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Karnak, Egypt 1943

Photograph by Major Wilfred Herbert James Sale, MC, 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters), World War Two, North Africa, 1943.

Karnak is a great temple complex in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, situated at Luxor, on the east bank of the River Nile.

This bas-relief carving in one of the temple courts at Karnak shows the Eighteenth Dynasty Pharoah Tuthmosis III defeating the Canaanite forces at the Battle of Megiddo, believed to have been fought in 1457 BCE.

Having arrived in late 1941 the 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters) fought in the tough campaign to oust Axis forces from Libya. In early 1943, the 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters) were moved to Cowley Camp at Mena near Cairo. It remained in North Africa until July 1943 when it embarked for the landings on Sicily as part of 4th Armoured Brigade.

Newly arrived military personnel in Egypt generally spent time acclimatising in the Nile delta area before moving out into harsher desert conditions. During this time many visited the ancient monuments along the great river. They were joined by soldiers on leave from the front line, who were often keen to visit and photograph Egypt's historic landmarks. The National Army Museum Collection contains examples of similar photographs taken by soldiers during previous campaigns in Africa and the Middle East, in the 1880s, 1890s and during the First World War (1914-1918).

From an album of 206 photographs compiled by Major W H J Sale, MC, 3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters).

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1975-03-63-11-27


National Army Museum Copyright


National Army Museum, Study collection

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