The impossibility of getting across the road north of Jerusalem by making a wide sweep over the Judean hills caused a new plan to be put into execution. This necessitated a direct attack on the well-prepared system of defences on the hills protecting Jerusalem from the west, but it did not entail any weakening of General Allenby's determination that there should be no fighting by British troops in and about the precincts of the Holy City. That resolve was unshaken and unshakable. When a new scheme was prepared by the XXth Corps, the question was put whether the Turks could be attacked at Lifta, which was part of their system. Now Lifta is a native village on one of the hill-faces to the west of Jerusalem, about a mile from the Holy City's walls, and, as it is not even connected by a road with any of the various colonies forming the suburbs of Jerusalem, could not by any stretch of imagination be described by a Hun propaganda merchant as part of Jerusalem. I happen to know that on the 26th November the Commander-in-Chief sent this communication to General Chetwode: 'I place no restriction upon you in respect of any operation which you may consider necessary against Lifta or the enemy's lines to the south of it, except that on no account is any risk to be run of bringing the City of Jerusalem or its immediate environs within the area of operations.' The spirit as well as the letter of that order was carried out, and in the very full orders and notes on the operations issued before the victorious attack was made, there is the most elaborate detail regarding the different objectives of divisions and brigades, and scrupulous care was taken that no advance should be made against any resisting enemy within the boundaries not only of the Holy City but of the suburbs. We shall see how thoroughly these instructions were followed.

When it became obvious that Jerusalem could not be secured without the adoption of a deliberate method of attack, there were many matters requiring the anxious consideration of the XXth Corps staff. They took over from XXIst Corps at a time when the enemy was still very active against the line which they had gained under very hard conditions. The XXth Corps, beginning with the advantage of positions which the XXIst Corps had won, had to prepare to meet the enemy with equal gun power and more than equality in rifle strength. We had the men and the guns in the country, but to get them into the line and to keep them supplied was a problem of considerable magnitude. Time was an important factor. The rains had begun. The spells of fine weather were getting shorter, and after each period of rain the sodden state of the country affected all movement. To bring up supplies we could only rely on road traffic from Gaza and Deir Sineid, and the light soil had become hopelessly cut up during the rains. The main line of railway was not to be opened to Mejdel till December 8, and the captured Turkish line between Deir Sineid and Junction Station had a maximum capacity of one hundred tons of ordnance stores a day, and these had to be moved forward again by road. An advance must slow down while communications were improved. The XXth Corps inherited from the XXIst Corps the track between Beit Likia and Biddu which had been prepared with an infinity of trouble and exertion, but this and the main Latron-Jerusalem road were the only highways available.

General Chetwode's Corps relieved General Bulfin's Corps during the day of November 28, and viewed in the most favourable light it appeared that there must be at least one week's work on the roads before it would be possible for heavy and field batteries, in sufficient strength to support an attack, to be got into the mountains. A new road was begun between Latron and Beit Likia, and another from Enab to Kubeibeh, and these, even in a rough state of completion, eased the situation very considerably. An enormous amount of labour was devoted to the main road. The surface was in bad order and was getting worse every hour with the passage of lorry traffic. It became full of holes, and the available metal in the neighbourhood was a friable limestone which, under heavy pressure during rains, was ground into the consistency of a thick cream. Pioneer battalions were reinforced by large parties of Egyptian labour corps, and these worked ceaselessly, clearing off top layers of mud, carrying stones down from the hills and breaking them, putting on a new surface and repairing the decayed walls which held up the road in many places. The roadmakers proved splendid fellows. They put a vast amount of energy into their work, but when the roads were improved rain gravely interfered with traffic, and camels were found to be most unsatisfactory. They slipped and fell and no reliance could be placed on a camel convoy getting to its destination in the hills. Two thousand donkeys were pressed into service, and with them the troops in the distant positions were kept supplied. It would not be possible to exaggerate the value of this donkey transport. In anticipation of the advance the Quartermaster-General's department, with the foresight which characterised that department and all its branches throughout the campaign, searched Egypt for the proper stamp of asses for pack transport in the hills. The Egyptian donkey is a big fellow with a light-grey coat, capable of carrying a substantial load, hardy, generally docile, and less stubborn than most of the species. He is much taller and heavier than the Palestine donkey, and our Army never submitted him to the atrociously heavy loads which crush and break the spirit of the local Arabs' animals. It is, perhaps, too much to hope that the natives will learn something from the British soldier's treatment of animals. It was one of the sights of the campaign to see the donkey trains at work. They carried supplies which, having been brought by the military railway from the Suez Canal to railhead, were conveyed by motor lorries as far as the state of the road permitted self-propelled vehicles to run, were next transhipped into limbers, and, when horse transport could proceed no farther, were stowed on to the backs of camels. The condition of the road presently held up the camels, and then donkey trains took over the loads. Under a white officer you would see a chain of some two hundred donkeys, each roped in file of four, led by an Egyptian who knew all that was worth knowing about the ways of the ass, winding their way up and down hills, getting a foothold on rocks where no other animal but a goat could stand, and surmounting all obstacles with a patient endurance which every soldier admired. They did not like the cold, and the rain made them look deplorably wretched, but they got rations and drinking-water right up to the crags where our infantry were practising mountaineering. Shell-fire did not disturb them much, and they would nibble at any rank stuff growing on the hillsides to supplement the rations which did not always reach their lines at regular intervals. The Gyppy boys were excellent leaders, and to them and the donkeys the front-line fighting men in the hill country owe much. They were saved a good deal of exhausting labour in manhandling stores from the point where camels had to stop, and they could therefore concentrate their attention on the Turk.

By December 2 the fine exertions of the troops on the line of communications had enabled the XXth Corps Commander to make his plans for the capture of Jerusalem, and at a conference at Enab on the following day General Chetwode outlined his scheme, which, put in a nutshell, was to attack with the 60th and 74th Divisions in an easterly direction on the front Ain Karim-Beit Surik and, skirting the western suburbs of Jerusalem, to place these two divisions astride the Jerusalem-Nablus road, while the 53rd Division advanced from Hebron to threaten the enemy from the south and protect the right of the 60th Division. I will not apologise for dealing as fully as possible with the fighting about Jerusalem, because Jerusalem was one of the great victories of the war, and the care taken to observe the sanctity of the place will for all time stand out as one of the brightest examples of the honour of British arms. But before entering upon those details I will put in chronological sequence the course of the fighting on this front from the moment when the XXth Corps took over the command, and show how, despite enemy vigilance and many attacks, the preparations for the outstanding event of the campaign were carried through. It is remarkable that in the short period of ten days the plans could be worked out in detail and carried through to a triumphant issue, notwithstanding the bad weather and the almost overwhelming difficulties of supply. Only the whole-hearted co-operation of all ranks made it possible. On the day after the XXth Corps became responsible for this front General Chetwode had a conference with Generals Barrow, Hill, and Girdwood, and after a full discussion of the situation in the hills decided to abandon the plan of getting on to the Jerusalem-Nablus road from the north in favour of attempting to take Jerusalem from the west and south-west. The commanders of the Yeomanry Mounted Division and the 52nd Division were asked to suggest, from their experience of the fighting of the past ten days, what improvement in the line was necessary to make it certain that the new plan would not be interfered with by an enemy counter-attack. They were in favour of taking the western portion of the Beitunia-Zeitun ridge. Preparations were made immediately to relieve the Yeomanry Mounted Division by the Australian Mounted Division, and when the 10th Division arrived - it was marching up from Gaza - the 52nd Division was to be returned to the XXIst Corps. The hard fighting and the determined attacks of the Turks had made it unavoidable that some portions of the divisions should be mixed, and the reliefs were not completed till the 2nd of December.

