|2 November 1917|
On this day, Colonel Newcombe and a small detachment of camel-mounted raiders were captured during a daring operation behind enemy lines just two days after a successful cavalry charge by 800 men of the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade had overrun the unwired Turkish trenches of Beersheba in what was the opening move of the 3rd Battle of Gaza.
Newcombe's plan was simple: to take seventy heavily armed camel-mounted men through the desert in a wide sweeping arc behind enemy lines and to take and hold the Beersheba to Hebron road, cutting communication lines and holding up the retreating army until relieved. If possible, it was also hoped that an accompanying Arab Sheikh would be able to convince friendly Arabs in the hills to join the band of desert warriors. As in all operations, flexibility would be the key. This audacious plan, bearing many of the hallmarks that would later be adopted by the Long Range Desert Group and the SAS during the Second World War, was