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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.

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre site holds over 12,000 entries and is growing daily.

Contact: Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

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WARNING: This site contains: names, information and images of deceased people; and, language which may be considered inappropriate today.

Sunday, 14 November 2004
AH, Australian Horse, History Part 2
Topic: Militia - LHN - 3/11/7

 AH

Australian Horse

History Part 2, 1899-1902

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 - 1937]
7th/21st Australian Horse [1949 - 1957]

 Hearth and Home

 South Africa 1899 - 1902

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

 

1st Australian Horse, Part 2

 

The following text is extracted from and article written by R. J. Marrion and R. L. Campbell called 1st Australian Horse which first appeared in the March 1981 edition of the magazine, Military Modelling.


BOER WAR 1899-02

 

Men fron the 1st Australian Horse: [Left to Right] 1027 Tpr MR "Dick" Mecham, 1012 Tpr GH "Geoff" Harris, 1081 Tpr JW "Jack" Mecham, and 1098 Tpr Neville J Usher.

[From: Sydney Mail, 10 March 1900, p. 577.]



At the outbreak of the Boer War, in 1899, the State Government raised the New South Wales' Lancer Squadron to full strength, and then decided to send another mounted squadron drawn for the New South Wales' Mounted Rifles Regiment. Such was the outcry from the 1st Australia Horse, that it was decided include a troop from the Regiment and detachment of two officers and 32 men embarked from Australia on 12th November, 1899.

The Australian Horse suffered its first casualties on 16th January, 1900, when ambushed by Boers, two were killed and four taken prisoner. On 6th March, 1900, the Troop were reinforced by a further contingent of five officers and 100 other ranks, plus 112 horses - later being most welcome as the arduous campaigning conditions encountered in South Africa decimated the cavalry's horses after a few weeks.

The whole contingent were now attached to the Scots' Greys and the Cavalry Division under th command of General French. The whole squadron saw its last action at Heidelburg on the 26th October, 1900 before part of the squadron sailed for home the following month; the remainder left South Africa on the last day of March, 1901. In all, the contingent had taken part in 45 engagements throughout the campaign.

Although no further regimental contingents were sent to South Africa, men from the Regiment continued to be sent to other New South Wales' mounted units, until the end of the war in 1902, where from the beginning 206 men of all ranks saw service in South Africa. Total casualties included 12 dead, 10 wounded and 9 prisoners of war. The Regiment also gained a CB, two DSOs, a DCM and four mentioned in despatches; also five commissions into the regular cavalry were granted.

Colonel Mackay, assisted by six of his officers, raised and took out to South Africa the 6th or New South Wales' Regiment of Imperial Bushmen (for which he was awarded the CB). Meanwhile, the remainder of the Regiment at home were transferred from the Volunteer establishment to the Militia.

 

Previous: Australian Horse, History Part 1

Next: Australian Horse, History Part 3

 

Further Reading:

3rd/11th/7th Australian Light Horse

Militia Light Horse, New South Wales

Australian Militia Light Horse

 


Citation: Australian Horse, History Part 2

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Thursday, 12 May 2011 3:57 PM EADT
New South Wales Lancers 1885 to 1897
Topic: Militia - LHN - 1/7/1

NSWL

New South Wales Lancers

History, 1885-1897

New South Wales Lancers [1885 - 1903]
1st (New South Wales Lancers) Australian Light Horse [1903-1912]
7th (New South Wales Lancers) Australian Light Horse [1912-1919]
1st (New South Wales Lancers) Australian Light Horse [1919-1929]
1/21st Australian Light Horse [1929-1935]
1st (Royal New South Wales Lancers) Light Horse Machine Gun Regiment [1936-1942]
1st (Royal New South Wales Lancers) Armoured Regiment [1942-1948]
1st Royal New South Wales Lancers [1948-1956]
1/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers [1956- ]

[The elephant's head used on the badges is taken from the family crest of Lord Carrington, Governor of New South Wales from 1885 - 1890 and was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Regiment from 1885 until 1928.] 

Tenax in fide - Steadfast in Trust

 South Africa 1899 - 1900

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

 


The following history is extracted from Vernon, PV, ed., Royal New South Wales Lancers 1885 to 1985, Sydney 1986, pp. 3-23.

 


CHAPTER I TAKING SHAPE:

IN order fully to understand the reasons for the formation of the Volunteer Cavalry Corps in New South Wales in 1885 it would, perhaps, be as well to glance, briefly, at conditions both at home and abroad at that date.

As early as the middle of the century it had been the mother country's policy to encourage the independence of her children. The existence of the colonists in New South Wales was, therefore, shaped and coloured by natural conditions rather than by outside pressure. In 1870 Imperial troops were withdrawn, and in the following year colonial regulars were raised. These consisted of one battery of artillery and two corps (i.e., units) of infantry. In 1872 the artillery was considerably increased, the infantry disbanded. Under the relative Act of 1871, men between the ages of 18 and 40 enlisted for five years, and were permitted to re-engage for two to five years. A gunner's pay was 2/3d. per diem, in addition to free rations of bread, meat and groceries; free kit on joining, uniform, barrack accommodation, fuel and light and medical attention. Increased pay was given on reengagement. Rewards for good conduct were granted as in the Imperial Service, but no pensions.