The Yeomanry Mounted Division troops gave over the Tahta defences to the 157th Infantry Brigade on the night of November 29-30, and the enemy made an attack on the new defenders at dawn, but were swiftly beaten off. A local effort against Nebi Samwil was easily repulsed, but the 60th Division reported that the enemy had in the past few days continued his shelling of the Mosque, and had added to his destruction of that sacred place by demolishing the minaret by gunfire. The 231st Infantry Brigade with one battalion in the front line took over from the 8th Mounted Brigade from Beit Dukku to Jufna, and while the reliefs were in progress there was continual fighting in the Et Tireh-Foka area. The former place was won and lost several times, and finally the infantry consolidated on the high ground west of those villages. Early on the 30th a detachment of the 231st Brigade took Foka, capturing eight officers and 298 men, but as it was not possible to hold the village the infantry retired to our original line. On December 1 the 10th Division relieved the 52nd in the sector wadi Zait-Tahta-Kh. Faaush, but on that day the 155th Brigade had had another hard brush with the Turks. A regiment of the 3rd Australian Light Horse on a hill north of El Burj in front of them was heavily attacked at half-past one in the morning by a specially prepared sturmtruppen battalion of the Turkish 19th Division, and a footing was gained in our position, but with the aid of a detachment of the Gloucester Yeomanry and the 1/4th Royal Scots Fusiliers the enemy was driven out at daybreak and six officers and 106 unwounded and 60 wounded Turks, wearing steel hats and equipped like German storming troops, were taken prisoners. The attack was pressed with the greatest determination, and the enemy, using hand grenades, got within thirty yards of our line. During the latter part of their advance the Turks were exposed to a heavy cross fire from machine guns and rifles of the 9th Light Horse Regiment, and this fire and the guns of the 268th Brigade Royal Field Artillery and the Hong Kong and Singapore battery prevented the retirement of the enemy. The capture of the prisoners was effected by an encircling movement round both flanks. Our casualties were 9 killed and 47 wounded. That storming battalion left over 100 dead about our trenches. At the same time a violent attack was made on the Tahta defences held by the 157th Brigade; the enemy, rushing forward in considerable strength and with great impetus, captured a ridge overlooking Tahta - a success which, if they had succeeded in holding the position till daylight, would have rendered that village untenable, and would have forced our line back some distance at an important point. It proved to be a last desperate effort of the enemy at this vital centre. No sooner were the Scots driven off the ridge than they re-formed and prepared to retake it. Reinforced, they attacked with magnificent courage in face of heavy machine-gun fire, but it was not until after a rather prolonged period of bayonet work that the Lowland troops got the upper hand, the Turks trying again and again to force them out. At half-past four they gave up the attempt, and from that hour Tahta and the rocks about it were objects of terror to them.

Nor did the Turks permit Nebi Samwil to remain in our possession undisputed. The Londoners holding it were thrice attacked with extreme violence, but the defenders never flinched, and the heavy losses of the enemy may be measured by the fact that when we took Jerusalem and an unwonted silence hung over Nebi Samwil, our burying parties interred more than 500 Turkish dead about the summit of that lofty hill. Their graves are mostly on the eastern, northern, and southern slopes. Ours lie on the west, where Scot, Londoner, West Countryman, and Indian, all equally heroic sons of the Empire, sleep, as they fought, side by side.

