Tuesday, February 17, 2015

On taking Jezzine late on 14 June 1941

Lt-Col Porter had decided to push into Jezzine, since they were making good progress. As we had noted, he ordered the unengaged companies to move forward and into Jezzine. To reach Jezzine, the men had to move down a steep cliff that was terraced. Any French resistance had ceased, so they were able to enter Jezzine unopposed. They actually entered Jezzine at 8:30pm. The division artillery commander, Brigadier Berryman, moved into Jezzine with the first platoon. They residents of Jezzine welcomed the Australians and give them bread and water. They had wine and food to offer at the police station. The Australians moved past Jezzine to the high ground east of the town. They were astride the roads to the north and west. Probing Australian forces encountered French rearguards blocking the road. During the night, they sent a hot meal to the men. The 2/25th Battalion stayed at Jerme, as there was so little room in the route to Jezzine and in the vicinity. By 13 June, the Cheshire Yeomanry had reached Mazraat Koufra, but had not been able to move forward to Zhalta. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian official History.

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