Topic: AIF - Lighthorse
Australian Light Horse
Roles within the Regiment
Guards Turning Out
The following entries dealing with the roles and duties within the hierarchy of a light horse regiment are extracted from a very informative handbook called The Bushman’s Military Guide, 1898. While written in 1898, the information contained in the entries held true for the next twenty years with only minor modifications with the principles remaining as current then as now.
Guards Turning Out
Sentry on the Guard-Tent.
(1.) When guards turn out they will fall in with shouldered arms, and pay the compliments as laid down in Paragraph 2 of the Regulations. The non-commissioned officer in command of a guard will fall in on the right, other non-commissioned officers on the left, and the trumpeter on the right of the non-commissioned officer commanding the guard, at three paces interval from him.
(2.) Guards will not turn out after sunset, except on the approach of a body of troops, in cases of alarm, or to receive grand or visiting rounds.
(3.) The following form will be observed when a guard is visited by the field officer or captain of the day (called grand or visiting rounds):-
(1.) On the approach of the rounds, the sentry at or near the guard-tent will bring his carbine to the Ready position and challenge "Halt: Who comes there?" the officer will answer "Grand (or visiting) rounds," as the case may be, and the sentry will call out, "Guard, turn out." The guard will then turn out, and if there is no countersign, as soon as it has fallen in, the commander will call out "Advance grand (or visiting) rounds: All's well." To grand rounds he will present, to visiting rounds he will remain at the shoulder.
(2.) If there is a countersign to be given, a corporal or sergeant will be sent out with the right or left file of the guard, according to the position of the rounds: he will move next to the front-rank man. When at about 10 paces from the rounds, he will order his men to halt and bring their arms to the "Ready", and will then repeat the challenge "Who comes there?" The answer will be given "Grand (or visiting) rounds." The challenging non-commissioned officer will reply "Stand grand (or visiting) rounds; Advance one pace and give the countersign"; the officer, or the non-commissioned officer accompanying the rounds, will then advance and give the countersign, the two men of the file remaining at the "Ready" as he advances; the non-commissioned officer of the escort will go back and repeat the countersign to the commander of the guard, who (if the word is correct) will call out "Advance grand (or visiting) rounds: All's well." The non-commissioned officer of the escort, having returned to his men, will then order them to shoulder arms, turn inwards, and step back 3 paces each. The rounds will pass between them. If they are grand rounds, the escort will be ordered to "Present"; the guard will also present to grand rounds as they approach. As soon as the rounds have passed, the escort will be ordered by the non-commissioned officer to shoulder (if they have presented), turn inwards, march back, and fall in on the flank of the guard, taking up the "Present", if the rest of the guard are at the "Present"; the guard will then be dismissed.
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Citation: Australian Light Horse, Roles within the Regiment, Guards Turning Out