The last heavy piece of fighting on the XXth Corps' front before the attack on Jerusalem was on December 3, when a regiment of yeomanry, which like a number of other yeomanry regiments had been dismounted to form the 74th Division, covered itself with glory. The 16th (Royal Devon Yeomanry) battalion of the Devon Regiment belonging to the 229th Brigade was ordered to make an attack on Beit ur el Foka in the dark hours of the morning. All the officers had made reconnaissances and had learned the extreme difficulties of the ground. At 1 A.M. these yeomen worked their way up the wadi Zeit to the head of that narrow watercourse at the base of the south-western edge of the hill on which the village stands. The attack was launched from this position, the company on the right having the steepest face to climb. Here the villagers, to get the most out of the soil and to prevent the winter rains washing it off the rocks into the wadi, had built a series of terraces, and the retaining walls, often crumbling to the touch, offered some cover from the Turkish defenders' fire. With the advantage of this shelter the troops on the right reached the southern end of the village soon after 2 o'clock, but the company on the left met with much opposition on the easier slope, and had to call in aid the support of a machine-gun section posted in the woods on a ridge north-west of the village. By 3 o'clock the whole battalion was in the village, using rifle and bayonet in the road scarcely more than a couple of yards wide, and bombing the enemy out of native mud and stone houses and caves. Two officers and fifteen unwounded men were taken prisoners with three machine guns, but before any consolidation could be done the Turks began a series of counter-attacks which lasted all day. As we had previously found, Foka was very hard to defend. It is overlooked on the north, north-east, and east by ridges a few hundred yards away, and by a high hill north of Ain Jeruit, 1200 yards to the north, by another hill 1000 yards to the east, and by the famous Zeitun ridge about 1500 yards beyond it, and attacks from these directions could be covered very effectively by overhead machine-gun fire. To enlarge the perimeter of defence would be to increase the difficulties and require a much larger force than was available, and there was no intention of going beyond Foka before the main operation against Jerusalem was started. To hold Foka securely a force must be in possession of the heights on the north and east, and to keep these Beitunia itself must be gained. Before daylight arrived some work on defences was begun, but it was interfered with by snipers and not much could be done. Immediately the sun rose from behind the Judean hills there was a violent outburst of fire from machine guns and rifles on three sides, increasing in volume as the light improved. The enemy counter-attacked with a determination fully equal to that which he had displayed during the past fortnight's battle in the hills. He had the advantage of cover and was supported by artillery and a hurricane of machine-gun fire, but although he climbed the hill and got into the small gardens outside the very houses, he was repulsed with bomb and bayonet. At one moment there was little rifle fire, and the two sides fought it out with bombs. The Turks retired with heavy losses, but they soon came back again and fought with the same determination, though equally unsuccessfully. The Devons called for artillery, and three batteries supported them splendidly, though the gunners were under a great disadvantage in that the ground did not permit the effect of gunfire to be observed and it was difficult to follow the attackers. The supplies of bombs and small-arms ammunition were getting low, and to replenish them men had to expose themselves to a torrent of fire, so fierce indeed that in bringing up two boxes of rifle ammunition which four men could carry twelve casualties were incurred. A head shown in the village instantly drew a hail of bullets from three sides. Reinforcements were on the way up, and the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry battalion of the Royal Highlanders were prepared to make a flank attack from their outpost line three-quarters of a mile south-east of Foka to relieve the Devons, but this would have endangered the safety of the outpost line without reducing the fire from the heights, and as the Fife and Forfar men would have had to cross two deep wadis under enfilade fire on their way to Foka their adventure would have been a perilous one. By this time three out of four of the Devons' company commanders were wounded and the casualties were increasing. The officer commanding the battalion therefore decided, after seven hours of terrific fighting, that the village of Foka was no longer tenable, and authority was given him to withdraw. In their last attack the enemy put 1000 men against the village, and it was not until the O.C. Devons had seen this strength that he proposed the place should be evacuated. His men had put up a great fight. The battalion went into action 762 strong; it came out 488. Three officers were killed and nine wounded, and 49 other ranks killed and 132 wounded. Thirteen were wounded and missing and 78 missing. In Foka to-day you will see most of the battered houses repaired, but progress through the streets is partially barred by the graves of Devon yeomen who were buried where they fell. It was not possible to hew a grave in rock, therefore earth and stone were piled up round the bodies, so that in at least two spots you find several graves serving as buttresses to rude dwellings. On one of these graves, beside the identification tablet of two strong sons of Devon, you will find, on a piece of paper inserted in a slit cut into wood torn from an ammunition box, the words 'Grave of unknown Turk.' Friend and foe share a common resting-place. The natives of this village are more than usually friendly, and those graves seem safe in their keeping.

Between the 4th and 7th December there was a reshuffling of the troops holding the line to enable a concentration of the divisions entrusted with the attack on the defences covering Jerusalem. The 10th Division relieved the 229th and 230th Brigades of the 74th Division and extended its line to cover Beit Dukku, a point near and west of Et Tireh, to Tahta, and when the enemy retired from the immediate front of the 10th Division's left, Hellabi and Suffa were occupied. The Australian Mounted Division also slightly advanced its line. On the night of December 5 the 231st Brigade relieved the 60th Division in the Beit Izza and Nebi Samwil positions, and on December 6 the line held by the 74th was extended to a point about a mile and a half north of Kulonieh. The 53rd Division had passed through Hebron, and its advance was timed to reach the Bethlehem-Beit Jala district on December 7. The information gained by the XXth Corps led the staff to estimate the strength of the enemy opposite them to be 13,300 rifles and 2700 sabres, disposed as follows: east of Jerusalem the 7th cavalry regiment, 500 sabres; the 27th Division covering Jerusalem and extending to the Junction Station-Jerusalem railway at Bitter Station, 1200 rifles; thence to the Latron-Jerusalem road with strong points at Ain Karim and Deir Yesin, the 53rd Turkish Division, 2000 rifles; from the road to Nebi Samwil (Beit Iksa being very strongly held) the 26th Turkish Division, 1800 rifles; Nebi Samwil to Beit ur el Foka, 19th Turkish Division with the 2/61st regiment and the 158th regiment attached, 4000 rifles; Beit ur el Foka to about Suffa, the 24th Division, 1600 rifles; thence to the extreme left of the XXth Corps the 3rd Cavalry Division, 1500 sabres. The 54th Turkish Division was in reserve at Bireh with 2700 rifles. The enemy held a line covering Bethlehem across the Hebron road to Balua, then to the hill Kibryan south-west of Beit Jala, whence the line proceeded due north to Ain Karim and Deir Yesin, both of which were strongly entrenched, on to the hill overlooking the Jerusalem road above Lifta. From this point the line crossed the road to the high ground west of Beit Iksa - entrenchments were cut deep into the face of this hill to cover the road from Kulonieh - thence northward again to the east of Nebi Samwil, west of El Jib, Dreihemeh (one mile north-east of Beit Dukku) to Foka, Kh. Aberjan, and beyond Suffa.

During the attack the Australian Mounted Division was to protect the left flank of the 10th Division, which with one brigade of the 74th Division was to hold the whole of the line in the hills from Tahta through Foka, Dukku, Beit Izza to Nebi Samwil, leaving the attack to be conducted by two brigade groups of the 74th Division, the whole of the 60th Division, and two brigade groups of the 53rd Division, with the 10th regiment of Australian Light Horse watching the right flank of the 60th Division until the left of the 53rd could join up with it. One brigade of the 53rd Division was to advance from the Bethlehem-Beit Jala area with its left on the line drawn from Sherafat through Malhah to protect the 60th Division's flank, the other brigade marching direct on Jerusalem, and to move by roads south of the town to a position covering Jerusalem from the east and north-east, but - and these were instructions specially impressed on this brigade - 'the City of Jerusalem will not be entered, and all movements by troops and vehicles will be restricted to roads passing outside the City.' The objective of the 60th and 74th Divisions was a general line from Ras et Tawil, a hill east of the Nablus road about four miles north of Jerusalem, to Nebi Samwil, one brigade of the 74th Division holding Nebi Samwil and Beit Izza defences and to form the pivot of the attack. The dividing line between the 60th and 74th Divisions was the Enab-Jerusalem road as far as Lifta and from that place to the wadi Beit Hannina. The form of the attack was uncertain until it was known how the enemy would meet the advance of the 53rd Division, which, on the 3rd December, was in a position north of Hebron within two ten-mile marches of the point at which it would co-operate on the right of the 60th. If the enemy increased his strength south of Jerusalem to oppose the advance of the 53rd Division, General Chetwode proposed that the 60th and 74th Divisions should force straight through to the Jerusalem-Nablus road, the 60th throwing out a flank to the south-east, so as to cut off the Turks opposing the 53rd from either the Nablus or the Jericho road. It was not considered probable that the enemy would risk the capture of a large body of troops south of Jerusalem. On the other hand, should the Turks withdraw from in front of the Welsh Division, the alternative plan provided that the latter attack should take the form of making a direct advance on Jerusalem and a wheel by the 60th and 74th Divisions, pivoting on the Beit Izza and Nebi Sainwil defences, so as to drive the enemy northwards. The operations were to be divided into four phases. The first phase fell to the 60th and 74th Divisions, and consisted in the capture of the whole of the south-western and western defences of Jerusalem.

These ran from a point near the railway south-west of Malhah round to the west of Ain Karim, then on to the hill of Khurbet Subr, down a cleft in the hills and up on to the high Deir Yesin ridge, thence round the top of two other hills dominating the old and new roads to Jerusalem from Jaffa as they pass by the village of Kulonieh. North of the new road the enemy's line ran round the southern face of a bold hill overlooking the village of Beit Iksa and along the tortuous course of the wadi El Abbeideh. In the second phase the 60th Division was to move over the Jaffa-Jerusalem road with its right almost up to the scattered houses on the north-western fringe of Jerusalem's suburbs, and its left was to pass the village of Lifta on the slope of the hill rising from the wadi Beit Hannina. The objective of the 60th Division in the third phase was the capture of a line of a track leaving the Jerusalem-Nablus road well forward of the northern suburb and running down to the wadi Hannina, the 74th Division advancing down the spur running south-east from Nebi Samwil to a point about 1000 yards south-west of Beit Hannina, the latter a prominent height with a slope amply clothed with olive trees. The fourth phase was an advance astride the road to Ras et Tawil. As will be seen hereafter all these objectives were not obtained, but the first, and chief of them, was, and the inevitable followed - Jerusalem became ours.

Let us now picture some of the country the troops had to cross and the defences they had to capture before the Turks could be forced out of Jerusalem. We will first look at it from Enab, the ancient Kir-jath-jearim, which the Somersets, Wilts, and Gurkhas had taken at the point of the bayonet. From the top of Enab the Jaffa-Jerusalem road winds down a deep valley, plentifully planted with olive and fig trees and watered by the wadi Ikbala. A splendid supply of water had been developed by Royal Engineers near the ruins of a Crusader fortress which, if native tradition may be relied on, housed Richard of the Lion Heart. From the wadi rises a hill on which is Kustul, a village covering the site of an old Roman castle from which, doubtless, its name is derived. Kustul stands out the next boldest feature to Nebi Samwil, and from it, when the atmosphere is clear, the red-tiled roofs of houses in the suburbs of Jerusalem are plainly visible. A dozen villages clinging like limpets to steep hillsides are before you, and away on your right front the tall spires of Christian churches at Ain Karim tell you you are approaching the Holy Sites. Looking east the road falls, with many short zigzags in its length, to Kulonieh, crosses the wadi Surar by a substantial bridge (which the Turks blew up), and then creeps up the hills in heavy gradients till it is lost to view about Lifta. The wadi Surar winds round the foot of the hill which Kustul crowns, and on the other side of the watercourse there rises the series of hills on which the Turks intended to hold our hands off Jerusalem. The descent from Kustul is very rapid and the rise on the other side is almost as precipitous. On both sides of the wadi olive trees are thickly planted, and on the terraced slopes vines yield a plentiful harvest. Big spurs run down to the wadi, the sides are rough even in dry weather, but when the winter rains are falling it is difficult to keep a foothold. South-west of Kustul is Soba, a village on another high hill, and below it and west of Ain Karim, on lower ground, is Setaf, both having orchards and vineyards in which the inhabitants practise the arts of husbandry by the same methods as their remote forefathers. An aerial reconnaissance nearly a year before we took Jerusalem showed the Turks busily making trenches on the hills east of the wadi Surar. An inspection of the defences proved the work to have been long and arduous, though like many things the Turk began he did not finish them. What he did do was done elaborately. He employed masons to chisel the stone used for revetting, and in places the stones fit well and truly one upon the other, while an enormous amount of rock must have been blasted to excavate the trenches. The system adopted was to have three fire trenches near the top of the hills, one above the other, so that were the first two lines taken the third would still offer a difficult obstacle, and, if the defenders were armed with bombs, it would be hard for attackers to retain the trenches in front of them. There was much dead ground below the entrenchments, but the defences were so arranged that cross fire from one system swept the dead ground on the next spur, and, if the hills were properly held, an advance up them would have been a stupendous task. The Turk had put all his eggs into one basket. Perhaps he considered his positions impregnable - they would have been practically impregnable in British hands - and he made no attempt to cut support trenches behind the crest. There was one system only, and his failure to provide defences in depth cost him dear.

Looking eastwards from Kustul, the Turkish positions south of the Jaffa-Jerusalem road, each of them on a hill, were called by us the 'Liver Redoubt' (near Lifta), the 'Heart Redoubt,' 'Deir Yesin,' and 'Khurbet Subr,' with the village of Ain Karim in a fold of the hills and a line of trenches south-west of it running down to the railway. Against the 74th Division's front the nature of the country was equally difficult. From Beit Surik down to the Kulonieh road the hills fell sharply with the ground strewn with boulders. Our men had to advance across ravines and beds of watercourses covered with large stones, and up the wooded slopes of hills where stone walls constituted ready-made sangars easily capable of defence. The hardest position they had to tackle was the hill covering Beit Iksa, due north of the road as it issued from Kulonieh, where long semicircular trenches had been cut to command at least half a mile of the main road. In front of the 53rd Division was an ideal rearguard country where enterprising cavalry could have delayed an advance by infantry for a lengthened period. To the south of Bethlehem, around Beit Jala and near Urtas, covering the Pools of Solomon, an invaluable water supply, there were prepared defences, but though the Division was much delayed by heavy rain and dense mist, the fog was used to their advantage, for the whole of the Division's horses were watered at Solomon's Pools one afternoon without opposition from the Urtas garrison.

