1i Exploits of the Billjim 1916 – 1918 History

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COMMEMORATING AUSTRALIA’S
ONLY EVER EPOCHAL MILITARY
VICTORY CLIMAXING WITH THE
CONQUEST OF DAMASCUS
1 OCTOBER 1918

Exploits of the Billjim – 1916 to 1918
(24iii, 15m 33s, 98.9Mb)

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It was really the Billjim (Australian Light Horse and Camel Corp) that kicked the Turks out of the Middle East after a 400 year occupation, not T.E. Lawrence. Here are the fair dinkum historical facts:

Summary

• How it started

• Enter Keith Murdoch (Rupert’s father)

• The Keystone: No ALH – No Israel

• The Balfour Declaration

• ‘Australian’ vs. ‘British’ misnoner

• Gen. Harry Chauvel

• The Keystone Force

• Damascus

• Newspapers ‘1918

• Aldington – the dissenter

• Lawrence wasn’t the only one

• Aussie Air Cav.

• ALH innately suited to desert warfare

• Process of elimination – leaves the ALH

• Who got the credit?

• The ‘belligerent’ factor

• ALH all over the War Table

• Conclusion – the ALH got shafted

• Further Reading & Sources

The Detail

The people have been betrayed by a portion of its leadership.
Our life as a nation must not be based on lies and liars.
This sham epitomizes all the self-serving hypocrisy
which has so long permeated society.

Richard Aldington
(1892-1962)

Amazingly, the Australian education system does not teach our children anything about the greatest military success in modern history. Instead all the attention goes to the Gallipoli fiasco and the Lawrence of Arabia myth, started by American journalist Lowell Thomas, well after the War. His tale has now become fact.

Why is that? Soon comes all the big Centennial WWI Film and TV productions – we’ll even be upstaged by Peter Jackson and New Zealand. Are we going to go through it again and again, watching blockbusters about Gallipoli and Lawrence? Do Australian descendants have an obligation to help us get the FULL credit for the Billjim?

The exploits of the Australian Light Horse and Cameliers in 1916-18 have reverberated in world events ever since. Inadvertently making possible the state of Israel and much of the turmoil in the Middle East. But why doesn’t anybody know about it. Why does our own national broadcaster, the ABC, on ANZAC Day air homages to Lawrence of Arabia.

Slowly there are signs of change in the Establishment e.g. at the ABC with the 90th Anniversary of the exploits of the ALH see ABC News report of 29 April 12008 Pratt funds Light Horse commemoration in Israel.

Already films exploiting our theme of the currency of capturing the Outback Australia spirit have been released – Baz Luhrmann just happened to call his epic “Australia” and National and State Tourism chiefs joined forces with the Federal Government to cash in. “The release of Australia offers the Australian tourism industry one of its greatest promotional opportunities in many years,” said federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson. “This movie will potentially be seen by tens of millions of people, and it will bring life to little-known aspects of Australia’s extraordinary natural environment, history and culture.”

All the attention goes to glossing over Churchill’s Gallipoli fiasco. Whereas the Billjim ousted those same Turks from a 400 year occupation of the Holy Land. But the credit and booty goes to impostors, sham-makers and the downright ungrateful. The Middle East is in the world news every day — how often is Gallipoli mentioned?

Official War Records show that if not for the aggressive Billjim – naturally suited to the conditions (as many were from the Outback) – the British War Office would have maintained a defensive strategy in the Middle East campaign – happy to hold on to their Egypt / Suez Canal interests, and prepared to do a deal with the Turks over Arabia. They were too preoccupied with the stalemate and slaughter going on in the trenches of the Western Front in France.

Thus, if not for the Australians the Turks would still be there.
Middle East borders would not have been drawn around oil wells.
The land called Israel would still be called Palestine.
The Zionist would have gone with their earlier, much less provocative plan, to purchase land for a country somewhere in Africa or South America.

Britain, the U.S. and Israel (the group who carved up the booty won and made possible by Australians; the group that holds a large proportion of the world’s wealth) owe Australia long overdue tangible gratitude and recognition. As much as they have successfully obscured the accomplishment – with euphemisms like ‘British Forces’ and ‘Allied Troops’ – to their chagrin it was the unfashionable Australians that pulled off the greatest prize in modern history, executed by the most successful cavalry in modern history. And to leave no doubt in the conclusions of the objective researcher, it was an Australian, Gen. Harry Chauvel, who was in command of the cavalry force in the field, not a British General. And Chauvel led the final victory parade through Damascus… not Lawrence of Arabia!

How it all started
It all started when Peter Hogan returned to Sydney from living in Japan for most of the 90s. In Japan there is ingrown respect for ancestors. In their Shinto religion and festivals – the annual “O-Bon” when everyone returns to their “furusato” (hometowns) and visit the ancestral graves. He came to realize the importance of respecting origins in society. As a nation, only by knowing your roots, can you build a future.
So when Pete got back he began researching his family history – his great grandfather, James Hogan (1833-1899) was one of the first pioneers into Byron Bay (E. Australia) in 1882 .

Later, the family expanded their holdings north to the Atherton Tablelands. This was done by the sons, Jack, Jim and Matt. Not surprisingly for the era, they were all fine horsemen. When WWI broke out Jack volunteered to go half-way round the world to fight for the freedom of other peoples. He barely survived, came back, founded and named El Arish (N.Qld) in honour of his war experiences.
A glance at a street directory for El Arish shows that many are named after famous ALH commanders – Chauvel, Ryrie, Royston… and just south of these streets is Hogan Road, off the Bruce Highway.


Alarmingly, further research into the war showed that major military victories by the Australian Light Horse (under the command of Gen. Harry Chauvel) in the Middle East campaign, had been totally obliterated from history, primarily through proliferation of the Lawrence of Arabia sham.

Then Pete happened to see the local Daily Telegraph’s Wednesday, October 1, 1997 issue. (Compare to The Daily Telegraph of 4 October 1918 below – how history gets re-written and myth becomes historical fact.)

In their “Today in History” section (p.52) He was horrified to note that they presented to the average Australian reader (including children) the following piece as official world history:

Today in History [October 1, 1918]
British officer T.E. Lawrence – dubbed Lawrence of Arabia – and the Arab forces of Emir Faisal capture the Palestinian city of Damascus from the Turks.”
Complete with a photo of Lawrence in his infamous Arab costume, the caption reading,
“Victor … Lawrence of Arabia”.

Of course, war records clearly show that it was the Australian Light Horse that captured Damascus. And they and the other Allied troops bore the brunt of the heavy fighting in the lead up. By the time Lawrence arrived on the scene, the Australians had liberated and secured the city, and were already in hot pursuit of the fleeing Turks.

