IWM Staff
Monday 5 February 2018

First raised in 1916, the Imperial Camel Corps was a camel-mounted infantry force operating in the Middle Eastern and African deserts. The Corps played an integral role in several First World War desert campaigns, including Palestine and Sinai.

The Corps had a small start, with the first companies consisting of Australian troops returning from the Gallipoli campaign. Over time, though, it grew to four battalions and was made up of Australian, New Zealand and British troops. Additional soldiers from the Hong Kong and Singapore Mountain Battery were also attached to the Corps.

Here are 10 photos of the Imperial Camel Corps cameliers and their trusty steeds.

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1. An international make-up

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1. An international make-up

Guerrilla Operations 1918: The 'Imperial' nature of the Camel Corps in 1918; mounted troops from left to right, the Australian, British, New Zealand and Indian sections.

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2. Preparing to mount

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2. Preparing to mount

The Advance through Palestine and the Battle of Megiddo: Australian members of the Imperial Camel Corps near Jaffa in Palestine prepare to mount. Their camels are kneeling in a row, their heads pulled by their bridles towards the mounting riders.

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3. Filing through Wadi Arba

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3. Filing through Wadi Arba

Guerrilla Operations 1918: The file of the Imperial Camel Corps dropping into Wadi Arba from the east while en route to join T E Lawrence in late summer 1918.

Guerrilla Operations 1918: The file of the Imperial Camel Corps dropping into Wadi Arba from the east while en route to join T E Lawrence in late summer 1918.
© IWM (Q 104094)
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4. At Ludd, Palestine

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4. At Ludd, Palestine

Men of an ANZAC Battalion of the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade at Ludd, 1918.

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5. Feeding time

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5. Feeding time

Lieutenant Geoffrey Inchbald of No 8 Company, Imperial Camel Corps with his kneeling camel in the Western Desert.

Lieutenant Geoffrey Inchbald of No 8 Company, Imperial Camel Corps with his kneeling camel in the Western Desert.
© IWM (Q 103976)
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6. Resting in the shade

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6. Resting in the shade

The lines of the Imperial Camel Corps shaded by trees near Beersheba.

The lines of the Imperial Camel Corps shaded by trees near Beersheba.
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7. Outside Beersheba

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7. Outside Beersheba

The Imperial Camel Corps Brigade outside Beersheba, 1st November 1917.

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8. Bathtime

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8. Bathtime

Men of the Imperial Camel Corpswashing their camels at the mouth of WadiEl Arish, February 1917.

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9. Lined up

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9. Lined up

Guerrilla Campaigns 1917: Camel lines of the Imperial Camel Corps at El Arish.

Guerrilla Campaigns 1917: Camel lines of the Imperial Camel Corps at El Arish.
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10. Washed and ready to go

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10. Washed and ready to go

Lines of newly washed camels in camp at Abassia before the long rides of July 1918 onwards.

Lines of newly washed camels in camp at Abassia before the long rides of July 1918 onwards.
©IWM (Q 105543)

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