Published By John Davies
Battle of Tell’Asur. 25 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 8-12 March 1918.
In March 1918 operations were planned to the west of the Jordan Valley to deprive Turkish forces of the roads and to isolate the lower part of the Valley. The objective was to secure a line from Wadi Auja on the west of the valley and running north west to Sinjil and Arura. The rugged terrain meant troop manoeuvring was difficult and the advance would be made either side of the Jerusalem-Nablus Road. Also, it was not known exactly where the enemy was positioned. The attack went ahead early on the morning of 8 March 1918 and proceeded according to plan. By mid morning the 25 Bn RWF had reached the edge of the steep sided Wadi Nimur – only 2 paths could be found leading down, both under MG fire, and further progress was impossible. They dug in for the night.
By 8.30pm on 9 March they had moved forward and under cover of darkness had descended the paths in single file to reach the base of the Wadi Nimur. Except for the gradient, and the occasional random MG fire, the descent had not been too bad but the ascent up to the Lisaneh Ridge on the other side was more difficult. It took over 6 hours, in darkness, to climb the steep slope, moving from ledge to ledge, impassable except in 1 or 2 spots and with obstacles that had to be overcome by mounting on each other’s shoulders. There were also bouts of MG and rifle fire to contend with. They reached the top at 3.00am and after a short hand to hand fight quickly overcame the enemy. They held the position fighting off counter-attacks. They remained in this position until 11 March when a further advance was made. A new line was established and all objectives had been achieved.
Note. During the advance and the ascent and descent of Wadi Nimir, the 10 Bn KSLI were on the left of 25 Bn RWF, It was during the action at Tell’Asur that Sergeant Harold Whitefield, 10 Bn KSLI earned his VC – Oswestry’s VC – KSLI Regimental Museum web site
GOOGLE MAPS Centres on Sinjil
B&O Middle East. Battle of Tell’Asur. 25 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 8-12 March 1918.