Camels can travel long distances with heavy loads, through the hot dry country. Before motorised transport was available, camels were useful for exploration and work in arid regions. They were imported into Australia from the 1860s and used in the outback. During the war, the Allies used camels during the Middle East campaigns to transport equipment and people.
Fresh supplies from ships came ashore on barges and then travelled by camel to military camps. Some camels were used as ambulances, with stretcher-like cacolets attached to their saddles.
The dromedary is a single-humped camel native to the Middle East and North Africa that can:
carry up to 145kg
survive without water for up to 6 days
travel over 40km a day
Camels eat almost any green vegetation they can find in the desert.
The Imperial Camel Corps Brigade was formed in Egypt in 1916. The Corps included men from Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. In 1918, the Corps was disbanded and the men transferred to the Australian Light Horse brigades due to changing requirements.
Image: Australian troops returning to Egypt from Gallipoli joined the first Camel Corps in 1916.