Digger took Jerusalem tour

Malcolm Quekett

It must have been quite a moment for a young farmer from Nungarin.

It was December 1917 and Thomas George Adams, of the 10th Light Horse Regiment, was among the World War I Diggers who had helped capture Jerusalem.

As recorded in the book Gallipoli to Tripoli: History of the 10th Light Horse Regiment, by historians Neville Browning and Ian Gill, the WA soldier took the opportunity to look around the historic town.

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"Jerusalem is a fairly large place and has some very fine buildings in it," Adams wrote.

"We had an opportunity of having a good look around it and had a look at all the old churches and many other sacred places.

"It was nice after being 12 months in the desert to find someone that could speak our own language."

Adams had enlisted in March 1916 and sailed out of Fremantle in August as a reinforcement for the 10th Light Horse.

The regiment had already fought at Gallipoli and then gone into action in the Middle East.

They had pushed the Turks across the deserts of Sinai, advanced into Palestine and helped capture Jerusalem.

They fought on in the Jordan Valley and then were the first formed regiment to enter Damascus.

Browning and Gill also recorded how, during a "headlong charge" across the Jordan River while under fire from the Turks, Adams rescued trooper Murray Kelly, who had fallen from his horse.

"The squadron successfully crossed the river under fire and charged over a hill on the eastern bank," the book says.

One of Adams' daughters, Elva Hasluck, of Balga, said that on another occasion her father had a narrow escape when a bullet slammed into a pocketbook and pay book he was carrying.

"He was not well and had a huge bruise on his chest for a long time," Ms Hasluck said.

She said that after the war he retuned to WA and married her mother Florence Walker.

The couple had 11 children and lived for many years at the Mangowine homestead at Nungarin, north-east of Northam. Ms Hasluck said she was very proud of her father's service.

She said he would sometimes tell his children anecdotes about the war, had joined the Returned and Services League and marched on Anzac Day.

"We would go along and cheer," Ms Hasluck said.

Thomas George Adams died in 1963.