This shows that even major Australian newspapers and therefore the public at large still follow the Hollywood version of history. Thus, the Diggers had spilt there blood to free the indigenous people, the Arabs, from the tyrannical Turks, in a far off foreign land, for nothing.

There was plenty in the library on the subject and Pete knew films had been made in the past – Charles Chauvel’s (nephew of Gen. Harry Chauvel) “Forty Thousand Horsemen” of 1940, and more recently, the Steve Wincer / Ian Jones, “The Lighthorsemen” (1987). But clearly they had no effect on the Daily Telegraph, probably because they focused on isolated battles and not the bigger picture. Also they had story lines that didn’t work for international audiences. Hence, the Lawrence travesty continues unabated, and our victory at Damascus remains buried in the sands of the Arabian desert.

Like most Australians, growing up all Pete remembers is the emphasis placed on Gallipoli, a defeat. Of course, Australia’s gallant efforts to make the most of that situation should be respected, but it almost seems like it has been partly glorified to deflect attention away from those responsible for the slaughter, like Winston Churchill, General Hamilton, et al.

Anyway, it does seem to have overshadowed our later kicking those same Turks, and the same German commander – Liman von Sanders, out of Palestine. Pete, like 99% of other Australians (let alone the world) never realized the enormity of their victories, and far flung repercussions on future world events, until he stumbled onto the AOA project. It’s all-time epic stuff, but buried deep. (One feels like an archaeologist, not a researcher, digging stuff up that remains buried …buried by the sham-makers.)

Enter Keith Murdoch (Rupert Murdoch’s father)
The ALH had originally disembarked at Alexandria in ‘1915. Unexpectedly, they found themselves separated from their horses and detoured to the Gallipoli fiasco made by Churchill and Hamilton. This included the famous ordering of the 3rd ALH Brigade to certain death at the Battle of the Nek on August 7 (which is the climax of the Peter Weir Gallipoli film) . It was only when an Australian war correspondent, Keith Murdoch, blew the whistle, that the British high command was forced to admit the truth. The Billjim were then re-united with their horses back in Alexandria, on the eve of an epochal change to history in the Middle East.

(See support letter from Dame Elisabeth Murdoch on separate page.)

Did Keith Murdoch really play the spearheading role in getting our boys out?
Peter Hogan scrupulously looked at the arguments on both sides, for and against, and believes he found the ‘rosetta stone’ that clearly shines on Keith Murdoch – the smoking gun that no professional historians have had the degree of competence to discover for themselves.
The British War Office knew they had a mess when the Naval operation failed and when the landing force of 25 April failed to advance. It was the same stalemate as the Western Front. When they knew they had a mess on the Western Front they didn’t evacuate. No British officer (like Major Dawnay, one of Hamilton’s senior officers) or journalist (like Ashmead-Bartlett who invented the ANZAC icon) was going to force an evacuation of the Western Front or from Gallipoli.

In cold hard historical fact it comes down to a simple characteristic that made the Australians superior as a total force, and thus much sought after – Australia had a policy of compulsory high quality military training, but a volunteer AIF. Other countries had a force with a large proportioin of poorly trained conscripts.
If the British War Office didn’t take Keith Murdoch’s letter, of 23 September 1915, to the British High Command and Australian Prime Minister seriously, they would have jeopardised that supply of high quality troops.

If sceptics are looking for historical evidence to support this claim, ironically it can be found buried in the back-of-book notes by one of the professional anti-Murdoch parasites, Bruce Page’s The Murdoch Archipelago (2003). Here (p 494) he references a letter from Prime Minister Herbert Asquith to Major Dawnay. The mention of which was designed to add support to his argument about the technical shortcomings of the content of Keith Murdoch’s letter:

The Proof

(See also separate “Keith Murdoch” page.)

Quite simply if you take Keith Murdoch off the war-board the Australians may well have been stuck in Gallipoli for the duration of the war – an extra 3 years. And in the severely adverse terrain at the bottom of the peninsula cliffs there would have been many more Australian casulties.
(As always, don’t take my word for it – when it comes to purported history, don’t believe anybody – check the facts for yourself.)

Where does all that get Keith Murdoch?
Alarmingly there is an increasing trend to discredit Sir Keith – clearly by the anti-Rupert clique. More and more, suposedly carefully researched works now ooze out on to bookshop floors every year for Anzac Day.
Classic examples: Gallipoli by a Mr Les Carlyon, and a condensed version by his son, Patrick Carlyon, The Gallipoli Story, whose front cover cover proudly boasts a sticker from The Children’s Book Council of Australia – Short Listed Book. Such books go out of their way to blatantly defame Sir Keith. This is what they say we should now be teaching Australian children:
“Myth has it that Murdoch wrote a letter that prompted the British government to evacuate Gallipoli.” (p147 ibid.)
They talk about the Keith Murdoch “myth”. They quibble over the accuracy of points in his letter. How accurate were Hamilton’s reports back to the War Office? That he broke his trust to Hamilton – what about Hamilton being entrusted with the lives of men and families. (Hamilton and Churchill went on to live into their 90s.)
And so what if KM used some exaggeration. Who cares. KM knew what he was doing – he had to muster all of his journalistic skills and put together an 8,000 word letter that would not fail in meeting its simple objective: to save the lives of 20,000 plus Australians.

So it’s a bit of a shame – that though KM founded the media empire for his son Rupert and grandsons James and Lachlan – they don’t do more to effectively answer the critics. And in doing so, once and for all, uphold the honour of their family patriarch.
Probably the only way we can ever really make people think about the epochal deeds of Sir Keith and the AOA is to somehow beat them at their own game – get the whole story told accurately in a feature film, that even out-does David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia.

At least we are making some progress on this front. (In particular, the wonderful letter of support for AOA from Dame Elisabeth Murdoch .)

The Keystone:
“No Australian Light Horse 1918 – No Israel  1948”

War records give weight to the conclusion that the ousting of the Turks from the Holy Land, enabling the later conjuring up of Israel, may not have happened without the keystone contribution of Gen. Chauvel and the Australian Light Horse.

…as Palestine had passed from Turkish to British control [solely as a result of victories spearheaded by Australians, 1916-1918] this provided the Zionists with the charter they had been seeking… (Microsoft Encarta, Prof. Michael Cohen, Stanford University)

Their aggressiveness early on, showing that it was possible to take Romani and El Arish (December 21, 1916) seems to have made the British [including Lawrence – not surprisingly, he dates his book’s fantasy activities from January 1, 1917 to Damascus early October 4, 1918 (when Allenby gave him the boot) – the period that the Australians dominated the war] realize they could change from a defensive strategy, and go on the offensive, placing their sights on Damascus for the first time.

