Remembering today the officers and men of the Queen’s Own Worcestershire Hussars (Worcestershire Yeomanry) killed in action at Qatia and Oghratina, Egypt, on Sunday 23rd April 1916; including Bewdley men:
Charles BLOUNT 325573 aged 21, born Bayton near Cleobury Mortimer July 1895; lived with his grandparents and mother Mary Elizabeth (1872-1921) and worked as a coal miner.
Edward DOOLITTLE, 325615 born Rock, died in Turkish captivity 15th November 1916, and commemorated in Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Iraq
Brothers Percy HANGLIN 2635 of ‘A’ Squadron, aged 32, husband of Fanny M Hanglin of Mariemont, Far Forest, and Ernest, 325287, who died in captivity on the 30th April. The Hanglins ran a well known butcher’s business in Bewdley and Kidderminster.
Alfred Roland CREW 325559 born Wribbenhall, worked for GWR at Bewdley Station and is recorded on their Chester Memorial as ‘AR Crew’ of Bewdley.
The Yeomanry are commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial in Israel.
“The action of Qatia was a minor Turkish victory against the British during the First World War. In the aftermath of the first Turkish attack on the Suez Canal, in February 1915, it had been decided to move the British defensive line east into the Sinai. The new position would be based around Qatia (or Katia), and would be connected to the Suez Canal by a new railway. This would allow the British to reduce the number of troops needed to defend the Egypt by allowing one force to block the three main routes across the Sinai. In April 1916, the new position was still being constructed. The 5th Mounted Brigade, with eight squadrons of cavalry (from the Warwickshire Yeomanry, Gloucestershire Hussars and Worcestershire Yeomanry), was in the Qatia area, preparing to attack a Turkish force that had been reported to be to their south east, at Bir el Mageibra. The eight squadrons were split into several groups. One was at Qatia, two at Romani (to the west), two at Oghratina (to the east) and three were preparing for the attack. The Turkish force at Bir el Mageibra was actually a detachment horn a force 3,500 strong, led by the German Kress von Kressenstein. At dawn on 23 April they attacked the two squadrons of the Worcesters at Oghratina, and overwhelmed them in a three hour battle. They then moved on to Qatia, where they attacked and defeated the squadron of the Gloucesters already there and a squadron of Worcesters who came to their aid. The remaining four British squadrons made an attempt to break through to Qatia, but were unable to breakthrough in time. Once Qatia had fallen, the rest of the British force pulled back to the Suez Canal.”
Anti-clockwise from top left: Lt Albert Jaffray Cay, Troopers William Moulder and Raymond Pocock; mobilisation in Worcester, 1914; the officers pictured in the Regimental history.
Preliminary Bibliography for sources on the action at Oghratina and Qatiya, 23rd April 1916
Anglesey, George Charles Henry Victor Paget. A History of the British Cavalry, 1816-1919. Volume 5., Egypt, Palestine and Syria, 1914-1919. London: Leo Cooper, 1994.
A substantial account that places the cavalry operations of Imperial forces in context
Bruce, Anthony. The Last Crusade: The Palestine Campaign in the First World War. London: John Murray, 2002.
Modern popular historical account – clear summary of the Qatiya affair
Buchan, John. The History of the Royal Scots Fusiliers (1678-1918). London: T. Nelson and Sons, ltd, 1925.
Details the defence of Deuidar
The Yeomanry Cavalry of Worcestershire, 1914-1922. Stourbridge [Eng.]: Mark & Moody, 1926.
Outstanding account of the Worcesters’ defence of Oghratina – excellent maps
Davies, Celia. Brian Hatton: A Biography of the Artist (1887-1916). Lavenham: T. Dalton, 1978.
Details the artistic life of one of the Worcesters’ officers – useful for their social context.
Fox, Frank. History of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Yeomanry, 1898-1922: The Great Cavalry Campaign in Palestine. London: Allan, 1923.
Another excellent account with many details of the fighting.
Gullett, H. S. (Henry Somer), 1878-1940. The Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, 1914-1918: 1914-1918. Official history of Australia in the War of 1914-1918, v. 7. Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1939.
Kress von Kressenstein, Friedrich. War in the Desert. [Washington]: Historical Section, the Army War College, 1936.
Details of the attack from the perspective of the German commander of the Turkish force: a cursory reference.
Lambert, Angela. Unquiet Souls: The Indian Summer of the British Aristocracy, 1880-1918. London: Macmillan, 1984.
Some more social context on the Yeomanry officers especially Lord Elcho of the Gloucesters.
MacMunn, George Fletcher, and Cyril Falls. Military Operations, Egypt and Palestine: From the Outbreak of the War with Germany to June 1917. London: H.M. Stationary Office, 1928.
Sheffy, Yigal. British Military Intelligence in the Palestine Campaign, 1914-1918. Cass series–studies in intelligence. London: F. Cass, 1998.
Brief coverage of the action but superlative on intelligence background and photo reconnaissance.
Teichmann, O. Diary of a Yeomanry Medical Officer: Egypt, Gallipoli, Palestine and Italy. [S.l.]: Naval And Military Press, 2002. originally Unwin 1921
Medical officer who was wounded at Gallipoli and missed Qatiya fighting – but good detail of the reconstruction of the Yeomanry brigade and later actions.
Thompson, R. R., and J. B. Ramsey. The Fifty-second Lowland Division, 1914-1918 ; Thompson, R.R., Lt.-Col. ; Maps and plans compiled from official sources and drawn by Captain J.B. Ramsey. Glasgow: Maclehose, Jackson, 1923.
Much more focused account of the Deuidar fighting.