Egypt, Palestine, Syria (First World War)

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Also see

Regimental and Corps Histories

  • History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery : the Forgotten Fronts and the Home Base 1914-18 by Sir Martin Farndale 1988. Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01008145796
  • Light Car Patrols, 1916-19 : War and Exploration in Egypt and Libya with the Model T Ford : a Memoir by Captain Claud H. Williams, 1/1st Pembroke Yeomanry, attached No. 5 Light Car Patrol ; with introduction and history of the Patrols by Russell McGuirk 2013. Available at the BL UIN: BLL01016479011 . Sample pages Google Books. Contents Those who have institutional access to may possibly be able to access the book text online.
  • The Railway Gazette Special War Transportation Number, originally published in September 1920, as part of The Railway Gazette and Railway News. Described at the time as ‘the first connected account’ of the role of railways and inland water transport in supporting the British military campaign during the Great War of 1914-18. Contains a wealth of detail on operations on most Fronts inc. the organisation of wartime transportation; statistics and Fronts, including Railway Operations in Macedonia, Mesopotamia, Palestine & East Africa. Available at the British Library as part of UIN: BLL01013904893 or in a 2013 reprint edition UIN: BLL01016871224. Also available in a reprint edition[1].

External links

Watercolour: Hodson's Horse at Aleppo : encamped about a mile from the town, on the Alexandretta Road 10 November 1918 Imperial War Museums
"Overland Route to the East 1917-1919" by Andrew Brooks Forces Postal History Society Journal No 300 Summer 2014, page 179, now an archived webpage. May be slow to open.
  • Videos: World War One Through Arab Eyes by Tunisian writer and broadcaster Malek Triki.[2] ‪Al Jazeera English. YouTube videos. ‪ Episode One: The Arabs‬ . They fought as conscripts for the European colonial powers occupying Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia – and for the Ottomans on the side of Germany and the Central Powers. Episode two: The Ottomans. Includes the history of the Ottoman-Germany relationship. Episode three: The New Middle East. Includes the way Britain and France divided the former Ottoman Empire between them.
  • "The Short Life of Private Ihsan: Jerusalem 1915" by Salim Tamari. Includes extracts from the diary of an ordinary recruit in the Ottoman military headquarters in Jerusalem. The article is derived from Year of the Locust: The Great War and the Erasure of Palestine’s Ottoman Past by Salim Tamari 2008. now archived.

Photographs online

Maps online

1920 General Map of Cairo by Survey of Egypt. Library of Congress.
  • Insurance Maps of Turkey and Istanbul Fire insurance maps issued by Charles E. Goad, a London-based civil engineer c 1905. Includes Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt, and Constantinople and Smyrna in Turkey.

Historical books online

Official histories, despatches, background etc

  • History of the Great War: Military Operations, Egypt & Palestine: From the Outbreak of War with Germany to June 1917 by Lieut-General Sir George MacMunn and Captain Cyril Falls HMSO 1928. Volume 2 June 1917 to the End of the War: Part 1 by Cyril B Falls 1930 From June 1917 to the End of the War Part II by Cyril Falls 1930 . versions, mirrors from Digital Library of India: Vol. 1, Vol. 2:1, Vol. 2:2.
Online maps, either from the above volumes, or from an additional volume are available through the National Library of Australia's Search, using title: Military Operations, Egypt & Palestine/Add limits: Map and Online. From the results select Maps, and Online. Sixteen maps have been noted.
The above volumes, including maps, are also available in reprint editions (from Naval & Military Press) on the Ancestry owned pay website as one digital book Military Operations Egypt and Palestine located in Military Books-located by the Search/Egypt, noting the volumes are displayed out of order.
  • History of the Great War based on official documents. Order of Battle of Divisions Parts 1, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B and 4 all by Major A.F. Becke (London: HMSO, 1935-1945). Most are available on or Google Books, and all on the Ancestry owned pay website fold3, which also includes a later Index volume. For details see Western Front- Historical books online-Official Histories and Battles. Includes Egypt and Palestine.
There were subsequent publications Order of Battle of Divisions Part 5A, Divisions of Australia, Canada and New Zealand and those in East Africa, compiled by F.W. Perry c 1992. Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01006378898 and Order of Battle of Divisions. Part 5B, Indian Army Divisions compiled by F. W. Perry c 1993 available at the B.L. UIN: BLL01008151437 . The latter is also catalogued with the additional title History of the Great War : based on official documents.
  • Report of the Committee on the Lessons of the Great War 13 Oct 1932 includes "Appendix IV Palestine" (Details[3].) Also known as the Kirke Report it is available in a reprint edition,[4] which in turn is available online on the Ancestry owned pay website fold3, located in Military Books-located by the Search/Britain.
  • The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, 1914-1918 by H S Gullett 1923 Volume VII, The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918. The Preface states “The story… in its bolder features covers the whole British force”.
Page 238 Khaki and Gown : an Autobiography by Field-Marshal Lord Birdwood 1941. Books to Borrow/Lending Library. Late November 1914 Birdwood was appointed Corps Commander Australian and New Zealand contingent in Egypt.

