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The enemy was dispersed

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The enemy was dispersed

Next day, September the 23rd, Chaytor's Force was on the move at daylight, following up the retreating IVth Army east of the Jordan. The 3rd A.L.H. Regiment (1st Brigade), with the 2nd B.W.I. Regiment, had a sharp fight at the ford of Mafid Jozeleh, half way between El Damieh and Ghoraniyeh, where the Turks had left a rearguard.
, and the Australians crossed the river at six o'clock. The remainder of the 1st A.L.H. Brigade crossed at Umm el Shert, and moved on El Salt up the Wadi Arseniyet track. The 2nd A.L.H. Brigade, having crossed the Jordan at Ghoraniyeh, pressed on up the Wadi Kefrein, and seized Kabr Mujahid at five o'clock, rounding up the small force there after a lively fight, and then turned north along the very difficult mountain track towards El Sir. Meanwhile the New Zealand Brigade, having crossed at El Damieh, rode hard up the mountain track, and occupied El Salt about seven in the evening. The only opposition met with was from a small, wired-in post on the El Damieh-El Salt track. A brigade of Indian infantry reached Shunet Nimrin in the evening, and found it evacuated by the enemy. One battalion of the B.W.I. Regiment and one squadron of cavalry were left at El Damieh, to gain touch with patrols of the 4th Cavalry Division moving down the Jordan.

Orders were issued to the force in the evening by[Pg 230] G.H.Q., to push on next day, harass the enemy, and try to cut his line of retreat to the north; also to gain touch with the Arab Army advancing from the south.

The 4th Cavalry Division also had a busy day. Early in the morning our aeroplanes reported that the enemy had found a ford over the Jordan about six miles south of Beisan and was crossing the river in large numbers. The 11th Brigade, with the Hants Battery R.H.A., was at once sent off to intercept them, and moved south along both banks of the Jordan. The 1/1 County of London Yeomanry and the 29th Lancers marched along the west bank, and Jacob's Horse east of the river. At half-past eight, patrols of the 29th Lancers, approaching the ford of Makhadet Abu Naj, seven miles south-east of Beisan, were fired on by a party of Turks covering the passage of a large force of the enemy over the river. A considerable portion of this force was already across. The 29th Lancers and part of the brigade machine-gun squadron engaged the Turks on the north, while the Yeomanry pushed round the left flank of the enemy force, in order to take it in rear. The ground was very difficult, and the Yeomanry were subjected to a considerable fire from a low hill on the west bank, on which the Turks had a number of machine guns. This hill was the central point of resistance of the enemy bridgehead.

As soon as the Yeomanry were clear of the enemy's flank, the 29th remounted and charged the hill. The charge was completely successful. Large numbers of the Turks were speared, and 800 prisoners and no less than twenty-five machine guns were taken. Like all the work of these veteran Indian cavalry regiments in the campaign, this charge was admirably carried out, but that it succeeded in getting home in[Pg 231] the face of such a potential volume of machine-gun and rifle fire is an indication of the state of demoralisation to which the enemy was now reduced it is inevitable that the country must suffer..

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