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James McBey. 1883-1959.

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Trenches at Gaza. 1917 and 1921 Watercolour. 14 x 22. Signed and annotated 'Gaza 1917 ', and 1921 lower left. Provenance: The Fine Art Society. Housed in an elegant 22 x 29 3/4 gold leaf frame with blue/grey highlights. $4,000.

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The First Battle of Gaza was fought on 26 March 1917 during the first attempt by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) to invade the south of Palestine in the Ottoman Empire during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. Fighting took place in and around the town of Gaza on the Mediterranean coast when infantry and mounted infantry from the Desert Column, a component of the Eastern Force, attacked the town. Late in the afternoon, on the verge of capturing Gaza, the Desert Column was withdrawn due to concerns about the approaching darkness and large Ottoman reinforcements. This British defeat was followed a few weeks later by the even more emphatic defeat of the Eastern Force at the Second Battle of Gaza in April 1917.

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