General histories etc

A Summary of the Strategy and Tactics of the Egypt and Palestine Campaign with Details of the 1917-18 Operations Illustrating the Principles of War by Lieut. Col. A. Kearsey, 2nd edition revised 1932 is available in a reprint edition, [6] which in turn is available as an online book on the Ancestry owned pay website under Egypt And Palestine Campaign located in Military Books-located by the Search/Egypt. Originally published 1928 as The Events, Strategy and Tactics of the Palestine Campaign.
Allenby, a Study in Greatness; the Biography of Field-Marshal Viscount Allenby of Megiddo and Felixstowe, G.C.B., G.C.M.G. by General Sir Archibald Wavell, Commander-in-Chief, Middle East. 1940
Allenby In Egypt, being Volume II of Allenby: a Study in Greatness, first published 1943. The years from 1920. Version 1; Version 2-page 8 noted to be incorrect, but photographs may be marginally better., both mirrors from Digital Library of India.
How Jerusalem was Won : being the Record of Allenby's Campaign in Palestine by W T Massey, 1920
Allenby's Final Triumph by W T Massey 1920


A vision of the possible; what the R.A.M.C. might become; an account of some of the medical work in Egypt together with a constructive criticism of the R.A.M.C by James W Barrett, Temporary Lieut-Col RAMC 1919
The War Work of the Y.M.C.A. in Egypt by James W. Barrett, Temporary Lieut-Col RAMC 1919 Hathi Trust Digital Library
The online JRAMC extracts are easier to read, but missing three parts. Gallipoli Chapters 5-9, the remaining chapters are in respect of Egypt and Palestine. Chapters 1-3, missing May 1936, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12, 13, 14-15, 16, 17, 18-19, 20, missing April 1937, 22, 23, 24, 25-26, 27, 28, 29, missing Dec 1937.
Part 12 includes details of the types of camel cacolets [litters] used to transport the wounded.
  • Papers of Colonel Thomas Boswell Beach, RAMC (Wellcome Library catalogue ref RAMC/248):Diary re service in Egypt as ADMS Alexandria District 1917-1918 RAMC/248/2/2/1; 1918 RAMC/248/2/2/2. Wellcome Library online. See comments in the item above about using the Wellcome Library online reader.
  • "An Anti-Malaria Campaign in Palestine. An Account of the Preventive Measures undertaken in the 21st Corps area in 1918" by Colonel E P Sewell and Brevet Major A S M Macgregor Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps, Volume 34 1920 Part 1, pages 85-100, Part 2, pages 204-218 Photographs Photographs digital page 208. Alternative file for Part 1 with Map and better photographs, Part 2

