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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

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre aims to present an accurate history as chroniclers of early Australian military developments from 1899 to 1920.

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Saturday, 24 July 2004
Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 2
Topic: Militia - LHQ - Qld

QMI

Queensland Mounted Infantry

Outline, Part 2

Forward

March: Soldiers of the Queen

 South Africa 1899 - 1902

Allied with: King Edward's Horse (The King's Oversea Dominions Regiment).

 

The following outline of the Queensland Mounted Infantry is extracted from a book written by Joan Starr called Forward: the history of the 2nd / 14th Light Horse (Queensland Mounted Infantry), published Queensland, 1989. This section comes from pp. 4 - 9:

 

Towns in Queensland affected by the Shearers' Strike, 1890.

 

The Shearers' Strike

The first "action" for the Queensland Defence Force occurred in 1891 in the Western District of the Colony in what was to become known as the "Shearers' Strike". The confrontation began in the late 1880s when leading pastoralists, feeling the pinch of lower wool prices announced they would reduce the pay of the shearers. The shearers were already seething at their unjust conditions, they were paid as low as eight shillings per hundred sheep and then had to pay unusually high prices for the goods provided by the squatters, often leaving the shearers as little as fifteen shillings per week. For this they worked eleven hours per day and were accommodated in the roughest of conditions - earth-floored huts without ventilation or lights. They could not quit for fear of forfeiting accumulated pay, but the squatter on the other hand could withhold payment if he considered a sheep not properly shorn, and he could dismiss a worker without reason and not pay a penny for work already completed. To counter these unfair conditions, the shearers formed unions and between 1886-89 staged more than three hundred minor strikes and walk outs.

In 1890, the Queensland Shearers' Union was strong enough for a full-scale showdown. The crisis came to a head when the union demanded that only union labour be used in the sheds. Initially the pastoralists refused, but they backed down when wharf labourers refused to handle wool shorn by non-unionists. However, in late 1890, the pastoralists held a conference in Melbourne where they decided to levy members in proportion to the number of sheep to create a fighting fund to defeat the shearers. The squatters were preparing to fight the shearers once again and they nominated Queensland as the battlefield.

The 1891 season was off to a fiery start when the squatters refused to observe the closed shop principle they had conceded the previous year. Union passions were further inflamed by reports that under a new agreement shearer's pay would be slashed thirteen to thirty-three per cent, and penalty clauses decreed that defiant shearers could be fined or jailed. Union representatives tried to negotiate, but the squatters declared that they would only employ on their terms. Thus rebuffed, hundreds of Queensland shearers walked out of the shearing sheds. With their wives and children they gathered in a dozen strike camps and prepared to battle the thousand strike breakers imported from New South Wales and Victoria. In early February 1891, the first of the contracted labourers arrived in Rockhampton from the southern states and were quickly despatched to properties in the Western Districts. Violence flared as strikers clashed with strike breakers, wool and storage sheds went up in flames on properties where "black" labour was employed.

Large camps were established by the unionists at Barcaldine 6 Forward
(1,000 men), two near Clermont (350 and 150 men), and Capella (80 men). Inflammatory speeches were made with threats of kidnapping squatters and their families, and burning properties. At this juncture the Queensland government ordered additional police to the troubled areas and police magistrates were instructed to enrol all available men as special constables. There was a fear that the trouble could spread and erupt into civil war.

By 20 February the situation had reached such a serious stage that the government decided to call out the Defence Force in aid of the civil power. That morning the Officer Commanding the Defence Force, Major Jackson, was warned to prepare for immediate embarkation. At 5.00 p.m., a force of sixty-one men complete with weapons, a machine-gun and a 9 pounder field gun, sailed for Rockhampton. Three hours later orders were issued to call out the Moreton Mounted Infantry. The Commanding Officer, Major Percy Ricardo, took immediate steps to secure the attendance of all members of the units resulting in four officers and fifty-five men being selected for active duty.

They embarked on the SS Wondonga and sailed for Rockhampton the following day. No horses were despatched as the Pastoralists' Association had arranged to provide mounts, but every member took his own saddle and bridle in addition to kit, accoutrements and ammunition. That same day, 21 February, the Rockhampton Mounted Infantry was called out by the local Police Magistrate. On arrival at Rockhampton the entire force came under the command of Major Jackson. The force travelled by train to Clermont and thence despatched to farms to protect the free labourers and property.

As the situation continued to deteriorate the government called out additional volunteer units including the Wide Bay Mounted Infantry, Mackay Mounted Infantry, Darling Downs Mounted Infantry, Charters Towers Mounted Infantry, and Townsville Mounted Infantry, in addition to units of the Defence Force. The task of aid to the civil power is one that most soldiers dislike. It was work that neither commanders nor men had been trained for and which demanded a level of discipline to be found only among the regulars. Nevertheless the men performed the duty admirably as evidenced by Lieutenant Harry Chauvel's action at Charleville.

Chauvel received a warning order on 24 March to be ready to move to Charleville with twenty men and their horses. The men of the Darling Downs Mounted Infantry were issued with fifty rounds of ammunition each, and were on their way by rail the following morning. By this time there were reports of the burning of pasture and fences by the unionists, while at Blackall a non-unionist's bullocks had been shot.

Chauvel was sent to escort a party of free labourers through the bush to a property north of Charleville. A few police were added to his command. It was a miserable journey across black soil in pouring rain so that after twenty miles the men and horses were exhausted. When barely a mile from their destination, the party ran into a crowd of about two hundred shearers streaming down the track. Several of them were wanted by the police and the inspector in charge quickly arrested four of them.

The shearers closed around the party, some waving iron bars and clubs, shouting in their excitement. One of the four men arrested began inciting the shearers and the situation became dangerous. Chauvel gave the order to load; the inspector told him to force his way through the crowd with his troops and free labourers. The raised rifles of the Mounted Infantry had a cooling effect on the tempers as they shepherded the non-unionists and four prisoners along the road. The inspector thwarted an attempt by the angry shearers to follow up and Chauvel reached Oakwood where another detachment of Mounted Infantry was waiting; these set off after the shearers and more arrests were made. Although minor, the incident impressed on Chauvel the power of discipline and the importance of a cool head in a crisis. Had he not kept his Mounted Infantry under strict control, and they were after all mainly station hands with little military training, there may have been a tragedy.

The Mounted Infantry units were employed principally on patrol and escort duty and to keep communications open between detachments, the police and headquarters. Strong detachments were posted at stations where free labourers were shearing and small detachments were posted as sentries at woolsheds and station buildings. The infantry and artillery were responsible for the security of public buildings, jails, railway stations, and goods sheds.

The tension reached its peak when 200 troops swooped on the strike committee's headquarters at Barcaldine and arrested twelve of the leaders, charging them with conspiracy. The strikers were outraged, some men calling for revolution. At Gympie soldiers fixed bayonets to disperse a menacing crowd, while at Rockhampton 200 strikers heckled police guarding the twelve arrested at Barcaldine, when they came to trial. During the trial, the judge Mr Justice Harding was scarcely impartial, stating that he would have shot the strikers if he had been one of the police. He sentenced the twelve including George Taylor and William Hamilton, who later became members of the Queensland Parliament, to three years hard labour each. These severe sentences provoked another outburst of violence.

Although the strikers voted to stay out on strike, signs of weakness began to appear. The first crack came when threats of long-term sanctions by the squatters forced wool carriers back to work. They really had no alternative, for with whole families subsisting on ten shillings a week, men, women and children were on the verge of starvation. Furthermore, rain had turned the strikers' camps into quagmires of stinking mud. On 11 June 1891, union leaders announced that the strike fund was exhausted. The strike was over. Although the shearers had lost their fight, many claimed that in the long term it had led to victory, as the bitter defeat convinced the unions of a need for a political Labor Party to fight their cause in Parliament.

The strike had proven to be an expensive affair, costing the government £170,000, the pastoralists £41,000 and the unions £60,000, huge sums in 1891.

At times the work of the Defence Forces had been arduous, each district being in a state of flood for a considerable period. Colonel French noted:

Long and trying marches, by day and night, over boggy country (swimming rivers several times a day), were constantly made by the Mounted Infantry, notably so by a detachment of the Moreton Mounted Infantry, under Lieutenant R.S. Browne, which marched 109 miles in thirty-two hours, and by a detachment of Darling Downs Mounted Infantry, under Captain King, which marched sixty-five miles in one day on grass-fed horses.


Colonel Drury reported,

"The general conduct of the troops called out has been reported by all Commanding Officers to have been good.... To the discretion and judgment shown by officers in command, and the patience exhibited by all ranks under provocation and insult, must be credited the fact that bloodshed, or injury to life or limb, has been happily obviated".


As the strike wore on, the men were out on patrol for about five months, and for most of their service endured the boredom that is so often the lot of soldiers. On the plains of Western Queensland emu were plentiful and the men could not resist the excitement of riding after a quarry that could give them a chase at speed. Emu feathers, tucked into the men's felt hats began to appear and soon became widespread among the soldiers. Bill Lieshman of the Gympie Mounted Rifles claimed to be with the group who started the practice. Writing many years later Bill said:

I was in a patrol under Lieutenant Vivian Tozer of the Gympie Mounted Infantry, at Coreena Woolshed. On the way we met another Gympie Mounted Infantry patrol under Captain W. Shanahan and they were chasing an emu, which came toward us. When it was shot, some of us dismounted and Terry Rogers and myself were the first to pull the tail feathers out and place them in our hats. Then all in the patrols got the feathers and placed them in their hats.


When they returned home the Queensland Government allowed the Mounted Infantry to wear the emu plume in recognition of its service during the strike. At first it was solely a Queensland decoration, but in 1903 the privilege was extended to Tasmanian and South Australian regiments and finally, in 1915, to all regiments of the Light Horse.
 

Previous: Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 1

Next: Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 3

 

Further Reading:

Queensland Mounted Infantry

Boer War - Queensland Mounted Infantry

Australian Militia Light Horse

 


Citation: Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 2

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 9 July 2010 1:44 PM EADT
Australian Light Horse - Full Index, Embarkation Roll: FOW to FUL
Topic: AIF - ALH - A to Z

ALH, AIF

Australian Light Horse - Full Index

Embarkation Roll: FOW to FUL

 

The following is an alphabetical roll of all members of the Australian Light Horse, AIF who are known to have embarked overseas during the Great War.

Each man is detailed on this reference list with the following information:

First Names;

Family Name;

If applicable, any false name employed; and,

Embarkation unit.

 

Notes

Note 1: All soldiers’ names are linked to the specific unit and date when embarkation occurred. By utilising the link, upon the Embarkation Roll is a brief military biography of the individual. Also on the page are details and picture of the ship in which embarkation occurred for that specific soldier.

Note 2: There are duplications of some names in the following list. The reason for this is that the soldier embarked on more than one occasion. This was the simplest way of resolving the problem of multiple entries for a single individual.

