Thursday 31 July 2014 by Gabrielle Considine. 3 comments
Collection, Collection Highlights, Personal Stories, oral history, Sound, Film, Photographs, First World War, Imperial Camel Corps

In this WW1 themed sound reel four Australian men voice their experiences of the Imperial Camel Corps.

After Australian troops withdrew from Gallipoli in December 1915, the Ottoman Empire persuaded the pro-Turkish Senussi tribesmen to attack British-occupied Egypt. In January 1916, a Desert Mounted Corps was formed to deal with the revolt. The Imperial Camel Corps formed four battalions: the 1st Battalion was entirely Australian, the 2nd Battalion was British, and the 3rd and 4th Battalions were a mix of Australians and New Zealanders. There was also a machine gun unit, and a battery of light artillery recruited from Hong Kong and Singapore.

From 1917 to 1918 the Camel Corps advanced north through Palestine and were a part of the attack on Beersheba, and the battles of Magdhaba, Romani, Gaza and Rafa. The Camel Corps were notorious as rough men of less than desirable character, as a young private George Jones discovered when he moved from the Camel Corps to the Flying Corps; his new colleagues were far less tolerant of colourful language than he. Regardless of this the men of the Camel Corps proved themselves to be inventive and effective in battle. The heavy losses suffered by the Camel Corps at the second battle of Gaza are recalled by William Logan, while Edward Duncan describes the difficulties of the 5th Camel Brigade Field Ambulance, and the agony suffered by the wounded that were transported by camel.

The Camel Corps was also an opportunity for Indigenous Australians to participate in mounted warfare, as many were turned away from the Light Horse. The Camel Corps was disbanded in June 1918, and the Australians were used to form the 14th and 15th Light Horse Regiments.







The collection is just great! Took me quite a while to read all but truly worth it. Thanks for sharing!

Lynn Judd

My ex husbands Grandfather was In the 3rd Camel Corp, so these articles were so exciting to see. His name was Malcolm Hilliard McDougall MC. I was so pleased to see the collection, and learn the history Thankyou so much for preserving the collection for future generations

Mary Searle

I have recently come across the Camel Corps in some research. And now photos to tell the stories. Thank you.