December 1917

Edmund the Lionheart

On 11 December 1917 the British General Edmund Allenby (1861-1936) entered Jerusalem, taken from the Ottomans 9 of the same month, through the Jaffa Gate. The general, as a sign of respect for the Holy City, decided to enter on foot and not on horseback, as witnessed by Allenby himself:

"I entered the city officially at noon, December 11th, with a few of my staff, the commanders of the French and Italian detachments, the heads of the political missions, and the Military Attaches of France, Italy, and America. The procession was all afoot, and at Jaffa gate I was received by the guards representing England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, India, France, and Italy.  The population received me well."

But the general added more. He told to the Turkish officials that he had come to restore the ancient glory of Richard the Lionheart, bringing to mind the battles of the Anglo-Norman king against Saladin.