The Royal New South Wales Lancers

 
 
Battle Honour 1st
 
 

Jordan (Amman)

At midday on 24 September 1918 the regiment moved to Ain Hemar (near El Sweilch) with the brigade and bivouacked there until 04:30 next morning, when it stood to arms and moved in support of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade which was attacking Amman from the north and north-west. A troop of A Squadron under Lieutenant Lumb acted as escort to two RHA batteries.

At 11:00 the 1st LH was ordered to operate on the left of the New Zealanders just north of the Es Salt-Amman road, attempt to cut the Hedjaz railway line about Amman and block all roads. At midday the New Zealanders, anticipating a counter-attack, asked for support on their left flank. B Squadron under Major Smith, acting as advanced guard to the regiment, pushed down a wady without opposition. Enemy were observed on the railway line and retiring along the main road (to Deraa and Damascus) parallel to it; B Squadron opened fire on them at 1,400 metres. A sub-section of machine guns was sent up to support B Squadron, especially as rifle fire was coming from the direction of Ain Ghaxal. Three troops of A Squadron under Major Weir were pushed up on the right of B Squadron, and the latter advanced towards the railway line with covering fire from A Squadron, Hotchkiss guns and machine guns.

The enemy defending the railway surrendered, and B Squadron crossed the line and made good the high ground on the east side. As hostile fire of rifles, machine guns and two 76mm howitzers continued from the direction of Ain Ghaxal, B Squadron moved forward along the east side of the railway line. Meanwhile a troop of A Squadron was escorting prisoners to the rear and another troop under Lieutenant Macfarlane had been ordered to secure a five arch culvert and strongposts in the hills to the left; C Squadron under Major Harris had orders to watch the country to the north-east. Contact with the New Zealanders was made on the railway line, and all enemy in the vicinity were killed, wounded or captured.

Amman was now in General Chaytor's hands and he could turn his attention to the destruction of the Turkish force, 5,000 or 6,000 strong, which had garrisoned Maan, further south on the Hedjaz railway line.

PV Vernon Royal New South Wales Lancers 18851985 Parramatta 1985

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