From Page 12, The Mail (Adelaide) Saturday 23rd November 1918.
Below the sketch is written-
OVER JORDAN- THE FORD'S USEFULNESS
Duncan & Fraser have received the following letter from Signaller Bray, 3rd A.M.G. Sqd Palestine:- "I am enclosing a little sketch of a notice that can be seen at the Waddi, Gaza, on the short cut that leads to the Jordan - Valley, near Jerico. These two roads are used only by camels and the Ford car owing to the latter's lightness. I can honestly say that the Ford car has proved its true value in this war. In every unit you will find they have the Ford. Many a weary mile. I would have humped my three years' gathering had it not been for the car, so I wish it every success as it is a car worthy of its makers
Here is an interesting article about what the ANZAC (and others) were doing in the Jordan Valley back in 1918: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_the_Jordan_Valley
I've just finished transcribing the (World War 1) War Diary for the 1st Australian Armoured Car section (later re-named to the 1st Light Car Patrol), which operated initially in Egypt and was then re-deployed to the Sinai, Syria and the Lebanon.
They were first equipped with used 1915/16 Ts and most of the mechanical breakdowns (examples below), came from these. New 1917 vehicles built in Manchester, England were issued in Dec 17 and there were far fewer repairs required.
There are a number of notes in the War Dairy about Model T breakdowns and repairs, as you would expect from the nature of the country, the tasks undertaken and the limited repair facilities.
A few of them:
One car breaks back axle
another car breaks back axle and third car developing serious ignition trouble
Third car breaks differential owing to extremely rough and heavy country. Put in new differential & decide to return best as possible, as only one reliable car left and oil, petrol, water and supplies getting low
Unit busy repairing broken cars
1 Ford car breaks crank shaft 90 miles west from Dakhla Tenida
I agree, Jack, that there were many many breakdowns. If such data existed it would be interesting to compare the Ford record and that of other makes. I would love to read your transcription, will it be publicly available at some stage?
I can email it to you.
I must say it's relatively unexciting - mainly relates to interminable patrolling in Egypt, Sinai and Syria.
There is also an oral history of the Light Car Patrol on the Australian Light Horse website. The interviewee was a fellow named Capt E.H. James, who served as the leader of the 1st Light Car Patrol, throughout the time they were overseas. I'll send you a link to that as well -= it helps to flesh out the War Diary.
I'll send you a PM to get your email address.
I read somewhere a few years ago that one British outfit in northern Africa during WW1 would only allow two makes of cars in their unit. Rolls Royce and model T Ford.
They said they just could not rely on any of the others.
If possible I would like to read it too Jack.
Manuel in Oz
I've not read that about reliability, though once the 1st Light Car Patrol received their new 1917 Model Ts in Dec of that year, the breakdowns were almost non existent.
There are a few mentions in the Diary of the Rolls Royce armoured cars which it seems, operated in Light Armoured Motor Batteries. While these were intimidating machines, they were heavy and no match for the more nimble Ts, in the varying desert conditions.
The Diary does record one instance where the LCP captured a German car (though it doesn't state what make) and the fact that they kept it with them for the rest of the War, hoping to return it to Oz but officialdom prevented that.
T. E. Lawrence wrote, “A Rolls in the desert was above rubies,” and regarded his nine Silver Ghost armored cars as indispensable to military success 1917-18.
I'll just bet, that that Digger is leaning up against a .303 Lithy.
I don't know if this article will be readable a lot are not. If not it appeared in 27th April 1918 edition of the "The Mail" newspaper (South Australia) on page 14.
It sums up a lot at how good the Model T Ford was in the war.
Being at the front in that war I am surprised that any servicing or any maintainence was carried out. I think I would be just trying to keep moving so I was not an easy target. The fact they were so good shows how right the car was for those early days when the terrain was terrible.