Note 3: In comparing this roll with the official Embarkation Rolls published by the Department of Defence during the Great War, it will be noticed that some names are absent. The reason for this lies in the fact that when the official Embarkation Rolls were compiled, last minute absentees for one reason or another were recorded as embarking whereas in actuality, no embarkation occurred. In addition, there are other names that have been included that do not appear in the official Embarkation Rolls and yet they embarked with that particular group.

 

Finding more about a service person.


Embarkation Roll: FOW to FUL

 

Arthur Thomas FOWLER, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur Thomas FOWLER, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Aubrey Arthur FOWLER, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Darrell Elwyn Hodgson FOWLER, 1st Australian Wireless Squadron.

Donald Charles FOWLER, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

John Ernest FOWLER, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Lionel Rupert FOWLER, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Robert FOWLER, 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance.

Selby Arthur Barry FOWLER, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Sydney Frederick FOWLER, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

William David FOWLER, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

William Joseph FOWLER, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

William Wilson FOWLER, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Charles John FOWLES, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

William Norman FOWLES, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Alexander FOWLIE, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Albert FOX, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Alfred George FOX, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Allan Joseph Aloysius FOX, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Charles Adam FOX, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Charles Ernest FOX, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Claude Douglas FOX, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Daniel Thomas FOX, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Dennis FOX, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Edward Bernard FOX, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Edwin James Lindon FOX, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Frederick Richard FOX, 1st Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron.

Frederick Spurgeon FOX, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Herbert James FOX, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

James FOX, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

James Joseph FOX, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Lawrence John FOX, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Owen Albert William FOX, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Phillip Edward FOX, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Reginald Vivian FOX, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Robert Henry FOX, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Sidney James FOX, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Stanley Edgar David FOX, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Thomas Celsus FOX, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Walter John FOX, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

William FOX, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

William Francis FOX, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

William George FOX, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

William James FOX, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Thomas George FOXE, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Eric Gilson FOXTON, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Carlyon Mark FOY, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Dudley Samuel FOY, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Francis Gibson FOY, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

James Bruce FRAME, 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance.

John FRAME, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

John Thomas FRAME, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Robert William FRAME, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Thomas FRAME, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur Cyril Carr FRANCE, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

George FRANCE, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Robert FRANCEY, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Alick Lindsay FRANCIS, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur Herbert FRANCIS, General Service Reinforcements.

Arthur William FRANCIS, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur William FRANCIS, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Cecil FRANCIS, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Charles Edward FRANCIS, 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance.

Edward Clement FRANCIS, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Ernest John FRANCIS, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Frederick Douglas FRANCIS, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

George FRANCIS, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

George Hubert FRANCIS, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Harkless James FRANCIS, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Henry FRANCIS, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Innis Earle FRANCIS, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

James Thomas FRANCIS, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

John FRANCIS, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

John Walter FRANCIS, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Joseph FRANCIS, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Joseph Aloysius Mayne FRANCIS, Light Horse Signal Reinforcements.

Patrick Joseph FRANCIS, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Raymond FRANCIS, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Reginald John FRANCIS, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Resolute Edward FRANCIS, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Roy FRANCIS, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Samuel Oliver FRANCIS, General Service Reinforcements.

William FRANCIS, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

William John FRANCIS, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

William John FRANCIS, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

William Leslie Claude FRANCIS, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

William Percival FRANCIS, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Frederick Charles FRANCOM, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

George FRANK, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Bruce Turnbull FRANKEL, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Frederick David FRANKEL, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Sidney Malcolm FRANKEL, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Henry Laird Alexander FRANKFORD, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Benjamin FRANKLIN, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Benjamin FRANKLIN, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Eric Angus McAlister FRANKLIN, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Ernest Victor FRANKLIN, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Francis FRANKLIN, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Geoffrey FRANKLIN, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

George FRANKLIN, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Henry FRANKLIN, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

James Roderick Hector FRANKLIN, 1st Light Horse Signal Troop.

Leslie Gordon FRANKLIN, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Norman Walter FRANKLIN, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Reginald Norris FRANKLIN, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Reginald Norris FRANKLIN, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Richard Joseph FRANKLIN, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Stanley FRANKLIN, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

William Albert FRANKLIN, 14th Light Horse Regiment.

William Edgar FRANKLIN, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Philip George FRANKLYN, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Leslie FRANKS, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Manuel FRANKS, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Albert Arthur FRANZI, 3rd Light Horse Signal Troop.

Arthur FRAPPELL, Cable Signal Section.

George FRASA, General Service Reinforcements.

Albert FRASER, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Alexander FRASER, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Alexander Dale FRASER, 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance.

Alexander Francis FRASER, 1st Light Horse Brigade.

Alexander Lyane FRASER, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Alfred Drummond FRASER, 2nd Light Horse Signal Troop.

Archibald Grenfell FRASER, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur Ernest FRASER, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Bruce MacDonald FRASER, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Charles FRASER, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Charles Alexander FRASER, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Charles White FRASER, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Christopher Patrick Ernest FRASER, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Clarence McLeod FRASER, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Clive FRASER, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

David FRASER, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

David Duncan FRASER, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Donald FRASER, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Donald FRASER, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Donald Alexander FRASER, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Donald George FRASER, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Donald Lovat FRASER, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Douglas Martin FRASER, General Service Reinforcements.

Edward Charles FRASER, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Edward James FRASER, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Frederick Archibald FRASER, 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance.

