Topic: Militia - LHN - 3/11/7
Australian Horse Uniform, 1897-1912
1st (Volunteer) Australian Horse [1897 - 1903]
1st Australian Horse (Boer War) [1899 - 1901]
3rd (Australian Horse) Australian Light Horse [1903 - 1912]
11th (Australian Horse) Australian Light Horse [1912 - 1918]
7th (Australian Horse) Australian Light Horse [1919 - 1935]
7th/21st (Australian Horse) Australian Light Horse [1936-1937]
7th (Australian Horse) Australian Light Horse [1937 - 1942]
7th (Australian Horse) Australian Motor Regiment [1942 - 1943]
7th/21st (Australian Horse) Recce Regiment 1948 - 1949]
7th/21st Australian Horse [1949 - 1957]
Hearth and Home
The right to wear a uniform of green was first bestowed on a British regiment of foot in 1800 when an elite formation of riflemen - the 95th Regiment - was formed to fight as skirmishers, similar to the German "jaegers" and French chasseurs (hunters). More lightly equipped than the slow-moving red-coated Regiments who were armed with muskets, the Riflemen marched at a brisker pace and carried the rifle, a weapon accurate at 400 metres (four times the range of a musket). The "greenjackets" had no colours - no richly embroidered king's and Regimental Colours to rally behind in battle; they were trained to fight in extended order to commands from bugle horn and whistle and to be the first into battle and the last to retire. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars their record was so outstanding that by order of the King the 95th were taken out of the Line and made a separate entity - The Rifle Brigade - an honour granted previously only to the King's household troops, the Brigade of Guards. From that date the green jacket, with its burnished buttons and black leather accoutrements, was more highly esteemed than the scarlet and gold of the Line infantry and was rapidly adopted throughout the Empire by many of the volunteer militia regiments, both mounted and foot, that sprang into being from the 1860s on, particularly by those whose men saw themselves as elite.
[From: The Boys in Green, p. 3. See: Australian Horse, Birth of a Regiment 1897 - The Boys in Green, Part 1]
The regimental title, The "First Australian Horse" and the colour of the uniform, "Myrtle Green" (a deep full green - not a Rifle Green), were chosen by Mrs Mackay, the colonel's lady. Immediately the men were enlisted they were measured for their uniforms and an order was sent to Messrs Hobson and sons of London to provide 400 serge jackets, pantaloons, slouch hats, boots, spurs, military bridles, bits, haversacks and other impedimenta of the cavalry soldier, at a total cost of £7,000; this was the total clothing allowance for the Regiment, and it was spent three and a half years in advance! A trumpeter was borrowed from the artillery and a band was formed which was based with the Headquarters' Squadron at Goulburn. Ship after ship arrived from England until eventually the long-awaited uniforms and equipment arrived, before Easter 1898, just in time for some units of the Regiment to receive them prior to their fist nine-day camp and inspection by Major General French.
[From Marrion & Campbell, 1st Australian Horse, Military Modelling, March 1981. See: Australian Horse, History Part 1 ]
First Australian Horse Officer's Uniform
Officers wore a dress and undress tunic. The dress tunic was "rifle-style" with black collar and cuffs trimmed in black mohair braid around the collar, tunic front and the seams at the rear of the body; cuffs were decorated with a black Austrian knot and in front of the tunic was decorated with five rows of flogging terminating with black net caps and fastening with black olivettes. The undress tunic was cut in the pattern of the cavalry fatigue jacket which resembled a Norfolk jacket with buttoned cuffs and fastened by a single cloth waistbelt. Over this was worn the normal Sam Browne Belt. Breeches were green with two black stripes along the outside seams. Black riding boots, gloves, pouch and shoulders belt, swordbelt and slings were worn with full dress. A black leather sabreatache was also worn. The pouch and sabreatache bore the Regimental badge surrounded by a wreath. The shoulder belt had the normal pickers and chains in silver.[From Marrion & Campbell, 1st Australian Horse, Military Modelling, March 1981.]
Service Hat, Myrtle Green felt hat, black cock's feather and hat badge .
Head-dress: A green slouch hat with the brim bound in black and turned up on the left side on which was placed the Regimental badge. Above this issued a large panache of black cock's feathers falling over the crown of the hat. Around the crown was worn a black puggarree.
Regimental badge: The Australian Arms of an Emu and Kangaroo supporting a shield bearing the Southern Cross with stars; coming from behind the shield is a Waratah plant. Superimposed on the shield is a crossed carbine and sword which is a boomerang bearing the Regimental motto; "For Hearths, & Homes". Above the shield was a scroll bearing the Regiment's title. Originally badges and buttons were black but later changed to yellow metal for other ranks and gilt for officers. On the Regiment being restyled the 3rd Australian Light Horse, the initials "3 ALH" in brass were placed on the shoulder straps of other ranks.
[From Marrion & Campbell, 1st Australian Horse, Military Modelling, March 1981.]
Colonel James Alexander Kenneth Mackay, CB, in full uniform.
Contrasting Uniforms - Australian Horse together with New South Wales Lancers
[Men and NCOs of the Australian Horse in dark green uniform with comrades of the New South Wales Lancers, who wore uniforms of khaki faced with red; date unknown. The men are identified as: Top: Ryan, Byrnes, Warren. Bottom: J. O'Connell, Whitney Howard, Baily, W. Bradford. From: The Boys in Green, p. 7.]
Citation: Australian Horse Uniform, 1897-1912