Otherwise, they may well have just done a deal with the Turks (lets face it, nobody had moved them in 400 years) – something the British showed a willingness to do on several notable occasions throughout the Middle East campaign (e.g. the Kut saga). Particularly, as the Allied focus and resources were committed to the more important Western Front in France.

Damascus was seen to be the key objective that marked the symbolic end of the whole campaign – a belief deeply held by Lawrence, who after all, is the icon we are trying to shatter. (Jerusalem was captured earlier December 9, 1917)

Quite simply if not for the aggressive Australians (and not the British) Israel would not have been created in Palestine in 1948. Just to offer one piece of critical evidence to support that claim:

The Balfour Declaration
It promised the Jews a country in Palestine. A raw sobering fact: history shows that it was signed on November 2, 1917 – the decisive victory spearheaded by the Australians at Battle of Beersheba was just 2 days before on October 31, 1917. To try to say that the two were unrelated is shear naïveté:

balfour beersheba..

balfour w caption
..

nyt 1903
A brief interlude in our story, here…

AOA-DVSA Connection and Bob’s Your Uncle and Origins 101
There is in fact a significant historical connection between AOA – DVSA (De Vere Society Australia) specifically the deeds of the Australian Light Horse and Edward de Vere, aka William Shake-speare. You see the uncle of Arthur Balfour was Prime Minister Robert Cecil who was the direct descendant of none other than the man who started the Cecil power dynasty, William Cecil, Baron of Burghley, Queen Elizabeth’s righthand man, mentor and father-in-law to Edward de Vere.

Balfour’s career got a kickstart with a spot of timely nepotism when Uncle Bob made him top dog over Ireland. Some think this is where the quip “Bob’s your uncle” originates. Certainly is apt.

Balfour was in any case very much a puppet of the ‘Milner Group’ (see Prof Carroll Quigley – The Anglo-American Establishment [a book that he wrote in 1949 but couldn’t be published until 1981, after his death] they were also the real prime movers in Australia’s Federation using agents like Lord Roseberry [hence the suburb named after him in Sydney East], Brassey, Parkin and Disraeli Braham in the media, as part of their longterm global domination of the British Empire strategy which all started with Cecil Rhode’s [eventually immortalized in the Rhodes Scholarships] connections to the Rothschilds [actually pron. ‘Roth-shield’] who were bankers to ‘all’ sides [England, France and Germany] in WWI so couldn’t lose, as usual.)

1917 was indeed a notable year in WWI for manoeuvrings in the Establishment. It was a bit weird really, England declares war on Germany. So of course the press ramp up the propaganda [again controlled by the Milner Group], the Germans become something less than human, animals, famous cartoons of the Hun, etc. But a big chunk of England is German. The land of the Angles, originally a German tribe. English is a German language. The Royal Family, no less, are German, the family name was Saxe Coburg Gotha. So the Royal Family in 1917 quietly changed their name to Windsor, and now it’s sold like it always was. (Though one of them apparently quipped “I now plan to see Shakespeare’s play, The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha!”). So the Great War was not about one country versus another, but a Clan War – the rich families of one geographical position against another, and the shitfight over the colonization and exploitation of territory rich in gold, oil, and slaves – namely, Africa and the Middle East. Just happened to waste some 10 million plebs in the process.

And of course in 1917 Germany actually tried to negotiate a peace settlement but David Lloyd George (also controlled by the Milner Group [and perhaps his secretary / mistress of some 50 years!]) wanted none of it, but now a war of aggression and conquest, and lots more senseless bloodshed, which even went into overkill with his selfish opportunist and successful ‘khaki’ re-election campaign of 1918.

…anyway continuing on with the guts of our story:
Some Israeli versions of their history mention Allenby (i.e. British) as a key influence in putting them on maps of the world, as a country.
The main border crossing between Israel and Jordan is called Allenby Bridge.
It should be called Chauvel Bridge.

It’s again no coincidence that in mid 1917, the Palestine campaign was floundering with Gallipoli-like blunders by British commanders (especially the Gaza battle fiasco). Then Gen. Murray was replaced by Allenby in July, 1917. No prizes for Allenby, in quickly summing up that he should give Chauvel complete command of the entire Middle East cavalry forces. And it was insisted by Australian Government that the Imperial Mounted Division be changed to Australian Mounted Division, going a small way to reflecting reality. (Again, this is all very close to the Balfour Declaration.)

Then, and only then, did things really start to move – Turkish-held towns began falling like dominos. Also, the reorganization saw most of the English cavalry go to France (after the alarm caused by the German spring offensive in Western Front), and were replaced with the rather green Indian Lancers.

[The Indians made up the majority 4th and 5th Cavalry, under Barrow and Macandrew – although again it is often cunningly implied that they were mostly English-British, e.g. Anthony Livesy’s Great Battles of WWI – ‘The Battle of Megiddo’ – hardly mentions the Indians or Australians, and the more epic Beersheba battles.]

This really only left the “keystone” Australian Light Horse. Allenby, like Murray admitted as much in dispatches to the London War Office, in which he refused to allow the transfer of the Australians, knowing full well that without them the campaign would stagnate into a stalemate, like the Western Front.

Newspapers 1918
Newspaper archives have been checked for the relevant period. There is no mention of Lawrence at all in the London Times or the New York Times. Of course, there is mention of Allenby, and even Chauvel – being given command of the entire cavalry forces.

At the time of the capture of Damascus Gen. Chauvel’s family was living in London and his daughter, Elyne Mitchell, quotes the following newspaper article in her book, Chauvel Country (1983):

“The London Daily Telegraph of 3 October ‘1918 said: …news of the fall of Damascus … On the last night of September a force of cavalry rode into the city and took possession of it … and the fact that its captors were all of the Australian division is not the least fantastic detail…” (ibid. p.65)

Even more interesting is that the Sydney Daily Telegraph (See graphic) has several pieces on the Allies closing-in on Damascus. Then on October 4, 1918, they state:

“DAMASCUS TAKEN BY BRITISH

…Official message states:- ‘Australian mounted troops entered Damascus on the night of September 30. At 6 o’clock in the morning the following day the city was occupied by the British and portion of the Arab army…”.

Then it goes on to cover the Turk’s desire to now sue for peace.

Chauvel 15 Oct 1919 Damascus extract

..

Chauvel 15 Oct 1919 Full p1

..

Chauvel 15 Oct 1919 Full p2

What a difference the Lawrence sham has made in the intervening years, changing the way media reports history. The Daily Telegraph doesn’t even use its own archives.

It is also interesting to note that the article faithfully emphasizes the British over fellow Australians. The local media certainly don’t help our problem. In fact, Chauvel took control of Damascus.