December 8 was the date fixed for the attack. On December 7 rain fell unceasingly. The roads, which had been drying, became a mass of slippery mud to the west of Jerusalem, and on the Hebron side the Welsh troops had to trudge ankle deep through a soft limy surface. It was soon a most difficult task to move transport on the roads. Lorries skidded, and double teams of horses could only make slow progress with limbers. Off the road it became almost impossible to move. The ground was a quagmire. On the sodden hills the troops bivouacked without a stick to shelter them. The wind was strong and drove walls of water before it, and there was not a man in the attacking force with a dry skin. Sleep on those perishing heights was quite out of the question, and on the day when it was hoped the men would get rest to prepare them for the morrow's fatigue the whole Army was shivering and awake. So bad were the conditions that the question was considered as to whether it would not be advisable to postpone the attack, but General Chetwode, than whom no general had a greater sympathy for his men, decided that as the 53rd Division were within striking distance by the enemy the attack must go forward on the date fixed. That night was calculated to make the stoutest hearts faint. Men whose blood had been thinned by summer heat in the desert were now called upon to endure long hours of piercing cold, with their clothes wet through and water oozing out of their boots as they stood, with equipment made doubly heavy by rain, caked with mud from steel helmet to heel, and the toughened skin of old campaigners rendered sore by rain driven against it with the force of a gale. Groups of men huddled together in the effort to keep warm: a vain hope. And all welcomed the order to fall in preparatory to moving off in the darkness and mist to a battle which, perhaps more than any other in this war, stirred the emotions of countless millions in the Old and New Worlds. Yet their spirits remained the same. Nearly frozen, very tired, 'fed up' with the weather, as all of them were, they were always cheerful, and the man who missed his footing and floundered in the mud regarded the incident as light-heartedly as his fellows. An Army which could face the trials of such a night with cheerfulness was unbeatable. One section of the force did regard the prospects with rueful countenances. This was the Divisional artillery. Tractors, those wonderfully ugly but efficient engines which triumphed over most obstacles, had got the heavies into position. The 96th Heavy Group, consisting of three 6-inch howitzer batteries, one complete 60-pounder battery, and a section of another 60-pounder battery, and the Hong Kong and Singapore Mountain Battery, were attached to and up with the 74th Division. The 10 and B 9 Mountain Batteries were with the 60th Division waiting to try their luck down the hills, and the 91st Heavy Battery (60-pounders) was being hauled forward with the 53rd. The heavies could get in long-range fire from Kustul, but what thought the 18-pounder batteries? With the country in such a deplorable state it looked hopeless for them to expect to be in the show, and the prospect of remaining out of the big thing had more effect upon the gunners than the weather. As a matter of fact but few field batteries managed to get into action. Those which succeeded in opening fire during the afternoon of December 8 did most gallant work for hours, with enemy riflemen shooting at them from close range, and their work formed a worthy part in the victory. The other field gunners could console themselves with the fact that the difficulties which were too great for them - and really field-gun fire on the steep slopes could not be very effective - prevented even the mountain batteries, which can go almost anywhere, from fully co-operating with the infantry.

The preliminary moves for the attack were made during the night. The 179th Infantry Brigade group consisting of 2/13th London, 2/14th London, 2/15th London, and 2/16th London with the 2/23rd London attached, the 10th Mountain Battery and B 9 Mountain Battery, a section of the 521st Field Coy. R.E., C company of Loyal North Lancashire Pioneers, and the 2/4th Field Ambulance specially equipped on an all-mule scale, moved to the wadi Surar in two columns. The right column was preceded by an advance guard of the Kensington battalion, the Loyal North Lancashire Pioneers, and the section of R.E., which left the brigade bivouacs behind Soba at five o'clock on the afternoon of the 7th to enable the pioneers and engineers to improve a track marked on the map. For the greater part of the way the track had evidently been unused for many years, and all traces of it had disappeared, but in three hours' time a way had been made down the hill to the wadi, and the brigade got over the watercourse just north of Setaf a little after midnight. As a preliminary to the attack on the first objective it was necessary to secure the high ground south of Ain Karim and the trenches covering that bright and picturesque little town. At two o'clock, when rain and mist made it so dark it was not possible to see a wall a couple of yards ahead, the Kensingtons advanced to gain the heights south of Ain Karim in order to enable the 179th Brigade to be deployed. A scrambling climb brought the Kensingtons to the top of the hill, and, after a weird fight of an hour and a half in such blackness of night that it was hard to distinguish between friend and foe, they captured it and beat off several persistent counter-attacks. The 179th Brigade thus had the ground secured for preparing to attack their section of the main defences. The 180th Infantry Brigade, whose brigadier, Brig.-General Watson, had the honour of being the first general in Jerusalem, the first across the Jordan, and the first to get through the Turkish line in September 1918 when General Allenby sprang forward through the Turks and made the mighty march to Aleppo, was composed of the 2/17th London, 2/18th London, 2/19th London, and 2/20th London, 519th Coy. R.E., two platoons of pioneers, and the 2/5th Field Ambulance. It reached its position of assembly without serious opposition, though a detachment which went through the village of Kulonieh met some enemy posts. These, to use the brigadier's phrase, were 'silently dealt with.'

It was a fine feat to get the two brigades of Londoners into their positions of deployment well up to time. The infantry had to get from Kustul down a precipitous slope of nearly a thousand feet into a wadi, now a rushing torrent, and up a rocky and almost as steep hill on the other side. Nobody could see where he was going, but direction was kept perfectly and silence was well maintained, the loosened stones falling into mud. The assault was launched at a quarter-past five, and in ten minutes under two hours the two brigades (the 181st Brigade being in reserve just south of Kustul) had penetrated the whole of the front line of the defences. The Queen's Westminsters on the left of the Kensingtons had cleared the Turks out of Ain Karim and then climbed up a steep spur to attack the formidable Khurbet Subr defences. They took the garrison completely by surprise, and those who did not flee were either killed or taken prisoners. The Queen's Westminsters were exposed to a heavy flanking fire at a range of about a thousand yards from a tumulus south-east of Ain Karim, above the road from the village to the western suburbs of Jerusalem. Turkish riflemen were firmly dug in on this spot, and their two machine guns poured in an annoying fire on the 179th Brigade troops which threatened to hold up the attack. Indeed preparations were being made to send a company to take the tumulus hill in flank, but two gallant London Scots settled the activity of the enemy and captured the position by themselves. Corporal C.W. Train and Corporal F.S. Thornhill stalked the garrison. Corporal Train fired a rifle grenade at one machine gun, which he hit and put out of action, and then shot the whole of the gun team. Thornhill was attacking the other gun, and he, with the assistance of Train, accounted for that crew as well. The two guns were captured and Tumulus Hill gave no more trouble. Both these Scots were rewarded, and Train has the unique honour of wearing the only V.C. awarded during the capture of Jerusalem.