The year 1870 and the decade that followed were significant not only for Britain and her young colony, but, too, for Europe and the Pacific generally. The sixties saw the rise of Prussia, culminating in the Franco-Prussian War. With the end of the Second Empire and the fall of Paris the Hohenzollern Empire became firmly established, to fall only in 1918 at the close of the First World War. After 1870, the decision and rapidity with which German annexations were carried out in Africa and the Pacific suggests considerable premeditation. In 1884 German colonies were established in New Guinea and the Solomons.

This rapid and menacing development in Germany, the unrest in Russia following the Crimean War and the significance of the Indian Mutiny of 1857 could not fail to cause deep concern in responsible circles, and between 1870 and 1880 Australian defence works received much attention under the advice of Royal Engineers of the standing of Sir William Drummond Jervois and Colonel Scratchley. Stimulus was given to the organization of local defence forces by the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish War, with the possibility of British intervention.

In 1867 New South Wales had passed a Volunteer Force Regulation Act and volunteering was encouraged by grants of land after five years' continuous service. In 1878 some of the volunteers were reorganised on a "partially paid" basis, and in 1886 volunteers in receipt of payment were re-named "Militia".

No doubt military affairs were under discussion in 1884 when there arrived in Sydney from New Zealand one Robert Roland Thompson, one-time sergeant of the 4th Dragoon Guards, who had promoted the formation of the Dunedin Hussars in New Zealand. He was later, in 1897, to become the first adjutant of the 1st (Volunteer) Australian Horse, and later still to be prominent in forming the King's Colonials. He brought a letter of introduction to Senior Sergeant Charles Dalton of the New South Wales Police from Inspector Bevan in Dunedin, Dalton and Bevan being old comrades with long service in the 8th Hussars -in fact, both were survivors of the famous charge of the Light Cavalry Brigade at Balaclava in 1854.

Thompson, it is considered, is the person whose initiative led to the formation of a cavalry troop in Sydney at that time. He apparently confided in Dalton, whose role in the police was officer-in-charge of the Governor's mounted escort, for which reason he, with his family, was quartered at the Government House stables which later became the Conservatorium of Music. Dalton brought Thompson under vice-regal notice and, although it is not thought that the then Governor, Lord Loftus, played a prominent part in this cavalry movement, he was destined to be the first to receive the honour of a cavalry escort.

Thompson became active in spreading the idea of a cavalry troop among the many horse owners in Sydney and, if Governor Loftus gave no particular encouragement to the project, there were citizens whose enthusiasm more than outweighed his apathy. Malcolm Melville Macdonald, a veteran of Indian frontier fighting, retired and living at North Sydney, while at first hesitant, came to show very definite interest. During his active service he had commanded the Poona Horse in Upper Scinde and Baluchistan in 1847; after rigorous service against the Baluchis and Afghans he had held several important staff appointments. About 1854, for health reasons, he had been given leave to proceed to Australia and to act as a buying agent for horses for the army in India. and had remained there ever since. Of commanding presence, tall, straight and dignified, Captain Macdonald was a well-known City and North Shore identity. In retirement he had not lost any of his enthusiasm for physical fitness and the self-discipline bred of a life-time of military service. His influence and example were to prove of inestimable value and it is little wonder that he became known as the Father of Australian Cavalry.

A number of names having been collected, a meeting was held in October 1884 at the Oxford Hotel at the corner of King and Phillip Streets. This became the regular meeting house of the Lancers until about 1911, and, incidentally, it was here that the imperial Service Club was launched. At this initial gathering Captain Macdonald was in the chair, and the room was filled to capacity with the young and adventurous.
That a cavalry troop should be formed was proposed by Mr. J. M. Purves, later for many years major and quartermaster of the regiment. The motion was carried unanimously and a preliminary mounted parade was arranged. The new troop was toasted liberally and a decision made to take the matter up with the Government.

The preliminary parade took place in Moore Park early in December, probably where the Sports Ground now lies. About 40 men turned out, mostly well mounted. Besides such wellknown names as those already mentioned, men of high standing in the community answered the roll-call. Amongst them were A. J, and C. T. Metcalf, J. B. Donkin, G. Kiss (of the Horse Bazaar), T. K. Abbott, A. J. Barton, Dr R. S. Bowker, H. C. Doyle, C. B. Fairfax, C. H. Kerry, W. Kettel, S. E. Laidley, J. H. Sands and W. L. Vernon -names of sufficient importance to recommend the acceptance of the services of the men bearing them by the Government.

In January, 1885, the corps was gazetted as follows:

Colonial Secretary's Office, Sydney.
3rd January 1885.
His Excellency the Governor with the advice of the Executive Council has been pleased to give Authority under the Fifth Section of the Volunteer Force Regulation Act of 1867, for the formation of a volunteer Cavalry Corps in Sydney: such Corps to be subject to the above-cited Act, and the Regulations made thereunder, and the members thereof to receive no assistance from the Government beyond being furnished with Arms (Sabres and Rifles), Cavalry Bridles and Saddle Cloths; the Corps to bear the designation of the Sydney Light Horse Volunteers.
William Bede Dalley.

It will be noted from the above that the volunteers provided their own horses, uniforms and saddles.

Staff Sergeant R. R. Thompson was enrolled on January 17; Captain M. M. Macdonald, with a salary of £50 per annum, and 59 others, all troopers, a few days later.

February of this significant year saw the fall of Khartoum and the offer by the New South Wales Premier, William Bede Dalley, of two batteries of field artillery and one battalion of infantry fully equipped, all expenses paid, to arrive in Suakim within 30 days. This was the first time that a colony had offered organised military assistance to the mother country, and of this gallant offer the infantry and one battery were accepted.