Also, checked Dymocks book store (Sydney) to see if what they have on their shelves corresponded with historical fact, in terms of popular reading. In the WWI section there was nothing that specialized on the Australian victories in the Middle East. On the contrary, the most prominent book on the shelf, a very large volume – “1914-18: The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century” (Jay Winter and Blain Baggert, BBC Books, 1996) – which is a companion to the TV series – perpetuated the lie and continues to defame Australia by stating (p.124) :
“[Lawrence] entered Damascus before the rest of the British forces arrived.”
One would expect better of the BBC. Even right up to the present day our own national broadcaster, the ABC, on ANZAC Day 2004 aired a new homage to Lawrence of Arabia.

W. T. Massey (official correspondent of London newspapers in the Middle East campaign) in his 1920 Allenby’s Final Triumph states that:

“There was some discussion as to who were the first troops to get into the city…” he goes on say “to settle the question as to whether British troops or Arabs were first in Damascus. The Australians were in the city hours before the Arabs. So were an Indian cavalry regiment, the advanced guard of the 14th Cavalry Brigade, which was well ahead of the leading Arab troops.” (p.251-3)

And Viscount Wavell’s 1946 biography Allenby: Soldier and Statesman, concurred:
“A brigade of Australians were the first to enter [Damascus].” (p.241)

So the British and the rest of the world were brainwashed by the likes of Lowell Thomas and David Lean.

Lowell Thomas – Mythmaker

Lowell Thomas – Lawrence Myth-Maker

Lowell Thomas American journalist/ opportunist (1892-1981)
Quite simply: ‘No Lowell Thomas – No Lawrence of Arabia’.

Lowell Thomas had been sent across the Atlantic to help swing the American public in favour of entering the war.
At first he checked out the Western Front, but found that quagmire too depressing for his Americans audience. So he headed down to the Middle East / Palestine campaign. This was the kind of excitement he was looking for. He stumbled onto Lawrence. It was not until August ‘1919, well after the War ended, that he began putting his show on the road in the U.S. …

[This is a key point for the Anzac Centenary celebrations for the 100th Anniversary of all the events of WWI from 2014 to 2018. Specifically, just as Lowell Thomas found, everything about the Western Front anniversary is a depressing stalemate – no victories, just the waste of lives; and once the Gallipoli anniversary is flogged again in 2015, that’s still early in proceedings – what’s next, that still leaves 3 years to 2018, and you need something more interesting than trenches and disease, and you need a climax. So just like Lowell Thomas if we want to interest a public tired of ‘everything Gallipoli’, the real action will be retracing what really happened in the Middle East – the Australian Light Horse – In Their Footsteps – on the way to Damascus.]

…Initially, Lowell Thomas designed his show around the cavalry charges using motion picture footage taken by… you’ll never believe it …the official Australian war photographer, Capt. Frank Hurley!
Perhaps because at that time American movies were saturated with Westerns and horses, he decided to focus on the novelty of the white guy in Arab gear riding a camel (actually many Allied soldiers sometimes wore Arab garb and rode camels – Australia had a whole camel corp). This immediately clicked with Americans.
It became so famous news spread across the Atlantic. Thomas was then enticed by the impresario, Percy Burton, to London where, the fact is, the general public had never heard of Lawrence. But they were desparately in need of a hero, even a manufactured one.  The promotion brochure called it, “America’s Tribute to British Valour”. It should have been a tribute to Australian Valour.
So it was the ‘Thomas Extravaganza’ that began building the sham – that Lawrence and his Arabs single-handedly conquered the Turks and liberated Damascus on October 1, 1918.
Lawrence also deliberately perpetuated, and even enlarged the sham further, in his pseudo-autobiography “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”, on which, criminally, the entire screenplay by Robert Bolt of the ‘1962 David Lean film “Lawrence of Arabia”, was based. And Seven Pillars makes disparaging references to the Australian Diggers and Gen. Harry Chauvel to deflect attention away from their true dominant role in the liberation of the Middle East.

‘Australian’ vs. ‘British’ misnomer
The Australians rarely received due official direct credit for their pivotal role in turning the tide of against the Turks and liberating Damascus. When they performed heroic deeds, if noted at all, they suddenly became British troops (and many of the Australians were of non-English descent, Irish, etc.).

This became so blatant, even during the campaign itself, that the Australians tired of the credit and citations going to the English officers (through an official complaint by the Australian Government) forced a major reorganization to reflect battlefield reality. In August ‘1918 the name of the ‘Imperial Mounted Division’ was changed to the ‘Australian Mounted Division’; and the entire Allied force was now called the Desert Mounted Corps, comprised of the following numbers of regiments with the Australians the spearheading force, and when an an Australian, General Chauvel, was finally put in charge of the whole force, things really began to happen:

Allied Cavalry Composition (with number of Regiments)
• Australian Light Horse 15
• English Yeomanry 5
• New Zealanders 3
[So with 5 times more regiments, it’s really a misnomer to
use Anzac troops, which implies a 50/50 contribution.]
• Indian 12
[The Indians were rather green, arriving only for last couple
of months of the campaign]
• French 1
[Seem to have been attached to watch over proceedings and make
sure the French end up with Syria.]

In support were the infantry, which towards the end of the campaign, was comprised of mostly Indians. In addition there were battalions of English, Scots, Welsh, Irish, West Indian, and even one of Jews.
Massey, official British correspondent in the Middle East Campaign – on the importance of the cavalry:
• “Palestine was essentially a field for the leadership of great cavalryman, this fact was realized by even the infantry divisions. So all or nearly all the successful work had been done by the mounted arms, and the foot soldiers had an admiration amounting to worship for the hardy mounted troops.” (Massey, Allenby’s Final Triumph, ‘1920, 356)
• “No honest man can deny us [referring to the cavalry of the British Empire, but spearheaded by Australians] the glory of delivering the Holy Land and Syria from the corrupting, blighting influence of the Turk. Every Briton should know the story of what the Empire’s men did for him.” (Ibid., 20)
• It was the cavalry that was responsible for the complete overthrow of the Turk. (Ibid., 9)
• “The historic cavalry advance through 400 miles of enemy country in 6 weeks, made a great appeal to the American public.” (Ibid., 21)
• “The big results of the campaign were obtained by the mounted troops. They accomplished in 6 weeks what the infantry would have taken at least a year and perhaps 2 years to do. (Ibid., 10)
• “The advance up to Damascus was so rapid that the Turks had no time to destroy the [communication wires].”
• “Generally the permanent [Allied communication] line kept up with the advance. At least once it was abreast of the cavalry.” (Ibid., 335)
• The Turco-German force was outnumbered by Allied troops but the enemy had the advantage of being dug-in along the high ground defended with machine guns.

