Fighting Faughs build another road, Palestine.

Sat, 12/29/1917
Irish Fusiliers road building in Palestine, 1917.©

On 27 and 28 December 1917, the 2nd and the 5th/6th Battalion The Royal Irish Fusiliers continued as part of 31 Brigade (10th Irish Division) in General Allenby's advance against the Turks.

They advanced to attack via David and Goliath's battleground, the Wadi es Sunt, onto and along the Kereina Ridge*, the highest point of which was known as the Hog's Back. This was cleared of enemy by 1300 hours. Progress was very slow, not because of the enemy but because of the precipitous nature of the ground. For this reason many of the Turks, fighting brief rearguard actions, succeeded in escaping.

On 29 December 1917, owing to the convergence of two divisions, the two Faugh battalions were no longer required. They were next given the task of building 'Irish Road', which linked the Jerusalem - Nablus road to the coastal plain as General Allenby's intention was to drive east into the Jordan valley and then north to the port of Haifa on the Mediterranean Coast.

It was on the Kereina Ridge that Private James Duffy of the 6th Inniskillings had won a VC on 27 December 1917.