Frederick John FRASER, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Frederick Leopold FRASER, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Harold Livingstone FRASER, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Herbert Malcolm FRASER, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Hugh FRASER, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Jack Hughie Belmore FRASER, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

John Edward FRASER, 4th Light Horse Signal Troop.

John Lawrence FRASER, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Keith Colin FRASER, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Lionel William FRASER, 4th Light Horse Signal Troop.

Malcolm FRASER, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Malcolm Campbell FRASER, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Reginald Patrick FRASER, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Robert FRASER, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Robert William FRASER, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Thomas FRASER, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Victor Douglas FRASER, General Service Reinforcements.

William Albert FRASER, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

William Angus FRASER, 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance.

William Tullageroopna FRASER, 1st Light Horse Signal Troop.

James Simpson Fraser FRASER-SCOTT, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

John Ronald FRASER-SCOTT, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Douglas Alexander FRATER, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Roland Hay FRATER, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Thomas FRATER, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Ray FRAVENFELDER, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

John FRAWLEY, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Patrick Joseph FRAWLEY, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Leslie Ford FRAYNE, 4th Light Horse Field Ambulance.

William Robert George FRAYNE, 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance.

Alexander Colquhoun FRAZER, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Arnold Warren FRAZER, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Eric Claude FRAZER, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Henry FRAZER, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Horace Ernest FRAZER, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

John FRAZER, 3rd Light Horse Signal Troop.

Patrick FRAZER, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Jack Roach FREAK, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Norman Alfred FREAN, 1st Light Horse Signal Troop.

Leigh McKenzie FRECKLETON, General Service Reinforcements.

Harold William Gordon FREDERICKS, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Stanley Harry FREDERICKS, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Walter Richard Edward FREDERICKS, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Arnold Marius FREDERIKSEN aka John JOHNSTON , 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Harold Archibald FREE, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Roscoe Conkling FREE, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

David Thompson FREEBAIRN, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Robert Lewis FREEBAIRN, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Victor Charles FREEBURN, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

John FREELAND, 1st Light Horse Signal Troop.

Alfred Frederick FREEMAN, General Service Reinforcements.

Charles FREEMAN, General Service Reinforcements.

Harold Charles FREEMAN, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Harold Stanley FREEMAN, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

James FREEMAN, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

James Stanley FREEMAN, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

John Joseph FREEMAN, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Leslie Louis FREEMAN, Light Horse Signal Reinforcements.

Percy FREEMAN, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Reuben FREEMAN, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Wallace Wolseley FREEMAN, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

William Caddiy FREEMAN, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

William Frederick FREEMAN, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

William Francis FREEMANTLE, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

John Theodore FREENE, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Robert FREER, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Albert FREESTONE, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Frank William FREESTONE, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

John Thomas FREESTONE, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

John Patrick FREESTUN, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Albert Lester FRENCH, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Alfred Charles FRENCH, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Benjamin Mervyn FRENCH, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Frederick Charles FRENCH, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

George Albert FRENCH, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

George Walter FRENCH, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Gordon Stewart FRENCH, General Service Reinforcements.

Henry James FRENCH, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Herbert Rayner FRENCH, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

James Isaac FRENCH, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Leslie John FRENCH, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Norman McClinton FRENCH, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Percy Alfred FRENCH, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Thomas FRENCH, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Wilfred FRENCH, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Wilfred Victor FRENCH, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

William Bruce George FRENCH, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Henry Christopher Blackett FREND, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Frank FRETUS, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Norman Henry FREUDENBERG, 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance.

Ernest David FREUND, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Herbert FREW, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Leslie FREW, General Service Reinforcements.

William Charles FREW, General Service Reinforcements.

Hugh FREWER, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Robert Gwynne FREWIN, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Herbert Charles FREYER, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Reginald FREYER, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Walter Frederick FRICK, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Walter FRIDAY, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Frederick FRIENDSHIP, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Albert John FRISBY, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Ronald Charles FRISKE, General Service Reinforcements.

Stanley FRITH, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Frederic George FRIZELL, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

John FROGLEY, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Oswald Richard FROGLEY, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Paul FROMENT, 3rd Light Horse Signal Troop.

Henry Augustus FROMHOLD, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Albert William FROST, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Arthur David FROST, General Service Reinforcements.

Arthur Stanley FROST, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Bertram Joseph FROST, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Clement Havelock Buller FROST, General Service Reinforcements.

Clive Harris FROST, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Cyrus Spencer FROST, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Earle William Lonby FROST, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Edward FROST, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Edwin George FROST, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Ernest Arthur FROST, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Frank Harris FROST, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Gordon Christopher FROST, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Henry James FROST, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Hubert Ernest FROST, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

James Malcolm FROST, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Leo Vivian FROST, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Leonard William FROST, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Martin FROST, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Richard Alderson FROST, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Sydney FROST, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Thomas Duna FROST, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

William John FROST, 1st Light Horse Signal Squadron.

Albert Ernest FRY, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur Franklin FRY, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur George FRY, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Edwin Henry FRY, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Frank Jonas FRY, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

George Henry FRY, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Harold Charles FRY, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Harry FRY, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Henry Phillip FRY, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Hubert Leslie FRY, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

James Henry Duncan FRY, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

John Alexander FRY, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Reginald Arthur FRY, General Service Reinforcements.

Reginald Hall FRY, 2nd Light Horse Signal Troop.

