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Friday, 19 December 2008
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 19 December
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 19 December

Pro Gloria et Honore - For Glory and Honour

Regimental March -  Marching Through Georgia

 

 

The following entries are extracted and transcribed from the 9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary, the originals of which are held by the Australian War Memorial. There are 366 entries on this site. Each day has entries as they occurred from 1914 to 1919. In addition to the 9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary, when appropriate, entries from the 3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary and other regiments with the Brigade will also appear. Entries from the unit history, Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924 will also appear from time to time. The aim is to give the broadest context to the story and allow the reader to follow the day to day activities of the regiment. If a relative happened to have served in the regiment during the Great War, then this provides a general framework in which the individual story may be told.

 

The Diary

 

1914

Saturday, December 19, 1914

9th Light Horse Regiment Location -  Broadmeadows Camp, Victoria. 

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Organising, training and equipping of troops.

See: Broadmeadows 1909

Carew Reynell Diary - Joined 9th Light Horse Regiment at Broadmeadows as Major and 2nd in Command.

Very wet weather had been experienced by the regiment since its arrival from South Australia about a month previously. Owing to the extraordinary muddy conditions produced at Broadmeadows Camp by the rain it was impossible for the men to preserve any proper standard of personal cleanliness or smartness of turnout. Added to this the regiment has to find very numerous duties for the camp and City of Melbourne and Brighton in the shape of guards and police patrols.

As a result of these and other causes men had lost all interest in their work and there was a general "fedupness" apparent among all ranks. Discipline was slack and all ranks displayed ignorance of some of the most elementary duties of their rank.

A certain amount of musketry had been done and a little troop squadron and regimental drill. With the exception of the musketry training however, there had been no progressive principle or system insisted on and in many cases ABC had been missed altogether and XYZ was being attempted.

The Regimental Sergeant Major was a very unsuitable man being lazy and unreliable, and above himself, constantly away ill or on leave and usually absent when most needed. A number of NCOs owed their rank to his prejudiced and usually purchased representations.

The Quartermaster was lazy and incompetent.

There had been no instructors attached to the regiment since its formation and the only permanent NCOs were the RSM and QMS. The Adjutant who had only recently joined the Regiment was also a permanent Officer.

Extended leave at Christmas and New Year infused fresh energy into the men but resulted in a great deal of desertions and absence without leave.

After the holidays training was made somewhat easier owing to depot being ordered to find many of the duties previously found by the Regiment.

On my arrival the CO instructed me to make the training of the Regiment my special work and during the disorganisation caused by the holidays I had made a syllabus of Field Training which we now started to carry out. The work was elementary scouting, advanced guards and outposts. Although the men had not arrived at any proper standard of recruit training I thought it wise to do this work in order to arouse their interest and enthusiasm in their training and this was accomplished.

Intermixed with the above was a certain amount of night alarms and night operations and bivouacs arranged by Brigade Staff. The fortnight before embarkation was spent in strenuous recruit training and tremendous improvement was noticeable.

At the time of embarkation the discipline, horse mastership, musketry, knowledge of field duties and general smartness of the Regiment was in a very satisfactory condition.

The NCOs had progressed considerably and the troop leaders had begun to rise in their responsibilities.

Embarkation was carried out quietly and successfully and 334 horses were loaded by two gangways in 45 minutes from the time of first horse being led on. We had to sling 68 horses and this took nearly six hours, the time being governed by the speed at which the winch worked.

The following changes in personnel had been made by this time. The Quartermaster had been relieved of his duties and replaced by Major Daly who previously had commanded C Squadron. He was a failure as a Squadron Leader but being a good office man, mad a good Quartermaster. The RSM had been transferred and suitably replaced. One troop leader had been replaced. Various NCOs had been reduced and replaced by suitable men.

All ranks had been brought to realise that we had no use for careless nonchalance and that it was only by an energetic and successful performance of their duties that they could hope to retain their ranks or escape punishment.

Smartness, discipline and solid instruction had engendered a feeling of mutual confidence and espirit de corps.

The Regiment, less one Squadron, embarked without being one man short which is a record for the Eastern States. Every other Regiment from the East has had spare men on the wharf to fill up desertions at the last minute. One battalion was 60 men short on arrival at shipside.

 

1915

Sunday, December 19, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Rhododendron Spur

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary -   Disposed of all ammunition and bombs, Kept fires going through the camp. Men moving about. Placed in position automatic rifles to fire at intervals after the last party leaves. The enemy blew up a mine at the Apex doing considerable damage to trenches at 1200. Our position was shelled during the afternoon by the enemy with 11 inch shells at 1500. 1600 Handed over our line of trench to 8th Light Horse Regiment. A Party marched out and formed up at Saddle Post as follows:

UnitOfficersOther RanksTotal
8th Light Horse Regiment3 48 51
Brigade headquarters0 1 1
Signal Troops0 4 4
9th Light Horse Regiment5 34 39
10th Light Horse Regiment0 4 4
Total8 91 99
Moved off at 1715, reached main sap at 1730, reached wharf at 1810, lighter loaded and left 1830. All men on HMS Mars at 2000. Men were given a meal on board.

 

1916

Tuesday, December 19, 1916

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Bir el Malha

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary -  Duty Regiment. Brigade paraded south of wells, Squadron advancing attack practice.

 

1917

Wednesday, December 19, 1917

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Suffa.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - HHolding line.

 

1918

Thursday, December 19, 1918

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Tripoli

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Usual camp routine.

 

1919

Friday, December 19, 1919

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Adelaide

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Regiment disbanded.

 

 

Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 18 December

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 20 December

 

Sources:

See: 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Contents
Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, AIF War Diaries of the Great War, Site Transcription Policy

 

Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF

Bert Schramm Diary

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 
Citation: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 19 December

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Thursday, 23 September 2010 8:46 AM EADT

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