Topic: Militia - LHS - SA
South Australian Mounted Rifles
The following is a transcription from a brief outline of the South Australian Mounted Rifles history produced in 1959.
A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MOUNTED RIFLES
Originally raised by Governor GAWLER in February of 1840 as 2 troops of cavalry to provide the mounted troops of the Royal South Australian Volunteer Militia Brigade, this Regiment is believed to be the first volunteer unit raised in Australia.
Even though not financed by the Government from 9 February 1856 until June 1877, the Regiment continued to exist, on a completely voluntary basis - horses, uniforms arms and equipment being provided by each member at his own expense.
In recognition of its having provided guards and escorts for H.H. the Duke of Edinburgh in 1867 the Regiment was dubbed the Duke's Own Cavalry. In June 1877, at the instigation of the Mayor of ADELAIDE the Regiment was reformed and financed by the South Australian Government.
It is interesting to note that in 1899, during the Regiment's Annual Camp, the Commandant General appointed a Cpl de Passy to be officer Commanding, as no officer with military knowledge was available, and later, as a lieutenant
colonel, this same Cpl De Passy again commanded the Regiment in South Africa.
Twenty-five all ranks were selected in 1897 to represent South Australia at Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
The Regiment sailed for South Africa in 1899 and saw action for the first time at Britstown on 6 Feb 1900 on which day, the first decorations for bravery were won, three troopers each being awarded the DCM. The unit served under Lord Methuen who wrote of them, "they did splendid work and were cheerful in hardships. I cannot conceive any body of men of whom a commander has better reason to be proud."
On its return to Australia in 1902 after Federation, the Commonwealth Government re-organised the South Australian Mounted Rifles as three Regiments of Light Horse the 22nd, 23rd, 24th.
Upon the outbreak of war in 1914, these Regiments were again re-organised as the 3rd and 9th Australian Light Horse Regiments AIF and served on Gallipoli, and through Egypt, Palestine and Syria. It was during thus operations that the 9th Regiment captured the battle standard of a Turkish Regiment which now hangs in the War Museum, CANBERRA. Thus the Regiment has the honour of being the only unit to capture such a Standard during the Great War.
Both Regiments of the South Australian Mounted Rifles returned to Australia in 1919 and continued as Militia units until 1940, when they were formed into an Armoured Car Regiment, and reformed in 1948 into one regiment the 3/9 SAMR, which is now a unit of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps.
For service in the Boer and Great War the regiment was awarded two sets of Guidons one each to the 3rd and 9th Regiment of Light Horse.
South African War
South Africa 1899-1902
Defence of AnzacSari BairRomaniMaghdaba - RafaGaza - BeershebaJaffaJerusalemJerichoJordan (Amman)Megiddo
Citation: South Australian Mounted Rifles, Brief History