The new light horse troop made its first public appearance on March 3 1885, on the occasion of the brilliant pageant which marked the departure of the contingent for the Sudan. The troop, which paraded about 50 strong under Captain Macdonald, was detailed as escort to the Governor. Their uniform was blue: blue tunics and peaked caps with red bands; blue overalls, worn over short boots, were neat and serviceable looking. Spurs and ;polished brown pouch belts added a gleam. Swords and bridles had been obtained from the Police Department. Saddle cloths were dark blue, edged with white lines. The Governor with escort, the Sudan Contingent under Colonel J. S. Richardson (Commandant of the Military Forces) and other troops marched in procession from Victoria Barracks to the Orient Wharf, East Circular Quay, where the contingent embarked. The light horse formed up in line with the white walls of the Hill, Clarke and Company woolstore forming a very effective background. With addition of the red tunics and white helmets of the foot soldiery here was a riot of martial colour; the whole scene reflected the loyalty of the young colony to the mother country.

This display of good horseflesh and martial mien aroused much enthusiasm in visitors from the country districts and it as not long before troops began to spring up wherever a leader rose. From 1885 until 1889 all the light horse units were administered as independent troops, the whole constituting the Cavalry Brigade Reserves, with Captain Macdonald as Commandant. The headquarters orderly room was apparently at No. 17 O'Connell Street as there was an order about September 1885 directing all Cavalry Reserve Corps correspondence to be addressed to Captain Macdonald at that address. Macdonald was promoted to major on September 29 1885.
 
When the Sudan Contingent returned in August 1885 the Sydney Troop again escorted the Governor. Colonel Richardson brought back two lances, presented to him as a memento of the campaign by Colonel Palmer, 9th Bengal Lancers. One of his first official acts was to convert the Sydney Light Horse Troop into lancers, giving it a touch of "pomp and circumstance" that well became a troop that was to appear as vice-regal escort on so many occasions. This was the signal for a fresh pattern of uniform, one resembling that of the 5th Royal Irish Lancers but with silver braid instead of gold and a white dragoon type helmet instead of the traditional lancer cap. These blue uniforms with their red facings and silver buttons were ordered from London and paid for by the members of the troop. And although appearance was a great factor in those days, good riding must also have been well in evidence, for it was only seven years later that the New South Wales cavalry were winning prizes in London against Britain's best.

When Lord Carrington, Governor Loftus's successor, arrived in Sydney on December 12 1885 the Lancers turned out to accompany him from the quayside. There were no lances yet, but with enthusiasm unquenched by cries of "fishing rods" from humorists among the crowd of onlookers, the troop carried bamboo poles with red and white pennants attached. The Government was slow in providing arms and when, some months after his arrival, the Governor visited a country town the light horse escort, having no weapons, turned out with stockwhips.
Lord Carrington, later the Marquis of Lincolnshire, at once identified himself with the cavalry. His official position as Governor in those days carried with it the title of "Commander-in-Chief of the New South Wales Defence Forces." But in the early orders of the cavalry he is termed the honorary colonel, and he held this position with great interest, munificence and practical assistance, even though in England, until his death in 1928.

By early 1886 the Cavalry Reserves comprised:

Sydney Lancers

Seven troops of light horse

Illawarra    

Ulmarra

West Camden (i.e., Mittagong,    Grafton Robertson and district)    

Upper Clarence (two troops) West Maitland

The complete designation of a troop was in this style:

Illawarra Reserve Corps of Volunteer Light Horse.

The establishment of a troop was 60 all ranks, comprising: 1 captain, 2 lieutenants, 1 troop sergeant-major, 3 sergeants, 4 corporals, 1 trumpeter, 1 farrier, 1 shoeing-smith, 46 troopers.

Easter 1886 saw the first encampment with other troops at National Park, and at least some of the country cavalry units were in this camp. Extracts from the General and Brigade Orders of that period indicate that there was, even at this early stage in the Sydney Troop's existence, no lack of interest in high standards of discipline and appearance, and that the unit was rapidly taking shape along the right lines.

In December 1885, Mr C. H. E. Chauvel, of Tabulam Station, had pioneered the formation of the Upper Clarence Light Horse. His first idea was to form a regiment of five troops, with headquarters at Tenterfield, the troops to be:

No. 1, Tabulam;
No. 2, Border;
No. 3, Tenterfield;
Nos. 4 and 5 on the Richmond River.


The first two troops were duly gazetted, and on January 2 1886 a meeting to enrol members was held at Tabulam. One hundred and twenty-nine were sworn in, nine more than required. Owing to the fact, however, that Major-General Richardson was opposed to the formation of further troops in the north, the proposed regiment did not come into being. Mr Chauvel was appointed captain and two of his sons, C. A. C. and H. G., were lieutenants under him. H. G. Chauvel, later Lieut-General Sir Harry Chauvel, became one of Australia's greatest military leaders.

Uniforms for the Upper Clarence troops, including scarlet tunics and white helmets, arrived just in time for the opening of the railway to Tenterfield in October 1886. The cavalry, mustering 75 of all ranks, formed an escort for Lord Carrington on this occasion. At this date there were still only about 20 men in the Border Troop, so more were enlisted in and around Casino, making a composite "Casino-Border" troop. This not so satisfactory state of affairs was resolved by headquarters. Major Macdonald, in a letter to the Officer Commanding the Upper Clarence Light Horse, in May 1887 wrote: "It is decided by the Major-General that we henceforth have no cognisance of these Border men." The Border Troop being struck off, the Casino Light Horse were referred to as No. 2 Troop, Upper Clarence Light Horse, and after No. 1 Troop joined the mounted infantry the Casino Troop was re-designated the Richmond River Light Horse in October 1888. The earliest officers at Casino were Captain W. J. Fanning and Lieutenant W. Hindmarsh who were acting in those ranks from February 1887. On the closing down of the Border Troop Lieutenant H. G. Chauvel was ordered to parade with the Casino Troop; however, in March 1889 he resigned and accepted a commission in the Queensland Mounted Infantry.

The early years of the cavalry's existence were fraught with trials and tribulations as well as with honours and success, the Order and Correspondence Books reflecting the usual minor domestic difficulties: instructors who had to be replaced, trumpeters to be instructed, returns that were continually late, rivalries between units, and troopers who would travel saloon instead of steerage suggest only a few of the matters that had to be coped with. But in spite of these there was a sense of stability abroad, made manifest by the recurring names of members, rising in rank, some becoming family names in the annals of the regiment. Only a few months passed before most members of the unit had serge undress jackets, provided at their own expense, marking them in the public eye as a force that had come to stay, a fresh and inspiring feature of the young colony's existence.

A General Order, issued October 30 1886 reads: "The Officer Commanding Lancers will, without awaiting further instructions, arrange for an escort of Lancers on all occasions when H.E. the Governor and Commander-in-Chief is proceeding in state." Lancer escorts then became a familiar sight in Sydney, appearing every few weeks. In those days the strength of an escort was not arbitrary, but was limited only by the number of volunteers for the honour able to make themselves available on any specific date.

In March 1887, the Queen's Jubilee Year, most of the military forces combined in a camp of annual training at National Park, whilst the Upper Clarence Light Horse camped at Tabulam. By now the headquarters orderly room had been removed to Phillip Street, Sydney. On May 24 the usual Queen's Birthday Review was held, being attended by the Sydney Lancers who fell in near the Captain Cook Hotel, Moore Park, and by some of the country light horse who had come by rail. This review was an established feature of Sydney's military pageantry for many years, and the ground near the Captain Cook Hotel remained a falling-in place for the Sydney Lancers right up to 1914. The Waterloo Day dinner in June was also attended by a number of officers from the country. In July 1887 the West Maitland unit was redesignated the Hunter River Light Horse. During this year, too, 100 more lances were issued to the cavalry, and a letter from headquarters recommended the issuing of lances on loan or sale to country troops. Revolvers were issued to the Sydney officers and non-commissioned officers, and four per troop to certain of the cavalry troops. Fifty books on trumpet calls were supplied, at 4/6 each.

The Jubilee Year celebrations in Victoria were distinguished by a military tournament at Flemington in June. An invitation to compete having been given by the Melbourne Corps to the Sydney Lancers, a team of about 12 was formed of Sydney and country members. Four of them were from West Camden Troop, whose Sergeant T. Ferguson won three of the events: tilting at the ring, tentpegging and lemon cutting. Other members of the team secured two second places and one third in various events. One reads that in July the residents of Bowral gave a complimentary dinner to the local representatives in the team and presented Sergeant Ferguson with a sword. Later in the year there was a review by Lord Carrington of a grand parade of cavalry at Moore Park, including detachments from Illawarra, West Camden, Hunter River and the Upper Clarence; this was followed by a cavalry tournament. The Upper Clarence detachment numbered 27 according to H. V. Vernon, but in a letter written in 1932 Sir Harry Chauvel put the number at "about 50 picked men" with three officers- Captain Chauvel and his two sons. With their own horses they travelled by train to Newcastle and thence to Sydney by sea. It has been stated that their expenses, except train fares, were all paid by Captain Chauvel.

The appointment of Mr William Scott, M.R.C.V.S., as veterinary surgeon to the Sydney Lancers in October 1887 is noted, this appointment lasting until 1889. Another interesting appointment in 1887 was that of Charles Albin Dalton, son of Senior Sergeant Dalton of the police, already mentioned. C. A. Dalton was born at the Government House stables and his soldiering commenced at the age of 14 when he joined the artillery as a trumpeter; when he was 16 he transferred to the newly formed Sydney Light Horse and rode in the escort on March 3 1885. In 1887 he enlisted as a permanent soldier and was appointed to the permanent staff of the cavalry as trumpet-major and orderly room clerk (General Order No. 128). He was a man of strong character and a keen soldier. After about 20 years with the regiment he was transferred to the Mounted Rifles as regimental sergeant-major and later helped to train light horsemen in Victoria and Queensland also. He was the only original member to witness the regiment's Diamond Jubilee parade in 1945.

Covering the period from 1887 to 1900 one can read scores of references to the Lancers in the Australasian Naval and Military Gazette.-' which was an unofficial monthly journal. It contained extracts from Government Gazettes, General Orders, copies of Inspection Reports by the Commandant of the Military Forces, reports of regimental activities such as camps, tactical exercises, tournaments, balls and a variety of articles on service matters. Unfortunately, copies of this journal are very scarce, but some may be seen in the Mitchell Library and in the United Service Institution of New South Wales. One of the earliest references was an account of a lunch given by the Sydney Lancers in the Domain, then part of Government House grounds, on March 9 1887. His Excellency, Lord Carrington, presided, as honorary colonel of the Reserve Cavalry, and there were a number of distinguished guests representing the navy and the army. The speeches at the function are reported: Major Macdonald referred to the constant help they had received from their honorary colonel; Lord Carrington in the course of his reply congratulated the corps on being self-supporting-a reference to their being unpaid volunteers-and complimented them upon their good horsemanship, mentioning Captain Weston of Illawarra, Trooper (later Lieut-Colonel) Markwell of Maitland, and the well-known tentpeggers, Lieutenant Purves (later quartermaster) and Trooper Kerry of Sydney. Major-General Richardson said they were wholly self-supporting and that the annual £2 allowance per member by the Government "very inadequately expressed the expense to which they were put"; he was glad to see that provision for an adjutant had been put on the Estimates.

The journal referred to gives evidence of annual tournaments having been inaugurated in 1886 at the various troop centres.

The year 1888 saw some changes. The Ulmarra and Grafton Troops were disbanded (Gazette, September 5). Approval was published "of No. 1 Troop of the Upper Clarence Light Horse being transferred from light horse to mounted infantry under the Partially Paid system and being designated the Tabulam Mounted Infantry" (Gazette, September 28) .

The Corps of Permanent Mounted Infantry was raised in Sydney in September 1888 with an establishment of 1 captain, 1 sergeant and 30 others. The first captain was H. G. B. Sparrow. The corps was intended to supply men and horses for the mounted branches and to form the nucleus of a regiment to be distributed by companies throughout the colony. Several companies of partially paid mounted infantry were raised about this time, each 50 strong - Tabulam, Bega, Queanbeyan, Picton, Campbelltown, Inverell - and before the Easter encampment of 1889 they, together with the permanent company, had been formed into an administrative regiment under Major H. B. Lassetter. The permanent company was employed chiefly on escort, orderly and guard duties, and was disbanded on July 3 1889 on account of expense and the current commercial depression.

In connection with the blue lancer uniform of the Sydney Lancers, General Order No. 223, November 5 1889, in part, is quoted:

"The Government having ordered the adoption and also provided the brown uniform for the whole of the Cavalry, the original lancer uniform will be discontinued from this date by the Sydney Lancer troop. The stable jacket and overalls will be retained by the Lancers, to be worn when directed. A fatigue cap will shortly be issued. Lancer officers will continue to wear the full dress uniform on state occasions."


It was a practice of the New South Wales Military Forces to utilise former Imperial soldiers as staff and instructors. R. R. Thompson, already mentioned, had become a warrant officer by 1886. R. J. Willcock, late corporal, 15th Hussars, was appointed a staff sergeant instructor with the cavalry in September 1887, followed by W. E. Clare, late sergeant, 17th Lancers, in February 1888 and in July by C. Cooke, late of the 9th Lancers. H. T. Read, from the 8th Hussars, who became one of the best known instructors in the regiment, was appointed in September 1888; he accompanied the Aldershot Squadron in 1899 and was on active service in the South African War. The next was G. E. Morris, late corporal, 2nd Dragoon Guards, who was appointed in June 1889; he served in the South African War and later attained the rank of captain, being adjutant at the time of his death in 1914. Later there came Warrant Officer C. E. Fisher who had seen service in Burma with the 17th Lancers and who also served in South Africa with the New South Wales Lancers. In January 1888, Captain C. A. Milward, Royal Artillery, became the first permanent adjutant of the cavalry, but his name does not appear in the Order Book after March of that year. Orders were then signed by Warrant Officer Thompson until Major H. B. Lassetter, late of the Staffordshire Regiment, was ordered to "assume command of the Permanent Mounted Infantry and act as adjutant of the Cavalry" from January 25 1889. Lassetter functioned as adjutant for only two months, after which date Captain A. J. Dodds of the Sydney Lancers became acting adjutant.

There were also interesting enlistments in the Hunter River Troop in July 1889: Trooper John B. Meredith of the Raymond Terrace detachment and Trooper George Leonard Lee. Meredith commanded the 1st Light Horse, A.I.F., in 1914-15, the 1st and 4th Light Horse Brigades, A.I.F., and after the war the 2nd Cavalry Brigade. Lee was commissioned in October 1889, was later staff officer (i.e., adjutant) of the Lancers, gained a D.S.O. in South Africa and rose to be District Commandant in New South Wales in the Great War, being made an honorary lieutenant-general in 1920.

One of the most memorable figures of this period was Captain Malcolm McNeill, 4th Hussars, later A.D.C. to His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught. He was specially selected and came to New South Wales in August 1889 to complete the work of organising the separate troops into a regiment of half-squadrons. A veteran of the Sudan campaign, 1885, Captain McNeill adapted himself admirably to the Australian temperament and conditions and proved to be an ideal man for the job. He carried the organising through to a successful conclusion and as a result the Government Gazette of December 10 1889 announced: "His Excellency the Governor with the advice of the Executive Council has been pleased to give authority under the 49th Section of the Volunteer Act, 1867, for the formation of the undermentioned Troops of Cavalry into an administrative Regiment to be called the New South Wales Regiment of Volunteer Cavalry ..." The troops and their commanders were:

"A"    Sydney    Captain A. J. Dodds
"B"    Illawarra    Captain E. H. Weston
"C"    West Camden    Captain J. J. Walters
"D"    Hunter River    Captain W. Cracknell
"E"    Richmond River    Captain W. J. Fanning
"F"    Murrumbidgee    Captain G. Coleman


The badge of the regiment was the Carrington crest, an elephant's head with coronet, on crossed lances, with sprays of waratah, the floral emblem of the colony. The collar badge was the Carrington crest alone. A brass letter denoting the troop was worn on the shoulder cords by the other ranks. The motto was the Carrington family's - "Tenax in fide" (steadfast in faith).

With effect from January 1 1890, the Gazette noted the promotion of Major Macdonald to lieut-colonel. And although the new organisation differed but slightly from that of the Cavalry Brigade Reserves, the promotion of the commanding officer and the new designation gave every member a sense of fresh and welcome responsibilities, of widening horizons.

In Young Australia of September 1889 one reads:

"The N.S.W. Cavalry-This regiment is to be armed with lances and 500 of these weapons have been ordered."


From January 1 1890 the cavalry regiment was placed on the Partially Paid Establishment.

Later in the year, on September 11, a farewell dinner was given at the Town Hall by Lieut-Colonel Macdonald and the officers of the New South Wales Cavalry Regiment to His Excellency, Lord Carrington.

Through the nineties the general public both in Great Britain and in the colonies was inclined to take a somewhat casual view of military matters, if not an actually hostile one. Lack of knowledge or experience of the necessity for trained defenders, even during apparently peaceful periods, led to jealous and offensive statements. The South African War, at the close of the century, gave the more responsible citizens of the Empire food for thought. But although Africa was a neighbour in this hemisphere, Australians on the whole felt comparatively remote from the scene of action. At its conclusion, leaders in Australia were absorbed in business and political affairs. "Federation" was in the air, and for the vast majority the new Commonwealth organisation, its political implications and its impact on the mercantile world overshadowed the vital questions of military training and national defence during the first decade of the new century., It was fortunate indeed that Australia's militia regiments held staunchly to their ideals throughout this period. There was not at any time an aggressive public display of militarism, though the average member of every regiment knew that he would be in the front line for defence in case of trouble.

During the great maritime strike of 1890, two troops of the cavalry regiment and two companies of the mounted infantry were sworn in as special mounted police. After the commencement of the strike, transport to and from the wharves was held up and an unruly element on the waterfront was stirring up a lot of trouble. Members of the regiment offered to assist the police if necessary and in particular, it is understood, the Illawarra Troop figured in this offer. As the police force was numerically not strong its inspector-general approved of this but wanted the approval of Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier. Sir Henry was ill in bed but a messenger was sent to him and he immediately scrawled a memo on official notepaper: "Do I understand that Cavalry Troops have volunteered to act as special constables. If so I approve of their being brought down tomorrow."-3 So the Illawarra men were brought to the city promptly and, with members of the Sydney Troop, were sworn in. They were dressed as police, lived for about two months in camp at Dawes Point and spent most of their time escorting waggons of free drivers to and from the wharves. Members on this duty were from time to time stoned and there were other acts of attempted violence but no serious casualties were recorded.

"G" Troop was formed at Lismore in June 1890 under Lieutenant C. E. Taylor (promoted to captain in March 1891), and on June 6 1891 the first enrolments in "K" Troop at Parramatta were made, thus commencing an association with that town which has lasted to the present time. "K" Troop's earliest officers were Captain James Burns (later Colonel Sir James Burns) , Lieutenant John Sulman (an eminent architect, later knighted) and, in 1892, Lieutenant J. Houison. There is a copy of a letter dated August 20 1891 to the Assistant Adjutant-General regarding Mr Sulman's application for the 1st lieutenancy in "K" Troop and the question of his being over-age. Several regimental precedents were instanced, and the letter goes on: "… the fact that the Parramatta Troop owes its existence to Mr Sulman's efforts ... has already shown evidence of being a most energetic and efficient officer". Burns also had been slightly over the prescribed age; he was said to be most influential in the district and much respected.

The year 1891 also witnessed the raising of a mounted regimental band, one which was to become a much admired unit in the colourful ceremonials of pre-1914 days. It had its origin in West Maitland, members of the regiment contributing towards the cost of equipping it and the officers of the Hunter River Troop providing horses at their own cost. There are references to the new band in the regimental outward correspondence book of April to December 1891. A letter of June 4 mentions the clothing allowance for 1891 - £2 for every man on the Partially Paid Establishment; apparently this was for maintenance as the letter also mentions "separate item as a first issue to the Regimental Band". One reads in a letter of July 19 to the Deputy Assistant Quartermaster-General:

"herewith all correspondence referring to the enrolment of the Regimental Band, together with the invoices showing the amounts paid for instruments and Band property. It will be noted ... that the original offer of services was for 20 men and one kettle drummer. To guarantee this number on parade, 24 men would be necessary, to provide against casualties. It will also be noted that the amount of £297/5/3 has been paid [to Potter & Co., London] for instruments and band property. £100 was authorised by the G.O.C. from the No. 2 Band Fund, the balance having been made up by private subscriptions from the whole Regiment. Besides this, the officers of the Hunter River Troop have provided grey horses at their own cost, and are willing to keep same if the amount of £7 per horse, per annum, for 24 horses is allowed as part forage allowance . . ."

Another letter mentions Bandmaster Fitness and Band Sergeant Andrews. The former was bandmaster until 1898. Elsewhere there is reference to the amount of £50 being an annual allowance in aid of the expenditure in connection with the band.

According to the recollection of Bandmaster Taylor in 1938, the New South Wales Government allowed £250 annually towards upkeep, but when the Commonwealth took over in 1903 this allowance was reduced to £150, and again in 1914 to £75. Had not the officers of the regiment, practically from the beginning, paid several pounds each, annually, to maintain the instruments, music, horses and saddlery, the band could not for long have remained in existence, even in the days of the Government's greatest munificence. As it was, the horses were generally on agistment, and looked better on parade in the mass than when critically examined as individuals. But for some years a fine piebald for the drums was a sight worth seeing. The kettle drums were furnished with bannerettes, edged with silver lace and fringe and embroidered with the regimental badge. The two earlier sets were crimson, and about 1900 a magnificent pair, of scarlet cloth with the badge very heavily worked upon them, was presented by Colonel Burns's daughter.

A General Order of 1894 promulgated the marches approved for the use of the lancer regiment at all ceremonial parades:

March past at walk    "The Dragoon Guardsman"
March past at trot    "The Cavalier"
March past at gallop    "Bonnie Dundee"


The correspondence book mentioned earlier contains much interesting reading, of which the following are only samples. From one letter it is seen that the Queen's Birthday review in Sydney was attended by the band, the Hunter River, West Camden and Illawarra Troops; with the Sydney Troop there would thus have been four troops. The letters were sent from No. 113 Phillip Street, Sydney, the headquarters of the regiment. A complaint to the postal authorities about incorrect deliveries implies that "A" Troop had its orderly room near Circular Quay. "C" Troop, to gain more efficiency in drill, especially in the use of sword and lance, was ordered to hold special drills in plain clothes and any men failing to attend were to be down-graded to the Recruit Roll. The adjutant wrote to the secretary of the Sydney Gas Company: "has to request that you will be good enough to cause the two extra lamps in Government House grounds to be lighted at 7.30 on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, these being the nights on which the Sydney Troop attend drill." It can be seen that the establishment of a troop was now 50 all ranks, including three officers, one sergeant-major, one trumpeter. A letter of August 14 orders regimental badges for field service hat and cap from D. Jones and Co. Messrs Weekes and Backhouse, of Druitt Street, were asked to submit a tender for the supply of 50 sets of each of the following for "K" Troop: valises, pads and straps complete [these were carried at rear of saddle]; bridles, bit and bridoon reins complete; Pelham bits; sets of cape straps; breastplates; pairs of spurs and straps; headropes, brown; sets of Ds; pairs of straps for overalls. "F" Troop at Wagga Wagga was warned that, failing improvement in specified matters, "the O.C. Cavalry will have no alternative but to disband the troop". In September Dr, Fiaschi (later Honorary Brigadier-General T. H. Fiaschi) is mentioned as the honorary surgeon of "A" Troop. There was active organising for a team of the cavalry regiment to proceed to England to compete at the Royal Military Tournament.

Many of the letters to erring troops are terse but they are always dignified. In signing, Captain McNeill never forgot that he was merely on loan to this regiment; his usual style of signing was like this: "M. McNeill, Capt, 4th Hussars, Adj. N.S.W. Cavalry".

On August 11 1892 Colonel Macdonald gave evidence before the Royal Commission on Military Service.  It makes interesting reading. Colonel Macdonald outlined his military service in India, and from his remarks one learns that he was active in the two short-lived troops of yeomanry which had existed in Sydney at earlier periods, one in 1854-55 and the other in 1863-64. He himself was now 74 years of age and felt he was no longer fit to make visits on duty to a place as distant as Lismore. He contended that the cavalry would be much better managed if he had a freer hand, "more especially in the interests of my successor". He had not been allowed to keep McNeill as adjutant so he had sent Lieutenant G. L. Lee of Maitland to England for instruction as the future adjutant. Lee had been very well reported upon and his instruction was finished off with an attachment to the 20th Hussars. In the meantime he, Macdonald, had to manage without an adjutant. He advocated importing a r(-:tired British officer of field rank to succeed him, so that young Lee would have the benefit of greater experience ("moral force") over him than if there was a "young native" there. There was discussion of the cost, £500, of transporting the two northern troops down to camp near Sydney. He said the Casino Troop had to swim three rivers before it got to railhead. When coming to the last camp it had to swim one river in high flood, which they did with the loss of nothing except a sword, "and that the troop dived several times for". "As for the men themselves," the colonel said, "I never saw more enthusiastic cavalry men in my life . . . the very best troops are at Casino and Lismore." At one point he referred to the Parramatta Troop, speaking highly of both the officers and the men. In general he considered "the cavalrymen here so superior to the yeomanry cavalry that they are worth cultivating", and he thought a country troop would always be superior to a city troop.

At another point of the report of the proceedings establishments are given:

Partially Paid Cavalry    420
Partially Paid Mounted Infantry 418
Permanent staff would have been additional.


The section which deals with the cavalry in the report of the Royal Commission commences: "The high state of efficiency to which this force has attained is a strong inducement to the Colony to maintain it." Then it goes on to propose that the financial vote to maintain this arm should be drastically reduced. The Lismore Troop maintained its standard well, for in a General Order of April 12 1895, which gave an efficiency report for the year 1894, the list of the best squadrons and companies in the Partially Paid Forces is headed by No. 4 (Lismore Half) Squadron, New South Wales Lancers.

Owing to the difficulty of obtaining officers, "F" (Murrumbidgee) Troop was disbanded about December 1892, thus reducing the number of troops to seven.

