Photos Home      Egypt 1916

 

SINAI, 1916-17

      by Captain John Gordon McCallum, I.C.C.

W.S. McCallum 2006

 

 

"15th Company Imperial Camel Corps on trek, December 1916."

 

 

"A camel train in the desert escorted by New Zealand Mounted Rifles.

This is how all our supplies including water come.

Note the shadow portrait of the photographer and Rod in the foreground."

 

"Officers of 14th Company, Imperial Camel Corps (Australian)."

 

    

                           "Camels feeding."                                                                 "With Lieutenant Rae (Scottish Horse Camel Company)."

 

"Murchison, McCallum (with mosquito net), Gorton and Major Bruce sitting.

One of the men took this unawares."

"A camp in the desert."

 

"Turk prisoners captured on a raid.

They were the first the Tommies has seen and they were very interested in them."

 

"A corner of our present camp (Bir el Maler).

It is in a saucer shaped hollow sheltered by sand hills on every side.

We have dug wells under the Palm trees but the water is too salt for men and almost too salt for horses."

 

"Blackett ("I am just the boy")."

 

"Blackett and I en famille at Abu Sultan - The girl was very hard to get into the photo as she was shy."

 

"Natural history for all. Blackett and I improve our minds by    

studying a chameleon and Freeth rushes off for the camera."

 

 "A snap of one of the boys I took on trek."

 

"Bedouins at Salhia."

 

 "A Bedouin that we brought in from Qatia.

           They are mostly Turkish spies and we

         are collecting them and clearing the desert."

 

Grave at El Arish Military Cemetary of Captain J.G. McCallum, commanding officer of the 15th Company,

1st Battalion, Imperial Camel Corps, who died of wounds on 11 January 1917

which were received at the battle of Rafa, Palestine, on 9 January 1917:

"The 15th N.Z. Camel Company was transferred from the 4th NZ Battalion to the 1st Battalion in January 1917 and took part in this action as a unit of that body. The men dismounted under shell fire some three and a half miles from the enemy position, and the 15th Company advanced as the first wave of the Battalion's attack. The whole of the Camel Brigade present had been thrown into the attack, and the troops, during the day, attempted to work their way forward by crawling or by making short rushes over the bare level ground. By 2 p.m. the advance was held up by severe rifle and machine-gun fire, and the position was being enfiladed from concealed positions on the right. During this advance, the 15th Company lost its popular O.C. ["Officer Commanding"], Captain J.G. McCallum, who had been in command of the Company since its formation."

Source: With the Cameliers in Palestine, by John Robertson (4th NZ Battalion, I.C.C.), p.75.

"We passed questions along the line to find out how other companies were faring. We were told that Captain McCallum of No. 15 (New Zealand) Company had been wounded some hours earlier while leading his men forward. There were many willing hands prepared to risk the whining bullets to get him back to the rear where the Red Cross men could attend to him. Tenderly he was placed on a stretcher; but the Angel of Death hovered over it. He lingered for two days. There were tear-dimmed eyes in No. 15 Company when the New Zealanders heard he was dead."

Source: The Fighting Cameliers, by Frank Reid (1st Australian Battalion, I.C.C.), p.69.

 

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