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BATTLE OF MAGDHABA - 100 YEARS AGO, TODAY

Discussion in 'Non U.K. Forces' started by Peregrine, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Peregrine

    Peregrine Well-Known Member

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    The Battle of Magdhaba occurred 100 years ago, today. The Australian War Memorial tells us that:

    “Magdhaba, a village located in the northern Sinai desert, was the scene of an action fought on 23 December 1916 when Turkish forces blocking the route to Palestine were attacked by Major General Harry Chauvel's ANZAC Mounted Division, which had the Imperial Camel Corps attached. Success in this hard fought action was secured through a resolute assault with the bayonet by the 1st Light Horse Brigade, commanded by Brigadier Charles Cox, just as Chauvel ordered his force to withdraw. A mounted charge by the 10th Light Horse to secure vital water supplies nearby was also a vital contributory factor in the victory. This action, combined with the success at Rafa on 9 January 1917, opened the way for the final expulsion of the Turks from Sinai.” (Retrieved December 23, 2016 from https://www.awm.gov.au/military-event/E31/ )

    It is difficult to find a great deal of information about the Battle of Magdhaba: in most texts a paragraph or two, is all that you find. But it was an important precursor to later battles and especially to the Battle of Beersheba.

    During the battle for Magdhaba Trooper William Perkins was shot and died from his wounds. William was my great-grandfather.

    A brief military biography for William Perkins follows:

    Regimental number: 1359

    Religion: Baptist

    Occupation: Estate Agent

    Address: Kyabram, Victoria

    Marital status: Married

    Age at embarkation: 44

    Next of kin: Wife, Mrs Hannah Perkins, Kyabram, Victoria

    Enlistment date: 9 August 1915

    Rank on enlistment: Private

    Unit name: 8th Light Horse Regiment, 11th Reinforcement

    AWM Embarkation Roll number: 10/13/3

    Embarkation details: Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT SS Hawkes Bay on 21 October 1915

    Regimental number from Nominal Roll: 1359

    Rank from Nominal Roll: Private

    Unit from Nominal Roll: 3rd Light Horse Regiment

    Fate: Killed in Action 23 December 1916

    Age at death from cemetery records: 45

    Place of burial: Kantara War Memorial Cemetery (Row A, Grave No. 167), Egypt

    Panel number, Roll of Honour, Australian War Memorial: 6

    Miscellaneous information from cemetery records: -

    Parents: Joseph and Isabella PERKINS;

    husband of Hannah PERKINS, Kyabram, Victoria

    Family/military connections: -

    Sons: 2873 Pte Stanley Oswald PERKINS, 7th Bn, returned to Australia, 5 March 1919.

    Other details: -

    Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

    (Retrieved 2014, August 22 from
    Code:
    http://www.aif.adfa.edu.au:8080/showPerson?pid=238723
    Note: link not clicky as they ask for donations)

    A photograph of William’s original grave can be found on the Australia War Memorial’s web site.

    Tpr William Perkins Original Grave.jpg

    The original grave of 1359 Trooper (Tpr) William Perkins, 8th Australian Light Horse. A real estate agent from Kyabram, Vic prior to enlistment, Tpr Perkins embarked with the 11th Reinforcements from Melbourne on SS Hawkes Bay on 21 October 1915. On 23 December 1916 he was killed in action near Maghdaba, Sinai Peninsula, aged 45, and was buried near where he fell. His remains were later exhumed and re-interred in the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. (Retrieved December 23, 2016 from https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P05064.003)


    In the Red Cross files Tpr John Mabey, 1286 reports on speaking with William after he was shot and goes on to say, “I was very sorry to hear he was killed & to see him hit at all. He was well liked & highly educated-a fine old fellow. My troop”. (Retrieved December 23, 2016 from https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1500321/)

    William was undoubtedly an old fellow: when he enlisted he understated his age by 9 years and he was actually 54 when he died. The AWM has, at my request, amended the Roll of Honour record for him but other mentions still show his age as stated at his enlistment.

    LEST WE FORGET
     
  2. Mealymoo

    Mealymoo A Busy Lizzy

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    What lovely records to have for your great Grandfather. We must always remember these brave men who gave their lives for us.
     
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  3. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    There will be so many important battles that we don't know about. So many outstanding men that haven't been given the recognition they so deserve.
     
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  4. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Thank you Esther. A lovely memorial.
     
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  5. Mealymoo

    Mealymoo A Busy Lizzy

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    Peregrine this link works :)

    https://
    aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=238723
     
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  6. Peregrine

    Peregrine Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Lizzy, I simply wasn't in the mood to figure out why it wasn't working. Slack of me really.
     
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