Gen. Harry Chauvel
And to leave no doubt for future historians that the Australians were the keystone of the Middle East Campaign success, an Australian, Gen. Harry Chauvel, was placed in command of the greatest cavalry force of modern times. And it was Chauvel that led the parade of the Allied Forces through Damascus on October 2, the day after liberation – not Lawrence or an English general.

A brigadier reportedly scoffed “fancy giving the biggest mounted force in the world’s history, to an Australian.” (Jones, ALH, 90)

The Keystone Force
Further, the overall British commanders of the Allied Forces, initially Gen. Murray (who resided comfortably in his luxurious Cairo Hotel headquarters, until the Gaza battle fiasco – a mini Gallipoli), then Gen. Allenby from July 1917, confirmed that they were the ‘keystone’ of the campaign in dispatches to the London War Office and refused requests to transfer the Australians to the Western Front in France. (H.S. Gullet, Official War Records, 1923, pp. 191, 655)

The Turks basically had a formidable infantry (including a large number of Arab conscripts), commanded by German officers, that matched the calibre of the Allied infantry made up mainly of London Cockney and Scots (and later Indian reinforcements), who in contrast to the Yeomanry mounted division, were highly respected by the Light-horsemen for their performance where it counted – on the battlefield. (Gullett, 534)

However, what the Turks could not match was the Allied cavalry force – spearheaded by the Australians. And it was their added speed (covering incredible distances on their beloved Walers (their affectionate name for their horses – mostly bred in New South Wales) often without sleep for days at a time), which meant the Holy Land was liberated completely before the Armistice called a halt to proceedings.

• As the Australians forced their way through the Turkish defensive lines at the Battle of Beersheba (October 31, 1917) they just made it to the all important water wells in the rear, where a German officer was about to destroy them with demolition charges:

“For the next few moments the fate of Allenby’s campaign and the entire future of the Middle East campaign were in his hands… History’s last great cavalry charge had served an army and set it on its way…” (Jones, ALH, 104)

• Lawrence made several disparaging references to the Australians in his book, and successfully deflected attention away from the major contribution they made in the campaign. According to Lawrence they were only there for ‘sport’ – implying they were happy to get maimed and killed in order to free a region of tyranny, far away from Australia, just so Lawrence could take the credit.

“The sporting Australians saw the campaign as a point-to-point, with Damascus as the post.”
(T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom – A Triumph, 1926, p.664.)

Damascus
• Quintessentially, Damascus was the key objective, the symbolic prize of the whole saga:
“For Lawrence such an audacious coup [the occupation of Damascus by the Arab army] was the only possible consummation of the Arab movement… the Arab national renaissance could be proclaimed to the world with a flourish…
Just how deep Lawrence’s feelings were on this matter was revealed in the Seven Pillars. Its sub-title ‘A Triumph’ could only be justified in terms of the final chapters in which the Arabs advance on and capture Damascus unaided. From the start, Lawrence had presented Damascus as the only goal worthy of the Arabs, for the liberation of the city would symbolise the release of the entire Arab world from Ottoman bondage… the entry into Damascus represents the end of Lawrence’s personal quest… All the major and minor themes introduced in the narrative are drawn together in the Damascus chapters to give the work an artistic completeness… [but in doing so] Lawrence was forced to jettison historical authenticity.”
(Lawrence James, The Golden Warrior – The Life & Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, 1995, 293-4)
“[Lawrence’s] account of much what occurred before and after the capture of [Damascus] was a fabrication and demonstrably so. ‘I was on thin ice when I wrote the Damascus chapter,’ he later admitted, ‘and anyone who copies me will be through [the ice]… SP [Seven Pillars] is full of half-truths here.'” (James, Ibid., 294)
“…Lawrence tinkering with historical truth…”
Exertions of Allied troops are scarcely mentioned [in SP], even in passing.
Lawrence turned “the Arabs into something they were not, the first emancipators of Damascus. The distortion was perpetuated in… David Lean’s film ‘Lawrence of Arabia’.”
When Lawrence made his dash on the morning of October 1, 1918, in a Rolls Royce in his Arab costume, he was picked up and delayed by an Indian patrol and didn’t arrive in Damascus until about 9:00am. (James, 295)
Note: Photo in Seven Pillars (p.668) made to look like the euphoria of Lawrence entering and liberating Damascus on horse-back, when in fact he was captured in a photograph unheroically arriving in the Rolls-Royce, after the Australians had secured the city.
“Lawrence’s version of events on 30 September-1 October is a mixture of fudge and fabrication concocted to give the impression that the Arabs and not the Australians liberated Damascus.” (James, 306)

Australians beat Lawrence to Damascus

“[Damascus] was first entered by the Australian cavalry and the Arab unit which followed them were a fragment of a larger Allied army which had borne the brunt of the fighting.” (James, 196)

In fact, the advance guard of the 10th Australian Light Horse, commanded by Major Arthur Olden  entered Damascus well before Lawrence and took the surrender at the Town Hall at 6:30am October 1, 1918.

UK Daily Telegraph – 3 October, ‘1918
• Even the London Daily Telegraph of 3 October, ‘1918 states:
“…news of the fall of Damascus … On the last night of September a force of cavalry rode into the city and took possession of it: and the fact that its captors were all of the Australian division is not the least fantastic detail…”

So the UK Daily Telegraph got the story right, immediately after the achievement, with no mention of Lawrence; but the BBC 78 years later now uses the Lawrence / Lowell Thomas / David Lean version of history: [Lawrence] entered Damascus before the rest of the British forces arrived.” (‘1914-18: The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century, BBC Books, 124.)

• Lawrence and others try to deflect the credit away from the Australians by saying that some (an absurd 4,000 according to Lawrence) of the Arab army had slipped into the city on the night of September 30. Even if they had entered Damascus days or weeks before, the point is, it did not constitute ‘capturing’ the city – they had no effect on the Turks. The fact is the Australians forced the Turks to surrender – the final straw being a decisive attack by the 3rd Light Horse Brigade on the Turks, in the Barada Gorge, north of the city on the evening of September 30.

