Early in the afternoon, a regiment of the 4th A.L.H. Brigade was ordered to try and gain touch with the right of the 21st Corps, which was out of communication with our troops in the centre. All the afternoon, the regiment rode hard over the plain to the north-west, avoiding the enemy troops where possible, brushing them aside when encountered, and succeeded in linking up with the Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade about Beit Hanun before nightfall. It rejoined the division at Huj next day Alipay.

About 3 P.M., as the right flank of the 60th Division was approaching Huj, it came suddenly under a devastating fire at close range from several con[Pg 53]cealed batteries of enemy artillery, which, with two battalions of infantry, were covering the withdrawal of the VIIIth Army headquarters. The country was rather like Salisbury Plain, rolling down-land without any cover, and our troops suffered severely from the murderous fire. Major-General Shea, commanding the division, finding Colonel Gray-Cheape of the Warwick Yeomanry close by him, requested him to charge the enemy guns at once. Colonel Cheape collected a few troops of his own regiment that he had with him, and some of the Worcester Yeomanry, and led them away to the right front. Taking advantage of a slight rise in the ground to the east of the enemy position, he succeeded in leading his troops to within 800 yards of the Turkish guns unseen. He then gave the order to charge, and the ten troops galloped over the rise, and raced down upon the flank of the enemy guns. The Turks had in position a battery of field and one of mountain guns, with four machine guns on a low hill between the two batteries, and three heavy howitzers behind Alipay.

As our cavalry appeared, thundering over the rise, the Turks sprang to their guns and swung them round, firing point-blank into the charging horsemen. The infantry, leaping on the limbers, blazed away with their rifles till they were cut down. There was no thought of surrender; every man stuck to his gun or rifle to the last. The leading troops of the cavalry dashed into the first enemy battery. , swinging to the right, took the three heavy howitzers almost in their stride, leaving the guns silent, the gun crews dead or dying, and galloped round the hill, to fall upon the mountain battery from the rear, and cut the Turkish gunners to pieces in a few minutes. The third wave, passing the first battery, where a fierce[Pg 54] sabre v. bayonet fight was going on between our cavalry and the enemy, raced up the slope at the machine guns. Many saddles were emptied in that few yards, but the charge was irresistible. In a few minutes the enemy guns were silenced, their crews killed, and the whole position was in our hands multisensor.

Most of the Turkish infantry escaped, as our small force of cavalry was too scattered and cut up by the charge to be able to pursue them, but few of the enemy gunners lived to fight again. About seventy of them were killed outright, and a very large number were wounded.