Sydney Charles FRY, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Thomas FRY, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

William John FRY, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

William John FRY, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

John FRYDAY, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Albert Douglas FRYER, 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance.

Andrew E. FRYER, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

David FRYER, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Dick FRYER, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Frederick FRYER, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Arthur Seth FUGE, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Charles Franklin FUHRMANN, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Guido Nelson FUHRMANN, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

William John FULFIT, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Ernest James FULFORD, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Bertram FULLALOVE, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Henry FULLARD, 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance.

 

Previous: FLE to FOW

Next:  FUL to FYV

 

Sources Used:

National Archives Service File.

Embarkation Roll, AWM8, Class 10, Light Horse.

Nominal Roll, AWM133, Nominal Roll of Australian Imperial Force who left Australia for service abroad, 1914-1918 War.

Collected Records of Steve Becker.

 

Acknowledgement: Many thanks to Steve Becker who provided much of the raw material that appears in this item.

 

Further Reading:

Australian Light Horse - Full Index

The Light Horse

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Australian Light Horse - Full Index, Embarkation Roll: FOW to FUL

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 1 April 2010 10:41 PM EADT
Friday, 23 July 2004
Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 3
Topic: Militia - LHQ - Qld

QMI

Queensland Mounted Infantry

Outline, Part 3

Forward

March: Soldiers of the Queen

 South Africa 1899 - 1902

Allied with: King Edward's Horse (The King's Oversea Dominions Regiment).

 

The following outline of the Queensland Mounted Infantry is extracted from a book written by Joan Starr called Forward: the history of the 2nd / 14th Light Horse (Queensland Mounted Infantry), published Queensland, 1989. This section comes from pp. 14 - 17:


War

The situation was inflamed when the British South Africa Company mobilised its private army of eight hundred men and held them on standby at Mafeking ready to ride to Johannesburg in the Republic of South Africa. On New Year's Day 1896, a shocked would learned that this force was riding into Transvaal to take armed support to the Uitlanders who, it was claimed, had asked for assistance. It was a weak display as the force of eight hundred surrendered to the first Boer troops which confronted them.

The British continued to threaten the Republic by moving troops from the Cape to the Transvaal border and ordering reinforcements from India. On 2 October 1899 President Kruger of the Boer Republic issued an ultimatum to the British, accusing Britain of interfering in the internal affairs of Transvaal and of massing troops to threaten the state. The statement concluded, "That unless Her Majesty's Government complies within 48 hours the Government of the South African Republic (Transvaal) would with great regret be compelled to regard the action as a formal declaration of war."

War began on 14 October 1899 when the Boers swept out of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State on three fronts in an effort to deliver the most telling blows before the arrival of more British troops. In the west they besieged the towns of Mafeking and Kimberley, at the same time severing the road to Rhodesia. In the east they seized the northern Natal towns of Dundee and Newcastle and encircled Ladysmith. The third thrust took place in the centre. There they occupied the railway town of Colesburg, severing the rail system from the Cape Colony. The early battles took place on British territory and it was to be several months before fighting occurred in the republics. The war was only a month old and the Boers had drawn first blood and had laid siege to Mafeking in the north, Kimberley to the west and Ladysmith to the east. Britain was outgunned, outmanned and outclassed!


Mobilisation

It is not possible to determine the exact number of men in the irregular Boer forces. Approximately 50,000 men from the two Boer republics, augmented by 10,000 rebels from the Cape Colony and Natal and about 2,500 foreign sympathisers were pitted against the British. They were not all in the field at the one time, the greatest number being about forty-five thousand in December 1899 after which the number gradually declined. Following the fall of Pretoria in June 1900 the number on active service never rose above twenty thousand. After the first ten months of the war, the Boers fought in a purely guerrilla fashion. In the end it was to take 448,000 British and Empire troops to subdue the Boers.

Britain was generally out of favour with the rest of the world because of its bullying tactics against the independent states of South Africa. There had been unfavourable comment both in America and much of Europe (Germany in particular), about Britain's actions in South Africa, but it still had the Empire's colonies and dominions on which to call. Even as early as July 1899, when it first appeared that hostilities would break out, an overeager government of Queensland, acting on a recommendation of the Commandant of Queensland Defence Forces, offered a contingent of mounted infantry with a machine-gun section. The offer was matched at once by the governments of New South Wales and Victoria.

The British War Office had no understanding of the value of these so readily offered colonial troops. The soldiers were assessed as less than first-class and certainly not as skilled or as reliable as British regulars. While the War Office was inclined to send a carefully worded polite refusal, the British government's demand for a show of Empire unity took precedence. Under Cabinet pressure, the War Office accepted the offer from the Australian colonies.

Patriotic Response

The Queensland Legislative Assembly debated the whole matter of the offer of troops for South Africa, during a four-day sitting from 11 October 1899. Finally it was decided that the contingent would comprise 250 mounted infantry and one machine-gun section and that the cost to raise, equip and transport the force for a six-month expedition, would be £32,000. On 12 October, during the Legislative Assembly debate, it was learnt that war had been declared by the Boers. On the following day the Boers crossed the Natal border. The British Empire was at war. The Queensland contingent was enrolled, organised and equipped with arms, clothing, horses, saddlery, transport wagons with fittings, and stores between October 13 and October 28 - a praiseworthy record of the indefatigable way in which the staff, the Comptroller of Stores, the medical and veterinary authorities, and the government, strove to equip the contingent for war.

