Exploring around Tel Aviv I ran across a monument to the crossing of the Yarkon River (then called Nahr Auja) by the "Australian" 52nd Division on 22 December 1917. It is a simple stone column about 12 feet high. The attached photographs show:

--The placement of the monument on the north bank of the mouth of the Yarkon River, which appears in the background.


--The original inscription on the column. It is damaged and badly restored. The best I can make of the Hebrew is: "On the evening of 7 Tevet / of the year 5678 [corresponding to 22 December 1918] / crossed the 15[illegible] Brigade / of the [illegible] Division / this ford / [indecipherable, but possibly containing the word 'column']." Archibald Wavell's history of the campaign gives the unit as the 156th Brigade of the 52nd (Lowland) Division, preceded by a battalion from the 157th."


--A modern inscription at the base, well preserved but hard to read because it is filled with dirt. The English reads as follows, with the equivalent in Hebrew: "Commemoration of the 52nd Division of the Australian soldiers in their fight against the Turks in Palestine during the First World War. Restored by the Tel Aviv Municipality, 1990." The 52nd was clearly a British formation; perhaps the Tel Aviv authorities assumed the troops were Australian because so many units from that country served under Allenby.

To find the monument, take Mordecai Namir Road in Ramat Aviv to Agnon Street; go west on Agnon for about 0.5 km; turn right at the fire station and follow the road past the power plant (on your right) to a dirt parking lot facing the Mediterranean. The monument will be to your right.

submitted: July 9, 2004 by Gene Fax

Related: WWW-VL: Military History: World War One History
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