At about the same time there was another very gallant piece of work being done by two men of the Queen's Westminsters above the Khurbet Subr ridge. When the battalion got to the first objective an enemy battery of 77's was found in action on the reverse slope of the hill. The guns were firing from a hollow near the Ain Karim-Jerusalem track, some 600 yards behind the forward trenches on Subr, and were showing an uncomfortable activity. A company was pushed forward to engage the battery. The movement was exposed to a good deal of sniping fire, and it was not a simple matter for riflemen to work ahead on to a knoll on the east of the Subr position to deal with the guns. To two men may be given the credit for capturing the battery. Lance-Corporal W.H. Whines of the Westminsters got along quickly and brought his Lewis gun to bear on the battery and, with an admirably directed fire, caused many casualties. Two gun teams were wiped out, either killed or wounded, by the corporal. At the same time Rifleman C.D. Smith, who had followed his comrade, rushed in on another team and bombed it. Smith's rifle had been smashed and was useless, but with his bombs he laid low all except one man. His supply was then exhausted, but before the Turk could use his weapons Smith got to grips and a rare wrestling bout followed. The Turk would not surrender, and Smith gave him a stranglehold and broke his neck. The enemy managed to get one of the four guns away. The battery horses were near at hand, but while this one gun was escaping at the gallop the Westminsters' fire brought down one horse and two drivers, and I saw their bodies on the road as evidence of how the Westminsters had developed the art of shooting at a rapidly moving target. The two incidents I have described in detail merely as examples of the fighting prowess, not only of one but of all three divisions alike in the capture of Jerusalem. Perhaps it would be fairer to say that they were examples of the spirit of General Allenby's whole force, for English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Australians, New Zealanders, Indians, cavalry, infantry, and artillery, had all, during the six weeks of the campaign, shown the same high qualities in irresistible attack and stubborn defence.

The position of the 179th Brigade at this time was about one mile east of Ain Karim, where it was exposed to heavy enfilade fire from its right and, as it was obvious that the advance of the 53rd Division had been delayed owing to the fog and rain, the brigadier decided not to go further during the early part of the day but to wait till he could be supported by the mountain batteries, which the appalling state of the ground had prevented from keeping up with him.

Now as to the advance of the 180th Infantry Brigade. Their principal objective was the Deir Yesin position, the hill next on the northern side of Subr, from which it was separated by a deep though narrow valley. The trenches cut on both sides of this gorge supported Subr as well as Deir Yesin, and the Subr defences were also arranged to be helpful to the Deir Yesin garrison by taking attackers in flank. The 180th Brigade's advance was a direct frontal attack on the hill, the jumping-off place being a narrow width of flat ground thickly planted with olive trees on the banks of the wadi Surar. The 2/19th Londons, the right battalion of the 180th Brigade, had not got far when it became the target of concentrated machine-gun fire and was unable to move, with the result that a considerable gap existed between it and the 179th Brigade. The stoppage was only temporary, for, with the advance of the centre and right, the 19th battalion pushed forward in series of rushes and, with the other battalions, carried the crest of Deir Yesin at the point of the bayonet, so that the whole system of entrenchments was in their hands by seven o'clock. The brigade at once set about reorganising for the attack on the second objective, which, as will be remembered, was a wheel to the left and, passing well on the outside of the western suburbs of Jerusalem, an advance to the rocky ground to the north-west of the city down to the wadi Beit Hannina. The commander of the 2/18th Londons in his preparations had pushed out a platoon in advance of his left, and these men at half-past nine saw 200 of the enemy with pack mules retiring down a wadi north-east of Kulonieh. The platoon held its fire until the Turks were within close range, and then engaged them with rifles and machine guns, completely surprising them and taking prisoners the whole of the survivors, 5 officers and 50 men. The Turks now began to develop a serious opposition to the 180th Brigade from a quarry behind Deir Yesin and from a group of houses forming part of what is known as the Syrian colony, nearly a mile from the Deir Yesin system. There were some Germans and a number of machine guns in these houses, and by noon they held up the advance.

The brigade was seriously handicapped by the difficulty in moving guns. The road during the morning had got into a desperate state. It was next to impossible to haul field guns anywhere off the road, and as the Turks had paid no attention to the highway for some time - or where they had done something it was merely to dump down large stones to fill a particularly bad hole - it had become deeply rutted and covered with a mass of adhesive mud. The guns had to pass down from Kustul by a series of zigzags with hairpin bends in full view of enemy observers, and it was only by the greatest exertion and devotion to duty that the gunners got their teams into the neighbourhood of the wadi. The bridge over the Surar at Kulonieh having been wholly destroyed, they had to negotiate the wadi, which was now in torrent and carrying away the waters which had washed the face of the hills over a wide area. The artillery made a track through a garden on the right of the village just before the road reached the broken bridge, and two batteries, the 301st and 302nd, got their guns and limbers across. They went up the old track leading from Kulonieh to Jerusalem, when first one section and then another came into action at a spot between Deir Yesin and Heart Redoubt, where both batteries were subjected to a close-range rifle fire.

For several hours the artillery fought their guns with superb courage, and remained in action until the fire from the houses was silenced by a brilliant infantry attack. At half-past one General Watson decided he would attack the enemy on a ridge in front of the houses of the Syrian colony with the 18th and 19th battalions. With them were units of other battalions of the Brigade. Soon after three o'clock they advanced under heavy fire from guns, machine guns, and rifles, and at a quarter to four a glorious bayonet charge, during which the London boys went through Germans and Turks in one overwhelming stride, sealed the fate of the Turk in Jerusalem. That bayonet charge was within sight of the Corps Commander, who was with General Shea at his look-out on Kustul, and when he saw the flash of steel driven home with unerring certainty by his magnificent men, General Chetwode may well have felt thankful that he had been given such troops with which to deliver Jerusalem from the Turks. The 74th Division, having taken the whole of its first objectives early in the morning and having throughout the day supported the left of the London Division, was ready to commence operations against the second objective. The dismounted yeomanry, whose condition through the wet and mud was precisely similar to that of the 60th Division troops, for they, too, had found the hills barren of shelter and equally cold, did extremely well in forcing the enemy from his stronghold on the hill covering Beit Iksa and the Kulonieh-Jerusalem road, from which, had he not been ejected, he could have harassed the Londoners' left. The Beit Iksa defences were carried by a most determined rush. A gallant attempt was also made to get the El Burj ridge which runs south-east from Nebi Samwil, but owing to strong enfilade fire from the right they could not get on.

