Monday, September 14, 2015

20,000 camels - quenching the thirst of the EEF

By early 1916, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force was using nearly 20,000 camels in its transport lines. Camels were organised in companies of about 2,000 led by Egyptian drivers.
Well with horn bucket, Palestine
The water needs of troops on the front line was often supplied by camel convoys with each camel carting two small 12.5 gallon tanks known as fanatis.
Filling fanatis near Jaffa, 1918
I could not resist having a well and camel train (of sorts) to populate a corner of the battlefield. As warmers, I think we often politely ignore the presence of the transport required to get troops into the firing line and supply them when they are there.
Camels with 'well sets'
So, in recognition of all this necessary 'graft' going on behind the lines, here is a scratch build of a couple of hardy engineers pumping up the brackish water from a desert well 'somewhere in Palestine' into the fanatics - ready for carting off to the line.
A05802. Probably PALESTINE, C. 1917. WATER PUMPS USED BY 1ST FIELD SQUADRON ENGINEERS
The two Royal Engineers are Eureka British in Sinai gun crew (yes, I use them for everything!) and the camel are Irregular Miniatures Egyptian Camel Corps (FZ88) with their riders lopped off.

Assembling the well - I'm a slow bricklayer!

Engineer at the well building up a sweat on the water pump
The fanatis display their balsa construction - should have used card!
Its enough to make a chap thirsty. Thanks for looking.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Jim, I find the water supply issues in the Middle East campaigns in WW1 quite fascinating!

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