Corps histories and accounts

"My Niggers" by Lieut. J. Railton Holden, page 286 February 1919, The Wide World: the magazine for everybody, Volume 42. Poor quality digital file. Men from the Egyptian Labour Corps.
65 R. E.. A Short Record of the Service of the 65th Field Company Royal Engineers by Alan Colquhoun Duff 1920. The Company served at Gallipoli, in ‎Macedonia and in Palestine.
Report on the work of the Seventh Field Survey Company R.E. Egypt, Sinai, Palestine & Syria. December 1916 to October 1918. Historical Papers: Defence Surveyors' Association Scroll down. Direct pdf. Elsewhere, source of this document is given as Directorate Military Survey, Feltham, UK, and the report date is from December 1915. 2nd reference is unpublished report by W J Maule, Commanding Officer, to GSGS Map Research and Library Group, DMS Tolworth 1919.
"Inland Waterways and Docks, Royal Engineers in War Time, with special reference to the mystery port of Richborough (Lecture & Discussion)" by Captain A E Battle, RE Proceedings of the Victorian Institute of Engineers 1923-1924, pages 104-116. Includes Inland Water Transport in Mesopotamia, and brief mention of other theatres of war Egypt, Salonika, East Africa, Italy and Northern Russia. Melbourne University Digital Collection.
Records of the Survey of India, Volume 20. The War Record 1914-1920 1925. If the download button does not display, locate in Books/Survey Of India, or Direct link PAHAR Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. Google Books version (now full view). version. Work of Royal Engineers and other staff of the Survey of India mapping in various theatres of war, in Mesopotamia, Kurdistan, Macedonia, Arabia, Persia, Palestine, East Africa and Afghanistan.


  • "Under Eastern Eyes", page 172, Chapter V, The Secret Corps : a Tale of "Intelligence" on all Fronts by Captain Ferdinand Tuohy 1920
  • British Intelligence in Palestine from page 199 and "Chapter XXIII: Allenby in Palestine and Syria in 1918", page 303, Secret Service by Major-General Sir George Aston, formerly of the Naval Intelligence Department and the Secretariat of the War Cabinet 1930
  • Hard Lying version , mirror from Digital Library of India. Full title “Hard Lying”: Eastern Mediterranean, 1914-1919 by Captain L B Weldon 1925. The author was a British Army Intelligence Officer , initially OC of a British Ship (HMS Anne previously Aenne Rickmers) carrying a French, later British seaplane squadron used for reconnaissance flights, and subsequently HMY Managem 1917-1919, involved with the supply of agents, money, weapons, etc to the Syrian coast.
  • "Part IV The "Ben-My-Chree" (May 1916-January 1917)" pages 289-351 Fights and Flights by Charles Rumney Samson 1930. RNAS. HMS Ben-My-Chree was a seaplane carrier, and Samson was also had in his command HMS Anne, see entry for Hard Lying immediately above. Wedgewood Benn, see next entry, was chief observer for Samson.
  • In the Side Shows by Captain Wedgewood Benn 1919 Some editions have the title In the Side Shows: Observations by a Flier on Five Fronts. The author was a Member of Parliament and joined the Middlesex Yeomanry, with whom he served at Gallipoli. He subsequently became military observer attached to the Royal Naval Air Service, East Indies and Egypt Seaplane Squadron.
  • Above And Beyond Palestine, An Account of the Work of the East Indies and Egypt Seaplane Squadron 1916-1918 by C E Hughes 1930
  • Secret Despatches From Arabia by T E Lawrence Published by permission of the Foreign Office. Originally issued at Cairo 1916-1918.
Revolt In The Desert by T E Lawrence 1927. version, mirror from Digital Library of India. Other files are available
The Evolution of a Revolt by T. E. Lawrence (Late Lieut.-Colonel General Staff, E.E.F.) first published 1939, CSI reprint. Link to a pdf download (scroll down) [US] Army University Press.
With Lawrence in Arabia by Lowell Thomas, with photographs by H A Chase and the author. 1924
T. E. Lawrence: In Arabia and After by Liddell Hart 1934
For other online books relating to to T E Lawrence, including his letters, see the page T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia).
  • Shifting Sands by Major N N E Bray (Norman Napier Evelyn) 1934 Includes a chapter about Lawrence. Bray was originally with the 18th Bengal Lancers.[8] Initially during WW1 Bray was working under Sir Mark Sykes, and for the Arab Bureau. C October 1917 he returned to France and his regiment. Subsequently he became the Hakim (Governor) of Kerbela, as a part of the British Administration of A. T Wilson in Mesopotamia.
  • Chapter IV, "War Time Memories" page 88 from his book As I Seem to Remember by Leonard Woolley 1962. He was an archaeologist, in Intelligence during the war, based at Port Said.
    • "Michel the Spy" by Leonard Woolley page 3 The Wide World Magazine. An Illustrated Monthly of True Narrative - Adventure, Travel, Customs and Sport. Volume 50 1922-1923
Leonard Woolley Wikipedia. He became a Prisoner of War in Turkey, see his further book on the page Prisoners of the Turks (First World War).