The Queensland Government also paid for another two contingents, the 2nd Queensland Mounted Infantry commanded by Lieutenant Colonel K. Hutchison, and the 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry commanded by Major W. H. Tunbridge. In addition the Imperial Government paid the expenses of three contingents, the 4th, 5th and 6th Queensland Imperial Bushmen, largely consisting of volunteers from the Queensland Mounted Infantry and other units of the Queensland Defence Force. Following Federation the Commonwealth Government despatched eight battalions of the Australian Commonwealth Horse Regiment. The 7th Battalion of this regiment was raised entirely in Queensland in 1902, and was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Harry Chauvel. Queensland also provided a company for the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the Commonwealth Horse.

The government decided it was necessary to insure the lives of the men who were about to go to war, and on November 1899, the Queenslander reported "The Government has definitely decided to accept the offer of the Mutual Life Association of Australasia to insure the lives of the members of the Queensland contingent for £250 each. The risk is to commence from the date of arrival in South Africa and to continue for a period of 12 months, or until the termination of the war or the departure of the contingent from South Africa."

Privately subscribed funds were raised by citizens throughout Australia, who felt that by authorising despatch of the contingents, the government and people of this country had incurred a moral obligation to the men, their wives and families. It was considered in the event of death or permanent disability of any man in the contingents, his wife and children should be entitled to receive an allowance from what was known as the National Patriotic Fund. To establish the fund, meetings were held in the various capital cities, and as enthusiasm for the cause raced across the country almost every town and settlement took part in fund-raising. The Patriotic Fund was to continue in existence until the 1980s, helping families of servicemen who had suffered as a result of war or natural disaster.

As well as arranging insurance for the men, the government made provision for families during the absence of the breadwinners, by arranging for married men to assign their pay in favour of their wives before leaving for South Africa. Because of these provisions, the men were able to leave their families with the knowledge that they would be well-cared for, should the need arise, by the government and their fellow Australians.
 

 

Previous: Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 2

Next: Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 4

 

Further Reading:

Queensland Mounted Infantry

Boer War - Queensland Mounted Infantry

Australian Militia Light Horse

 


Citation: Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 3

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 9 July 2010 1:46 PM EADT
Australian Light Horse - Full Index, Embarkation Roll: FUL to FYV
Topic: AIF - ALH - A to Z

ALH, AIF

Australian Light Horse - Full Index

Embarkation Roll: FUL to FYV

 

The following is an alphabetical roll of all members of the Australian Light Horse, AIF who are known to have embarked overseas during the Great War.

Each man is detailed on this reference list with the following information:

First Names;

Family Name;

If applicable, any false name employed; and,

Embarkation unit.

 

Notes

Note 1: All soldiers’ names are linked to the specific unit and date when embarkation occurred. By utilising the link, upon the Embarkation Roll is a brief military biography of the individual. Also on the page are details and picture of the ship in which embarkation occurred for that specific soldier.

Note 2: There are duplications of some names in the following list. The reason for this is that the soldier embarked on more than one occasion. This was the simplest way of resolving the problem of multiple entries for a single individual.

Note 3: In comparing this roll with the official Embarkation Rolls published by the Department of Defence during the Great War, it will be noticed that some names are absent. The reason for this lies in the fact that when the official Embarkation Rolls were compiled, last minute absentees for one reason or another were recorded as embarking whereas in actuality, no embarkation occurred. In addition, there are other names that have been included that do not appear in the official Embarkation Rolls and yet they embarked with that particular group.

 

Finding more about a service person.


Embarkation Roll: FUL to FYV

 

Alan Somerset Orde FULLER, 4th Light Horse Field Ambulance.

Albert FULLER, Light Horse Signal Reinforcements.

Andrew FULLER, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur Henry FULLER, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur William FULLER, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Charles FULLER, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Claude William FULLER, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Colin Dunmore FULLER, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Edwin FULLER, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Frederick Andrew FULLER, Imperial Camel Corps Brigade.

Frederick Felix FULLER, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Frederick Harvey FULLER, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

George Edward FULLER, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

George Howard FULLER, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

George Richard FULLER, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Harold Rossfell FULLER, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Horace Kingsley FULLER, 1st Light Horse Signal Squadron.

James Henry FULLER, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Kenneth Watson FULLER, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Leo FULLER, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

Louis Albert FULLER, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Melville Thomas FULLER, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Sherid Francis FULLER, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Vivian George FULLER, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Walter Charles FULLER, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Alexander Young FULLERTON, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Frank FULLERTON, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

John Ritchie FULLERTON, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Leonard George Alexander FULLERTON, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Percy Rutherglen FULLERTON, 4th Light Horse Regiment.

William John FULLERTON, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Charles FULLGRABE, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Percy Charles FULLOON, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

George Frederick FULLWOOD, Light Horse Signal Reinforcements.

Albert Mathews FULTON, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Andrew John FULTON, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur Leeman FULTON, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Charles Henry FULTON, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

David FULTON, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Donald Cameron FULTON, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Hugh FULTON, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Hugh FULTON, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

William Oliver FULTON, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur Leslie FULWOOD, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Clarence FULWOOD, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Ernest Henry FULWOOD, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

George Henry FULWOOD, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Hurtle Norman FULWOOD, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Thomas FULWOOD, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Richard Frank FUNNELL, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Frank FUNSTON, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Edward FURBY, 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur Ernest FURLONG, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

George Lismore FURLONG, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Patrick William FURLONG, General Service Reinforcements.

William Ormes FURLONG, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

Harold Hughes FURNER, General Service Reinforcements.

