Thursday 17 April 2008 by Robyn Van Dyk. No comments
News, Battlefield Tours, Gallipoli

It turns out that Rod Stewart, one of our fellow travellers on the tour, is also a fellow blogger. Rod's grandfather Edward John Howells served at Gallipoli where he was evacuated injured. He later re-entered the war and served in the Palestine Campaign where he was awarded the Military Cross for "great determination, skill and coolness under fire." Rod will be blogging about his experiences on the tour.

B02735 A view of the pontoon bridge constructed by Australian Engineers in the face of opposition by the enemy, who were strongly entrenched.

Before joining the battlefield tour Rod made a trip to Jordan and visited the site where his Grandfather, on the night of 21 March 1918, earned his Military Cross. The Jordan in 1918 was in high flood, halting the British forces who were unable to cross. Under heavy Turkish fire, Edward Howells with his men constructed the first bridge, a pontoon bridge, across the river. The bridge allowed the British forces to cross the river and attack the Turkish forces from the rear. One of the pontoons from this bridge is held in the Memorial's collections.

The story is written in some detail in the Official History: H S Gullett, The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, 1914-1918.