The Capture of Jerusalem in World War I

In the course of World War I, the British Army fought the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East. The Turkish Army retreated from Jerusalem on the night of the 8th December and cleared the way for the British troops to occupy the city. The next morning the Muslim mayor of Jerusalem, Hussein Salim al-Husseini, accompanied by his family, set out to deliver the Ottoman Governor’s letter of surrender and the keys of the city, to the British forces. Legend has it that in the suburb of Romema, the mayor came across two soldiers of low military rank, and transferred the letter to them. When the soldiers' commander heard of this he was angry that the ceremony of surrender had been carried out in the presence of low-rank soldiers and demanded that the ceremony be conducted once again in his presence. General Edmund Allenby, the commander of the EEF, heard about the ceremonies that had been carried out and once again demanded that another ceremony be conducted in his presence. The last ceremony of surrender was carried out by General Allenby on 11th December at Jaffa Gate. Out of respect for the holiness of Jerusalem, Allenby chose to enter the city on foot and not by horse or vehicle. The impressive ceremony was immortalized in various pictures that are kept at the Photograph Collection of the CZA.