Amateur Gunners. The Adventures of an Amateur Soldier in France, Salonica and Palestine in the Royal Field Artillery published 1933. Additional title Recording some of the exploits of the 2/22nd County of London Howitzer Battery RFA on active service.
Service on the Western Front, at Salonika and in Palestine.
  • "Palestine" page 221 Clouds That Flee by Colonel Montague Cooke 1935. The author in Palestine from August 1917 as a Battery Commander. He was a career soldier born 1877.

Regimental histories and accounts

Indian Army
For further IA regimental histories, available on fold3 (Ancestry owned pay website), see 38th Central India Horse; 9th Bhopal Infantry; 20th (Cambridge's Own) Infantry, Brownlow's Punjabis; 67th Punjabis; 5th Gurkha Rifles.
British Army Cavalry
British Army Infantry
  • A History of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) in the Great War 1914-1918 [in three Volumes] Edited by Major General A G Wauchope 1926. Vol. 1 includes 2nd Battalion in Mesopotamia and Palestine. Vol. 3 includes 14th Battalion in Palestine.
Volume One including Palestine page 271. Digital Archive@McMaster University Library. Vol. One
Volume Three, page 315 The Fourteenth Battalion in Palestine.
Fife and Forfar Yeomanry and 14th (F.& F. Yeo) Battn. R.H. 1914-1919 [R. H. = Royal Highlanders] by Major D D Ogilvie 1921
Temporary Crusaders by Cecil Sommers [Norman Cecil Sommers Down] 1919. Transcribed version from Based on diary entries November 24th, 1917 to June 17th. 1918. A book in the On Active Service Series. Also see Western Front - Infantry for another book by this author. Elsewhere it is stated he was Captain, 14th Black Watch (74th Dismounted Yeomanry Division).
The 74th (Yeomanry) Division in Syria and France by Major C. H. Dudley Ward 1922 Also available British Library
The Wanderings of a Temporary Warrior : a territorial officer's narrative of service (and sport) in three continents by Captain Alban F L Bacon (late Hampshire Regiment) [2/4 Battalion] 1922. India, Egypt/Palestine, Western Front.
The seven lives of Colonel Patterson : how an Irish lion hunter led the Jewish Legion to victory by Denis Brian 2008. Includes chapters on Palestine and Sinai. Books to Borrow/Lending Library.
The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 by Lieut.-Colonel C C R Murphy 1928
A Subaltern in Macedonia and Judaea, 1916-17 by Rev. R Skilbeck Smith 1930 1st Battalion Leinster Regiment.
The Connaught Rangers Volume 3, 5th and 6th Service Battalions 1914-1919 by Lieut.-Colonel H F N Jourdain and Edward Fraser 1928 The Battalions served at Gallipoli, Salonika, Palestine and France.
Australian Army
Nile to Aleppo, with the Light-Horse in the Middle-East by Hector Dinning, Captain, Australian Army. 1920
The Desert Column. Leaves from the Diary of an Australian Trooper in Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine by Ion L Idriess 1932. A transcribed version. Idriess was a member of the 5th Light Horse.
New Zealand Army
With the Anzacs in Cairo by Guy Thornton. Librivox audio.
South African accounts
Turkish Army
Over a third of this book is devoted to the author's experiences in Palestine.