Warren Alfred FURNER, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur FURNESS, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur FURNESS, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur Henry FURNESS, 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

William Wadsworth FURNESS, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Walter FURNISS, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Frederick Herbert FURZE, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Norman Burchill FURZE, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Edgar Coldham FUSSELL, 5th Light Horse Regiment.

Warwick Coldham FUSSELL, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Whitmore John FUTCHER, 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Reginald Lumley FUTTER, 7th Light Horse Regiment.

George William FUZZARD, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Richard FUZZARD, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

William Stanley FUZZARD, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Alexander Howard Parker FYFE, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Charles Taylor FYFE, 1st Light Horse Brigade.

Thomas FYFE, 1st Light Horse Regiment.

Walter Bruce FYFE, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

Arthur William FYFFE, 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Hudson FYSH, 3rd Light Horse Regiment.

Edgar Henry FYVIE, 13th Light Horse Regiment.

 

Previous: FOW to FUL

Next:  GAB to GED

 

Sources Used:

National Archives Service File.

Embarkation Roll, AWM8, Class 10, Light Horse.

Nominal Roll, AWM133, Nominal Roll of Australian Imperial Force who left Australia for service abroad, 1914-1918 War.

Collected Records of Steve Becker.

 

Acknowledgement: Many thanks to Steve Becker who provided much of the raw material that appears in this item.

 

Further Reading:

Australian Light Horse - Full Index

The Light Horse

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Australian Light Horse - Full Index, Embarkation Roll: FUL to FYV

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 1 April 2010 10:39 PM EADT
Thursday, 22 July 2004
Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 4
Topic: Militia - LHQ - Qld

QMI

Queensland Mounted Infantry

Outline, Part 4

Forward

March: Soldiers of the Queen

 South Africa 1899 - 1902

Allied with: King Edward's Horse (The King's Oversea Dominions Regiment).

 

The following outline of the Queensland Mounted Infantry is extracted from a book written by Joan Starr called Forward: the history of the 2nd / 14th Light Horse (Queensland Mounted Infantry), published Queensland, 1989. This section comes from pp. 18 - 17:

 

Off to War

Departure of the troops on the Cornwall in November drew vast crowds to the wharf area, and the whole event blossomed into a gala occasion with the bands, bunting, garlands, refreshment booths, and bright sunshades.

Almost every craft capable of floating, large and small, and gaily decked-out with flags and bunting, gathered not far from the Cornwall. The contingent commander, Major Ricardo, led his men onto the wharf where he dismounted. First to march on the wharf was the machinegun section (a detachment of the Queensland Royal Australian Artillery followed by A and B Companies of the Mounted Infantry under Captain Harry Chauvel and Captain Philip Pinnock respectively. Lieutenant Alfred Adie carried the handmade flag presented to the contingent by the women of Brisbane. The men embarked on the Cornwall to the tune of "Soldiers of the Queen", played by the Headquarters Band. The words and music were "catchy" and easy to remember:

It's the soldiers of the Queen, my lads,
Who’ve been, my lads, who've seen, my lads,
In the fight for England's glory lads,
Of its world-wide glory let us sing.

And when we say we've always won,
And when they ask us how it’s done,
Well proudly point to every one
Of England's soldiers of the Queen!



By 11 December the Cornwall reached Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The forty-three day voyage had not been very pleasant for the men, many of whom were ill with influenza during the trip. Ordered by the British Commander on to Cape Town, the Cornwall arrived at Table Bay on 12 December, and troops landed at Cape Town the following day. Major Ricardo was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on the day he landed at Cape Town.

The man who the Queenslanders and other colonists were to serve under was General Sir Redvers Buller, recently appointed Commander-in-Chief. Buller was a veteran soldier who had fought in five wars, the first Boer War from 1880 to 1881, and against the Zulu, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He was a hearty, jovial commander, popular with the troops but unfortunately, not only had he never commanded large formations of troops in the field; he had assumed command after ten years of desk service.

Buller scrapped the War Office plan of an advance on the Boer republics and decided to split his force into three columns, leaving the Cape undefended. The tragic result of this blunder was "Black Week", when in December 1899 the Boers soundly defeated the British at Stormberg, Magersfontein and Colenso. The noted British historian Arthur Conan Doyle wrote:

The week ... was the blackest one known during our generation, and the most disastrous for British arms during the century. We had in a short space of seven days lost, beyond all extenuation or excuse, three separate actions. The total loss amounted to about three thousand men and twelve guns, while the indirect effects in the way of loss of prestige to ourselves and increased confidence and more numerous recruits to our enemy were incalculable.


The pride of the British Army had been dragged in the dust of the veldt by Boer farmers, who were no longer considered simply "native rebels". In addition Kimberley, Mafeking and Ladysmith were still under siege. Buller was subsequently replaced by Lord Roberts.

The British were out of their depth as they were confronted by an enemy which used unconventional tactics. The Boers had no standing army and wore no standard uniform. Every farmer between sixteen and sixty was prepared to fight, providing his own horse, rifle and ammunition, and provisions for eight days on the open plain (veldt). These citizen-soldiers were organised into highly mobile guerrilla units called "commandos" varying in size from several hundred to many thousands, appearing and vanishing as required.

