11 April 1916 – Operations in Egypt

Today a detachment from 14 Squadron assisted a raid by mounted troops on Jifjafa on the Suez front in Egypt.

in the central defence section was made to destroy a small Turkish force which had, for some time, been boring for wells. A Royal Flying Corps detachment with wireless-receiving equipment accompanied the column, and special air reconnaissances kept the officer in command informed of the situation ahead of him. The co-operation was successful, Jifjafa was surprised, the wells and boring plant were destroyed, and many prisoners, including an Austrian engineer, were captured.

the two forces in Egypt under his command and that Sir John Maxwell would return to England. New aerodromes, additional to Ismailia, were established on the canal front at Suez and Qantara. In February 191 6 Lieutenant-Colonel W. G. H. Salmond moved the Fifth Wing head-quarters to Ismailia, where Sir Archibald Murray also had his head-quarters. In the same month the Suez aerodrome was occupied by a Flight (four aeroplanes) of No. 17 Squadron, and the Qantara aerodrome by a Flight of No. 14 Squadron. The Qantara Flight was made partly mobile with an establishment of eighty camels for petrol and oil transport, and with sand carts for dragging tents and spare engines. It is of interest that soon after his arrival at Ismailia, Lieutenant-Colonel Salmond began a course of lectures, on two days each week, for military officers, to whom he explained the organization of the Royal Flying Corps and its methods of co-operation with other arms. The talks helped to create a spirit of understanding and sympathy from the beginning, and it may be said that the liaison between the Royal Flying Corps and other arms in Egypt and Palestine was always close, cordial, and informed.
The evacuation of Gallipoli and the new importance of Egypt led also to a reorganization of commands in the Mediterranean. Lieutenant-General Sir Archibald J. Murray, who had been Chief of the Imperial General Staff from September to December 191 5, was appointed to the command of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force with instructions to move his head-quarters from Mudros to Egypt to take control of the large forces assembling for the defence of the Suez Canal, leaving Sir John Maxwell in general command in Egypt with specific responsibility for the defence of the Western Frontier. This double control had disadvantages and, on the loth of March 19 16, Sir Archibald Murray was informed that the Government had decided to amalgamate 2504-5


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