Amman is now the capital city of Jordan and, in 1918, was the objective of British Empire forces fighting the Ottoman Empire in Palestine. It lay across the Hejaz Railway which featured in the adventures of a certain Captain Lawrence. It was on the route to the local administrative centre of Damascus and was dominated by Hill 3039.
The assault on Hill 3039 began on the morning of March 27. Briefly, the units which took it, including the CMR and Camel Corps, were without artillery support. This did not prevent them from taking the hill but meant that enemy artillery had no opposition when they shelled the hill in preparation for the counter-attack. The full story of Hill 3039 can be found here.
There are five soldiers on my 1918 list who died on Hill 3039.
16375 Trooper Thomas Bowman, 29/8/1893-30/3/1918.
17388 Trooper John William Hugh Craig, 29/9/1893-30/3/1918.
"Advice has been received by Mr Wm. Craig (Awamangu) from the Minister for Defence (Hon. Jas. Allen) that his elder son, Trooper John Wm. Hugh Craig, was killed in action on March 30 in the Palestine campaign. Trooper Craig was born at Dunedin and educated at Sutton and Awamangu. After leaving school he worked on his father's farm at Awamangu. He enlisted and left with the 18th reinforcement draft, and after his arrival in Egypt was transferred from the New Zealand Mounted Division into the Imperial Camel Corps. At the time of his death he was 24 years of age. Widespread regret will he felt in Awamangu and Greenfield districts, where the deceased soldier was very well known and exceedingly popular." -Bruce Herald, 18/4/1918.
12597 Lance-corporal Hugh William Graham, 8/11/1895-30/3/1918.
Lance-corporal Hugh W. Graham, reported to have made the supreme sacrifice on March 30, was 22 years of age and a son of Mrs J. Graham, of Mataura Island. He was a native of Brighton, Otago, and received his education at Seaward Downs and the Southland Boys’ High School. Lance-corporal Graham was working on his mother’s farm at the Island up till his enlistment in the mounted section of the Eleventh Reinforcement. He was always a keen territorial; and was leader of the Boys’ Bible class and superintendent of the Sunday school at the Island. A brother, Trooper Jim Graham, of the Thirtieth Reinforcement, is also in Palestine, where he met Hugh a month before the latter’s death.
-Southland Times, 10/4/1918
46770 Trooper Walter McNeill, 23/8/1888-30/3/1918.
Walter grew up in Milburn, south of Dunedin, the son of Irish immigrants. He was the Station Manager at Cattle Flat, on the Mataura River, when he enlisted. He left New Zealand in June, 1917. He was posted to the Canterbury Mounted Rifles in September, 1917.
He was 30 years old when he died.
|Fairfax Cemetery, Milton|
12663 Trooper James Charles Willocks, 24/3/1892-30/3/1918.
Private James Charles Willocks (a son of Mrs M. Willocks, Hillend district) is reported as wounded and missing on March 30th, in the Mesopotamia campaign. He was engaged in Messrs Dalgety and Co.'s office at Balclutha prior to enlistment. -Bruce Herald, 11/4/1918
Trooper James Charles Willocks (reported wounded and missing) is the younger son of Mrs and the late Mr James Willocks, of Stony Creek. Trooper Willocks was born at Stony Creek, and received his education at the Balcutha District High School. After leaving school he was engaged for a time at farming operations, but later joined the staff of Dalgety and Company Limited, at Balclutha. He was in the employ of this firm prior to his enlistment with the 12th Reinforcements. In December, 1916, while serving with the Canterbury Mounted in Egypt, he was wounded, but after three months in hospital rejoined his unit. From that time he had been with the British, forces operating in Palestine. -Evening Star, 13/4/1918.