|A memorial erected by the Jews of Rishon LeZion|
in memory of the New Zealand soldiers who died
in the battle of Ayun Kara on November 14, 1917
(Victoria University of Wellington Library)
The 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement that carved up the Middle East after the war is being ripped to shreds in the regional fighting today.
Commemorating the centenary of World War I, we present the picture history of the Palestine battles, the soldiers from Turkey, Austria and German on one side and the British army with its contingents from Australia, New Zealand, and India. We will also post pictures showing the Jewish soldiers and volunteers from Great Britain, Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Palestine itself. The Jewish soldiers also provided incredible pictures of the Jewish communities they found in Palestine.
|A school house in Rishon LeZion with Jewish students and teachers. The picture was taken by |
Trooper Charles Thomas Broomfield of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles after the
November 14, 1917 battle of Ayun Kara and the liberation of Rishon LeZion.
Rishon was founded on July 31, 1882 by Russian Jews who purchased 835 acres
from the Arab village of Ayun Kara. Find more Broomfield pictures here.
The people and the settlement [Rishon] was to have a strong influence on the New Zealanders. The Jewish village was the first taste of something closer to the environment of home. Since crossing the arid Sinai Desert and its confrontation with a hostile Turkish enemy and, more often than not, a treacherous contact with Arab Bedu tribesmen - The Auckland Mounted Rifles agreed it was a joy to meet a people who had just been freed from Turkish tyranny. It was a land worked into agriculture and planted with fruit trees and vineyards.
|"Mounted rifle troops and horses stopped to the side of a road through the mountains of Palestine." The photo|
appears to be at the Sha'ar Haggai/Bab el Wad junction between Jaffa and Jerusalem.
(National Library of New Zealand)
|"Mounted New Zealand World War I troops in Palestine, moving towards the Jordan River. Photographs taken |
during World War I of the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces in Jerusalem, and the Auckland Mounted
Rifles in Egypt, Sinai and Palestine. Ref: 1/2-066833-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand"