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"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess

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Sunday, 15 June 2008
Formation of the 10th LHR, October 1914
Topic: AIF - 3B - 10 LHR

The creation of the 10th LHR (Light Horse Regiment) was more of an evolution than a dramatic event. Initially the Western Australian Light Horsemen were to be formed into a Squadron and attached to another composite regiment as "C" Squadron. Plans changed when the numbers enrolling far exceeded all expectation.

The first the public knew about the formation of the 10th LHR was by an article in the Western Mail of 16 October 1914 at p. 43:

THE LIGHT HORSE.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S CONTRIBUTION.

When the organisation of the second Australian contingent was first decided upon, Western Australia was asked to contribute a squadron of Light Horse, and the call met with such a remedy response that within a few days the whole of the 148 men required had been selected, while many more, who were offering in the country districts, had to be refined. On Saturday night, however, instructions were received by the military authorities in Perth from headquarters to raise a whole regiment of Light Horse (536 officers and men, instead of the 'original' squadron, and the necessary arrangements are now in progress. It is expected that the work of enlistment will be commenced toward the end of the present week, and no difficulty is anticipated in getting the required number of men. The new force will be known as the Tenth Regiment of the Third Brigade.

Since 16 October 1914 was Friday, then the Saturday night mentioned in the article can only have been Saturday, 10 October 1914.

It can be assumed that the Military District received the order by telegram that day which if that trail were followed back a bit further, it leads to the early part of October when the actual decision was made to form the 10th LHR.

Captain Gollan was requested by General Antill to pull together documents that establish the commencement of the 3rd LHB (Light Horse Brigade) of which the 10th LHR was one of its allotted regiments. Gollan presents these documents in his history regarding the formation of the Regiment:

Page 1:


Page 2:

 


Page 3:


Finally, Gollan quotes an un-named newspaper source and presents this story:

The 10th. LH Regiment was formed in Western Australia. The following newspaper report gives a description of the formation and training:

On the banks of the Helena River Just about half-a-mile to the Eastward of the bridge which is crossed as Guildford is approached the 'first regiment of light Horse which is being sent to the war from Western Australia, is being trained. The grounds are those which have been hitherto used as a Remount Depot for he Military Forces of the State. They are very suitable for the purpose, being on comparatively hard soil and the tents being pitched on a partial elope and the parade areas being on the grassy slopes bordering the river.

For about c month the Regiment has been forming. Its nucleus was a squadron which Lieut.-Col. Noel M Brazier, the Officer commanding the Light Horse in Western Australia, had got together to loin with similar Squadrons which were being organised in the Eastern States. Most of the members of these Squadrons are men who have undergone some training at Annual Encampments good-natured homely fellows for the most part, and it was this class of fighting men that proved such splendid material during the Anglo-Boer Campaign. They entered into the task of preparing for active service with much enthusiasm and a lot of them provided their own horses and fighting equipment.

The call came for more than a Squadron. A regiment was asked for from Western Australia and was formed in amazingly quick time. So great was the demand for places in the ranks that there was soon more men than was required to complete the complement. A visitor to the camp of the Western Australians at Guildford was at once impressed with the appearance and order of things. In the ranks one recognised men who a few weeks previously were seen on the Terrace and in other business parts of the City. Professional and business men were amongst them. A Barrister, fortunate in that he only practised his profession for the love of it, having got the war fever, was seen in the horse lines bronzed and happy. A well-known stock auctioneer paced side by side with a shop assistant and a young farmer, owning miles of wheat country showed his enthusiasm by demonstrating that he was not above the most menial work in the camp.

The horses were an exceptionally good lot. Sergeant Love, who saw a lot of service in South Africa, had squads of rough riders who were engaged in the handling of these horses who had not been properly broken. There was no lack of discipline - the first offence was the last - and it rebounds to the credit of Officers and men that an offence list was not started. Not one man absented himself without leave and not one man disgraced himself by becoming intoxicated.

These outlines should give a reasonable idea as to the foundation date of the 10th LHR, from the official order to commencement.

Citation: Formation of the 10th LHR, October 1914


Posted by Project Leader at 11:37 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 15 June 2008 12:33 PM EADT

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