EL MEJDEL, JAFFA AND WEST COUNTRY TROOPS

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Jumbled material of the British capture of Jaffa, Palestine Front, November 1917. Jaffa was captured by the Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiment, New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade, ANZAC Mounted Division, at 10am on 16 November.

Troops and transport camels of 52nd (Lowland) Division in the streets of El Mejdel (captured 9 November) including the well inside a mosque. Part of a squadron of 1st Hyderabad Lancers riding through the streets of Jaffa (the shotsheet gives this as Jericho) followed by troops of 75th Division. A shot of "Jaffa town hall and clock-tower within half an hour of its capture"

06:28 - A patrol of four New Zealand Mounted Rifles (NZMR) enter the square and ride towards camera. The four men represent a section in a mounted rifle Troop. In the event of combat, one man would act as horse-holder and take care of all four horses while the other would fight on foot. All four are fully laden with bedrolls strapped in front of the saddles, greatcoats strapped behind, rifles at the trail and from their demeanour show that they have been in the saddle for some time. They move on through past the camera.

07:01 - Individual New Zealanders can be seen in the square, but the camera focuses on a group of officers standing by their horses outside of the town hall, which was formerly the Turkish military headquarters. The officers can be identified by neatness of dress, wearing service dress jackets, Sam Browne belts and the one in the middle of the group’s sword scabbard. This contrasts with the uniform of the soldier on the right the two officers are talking to. Behind them is a large group of dismounted riflemen, which is most probably members of the Wellington Mounted Rifles (WMR) regimental headquarters.

07:31 - The Town Hall has now been taken over as the mounted rifles headquarters, a soldier can be seen on guard with his rifle at the shoulder with fixed bayonet as individual New Zealand riflemen, and well dressed locals (possible members of the Jewish community), pass in and out of the building.

09:06 - Clock tower records time of filming as 9:53.

Jaffa street scenes.

09:51 - Members of a New Zealand troop relaxing on the outskirts of Jaffa, with their horses tethered behind them. Men are cleaning up, smoking and enjoying a drink in the shade. It has been a week of hard riding and heavy fighting.

10:16 - Wide shot of the same scene. What appears to be a horse-drawn military wagon passes.

A panorama of Jaffa filmed from the sea.

11:57 - Men of the ANZAC Mounted Division (Australians) leading their horses.
Scenes of a horse drawn British artillery battery crossing the pontoon bridge at El Ghoranyeh, More views of artillery battery. Scenes of Turkish prisoners being put on trains at the railway station at Jerusalem by troops of 52nd Division, watched by the odd Australian soldier.

Adapted from Imperial War Museum catalogue entry: http://film.iwmcollections.org.uk/record/index/45004 with additonal notes by Chris Pugsley

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Year 1917

Reference number F246416

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production UNITED KINGDOM

Genre Actuality

Production company Topical Film Company for War Office Cinema Committee

Credits Camera: Harold Jeapes

Related Link IWM Catalogue Entry