, as the division was holding a series of hills ten miles long and every rifle was in the line. This front was being threatened at several points, and the activity of patrols at Deir Ibzia and north of it suggested that the enemy was trying to get into the gap of five miles between the yeomanry and the right of the 54th Division which was now at Shilta. It was an anxious night, and No. 2 Light Armoured Car battery was kept west of Tahta to enfilade the enemy with machine guns should he appear in the neighbourhood of Suffa. The 7th Mounted Brigade was ordered up to reinforce. The fresh troops arrived at dawn on the 28th, and had no sooner got into position at Hellabi, half a mile north-west of Tahta, than their left flank was attacked by 1000 Turks with machine guns. The 155th Brigade of the 52nd Division was on its way through Beit Likia to rest after its hard work in the neighbourhood of Nebi Samwil and El Jib, and it was ordered up to assist. At midday the brigade attacked Suffa but could not take it. The Scots, however, prevented the Turks breaking round the left flank of the yeomanry. The post which had held Zeitun so bravely was brought into Foka under cover of the Leicester and Berkshire batteries' fire, and very heavy fighting continued all day long on the Foka-Tahta-Suffa line, but though the enemy employed 3000 infantry in his attack, and had four batteries of 77's and four heavy camel guns, he was unsuccessful. At dusk the attack on Tahta, which had been under shell-fire all day, was beaten off and the enemy was compelled to withdraw one mile. Suffa was still his, but his advanced troops on the cairn south of that place had suffered heavily during the day at the hands of the 7th Mounted Brigade, who several times drove them off. Some howitzers of the 52nd Division were hauled over the hills in the afternoon and shelled the cairn so heavily that the post sought shelter in Suffa. To the south-east of the line of attack the Turks were doing their utmost to secure Foka. They came again and again, and their attacks were always met and broken with the bayonet by yeomen who were becoming fatigued by continuous fighting, and advancing and retiring in this terrible country. They could have held the place that night, but there was no possibility of sending them reinforcements, and as the enemy had been seen working round to the south of the village with machine guns it might have been impossible to get them out in the morning. General Barrow accordingly withdrew the Foka garrison to a new position on a wooded ridge half-way between that place and Tahta, and the enemy made no attempt to get beyond Foka. Late at night he got so close to Tahta from the north that he threw bombs at our sangars, but he was driven off.

During the evening the Yeomanry Mounted Division received welcome reinforcements. The 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade were placed in support of the 6th Mounted Brigade and a battalion of the 156th Infantry Brigade assisted the 7th Mounted Brigade.

On the 29th the Turks made their biggest effort to break through the important line we held, and all day they persisted with the greatest determination in an attack on our left. At midnight they had again occupied the cairn south of Suffa, and remained there till 8 A.M., when the 268th Brigade Royal Field Artillery crowned the hill with a tremendous burst of fire and drove them off. The machine-gunners of the 7th Mounted Brigade caught the force as it was retiring and inflicted many casualties. The Turks came back again and again, and the cairn repeatedly changed hands, until at last it was unoccupied by either side. Towards dusk the Turks' attacks petered out, though the guns and snipers continued busy, and the Yeomanry Mounted Division was relieved by the 231st Infantry Brigade of the 74th Division and the 157th Infantry Brigade of the 52nd Division, the Australian Mounted Division ultimately taking over the left of the line which XXth Corps troops occupied.

The Yeomanry Mounted Division had made a grand fight against a vastly superior force of the enemy in a country absolutely unfavourable to the movement of mounted troops. They never had more than 1200 rifles holding a far-flung barren and bleak line, and the fine qualities of vigorous and swift attack, unfaltering discipline and heroic stubbornness in defence under all conditions, get their proof in the 499 casualties incurred by the Division in the hill fighting, exclusive of those sustained by the 7th Mounted Brigade which reinforced them. The Division was made up entirely of first-line yeomanry regiments whose members had become efficient soldiers in their spare time, when politicians were prattling about peace and deluding parties into the belief that there was little necessity to prepare for war. Their patriotism and example gave a tone to the drafts sent out to replace casualties and the wastage of war, and were a credit to the stock from which they sprang.

While the Yeomanry Mounted Division had been fighting a great battle alongside the infantry of the XXIst Corps in the hills, the remainder of the troops of the Desert Mounted Corps were employed on the plain and in the coastal sector, hammering the enemy hard and establishing a line from the mouth of the river Auja through some rising ground across the plain. They were busily engaged clearing the enemy out of some of the well-ordered villages east of the sandy belt, several of them German colonies showing signs of prosperity and more regard for cleanliness and sanitation than other of the small centres of population hereabouts. The village of Sarona, north of Jaffa, an almost exclusively German settlement, was better arranged than any others, but Wilhelma was a good second.

The most important move was on November 24, when, with a view to making the enemy believe an attack was intended against his right flank, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade was sent across the river Auja to seize the villages of Sheikh Muannis near the sea, and Hadrah farther inland, two companies of infantry holding each of the two crossings. The enemy became alarmed and attacked the cavalry in force early next morning, 1000 infantry marching on Muannis. The Hadrah force was driven back across the Auja and the two companies of infantry covering the crossing suffered heavily, having no support from artillery, which had been sent into bivouac. Some of the men had to swim the river. A bridge of boats had been built at Jerisheh mill during the night, and by this means men crossed until Muannis was occupied by the enemy later in the morning. The cavalry crossed the ford at the mouth of the Auja at the gallop. The 1/4th Essex held on to Hadrah until five out of six officers and about fifty per cent. of the men became casualties. There was a good deal of minor fighting on this section of the front, and in a number of patrol encounters the resource of the Australian Light Horse added to their bag of prisoners and to the Army's store of information. Nothing further of importance occurred in this neighbourhood until we seized the crossings of the Auja and the high ground north of the river a week before the end of the year.