• “As to the final campaign in Palestine and Syria, one fact is central. Final victory was gained by Allenby’s Allied army in a series of battles during the second part of September ‘1918 sometimes called ‘Armageddon’. These successes were the culmination of a process of piecemeal conquest … the enemy’s forces were engaged in pitched battles where Allied forces bore the brunt of the fighting.” (James, 318)

The British Foreign Secretary at the Paris Conference in October ‘1919 reminded Faisal, who was trying gain greater control of Damascus / Syria, that “His Majesty’s Government cannot forget that infinitely the larger share of the burden of the defeat of Turkey was carried by the British Empire. (James, 362)

“Those who took their history from cinema will be completely taken aback since the film Lawrence of Arabia excludes any mention of non-Arab forces from its narrative.”
“As for the Arab forces, their contribution to the Allied war effort had been useful but marginal… [and required constant] injections of British gold, weaponry, ammunition and the loan of Allied specialist units. Allied officers … learned to place little faith in the Beduin, who were primarily concerned with their wages and what they could steal.” (James, 319-20)

• “If there was one person who had no particular illusions about the military value of the Arabs it was, as Lawrence freely admits, Allenby. He took no account of them as tactical units… Again as Lawrence records, Allenby’s chief of staff repeatedly stated-so often that Lawrence got annoyed-that all GHQ wanted or expected of him and his Arabs was “three men and a boy with pistols” outside Deraa on a given date. And that was about what he got.” (Aldington, 232)

Aldington – the dissenter
• Aldington had a “conviction that the British people had been betrayed by a portion of its leadership… our life as a nation must not be based on lies and liars.” (Charles Doyle, Richard Aldington, a Biography, ‘1989, 274)

“Lawrence came to epitomize all the self-serving hypocrisy which had so long permeated British society.” (Doyle Ibid., 325)

Note: Richard Aldington got the idea to do a biography on Lawrence during a conversation in ‘1946 (finally published in ‘1955) with Alister Kershaw, an Australian, to whom Doyle dedicated the biography, and was Aldington’s closest friend and personal assistant from that period on until his death in ‘1962.

“If [Aldington] was right, [Liddel Hart (Tiddle Fart, to RA!)] had been an accomplice to fraud” by printing lies. (James, 439)
(Note: Hart was Lawrence’s most ardent biographer and supporter, who had the most to gain, and lose, over the issue of Lawrence’s legitimacy.)

• Gen. Rankin of 4 ALH on Lawrence: “This little tinpot fake swaggering around taking whatever kudos is going…” (James, 441)

Lawrence wasn’t the only one …
• General Allenby (the overall commander of Allied Forces in the Middle East) -asked for his view on Lawrence, replied ‘I had several officers who would have done as well, and some would have done better.” (James, 442)

Lawrence wasn’t the only Allied soldier to wear Arab garb. Nor was Lawrence the only one blowing up the railway, which, in any event, had little impact on the Turks. Col. Newcombe, Major Joyce, Col. Meinertzhagen and Young are prominent examples, who crop up all over war records relating to the Arab guerilla campaign. Arguably, these quiet achievers, like the Australians, played a more effective role than Lawrence.

Lawrence’s Arab band actually included an Australian (Brooks) who managed the mortar. (James, 231)

And as for riding camels, there were Australians like the Fighting Colonel of the Camel Corps Lt. Col. Nowell de Lancey Forth (Dame Elisabeth Murdoch wrote us a support letter in which she mentions that he is her uncle) commander of the 3rd (Anzac) Battalion.

Australian Air Cav.
And No. 1 Squadron of the Australian Flying Corps did a lot of Lawrence’s requested bombing raids which helped to puck up the tenuous support of the Arabs. One of the pilots being the famous Ross Smith, who like many others came from the ultimate background for this type of fighting – the Australian Light Horse. “Air Cav… you just couldn’t keep those boys down, they’d traded-in their horses for [fighter planes], and were tear-arsing around [Palestine] looking for the shit.” (Milius/Coppola, Apocalypse Now) So the Australians were causing the major havoc of the campaign, both on the ground, and in the air.

Indeed, Allenby personally went out of his way to praised their contribution after the liberation of the Holy Land: “This squadron played an important part in making it possible, you gained for us supremacy in the air, thereby allowing my cavalry, artillery, and infantry to carry out their work on the ground practically unmolested by hostile aircraft” (F. M. Cutlack, Official War Records, Vol. viii – Australian Flying Corps, p. 171).

Australians innately suited to desert warfare
• Although in shear numbers, there were more British in the Middle East theatre (which included Cairo) than Australian troops, most of the British were in non-infantry and support / administrative positions [REMFs]. Also, the Australian Mounted Division spearheading the attack, unlike the British, were more effective in the hot dry desert conditions of the Middle East, which were similar to Australia, especially as many of the Light-horsemen came from the Outback.

‘Lawrence on women’
“…women authors were summarily dismissed in a letter of 1924 to Sydney Cockerell [mysteriously omitted from the published letters]:
‘All the women who ever wrote original stuff could have been strangled at birth and the history of English literature (and my book shelves) would be unchanged.'” (James, 408)
Conclusions
Process of elimination – leaves the ALH
‘Would the Allies have defeated the Turks in the same time period without Lawrence? – From the viewpoint of the official war records (compared to Lowell Thomas, Lawrence, his biographers, and David Lean) most definitely, yes.’

But, without the Australian Light Horse – starting with their early success in taking Romani and El Arish* due in no small part to their innate advantage in the desert conditions – there is evidence that indicates the British may have kept their focus on beating the Germans in France (especially after the Gallipoli fiasco), and then later would probably have done a much less advantageous deal with the Turks in the Middle East, which was considered a ‘sideshow’ (compared to the Western Front). Even Lawrence later admitted that his Arab revolt was a “sideshow attached to a sideshow.” (James, 318).
*Until Romani and El Arish, the Turks were boldly on the offensive, they had “attacked the British outpost guarding the Suez Canal on 23 April, ‘1916. Chauvel’s forces stopped the advance at Romani (4-5 August). The battle marked the beginning of a series of victories which ultimately drove the Turks from Egypt and Sinai”, and the rest of the Holy Land (Peter Dennis et al, Oxford Companion to Australian War History, ‘1995, p.143).

Both sides were always looking to do a deal to end the conflict, as late as October ‘1917 (James, 268). At one point when the Turks had the upper hand, the British even used Lawrence (when he was a clerk in Cairo intelligence administration) as an envoy, in an effort to bribe Turkish Generals with £4 million [during the Kut saga – money alone cannot win a battle, it always depends on the calibre and idiosyncrasies of the troops, as epitomized by the Light-horsemen]. And the implied solidarity of Lawrence’s Arabs with the British was a myth – rightly, Feisal didn’t trust any of the imperial powers and was still in negotiation with the Turks up to July ‘1918, when the war began to tilt clearly in favour of the Allies. (James, 270).

Indeed, for most of the war there were just as many, if not more Arabs fighting on the side of the Turks, due to their shared Islamic ideology.

Lawrence and his Arabs can be eliminated from the scenario. At any one time the Arab forces rarely exceeded more than a couple of thousand men, reflecting the apathy of millions of local Arabs who knew only too well that whoever won, they would still be bedouin peasants in their own country. Thus their forces were unreliable, required enticement with large amounts of British gold, and after a reasonable amount of plundering and looting they would go home.