There was no doubt in any minds that Jerusalem would be ours, but the difficulties the 53rd Division were contending with had slowed down their advance. Thus the right flank of the 60th Division was exposed and a considerable body of Turks was known to be south of Jerusalem. Late in the afternoon the advance was ordered to be stopped, and the positions gained to be held. With a view to continuing the advance next day the 181st Brigade (2/21st London, 2/22nd London, 2/23rd London, and 2/24th London) was ordered to get into a position of readiness to pass through the 179th Brigade and resume the attack on the right of the 180th Brigade. On the evening of December 8 the position of the attacking force was this. The 53rd Division (I will deal presently with the advance of this Division) was across the Bethlehem-Hebron road from El Keiseraniyeh, two miles south of Bethlehem, to Ras el Balua in an east and west direction, then north-west to the hill of Haud Kibriyan with its flank thrown south to cover Kh. el Kuseir. The 10th Australian Light Horse were at Malhah. The 179th and 180th Brigades of the 60th Division occupied positions extending from Malhah through a line more than a mile east of the captured defences west of Jerusalem to Lifta, with the 181st Brigade in divisional reserve near Kustul. The 229th and 230th Brigades of the 74th Division held a due north and south line from the Jaffa-Jerusalem road about midway between Kulonieh and Lifta through Beit Iksa to Nebi Samwil. The 53rd Division had not reached their line without enormous trouble. But for the two days' rain and fog it is quite possible that the whole of the four objectives planned by the XXth Corps would have been gained, and whether any substantial body of Turks could have left the vicinity of Jerusalem by either the Nablus or Jericho roads is doubtful. The weather proved to be the Turks' ally. The 53rd Division battled against it. Until fog came down to prevent reconnaissance in an extremely bad bit of country they were well up to their march table, and in the few clear moments of the afternoon of the 7th, General Mott, from the top of Ras esh Sherifeh, a hill 3237 feet high, the most prominent feature south of Jerusalem, caught a glimpse of Bethlehem and the Holy City. It was only a temporary break in the weather, and the fog came down again so thick that neither the positions of the Bethlehem defences nor those of Beit Jala could be reconnoitred.

The Division, after withstanding the repeated shocks of enemy attacks at Khuweilfeh immediately following the taking of Beersheba, had had a comparatively light time watching the Hebron road. They constructed a track over the mountains to get the Division to Dharahiyeh when it should be ordered to take part in the attack on the Jerusalem defences, and while they were waiting at Dilbeih they did much to improve the main road. The famous zigzag on the steep ridge between Dharahiyeh and Dilbeih was in good condition, and you saw German thoroughness in the gradients, in the well-banked bends, and in the masonry walls which held up the road where it had been cut in the side of a hill. It was the most difficult part of the road, and the Germans had taken as much care of it as they would of a road in the Fatherland - because it was the way by which they hoped to get to the Suez Canal. Other portions of the road required renewing, and the labour which the Welshmen devoted to the work helped the feeding of the Division not only during the march to Jerusalem but for several weeks after it had passed through it to the hills on the east and north-east. The rations and stores for this Division were carried by the main railway through Shellal to Karm, were thence transported by limber to a point on the Turks' line to Beersheba, which had been repaired but was without engines, were next hauled in trucks by mules on the railway track, and finally placed in lorries at Beersheba for carriage up the Hebron road. At this time the capacity of the Latron-Jerusalem road was taxed to the utmost, and every bit of the Welshmen's spadework was repaid a hundredfold. The 159th Brigade got into Hebron on the night of the 5th of December, but instead of going north of it - if they had done so an enemy cavalry patrol would have seen them - they set to work to repair the road through the old Biblical town, for the enemy had blown holes in the highway. Next day the infantry had a ten-miles' march and made the wadi Arab, a brigade being left in Hebron to watch that area, the natives of which were reported as not being wholly favourable to us. There were many rifles in the place, and a number of unarmed Turks were believed to be in the rough country between the town and the Dead Sea ready to return to take up arms. Armoured cars also remained in Hebron. The infantry and field artillery occupied the roads during the day, and the heavy guns came along at night and joined the infantry as the latter were about to set off again.

On the night of the 6th the Division got to a strong line unopposed and saw enemy cavalry on the southern end of Sherifeh, on which the Turks had constructed a powerful system of defences, the traverses and breastworks of which were excellently made. In front of the hill the road took a bend to the west, and the whole of the highway from this point was exposed to the ground in enemy hands south of Bethlehem, and it was necessary to make good the hills to the east before we could control this road. Next morning the 7th Cheshires, supported by the 4th Welsh, deployed and advanced direct on Sherifeh and gained the summit soon after dawn in time to see small parties of enemy cavalry moving off; then the fog and rain enveloped everything. The 4th Welsh held the hill during the night in pouring rain with no rations - pack mules could not get up the height - and the men having no greatcoats were perished with the cold. Colonel Pemberton, their C.O., came down to report the men all right, and asked for no relief till the morning when they could be brought back to their transport. The General went beyond Solomon's Pools and was within rifle fire from the Turkish trenches in his efforts to reconnoitre, but it was impossible to see ahead, and instead of being able to begin his attack in the Beit Jala-Bethlehem area on the morning of the 8th, that morning arrived before any reconnaissance could be made. He decided to attack on the high ground of Beit Jala (two miles north-west of Bethlehem) from the south, to send his divisional cavalry, the Westminster Dragoons, on the infantry's left to threaten Beit Jala from the west and to refuse Bethlehem.

Before developing this attack it was essential to drive the enemy off the observation post looking down upon the main road along which the guns and troops had to pass. The fog enabled the guns to pass up the road, although the Turks had seven mountain guns in the gardens of a big house south of Bethlehem and had registered the road to a yard. They also had a heavy gun outside the town. The weather cleared at intervals about noon, but about two o'clock a dense fog came down again and once more the advance was held up. Late in the afternoon the Welsh Division troops reached the high ground west and south-west of Beit Jala, but the defences of Bethlehem on the south had still to be taken. Advance guards were sent into Bethlehem and Beit Jala during the night, and by early morning of the 9th it was found that the enemy had left, and the leading brigade pressed on, reaching Mar Elias, midway between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, by eleven o'clock, and the southern outskirts of Jerusalem an hour later.

Meanwhile the 60th and 74th Divisions had actively patrolled their fronts during the night, and the Turks having tasted the quality of British bayonets made no attempt to recover any of the lost positions. We had outposts well up the road above Lifta, and at half-past eight they saw a white flag approaching. The nearest officer was a commander of the 302nd Brigade Royal Field Artillery, to whom the Mayor, the head of the Husseiny family, descendants of the Prophet and hereditary mayors of Jerusalem, signified his desire to surrender the City. The Mayor was accompanied by the Chief of Police and two of the gendarmerie, and while communications were passing between General Shea, General Chetwode and General Headquarters, General Watson rode as far as the Jaffa Gate of the Holy City to learn what was happening in the town. I believe Major Montagu Cooke, one of the officers of the 302nd Artillery Brigade, was the first officer actually in the town, and I understand that whilst he and his orderly were in the Post Office a substantial body of Turks turned the corner outside the building and passed down the Jericho road quite unconscious of the near presence of a British officer. General Shea was deputed by the Commander-in-Chief to enter Jerusalem in order to accept the surrender of the City. It was a simple little ceremony, lasting but a minute or two, free from any display of strength, and a fitting prelude to General Allenby's official entry. At half-past twelve General Shea, with his aide-de-camp and a guard of honour furnished by the 2/17th Londons, met the Mayor, who formally surrendered the City. To the Chief of Police General Shea gave instructions for the maintenance of order, and guards were placed over the public buildings. Then the commander of the 60th Division left to continue the direction of his troops who were making the Holy City secure from Turkish attacks. I believe the official report ran: 'Thus at 12.30 the Holy City was surrendered for the twenty-third time, and for the first time to British arms, and on this occasion without bloodshed among the inhabitants or damage to the buildings in the City itself.'

