We are delighted to have heard from Major John Hutchison (38th Central India Horse, Indian Army) whose troops were sent to France in 1914 and have remained on active service until 2nd February this year, when they were finally able to return to their homes.
The Turks having signed an armistice on 31st October 1918, they are no longer the enemy. However, throughout the spring of 1920 Arab tribesmen from Syria were making raids into Palestine and the Central India Horse, based at Semakh, took the brunt of this, resisting many fierce attacks by large numbers of them.
John was involved in one such action on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee in which his excellent handling of the troops has resulted in him being awarded the D.S.O., the recently published citation reading:
“On the 24thApril 1920, when Semakh was heavily attacked by Arab tribesman and Bedouins, Major Hutchison displayed great ability in the organisation of the few troops at his disposal for the defence of an extended area.
The situation was for some time critical, and the small garrison in danger of being overcome. It was due to this officer’s able handling of the situation that the attack was definitely repulsed before reinforcements could reach him.”
John has also furnished us with a long article describing the final defeat of the Turkish armies in Palestine in September 1918. He took part in the Battle of Megiddo which was a significant victory for General Allenby, leading to the capture of Damascus.
This article will follow shortly.
There has been continuing conflict in Palestine, the British having promised in 1916 to support Arab independence if they rose in revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Tensions in the area were increased by the Balfour Declaration of 1917, by which we also agreed to support the idea of a Jewish state being established.