This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Thirsty Work Crossing the Sinai - Trooper J E Quinlan of Shuter Street


Members of 3 Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron, Palestine, 1917.  AWM P039631.087

James Quinlan was a 19 year old labourer of 29 Shuter St, Moonee Ponds when he enlisted in January 1916.  By June James had arrived in Egypt and was assigned to the 3 Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron.  He spent the rest of the war in the Middle East with the Mounted Division under Major-General Harry Chauvel.

Rod Martin carefully traces the course of James Quinlan's war, the task of the mounted division being to drive the Turks out of Sinai then into Palestine, the ultimate goal being Turkish headquarters in Damascus, Syria.

The Middle Eastern campaign was a hard one, with one of the worst hardships being the shortage of water.  One 3 Light Horse Brigade man later commented :

I can honestly say that, except on special occasions, I was thirsty for the whole nine months we were crossing the Sinai.  

If you had a relative in the Middle Eastern campaign, Rod Martin gives an excellent insight into that campaign with the experiences of James Quinlan and the 3 Light Horse Brigade.

Trooper James E Quinlan

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