The HAC in the Great War - November 1917

In November the focus must shift back to Egypt and Palestine where A and B batteries were deeply involved in Allenby’s “Great Offensive”.

The offensive began on 31st October and A Battery was continuously in action until 6th December. The battery supported the capture of Bersheva by a cavalry charge of the Australian Light Horse after a 30 mile approach march, which turned the Turkish left flank and was then continuously in action, first with 13 Pounders and then with 18 Pounders through the month.

It was an advance of hard fighting against a tough enemy through arid desert which caused great problems for watering the horses. It was a fluid battlefield, with the battery once engaged from front, flank and rear simultaneously. B Battery was also on the Bersheva battlefield, in support of the New Zealanders, and played an important part in the subsequent pursuit across the plains and into Palestine.

The 2nd Battalion had fought hard throughout October, particularly around Reutel at the end of that month where it suffered heavy casualties, and was finally relieved on 28th October 1917. An old lady in a billet was the first to inform them that they were now bound for Italy, news that became formal 24 hours later! The Battalion entered Italy by train and arrived at Genoa on 24th November, concentrating at Ramon in the north east of the country on 10th December.