30 March 1917

The bombardment of Abu el-Naam began in the morning. As
artillery shelled the station, a locomotive parked in the siding got up steam and puffed off towards Medina.

“We watched her hungrily as she approached our mine, and when she was on it there came a soft cloud of dust and a report and she stood still … while the drivers got out, and jacked up the front wheels and tinkered at them, we waited and waited in vain for the machine-gun to open fire. Later we learned that the gunners, afraid of their loneliness, had packed up and marched to join us when we began shooting. Half an hour after, the repaired engine went away towards Jebel Antar, going at a foot pace and clanking loudly; but going none the less …

“Meanwhile the wood, tents and trucks in the station were burning, and the smoke was too thick for us to shoot, so we broke off the action. We had taken thirty prisoners, a mare, two camels and some more sheep; and had killed and wounded seventy of the garrison, at a cost to ourselves of one man slightly hurt. Traffic was held up for three days of repair and
investigation. So we did not wholly fail.”

Events of 30 March 1917 as recounted by T. E. Lawrence in Seven
Pillars of Wisdom