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The Zion Muleteers of Gallipoli (March 1915 - May 1916), by Martin Sugarman

Introduction by Paula Kitching

The Zion Mule Corps was formed in March 1915 and was the first regular Jewish fighting force for 2000 years. The presence of this unit in the British army has often led to confusion with other British military units with large Jewish membership (e.g. The Royal Fusiliers) despite being a complete separate Corps. The Corps was disbanded in 1916.

This article introduces the reasons for the creation of the Zion Mule Corps and includes the service of the Corps in the Middle East and Gallipoli. Information about key individuals who founded and led the Corps as well as those that were part of it is included. The bravery of the men and their contribution to the battles in Gallipoli are well covered, right down to many of their names.

 

How the Corps was received within the British forces provides an insight into some of the attitudes to the colonial forces of the time and some of the prejudices that were part of British society. This article pays tribute to those who were part of the Zion Mule Corps as well as providing a clear historical account of its role.

Many of the images illustrating this History Window are from the Australian War Memorial collection. For many, Gallipoli is synonymous with the ANZAC story of the First World War and that is due to a number of factors, not least, it was the first key engagement of the War for Australian and New Zealand troops.

Due to the special place that Gallipoli held for the ANZAC forces when they deployed, and in Remembrance, the images of this campaign provide an insight into life in that battle. As one of the key collections for the Dardanelles, we have chosen them to help form a visual idea of what that campaign was like and the part the Zion Mule corps played.

Download Martin Sugarman full article

Contributors

Martin Sugarman is an independent researcher and writer. He has worked extensively with the archives of the Jewish Military Museum and AJEX. He specialises in Jewish Military history

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London Jews in the First World War - We Were There Too

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