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Westminster Dragoons in Jerusalem, 1917

#1
On a recent visit to Jerusalem, I dropped into the cafe of the Anglican church in the Old City (just next to the Jaffa Gate). The cafe has a small museum dedicated to the community's history which includes a selection of items used by Allied Forces when they captured the city in 1917.

To my surprise, the memorabilia included saddles, waterbottles etc as used by the Australian Light Horse "which took the city". I thought that the WDs were the first to enter the city and so was puzzled as to their absence (and mention of any other UK/Indian forces) from the display. Enquiries at the cafe got me no further.

Is this another example of the British Army being airbrushed, Mel Gibson-style, out of history?
 
#2
After the keys were handed to the Mayor by the Turks, he with a crowd of notables and the keys in his hand tried to surrender them to the British Forces. He chanced on 2 wandering cooks from the 20th Londons, who wouldn't have anything to do with him.

Then he found 2 Sgts of the 19th Londons who didn't know what to do. Next came 2 RA Majors who went off for advice. Lt Col Bayley RFA accepted the keys and chatted for a while before Brigadier-General Watson 180th Bde entered the City with a Gunner escort.

Finally Maj Gen Shea GOC London Div arrived and accepted the surrender of Jerusalem, after having permission of Gen Chetwode. Then the 10th Austrailian Light Horse was ordered into the City.
 
#3
Imperial_Warrior said:
After the keys were handed to the Mayor by the Turks, he with a crowd of notables and the keys in his hand tried to surrender them to the British Forces. He chanced on 2 wandering cooks from the 20th Londons, who wouldn't have anything to do with him.

Then he found 2 Sgts of the 19th Londons who didn't know what to do. Next came 2 RA Majors who went off for advice. Lt Col Bayley RFA accepted the keys and chatted for a while before Brigadier-General Watson 180th Bde entered the City with a Gunner escort.
Sounds a lot like my Sqn on exercise. :D

why did I think the WDs were in the mix?
 
#4
Imperial_Warrior said:
After the keys were handed to the Mayor by the Turks, he with a crowd of notables and the keys in his hand tried to surrender them to the British Forces. He chanced on 2 wandering cooks from the 20th Londons, who wouldn't have anything to do with him.

Then he found 2 Sgts of the 19th Londons who didn't know what to do. Next came 2 RA Majors who went off for advice. Lt Col Bayley RFA accepted the keys and chatted for a while before Brigadier-General Watson 180th Bde entered the City with a Gunner escort.

Finally Maj Gen Shea GOC London Div arrived and accepted the surrender of Jerusalem, after having permission of Gen Chetwode. Then the 10th Austrailian Light Horse was ordered into the City.
Who hasn't been similarly ignored by cooks?. However, in future I will plead that I'm not the Mayor of Jerusalem
 
#5
From Allenby's obituary in Time magazine - battle of the egos among senior ranks as usual:

Apropos of the Holy Land Campaign, a story is told about the surrender of Jerusalem. The city first surrendered to a British private who did not understand what it was all about. He reported the event to an officer with the result that a Brigadier motored to Jerusalem and accepted the keys of the city. During his absence, the Divisional Commander was advised of what was going on. Stop the Brigadier," roared the General. "I will accept the surrender of Jerusalem."

So the keys had to be sent back and the Divisional Commander went to Jerusalem and received them. When he came back he informed the Army Commander that Jerusalem had surrendered to him and he had the keys of the city, "Take 'em back," raved the irate A. U, "I myself will take the surrender. ' Back went the keys and Jerusalem surrendered again.

Then the Army Commander telephoned the then Sir Edmund Allenby, Commander-in-Chief, told him all. "Take 'em back", came a stern voice over the wire, "I am the proper person to take the surrender." Thus, a few days later, Jerusalem surrendered for the fifth and last time to the Commander-in-Chief, and the only British Flag that was to be seen was that which flew from the radiator of the General's automobile, so considerate of his enemy's feelings was Allenby.
 
#6
WDs were the first around the Mount of Olives chasing Turks east of Jerusalem with the Welch Div. They were kept bay near the city by machine gunners on the Mount.
 

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