One war correspondent described them as a "motley-looking" group of fighters, a "crowd one is apt to see in a far inland shearing shed in Australia". However there was nothing unsophisticated about the Boer force. The artillery was trained by German officers and equipped with the most modern German and French guns, outranging their British counterparts. The mounted infantrymen favoured the German Mauser rifle and the Maxim machine-gun. The Boer was a skilled marksman, having gained much experience from years of living and hunting on the veldt. He would hide behind boulders or rocky hills (kopjes), picking off advancing infantrymen with ease, often using small white stones left on the plain as target-markers. As the infantry closed in, the Boers would leap on their ponies and disappear in a cloud of dust.

When Lord Roberts assumed command of all troops he found an army extended over a front of 500 miles. The task of the new Commander-in-Chief was to take the offensive by carrying the war across the borders and into the republics and, in doing so, force the Boers to loosen their grip on the besieged British towns.

The Queensland contingents, together with those from other colonies never fought as one Australian division. They were divided up, as were the Canadian and New Zealand contingents, and attached to British regiments, thus fighting in what was an Empire army. They learnt much soldiering from the British, while the British learnt a great deal from the colonials who were well-suited to guerrilla warfare, and to the country itself.

After arriving in Cape Town the Queensland Mounted Infantry went immediately by train to Orange River providing some badly needed mounted troops to the Kimberley Relief Force. They saw no action for two and a half weeks, but this was still far too short a time for the horses to be acclimatised and recover from the sea voyage. On first arrival in Africa the horses developed a kind of influenza and a regiment on the march sounded like a veterinary hospital with the sneezing and wheezing of the wretched animals.

The loss in horses from starvation, disease and sheer exhaustion was terrible. Captain Chauvel was to write home early in the campaign that they were losing five horses a day. The situation only became worse; it was unlikely that a man would ride the same horse for very long, there was therefore little opportunity of building the extraordinary sympathy between rider and horse that later existed in the Middle East in 1916-18, when well-cared for horses displayed enormous stamina and great heart.

The turnover in animals was so great that by the end of the war no fewer than two hundred thousand horses and mules were lost, the carcasses lying the length and breadth of South Africa. When the war concluded there were 264,000 horses and mules and 19,000 oxen listed on army service.

A day on the march was very much as follows - At grey dawn the soldier gave his horse a meagre (very meagre) supply of hard uncrushed Indian corn to eat. No hay, nor bran, nor any other fodder was supplied to assist the animal to chew and digest the unattractive maize. While eating his feed, a saddle, loaded with accoutrements up to a weight of six stone was hoisted onto the horse and left there while the trooper went to get his own scanty breakfast. At midday again a very small meal (about a handful) of maize or raw oats would be given to the horse. Such water as they got to drink was hurriedly snatched at intervals of marching, and on many occasions the horses went all day without water.

At night the troopers would be out on outpost duty, and this meant the horses were kept standing all night with their saddles on, unable to rest. Many a time the horses went 48 hours without having their saddles off; and there was no chance for them to recuperate. Day after day they had to plod on under the blazing sun all day, and in the freezing wind at night.'

The few cavalry charges that were attempted during the war were sorry spectacles; a long drawn out string of weak and weary horses, plodding hopelessly across the veldt at a canter, urged to further exertions by blows from the riders, and with no hope of closing on the enemy. All of the combat was of the nature of mounted infantry in which the men dismounted to fight.
 

A note by the Editor on the comments made by J. Starr in the above text regarding General Sir Redvers Buller

For the purposes of clarity and ensuring that the otherwise excellent summary of J. Starr is not undermined by some poorly researched comments, the following is inserted to give the reader an insight into the problems of balance and the nature of those who write history.

The problem of making comments about the ability of Buller through the prism of history written to exult General "Bobs" Roberts and by default, Kitchener, leads the unwary commentator to miss the outstanding ability of Buller. History has vilified the man for being in charge of the British forces in South Africa during Black Week. Because Buller was the man in charge, he is also the convenient public scapegoat whose history has been tarnished by many authors who describe him as some type of bungling fool and Colonel Blimp like character.

The facts are quite different. Buller was an immensely popular General with his troops. He cared for their welfare and ensure that they were well looked after despite the incompetence of the War Office which was not up to the task of supplying such a vast army with the basic means let alone with the tools to provide victory. In addition, the valuable intelligence assessments were not circulated to him. It took the Times in 1900 to publish this report which was readily available in England but not to the people who needed it the most.

After the three disasters that constituted the Black Week, the men under Buller's command never lost another battle. Buller learned the lessons of these defeats and applied them well. The change in strategy involved the creation of such an innovative infantry practice that it took until 1916 for it to be fully understood and appreciated. Then his methods became standard practice during the Great War for the British Army. Buller mapped out two basic ideas: limited objectives and creeping barrages. The limited objective ensured that the troops knew exactly the nature of their specific task and objective. Each section knew the task they were meant to achieve in the battle. The assistance was then given to the infantry by artillery co-ordination, a novelty as it had never occurred on a mass scale before and something very difficult to arrange bearing in mind that there was not the luxury of immediate communication between the infantry and artillery on the battlefield. Buller's thinking was far beyond his time. Regardless of his ability, the Roberts followers wanted something to alow Roberts to shine which basically meant damning Buller. As is often the case, the wrong person received all the credit. This was not the first time this happened in history and nor was it and will it be the last time.

When presenting an analysis of a situation, it is essential for historians or critical readers to understand the nature of the circumstance rather than iterate "common" wisdom.

 

Previous: Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 3

Next: Queensland Mounted Infantry

 

Further Reading:

Queensland Mounted Infantry

Boer War - Queensland Mounted Infantry

Australian Militia Light Horse

 


Citation: Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 4

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 9 July 2010 2:05 PM EADT

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