"2nd Lt. Charles Winton, Indian army reserve of officers, attd to 1st Btln Queen Victorias Own (corps of Guides) (in Egypt) For conspicuous gallantry and good leadership north of Arsuf on 13th July, 1918. He was in command of a daylight raid on two enemy strongpoints, and it was mainly due to his coolness and leadership that the whole affair was carried out so successfully. He personally killed two enemy with the bayonet"
"On the 13th July a most successful daylight raid was carried out by Lt. Winton and a party of Guhrka volunteers, including Havildars Dhan Jit and Puran Bahadur, Naik Karma Dhoj and lance-NAik Hasta Ram. The objectives were 2 strong points in front of the right of the battalion line and 150-200 yards from it. The raid, which was carefully planned and rehearsed, took place at 1:00pm, the time of day when the Turks were usually most inactive. The raiders left our trenches and creeping down a Wadi in No mans land for about 100 yards then advanced across the open to their first objective. As the Gurkhas neared the enemys line they drew their kukris and leaping down upon the astonished Turks speedily cleared the trench, 7 Turks being killed there, while 5 prisoners and a MG were captured. The party then advanced and cleared the other strong point, a seperate redoubt, 15 Turks in all being killed and 15 prisoners (5 wounded) being taken. The raiders then returned across no mans land, the operation having worked exactly to plan and having taken only 12 minutes from start to finish.
This raid was thus refered to in an English newspaper...
Decapitated with a Kukri. A subaltern in charge of a party had an extraordinary experience. He had stuck his bayonet into a Turk, but was unable to disengage owing to the narrowness of the Trench. Another Turk beyond began jabbing the butt end of his rifle into the ribs of the officer, and seemed likely to inflict an Injury, when the officer saw his assailants head leap from his shoulders, a Ghurka having dextrously decapitated him with his Kukri, which is an invaluable weapon at such close quarters.
This is the actual of Lt Winton during the raid and the Gurkha was Sepoy Mardani of the Guides.
John Keegan has an interesting thought on Officers citations and violence
".... This impression of a distancing of the officer from the infliction of death is reinforced by reading the citations which are written to explain and endorse the award of high decorations for bravery: those written for soldiers lay stress on thier success at killing - "lance-corporal .... courageously worked his way round the flank of the machine-gun which was holding up the advance and then charged it, firing his carbine from the hip, so accounting for six of the enemy" (Citation writers, flinching from "Kill", deal largely in "account for", "Dispatch", "dispose of"); on the other hand, those written for officers minimize their direct responsibility for killing and emphasize their powers of inspiration and organisation when all about are loosing theirs (in the metaphorical sense; nothing so nasty as decapitation ever creeps into a citation) -"Captain....., taking command at a difficult moment of the battle, quickly rallied his men and, without regard for his own safety, led them back over the open to the position they has earlier been forced to leave..."
Michael D. Robson at The Great War Forum was kind enough to provide the following information....
The map is from the British OH. Arsuf is on the Mediterranean
coast about 17 kms north of Jaffa (about half way up in the part
reproduced here). Tel el Mukhmar is just over half way on the road
running north-east from Jaffa to Kefr Saba.
This (when the raid took place:Chris) is the period which Wavell in his biography of Allenby describes
as 'Reorganization and Planning': reorganization as troops left the EEF
for France and were replaced by those from other theatres, and planning
for the final act in the autumn – Megiddo.
From "'A Brief Record
of the Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force' Compiled from
Official Sources, 2nd edition, HMSO, London, 1919" as reprinted by the
N & M Press
The 1st Guides Infantry were part of the 21st
Infantry Brigade [together with 2nd Batt. Black Watch, 20th Punjabis
and the 1/8th Gurkha Rifles] under Lt-Col (temp. Brig-Gen) A. G.
Kemball. 21st Brigade was part of the 7th Indian Division [together
with 19th Infantry Brigade and 28th Infantry Brigade (F.F.)] under
Maj-Gen Sir V. B. Fane K.C.I.E., C.B. The 7th (Indian) Division
served in France (1914-1915), in Mesopotamia (1916-1917), landed in
Egypt in January 1918, joined XXIst Corps and relieved 54th Division in
the Coastal Sector of the front line (from near Tel el Mukhmar to
Arsuf) in March, taking over the Divisional Artillery of the 52nd
Division in exchange for its own which went to France with the 52nd
May 28-29. - Advanced the line one and
a half miles on a seven mile front. 2nd Leicesters and 53rd Sikhs (28th
Brigade) were prominent in this fighting and took over 100 prisoners.
8-10. - 21st brigade took the 'Sisters' after heavy fighting in which
2nd Black Watch and 1st Guides Infantry bore the brunt. As the result
of this engagement 250 prisoners were taken and the enemy lost a
valuable observation post.
July 13. - A post in the enemy's
front line system was raided in daylight by Gurkhas of the 1st Guides
who captured fifteen prisoners and three machine
There is a further brief mention of this raid in General Sir E. H.
H. Allenby's Report of September 18th, 1918, in which he gives details
of operations from December 11th, 1917. In his item 15 he describes
the despatch of troops to France, and in item 16 he mentions that
"During these months of reorganization various minor operations and a
number of raids have been carried out." Included by Allenby in these
operations and raids is, "The India troops have carried out a number
of minor raids with success. On July 13 a party of the Guides surprised
the enemy in his trenches in the middle of the day, bringing back
fifteen prisoners and a machine gun."
The citation says that the raid took place 'north of Arsuf';
unfortunately I cannot show you that spot, however I do have the coast,
including part of Arsuf, just to the south of where the raid took place The
photograph below is from Benjamin Z. Kedar's book 'The Changing Land
between the Jordan and the Sea.' Kedar admits that the photograph is of
'mediocre quality' however it might be of use here. It was taken at
12.00 hrs on 29th December 1917 from a height of 3,000 metres and is
ref No. M.1272 at the Bayerisches Haupstaatsarchiv, Munich, Abt. IV:
The prominent white building is the shrine built around the tomb of
'Ali ibn 'Alim who died in 1086. The dark triangle to the right of the
shrine is the village of El-Haram. As you will see from the map, Arsuf
is just above the village and what you are looking at are the remains
of medieval ramparts etc covered by earth and vegetation.
Arsuf began in the 6th-5th century BCE as a Canaanite settlement.
During the Hellenistic period it was known as Apollonia [It was pillars
(borrowed) from the ruins of Apollonia which the 52nd (Lowland)
Division set up to mark their three crossing points on the Auja - see http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...896&hl=auja]
After the Arab invasion in the 7th century it reverted to being Arsuf,
until the Crusaders arrived and established themselves there, calling
it Arsur. In 1265 the Crusaders were defeated and their town razed to
the ground. For further details see http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/MFA/History/E...20Fortress%20on