Published By John Davies
The Battle of Tel el Khuweilfe 3-7 November 1917.
1/5 Bn Welsh Regiment. 3 November 1917
7 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 6 November 1917.
Battle of Tel el Khuweilfe. 1/5 Bn Welsh Regiment. 3 November 1917
Battle of Tel el Khuweilfe. 7 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 6 November 1917.
Following the Battle for Gaza the British forces moved eastwards to capture Beersheba which was taken at the end of October. Attention then turned to the ultimate objective of Jerusalem. First though the allies had to capture the hills and high ground that dominated the road from Beersheba to Jerusalem. These were finally captured over the 1 – 7 November 1917 in the Battle for Tel el Khuweilfe. The 1/5 Bn Welsh Regiment in 159 Brigade and 7 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers in 158 Brigade and both in 53 (Welsh) Division.
On 3 November 1917 the 1/5 Bn Welsh Regiment was to attack from the south towards the south western spur of Tel el Khuweilfe. The battalion would be in the centre of 159 Brigade front. They advanced towards Khirbet Abu Khuff and soon came under fire from Ain Kohle suffering heavy casualties but managed to secure a position on the spur. The Brigade had over 400 casualties. By evening they had managed to secure a line to south of Wadi Kohle.
Over the 4-5 November despite determined Turkish counter attacks the British gained the upper hand and a general advance was ordered for the 6 November. The 7 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers were given the objective to capture a ridge high ground stretching 5 miles south east of Tel el Khuweilfe. The attack began early in the morning with the brigade advancing under the cover of an artillery bombardment. After close hand to hand fighting they managed to capture parts of the ridge but were driven back by strong Turkish counter attacks. The fighting continued throughout the day, at times it was confused with units becoming mixed, at one point the brigade was mistaken for Turkish troops and were bombarded by their own artillery. The brigade retired to hold the ground lower below the ridge whilst reinforcements came up early in the evening. In other sectors of the battle the offensive was more successful and, over the 7 and 8 November the Turkish Forces began a general retreat back towards Jerusalem after which the ridge could be reoccupied. The 158 Brigade suffered 620 casualties during the assault
Captain Edward W Walker, 1/7 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers. KIA 6 November 1917, Beersheba War Cemetery see his RWF report by EW Walker fisrt bat gaza page 126(160/480)
B&O Middle East. Tel el Khuweilfe. 7 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers & 1/5 Bn Welsh Regiment. 3-7 November 1917.