The 1916 war diary of 2nd Lieut. Dick Willis Fleming


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This page contains a single entry by Dick published on April 26, 1916 11:59 PM.

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26 April 1916

Posted by Dick on April 26, 1916
I went over to our old camp this morning and saw to the rest of the stuff coming over. We got back and bathed about midday. A very hot wind all the morning and the heat strikes up off the sand very fiercely. A lecture this afternoon by the G.O.C. divisional artillery. A mail came in this afternoon - I had lots of news.

Things were quiet here again now the Turks have retreated right back across the desert, probably to Beersheba where they are thought to have come from, or possibly El Arish. The Anzacs occupied Katia, or rather what is left of it. This afternoon thousands of camels have been going out there all day with stores and ammunition. Our casualties in the last day or two have been over six hundred, and the Turks very considerably less. It is certainly one up for them, and their attack was without question wonderfully organised and carried out, as they must have come over more than 100 miles of desert.

I expect there is sure to be questions asked as to why we had yeomanry regiments out at Katia unsupported by guns or infantry. They told us we were to go there once but then said water was too scarce. Anyhow, if we had been there we should certainly have been scuppered, as the Turks completely surrounded the place at night and attached in the early morning.

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Here are a couple of links to more information about the Action at Katia on 23 April 1916:

New Zealand History Online:

Thread on the Great War Forum:

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