Yesterday we made our second visit of the summer to the National Archives in Kew. Once the official business was over, I indulged myself by ordering up the War Diary of the Berkshire Yeomanry for the period 1916 to 1918. I knew it was there, I'd seen it in the catalogue, but as it is not digitised I did not know quite what to expect. To my surprise a sturdy box arrived. It contained not only the Berkshire Yeomanry diary but the diaries of 6th Mounted Brigade HQ, 6th Mounted Brigade Signal Squadron, 17th Squadron Mounted Machine Gun Corps, the Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry and the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars.
I got quite excited. Time was short. It was pushing 5pm and although the National Archive opens late on a Thursday, we had to make our way home shortly as the dog needed a walk. I hastily created a plan of action... find the descriptions in each diary of the action at El Mughar, 13 November, 1917.
The Charge of the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Dorset Yeomanry at El Mughar, Palestine.
By James Prinsep Beadle.
First, the Berkshire Yeomanry. I hope that by clicking on the photos you may get an image big enough to read. The action is described in the last entry on this page.
National Library of Australia's Digital Collection.
By the time I had found this little lot it was time to go. When we frequented the National Archives back in the early 2000s, the photographing of documents was controlled and one had to apply for a special sticker to put on the Reader's Ticket. I am glad to say that the photographing of documents is now unrestricted.
As I have published these images online I must now do the decent thing and credit the source. The above pages can all be found in WO 95/4506.
I shall have to go back..... I've just discovered the diary of the Berkshire Battery RHA. It would be good to get a gunner's perpective of El Mughar!