On the capture of Jerusalem [December 9, ‘1917] the Allies entered the city, Jewish and Christian elements of the population were clearly jubilant. However, in contrast, as the historian Gullett notes of “the Arabs who made up so large a part of the population… silent Arabs served to remind the representatives of Government in London that Jerusalem is sacred to others besides Christian and Jew; that the Arab race is the parent of both faiths; that in war for the right of self-determination it [i.e. the Arabs] had the master-claim of all of Palestine.” (Official War Records, Gullett, ‘1923, p.517)
Their wish for independence was further compromised by perennial internecine – with so many scattered Arab tribes throughout the region, there was no unity, just constant bickering.
In summary, if No Australian Light Horse in Palestine: ‘1916-18 then:
Without the Australian Light Horse – the most successful cavalry in modern history, innately suited to the ‘Outback-like’ desert conditions of the Middle East ‘1916-1918:
• The British would have remained in a defensive position (they were tenuously trying to hold-off Turkish attacks, who by ‘1916 had captured El Arish and marched through the Sinai and were threatening Suez / Egypt) as they were mainly preoccupied with the slaughter and stalemate on the Western Front.
• The tide could not have been reversed, the Holy Land would not have been liberated – the Turks would still be there.
• No victory at Beersheba: 31 October, ‘1917
• No Balfour Declaration proclaiming Britian’s support for a Jewish state in Palestine 2 days later: 2 November, ‘1917 – giving the Zionists the greenlight for Israel.
• Infantry and orthodox British cavalry, could never have reached Jerusalem, Damascus and other milestones, in time, before the Armistice (11 November ‘1918).
For objective proof of these cold hard facts, look no further than the account put together by W.T. Massey, the on-the-spot official British correspondent attached to the Middle East campaign ‘1916-1918, in his ‘Allenby’s Final Triumph’, ‘1920, p.10. It’s supposed to centre on Allenby, but the Australians are all over the key passages.
• There would have been no Middle East theatre.
• No opportunity for the ambitious Hussein/Faisal led Hejaz Arab tribe of the southern area of Arabia (constituting an insignificant percentage of the Arab population, most of whom remained neutral, naturally disliking any occupying nation, or aligned with their Islamic Turkish brothers, and was therefore never what Lawrence implied, viz., a united Arab Revolt).
• Lawrence would have remained a clerk in the Cairo Intelligence Office (he was rejected for regular duty – being too short at 5’4″ / 165cm (cf. David Lean’s casting of Peter O’Toole, standing 6’2″ / 184cm).
• There would have been no theatre for Lowell Thomas to discover the raw material from which he could create his myth, he would have just gone home early from the Western Front, no doubt very disillusioned.
• No Israel ‘1948.
• No myth for David Lean to make his ‘1962 film, reviving and perpetuating the sham.
• No World Trade Center Bombing: September 11 ‘2001
• No sending of Australian troops to the Arab War: ‘2003 – ‘2016
• No blowing up of Sydney Opera House: ‘2007
Who got the credit?
Was it worth the spilling of Australian blood – maiming and death of Australians – damage to families and the overall socio-economic repercussions back in Australia?

1) Did the Light-horsemen fight to defend Australia?
No. They were fighting half way around the other side of the world.

2) Did they fight to free the indigenous people, the Arabs?
No. In behind the scene double-dealing, the imperial powers, bumped the Arabs – Damascus/Syria to the French for political and diplomatic reasons, and Palestine was given to the Jews for financial and economic benefits, direct to the British, and were heavily influenced by the American Zionist lobby.
The Arabs were dispossessed yet again, before the Australian even got on the boat to go home.

3) Did the Australians receive international recognition?
No. Thanks to Lowell Thomas, Lawrence himself, and David Lean, the fame went to them. Any other mention, buries Australians in with the ‘British Forces’ (remembering that many of the Australians were of non-English, mostly Irish descent) or ‘the Allies’.
4) Are the Light Horse at least honoured at home in Australia as the liberators of Arabia?
No. As the Daily Telegraph piece (October 1, ‘1997) shows, the Australian public (through the influence of our media and educators) are programmed with the British/American version of history.
In frank terms, Australia got absolutely nothing from sending troops half way across the world. We suffered the highest casualty rate (62%) among all Allied Forces.
(And they were all volunteers – ‘conscription’ was defeated in a national referendum, forcing Prime Minister Billy Hughes to resign).

It would not be so bad if we had been able to capitalize on our participation, to elevate our position on the world stage. Compare our return on the investment of resources – money and blood, to the British, Jews and Americans. The Yanks entered the war late, in ‘1917 (bringing with them the great influenza epidemic which originated in Kansas, wiping out many rundown Billjim who thought they had made it through the full 4 years of WWI) and from that moment in history really began to dominate international affairs. And along with the British and French they carved up the oil rich Middle East.

The ‘belligerent’ factor
It is interesting to note, that what recognition Feisal and the Arabs did gain, came through a term that often shows up in official documents – what the British called the rights of a ‘belligerent’ party to sit at the negotiating table. This referred to the influence the Arabs gained through war, i.e. in direct proportion to their contribution on the battlefield.

Using this approach to international diplomatic logic, Australia is morally entitled to a piece of the Middle East, along with the Americans, British, French, Jews, and the indigenous Arabs.

Ironically, in the modern day, we get daily news reports on the saga in the Middle East: ‘President Bush makes a special trip to Israel to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of their ‘creation’…’, highlighting all the ‘big players’: Jews, Arabs, Yanks… it was the Australians who kicked the Turks out after 400 years, and we don’t get a mention.

Perhaps if there is any such thing in the long run as ‘poetic justice’ it is about time we got what’s due to us.

ALH all over the “War Table”
Putting the hype aside, the place to look is at the summary of movements of all the little coloured icon pieces on the War Table.

When looking at the cold hard facts of what went on – on the battlefield that is – the Lawrence icon in white costume, the Arabs and the British hierarchy in the Cairo Hotel, can be eliminated from the equation – their few token pieces can be swept off the war table, leaving pieces representing Australian spirit, the Light-horsemen, facing the Turkish pieces. And no matter what they say, the Australians turn a defensive situation into a clear offensive one, starting with the march into El Arish. This presented the possibility of outright victory, if they can keep it up all the way to Damascus. And that’s exactly what they did.

[At one point a captured German commander of the Turkish garrison said he thought the charge of the Australian Light Horse Brigade was a bluff, but to his bewilderment, they kept coming, he added “the Australian’s were not soldiers, they were madmen”. (Gullett, Official War Records)]

When Major Arthur Olden’s piece (in the 10th Light Horse colour identification) takes the surrender of the Turks at 6:30am on October 1, ‘1918, at the Damascus Town Hall, the show is over.