In the Air

  • War in the Air: being the story of the part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force, Volumes II-VI by H A Jones. Volume V 1935, Volume VI 1937. Part of the series History of the Great War based on official documents. Include Egypt and Palestine.
  • The Australian Flying Corps in the Western and Eastern Theatres of War, 1914-1918 by F M Cutlack 1933 (first published 1923). The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918: Volume VIII
  • "Airmen in the Deserts of Egypt. Adventures of the Royal Flying Corps in Sinai" told by F W Martindale. Page 304 True Stories of the Great War. Tales of Adventure-Heroic Deeds-Exploits…Volume V. 1917 Originally appeared in Wide World Magazine.
  • In Egypt, as a Royal Flying Corps pilot page 303, The Way of a Transgressor by Negley Farson 1936 Lending Library. 2nd file An American, he had previously spent most of the war period in Russia as a businessman, and was in Petrograd [Saint Petersburg] when the Bolshevik Revolution broke out. Negley Farson Wikipedia. He went on to become one of the most renowned foreign correspondents of his day.
  • History of No.30 Squadron RAF. Egypt and Mesopotamia 1914 to 1919 [catalogued] by Major J.Everidge, R.A.F. is available as a reprint[13] of an original Air Ministry Historical Branch typed document, probably first published as a reprint c 2004, which in turn is available as an online book on the Ancestry owned pay website located in Military Books-located by the Search/Egypt.
  • See Intelligence, above for an account of the work of the East Indies and Egypt Seaplane Squadron.
Prisoners of War
  • Prisoners of the red desert, being a full and true history of the men of the "Tara" by Captain Rupert Stanley Gwatkin-Williams RN 1919 HMS Tara was sunk by a German submarine near Sollum, Egypt in 1915. The surviving crew were handed over to the Senussi, allies of the Turks and were held prisoners at Bir Hakkim (Bir el Hakim) in Libya until rescued in 1916 in dramatic circumstances by British Armoured Cars under the command of the Duke of Westminster.
"The Tale of the Tara" page 253 True Stories of the Great War, Volume II. Editor in Chief Francis Trevelyan Miller 1917.
  • Eastern Nights-and Flights; a Record of Oriental Adventure by Alan Bott 1920 The author was a scout pilot in Palestine, who became, after his plane crashed in 1918, a prisoner of the Turks, eventually in Afion-Kara-Hissar in Turkey. Alan Bott Wikipedia.
  • Turkish Days and Ways by James Brown MD 1940. The author was a Scot who had lived in Australia most of his life who qualified as a doctor in Edinburgh during WW1 and became a Lieutenant RAMC. He was in a Field Ambulance, serving with a Brigade of Yeomanry at the time of capture at Katia near Romani, twenty three miles from the Suez Canal, c April 1916. He was a POW at Afyon Karahisar. Catalogue details, digital file version.
  • The Escaping Club: "Part II" [page 241] by A. J. Evans 1922 Hathi Trust Digital Library. The author, a POW had escaped from Germany in June 1917. In March 1918, while on a bombing raid in Palestine his plane came down. He was captured by Arabs, along with two others, and subsequently became prisoners of the Turks. Also available version, mirror from Digital Library of India.
  • In Brigands' Hands and Turkish Prisons, 1914-1918 by A Forder 1920 The author was an American missionary who was taken prisoner in Jerusalem in November 1914 and jailed by the military He was a prisoner in Damascus for four years until the British occupation.
  • Turkish prisoners in Egypt: a report by the delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross extracted and translated from the official reports of the Red Cross Society 1917

General including postwar

Schlachten des Weltkrieges Band 4. Jildirim by Dr Steuber 1925. German language. The Digital State Library of Upper Austria. With photographs throughout, and three maps at the back of the book.


  1. Railway Gazette – Special Great War Transportation Number Naval & Military Press.
  2. PassTHE knowledge by Akhi Soufyan
  3. Greenwoodman. Official Inquiry into Conduct of WW1 Great War Forum 19 June 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  4. Report of the Committee on the Lessons of the Great War Naval & Military Press reprint edition.
  5. ‪Palestine: The Ottoman Campaigns of 1914–1918‬ by Edward J. Erickson 2016. Sample pages only. Google Books.
  6. Strategy and Tactics of the Egypt and Palestine Campaign by Kearsey. Naval & Military Press.
  7. michaeldr. Royal Engineers soldier abandoned in Gallipoli Great War Forum 29 June 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  8. Page 23 Behind the Lawrence Legend: The Forgotten Few Who Shaped the Arab Revolt by Philip Walker 2018 Google Books.
  9. "We Will Remember Them All" William Regan (68) Field Artillery Brigade. November 05, 2018.
  10. The Honourable Artillery Company in the Great War 1914-1919 Naval & Military Press reprint.
  11. Turner Donovan December 2019, Item 110.
  12. Fifty-Second (Lowland) Division 1914-1918 Naval & Military Press reprint.
  13. History of No.30 Squadron RAF. Egypt and Mesopotamia 1914 to 1919 Naval & Military Press.