Israel's History in Pictures: WWI in Palestine

New Source of Historical Films and Photos: The British Imperial War Museum; Presenting General Allenby Entering Jerusalem in 1917.

Contact Editor
Lenny Ben-David,

British Camel Corps WWI
British Camel Corps WWI
L. of C.

Photographers accompanied the Imperial British Army forces throughout the battles of World War I in Palestine, starting at the Suez Canal in 1915 and continuing through the capture of Damascus in 1918.  On the main page and to the right is a picture of the commanders of the Camel Corps.

Turkish Camel Corps in Be'er Sheva (1917, Library of Congress archives)

The grand scale of the fighting in Palestine is not fully recognized today even by historians, with attention often focused on the European front.  One statistic may put the fighting into perspective: The British army suffered more than half a million casualties; the Turks even more.

The Israel Daily Picture site has presented hundreds of pictures of the fighting between the British Imperial Forces and the Turkish and German forces on the battlefields of Sinai, Gaza, Be'er Sheva, and Jerusalem. Most of the photographs, such as those on this page, were found in the U.S. Library of Congress' American Colony collection.


Austrian army enters Jerusalem (1916)

Turkish troops preparing to attack the Suez Canal 1915

We present below a film from the British Imperial War Museum of British Commander Edmund Allenby's entrance into Jerusalem on December 11, 1917, from the Colonial Film Site.  

General Allenby walking through the Jaffa Gate into the Old City of Jerusalem.  Click HERE to view the video

According to the synopsis accompanying the film:

The General entered Jerusalem on 11 December, accompanied by his staff (T. E. Lawrence ["Lawrence of Arabia"] among them), French and Italian officers, and various other international representatives. At the Jaffa gate he was greeted by a guard of Commonwealth and Allied troops; dismounting, he and his comrades entered the city on foot, as instructed. Allenby had been less than fifteen minutes in the city. After 400 years of Ottoman rule, Jerusalem had passed into British hands.