Conclusion – the ALH got shafted
Well into the research a kind of epiphany began to dawn on the old neurons, a hunch as to what really happened…

All the attention and glorification of the Australians at Gallipoli…

[Churchill’s blunder. It was clearly evident on the day of landing, April 25, ‘1915, that it was an impossible situation, but the Generals kept giving out false reports of steady progress, until Keith Murdoch leaked the truth. That delayed evacuation 8 months until December (90% of WWI books published in Australia are on Gallipoli, not to mention its basis for Anzac Day]

…as well as the deification of Lawrence, particularly by the British… Were they used as a clever ploy in a kind of ‘conspiracy of silence’ to deflect attention away from what Australians had really accomplished – the liberation of the Holy Land from 400 years of Turkish / Islamic rule.

Primarily the booty, was to be carved up by the dominant colonial judeo-christian based powers, viz. the British, American, French; and the Jews. They just could not have future generations knowing the naked truth. That while they came out of the war with nothing…

[Nothing but 10,000,000 men dead, plus wounded, in the unromantic trenches of the Western Front, plus the socio-economic ramifications of these losses in communities. At one point British Prime Minister Lloyd George had requested Allenby to take Jerusalem before the end of the end of December, ‘1917, as a Xmas present for the British people, who desperately needed some good news. And he did (but again the 10th Australian Light horse were the first Allied mounted troops to enter.)]

…in stark contrast, the unfashionable Australians had pulled off the greatest prize in modern history, executed by the most successful cavalry in modern history. Even buried in Lowell Thomas’ promotion brochure is the comment, “…it is the most astonishing cavalry achievement in the whole history of war, ancient and modern”.

No. That would not do at all. It would make them look even more ridiculous. That cold hard fact of the war would have to be deftly obscured.

Euphemisms like: British troops; Allied Forces; Allenby in Palestine; would work their magic spell, helped along by the serendipitous advent of Lowell Thomas, and later David Lean, leaving the public with the euphoric escapism of Lawrence of Arabia.

Of course, there are other factors, there always is at this level of deceit. The constant games of one-upmanship being played by the imperial powers.
Even though things started looking good in early ‘1916, the British still didn’t realize how dazzling the Billjim would end up being. The Sykes-Picot Agreement was rather generous to the French in the preliminary greedy carve up of the Mid East. So that became another reason why the British had to lie and try to swindle the French by saying ‘the Arabs took Damascus so we can’t give you Syria’.

On October 1, ‘2018, we will be up to 100 years of Arabian desert sand and deception having buried deep what the Australians did – from the taking of El Arish on December 21, ‘1916 to the liberation of Damascus and the whole Holy Land by October 1, ‘1918. It looked like the sham would continue unabated indefinitely.

But then we have the ineluctable workings of the Heraklitean flux, Jungian Synchronicity, an unforeseeable monster like the World Wide Web.
Time to Ask the Big Questions
In summary, which still impacts the daily news coming out of the Middle East :
a) Australians of Gallipoli : Defeat by the Turks – 25 April ‘1915
b) Australians of Arabia : Victory over the Turks – 1 October ‘1918

So why do we, and our Government (Foreign Policy and Education Dept), focus only on Gallipoli and totally forget the ALH exploits in Arabia ?
Happy to let the colonial powers (Britain, the U.S. and Israel) carve up what Australians made possible without ever reminding them of the thanks and debt they owe the Billjim.

Indeed, we have to ask some other big questions about the powers that be in Australia:
– our government – for decades they have gone along witht the charade. How many prime ministers have we had since ‘1915 – every year on Anzac Day our PM gets up and makes the usual long-winded speech about everything but substance (they have lousy speechwriters for a start – can anyone remember a JFK type line from our PM!) – not one has attempted to put the record straight and give credit where credit is due.
– the establishment / the influential – Rupert Murdoch (very disappointing since his father Keith is a key player), Kerry Packer et al;
– the media: newspapers, investigative programs like Nine Network 60 Minutes (senior reporters like Richard Carleton) and Ray Martin’s A Current Affair, Seven Network Today Tonight; ABC Kerry O’Brien’s 7.30 Report and Four Corners; and
– influential celebrities like Mel Gibson…

Why don’t they care about what happened to the Billjim?

Instead, the Australian public gets kow-towing to these colonial powers, periodic homages to Lawrence of Arabia as dished up by our own ABC on ANZAC Day ’04, or just plain indifference.

Imagine if one of those Billjim warriors could somehow be transported to the present in a time machine, what he would do if he came across one of the above characters…
Individually we are not very powerful, but if a few of us can band together to form some kind of AOA Troop we just might be able kick ass.
It’s time for fair dinkum Australians to do something about this monumental travesty of justice.

Further Reading & Sources:
Richard Aldington, Lawrence L’Imposteur (1955)
Prof Carroll Quigley – The Anglo-American Establishment (1949, 1981)
Charles Doyle, Richard Aldington, A Biography (1989)
H.S. Gullett, Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918 – Sinai and Palestine, Vol. VII (1923)
Alec J. Hill, Chauvel of the Light Horse : a biography of General Sir Harry Chauvel (1978)
Lawrence James, The Golden Warrior – The Life & Legend of Lawrence of Arabia (1995)
Ian Jones, The Australian Light Horse (1987)
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom – A Triumph (‘1926)
William T. Massey, Allenby’s Final Triumph (1920)
Elyne Mitchell, Light Horse, Chauvel Country: the story of a great Australian pioneering family (1978)
Nevill de Rouen Forth, A Fighting Colonel of Camel Corps (1991)
Arthur Olden, Westralian Cavalry – 10th Light Horse Regiment in the Great War 1914-1918 (1921)
Viscount Percival Wavell, Allenby: Soldier and Statesman (1946)
Australian War Memorial Archives [Amazingly, they devote more attention to the Lawrence myth – doesn’t help mate…]

– – – – – – – –

Based on the monograph:
“Australians of Arabia …& Lawrence” by Peter Hogan 1997
ISBN: 978-0-646-34870-4


(Rare copies can be found in the Statel Library NSW
and National Library of Australia)

..


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One Response to “1i Exploits of the Billjim 1916 – 1918 History”

  1. Rae Fether Says:

    Hi, Must essentially agree with you though a Brit. Am currently editing my father’s “Reminiscences” written when he was 80. He came over from Argentina to join up in 1915; as a horseman was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery and served in France (MC & bar) until sent to Arabia, arriving Egypt 28/12/1917, serving with the Somerset Royal Horse Artillery, part of the ANZAC Cavalry Division. He describes most of the action he was involved in the Jordan Valley, the excitement of coming into action at a gallop (with 13 pounder guns), taking part supporting the ANZAC Cavalry in a raid to Amman in co-operation with the “notorious” (his words) Lawrence of Arabia. I now understand why he used that word! Researching further to try and understand more about the war in Arabia can now clearly see the bias……………
    Regards
    Rae Fether

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