Simple as was the surrender of Jerusalem, there were scenes in the streets during the short half-hour of General Shea's visit which reflected the feeling of half the civilised world on receiving the news. It was a world event. This deliverance of Jerusalem from Turkish misgovernment was bound to stir the emotions of Christian, Jewish, and Moslem communities in the two hemispheres. In a war in which the moral effect of victories was only slightly less important than a big strategical triumph, Jerusalem was one of the strongest possible positions for the Allies to win, and it is not making too great a claim to say that the capture of the Holy City by British arms gave more satisfaction to countless millions of people than did the winning back for France of any big town on the Western Front. The latter might be more important from a military standpoint, but among the people, especially neutrals, it would be regarded merely as a passing incident in the ebb and flow of the tide of war. Bagdad had an important influence on the Eastern mind; Jerusalem affected Christian, Jew, and Moslem alike the world over. The War Cabinet regarded the taking of Jerusalem by British Imperial troops in so important a light that orders were given to hold up correspondents' messages and any telegrams the military attaches might write until the announcement of the victory had been made to the world by a Minister in the House of Commons. This instruction was officially communicated to me before we took Jerusalem, and I believe it was the case that the world received the first news when the mouthpiece of the Government gave it to the chosen representatives of the British people in the Mother of Parliaments.

The end of Ottoman dominion over the cradle of Christianity, a place held in reverence by the vast majority of the peoples of the Old and New World, made a deep and abiding impression, and as long as people hold dearly to their faiths, sentiment will make General Allenby's victory one of the greatest triumphs of the war. The relief of the people of Jerusalem, as well as their confidence that we were there to stay, manifested itself when General Shea drove into the City. The news had gone abroad that the General was to arrive about noon, and all Jerusalem came into the streets to welcome him. They clapped their hands and raised shrill cries of delight in a babel of tongues. Women threw flowers into the car and spread palm leaves on the road. Scarcely had the Turks left, probably before they had all gone and while the guns were still banging outside the entrances to Jerusalem, stray pieces of bunting which had done duty on many another day were hung out to signify the popular pleasure at the end of an old, hard, extortionate regime and the beginning of an era of happiness and freedom.

After leaving Jerusalem the enemy took up a strong position on the hills north and north-east of the City from which he had to be driven before Jerusalem was secure from counter-attack. During the morning General Chetwode gave orders for a general advance to the line laid down in his original plan of attack, which may be described as the preliminary line for the defence of Jerusalem. The 180th and 181st Brigades were already on the move, and some of the 53rd Division had marched by the main road outside the Holy City's walls to positions from which they were to attempt to drive the enemy off the Mount of Olives. The 180th Brigade, fresh and strong but still wet and muddy, went forward rapidly over the boulders on the hills east of the wadi Beit Hannina and occupied the rugged height of Shafat at half-past one. Shafat is about two miles north of Jerusalem. In another half-hour they had driven the Turks from the conical top of Tel el Ful, that sugar-loaf hill which dominates the Nablus road, and which before the end of the year was to be the scene of an epic struggle between Londoner and Turk. The 181st Brigade, on debouching from the suburbs of Jerusalem north-east of Lifta, was faced with heavy machine-gun and rifle fire on the ridge running from the western edge of the Mount of Olives across the Nablus road through Kh. es Salah. On the left the 180th Brigade lent support, and at four o'clock the 2/21st and 2/24th Londons rushed the ridge with the bayonet and drove off the Turks, who left seventy dead behind them. The London Division that night established itself on the line from a point a thousand yards north of Jerusalem and east of the Nablus road through Ras Meshari to Tel el Ful, thence westwards to the wadi behind the olive orchards south of Beit Hannina. The 74th Division reached its objective without violent opposition, and its line ran from north of Nebi Samwil to the height of Beit Hannina and out towards Tel el Ful. The 53rd Division was strongly opposed when it got round the south-east of Jerusalem on to the Jericho road in the direction of Aziriyeh (Bethany), and it was necessary to clear the Turks from the Mount of Olives. Troops of the Welsh Division moved round the Holy City and drove the enemy off the Mount, following them down the eastern spurs, and thus denied them any direct observation over Jerusalem. The next day they pushed the enemy still farther eastwards, and by the night of the 10th held the line from the well at Azad, 4000 yards south-east of Jerusalem, the hill 1500 yards south of Aziriyeh, Aziriyeh itself, to the Mount of Olives, whence our positions continued to Ras et Tawil, north of Tel el Ful across the Nablus road to Nebi Samwil. This was our first line of positions for the defence of Jerusalem, and we continued to hold these strong points for some time. They were gradually extended on the east and north-east by the Welsh Division in order to prevent an attack from the direction of Jericho, where we knew the Turks had received reinforcements. Indeed, during our attack on the Jerusalem position the Turks had withdrawn a portion of their force on the Hedjaz railway. A regiment had passed through Jericho from the Hedjaz line at Amman and was marching up the road to assist in Jerusalem's defence, but was 'Too late.' The regiment was turned back when we had captured Jerusalem. Our casualties from November 28 to December 10 - these figures include the heavy fighting about Tahta, Foka, and Nebi Samwil prior to the XXth Corps' attack on the Jerusalem defences - were: officers, 21 killed, 64 wounded, 3 missing; other ranks, 247 killed, 1163 wounded, 169 missing, a total of 1667. The casualties of the 60th Division during the attack on and advance north of Jerusalem on December 8-9 are interesting, because they were so extremely light considering the strength of the defences captured and the difficulties of the ground, namely: 8 officers killed and 24 wounded, 98 other ranks killed, 420 wounded and 3 missing, a total of 553. The total for the whole of the XXth Corps on these days was 12 officers killed, 35 wounded, and 137 other ranks killed, 636 wounded and 7 missing - in all 47 officers and 780 other ranks. The prisoners taken from November 28 to December 10 were: 76 officers, 1717 other ranks - total, 1793. On December 8 and 9, 68 officers and 918 other ranks - 986 in all - were captured. The booty included two 4-2 Krupp howitzers, three 77-mm. field guns and carriages, nine heavy and three light machine guns, 137 boxes of small-arms ammunition, and 103,000 loose rounds.