The visit to England of a tournament team took place in 1891. This was not the first of such ventures from the colonies as in 1891 Lieut-Colonel Tom Price had taken a team of the Victorian Mounted Rifles, which had acquitted itself very well.

The New South Wales Cavalry Regiment's team was equipped and sent at the regiment's own expense and while in England was horsed by the British cavalry. The name of New South Wales had little more than geographic significance to the British public in those days and, notwithstanding the fine performances by the Victorians in 1891, the fact that a colony could produce yeomanry cavalry able to beat the regulars in sports still came as a surprise to a large section of the crowds attending the Royal Military Tournaments at Islington and Dublin.

The New South Wales Government's attitude to this expedition barely stopped short of absolute prohibition. Eventually, however, the regiment gained permission, and the team sailed on the Orizaba on March 11 1893. The call for volunteers brought far more than could be accepted and a strong team was selected after eliminating competitions. The strength of the party was 18: Captain Dodds, in command, Warrant Officer Thompson, instructor, and 16 competitors. Captain McNeill, erstwhile adjutant, now back in England, took charge of arrangements there, and they were quartered with the 17th Lancers, the "Death or Glory Boys".

The following is a list of the members of the team and the prizes gained:
Troop    Member    Islington    Dublin
Sydney    Sgt Barracluff        2nd (eq.), Tilting
Illawarra    Tpr Catt        
    Tpr James        
    Tpr Wood        
West Camden    Sgt Blencowe    4th, Sword v. Bayonet    1st, Heads and Posts
    Cpl Seery    4th, Sword v. Lance    1st, Sword v. Lance
        2nd, Sword v. Bayonet    
    Tpr Charker    6th, Sword v. Lance    
Hunter River    Cpl Cole    3rd, Riding & jumping    3rd, Sword v. Sword
            1st, Lance v. Bayonet
    Cpl Gollan    1st, Lemon Cutting    1st, V.C. Race
        1st, Tentpegging    
Casino    Sgt-Tptr Crouch        
    Tpr Riley    4th, Sword V. Sword    3rd, V.C. Race
    Tpr Livingstone        
Lismore    Sgt Daley    1 st, Sword v. Sword    
        2nd, Lance v. Bayonet    
        3rd, Heads and Posts    
        4th, Lemon Cutting    
    Cpl Robson        
Parramatta    Sgt-Maj. Weston 1st, Riding & Jumping    2nd, V.C. Race
Tpr O'Grady    6th, Sword v. Sword 5th, Sword v. Lance Team
3rd, Section Jumping Trophies for Bush. ranging Display and Lance Exercise
Eight first places were gained in competition with some of Britain's best.

Corporal Tom Seery, who died in 1960 at the age of 94, recalled having the good fortune to defeat a sergeant-major who had been unconquered for some time. The event was Lance versus Sword, at Dublin, and Lord Wolseley himself entered the arena to congratulate the tall colonial from West Camden. Seery also recalled the team being inspected by Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace, and on another occasion being entertained by the Prince of Wales.

The team formed part of the Queen's escort at the opening of the Imperial Institute. From reports it appears to have made a very good impression during its stay in England and not only did the regiment benefit by the experience gained by its representatives, but also the colony of New South Wales gained favourable publicity.

While its chosen representatives were upholding the honour of the regiment abroad, a significant change in the organisation of the mounted units took place. By General Order No. 149, July 19 1893, the cavalry regiment and the mounted infantry, now renamed the New South Wales Mounted Rifles, formed as from August 1 the New South Wales Mounted Brigade. A squadron organisation was introduced, two troops now forming one squadron; each troop consisted of two divisions and each division was subdivided into sections of four men, one of whom was the section leader. (Within a year or two the troops became known as half-squadrons, and the divisions as troops.) The order shows that Captain Lee was adjutant and the squadrons were:

1st (Major Dodds)    Sydney, Parramatta
2nd (Captain Walters)    Illawarra, West Camden
3rd (Captain Cracknell)    Hunter River
4th (Captain Taylor)    Lismore, Richmond River (Casino)

Major Dodds became commanding officer on November 20 1893, to be succeeded on April 27 1894 by Major J. J. Walters.

The Mounted Rifles, under Major H. B. Lassetter, had at that time half-companies at Liverpool, Campbelltown, Picton, Camden, Bega, Queanbeyan, Tenterfield and Inverell.

The formation of the Mounted Brigade brought these two pioneer regiments into closer touch, and their desire for efficiency produced an enthusiastic rivalry which lasted for many years. Out of this came that high standard of courage and efficiency that paved the way for success when squadrons from both regiments found themselves at war in South Africa.

Major-General E. T. H. Hutton, C.B., A.D.C. to the Queen, Commanding the Military Forces, when referring to the Mounted Brigade in a report on the forces in January 1894, stated: "It would be impossible to speak too highly of the spirit which animates all ranks, the horsemanship and the physique of the mounted troops generally. An excellent degree of practical efficiency has been reached, especially in the Lancers." The report gives these establishments:

Cavalry, including band and staff    406
Mounted Rifles, including staff    387


While on the subject of the Mounted Brigade, Lord Hampden, Governor of the colony, was appointed its honorary colonel in March 1896. This, of course, did not affect Lord Carrington's position as honorary colonel of the regiment. It appears from a portrait that the uniform which Lord Hampden elected to wear as honorary colonel of the brigade was that of the Lancer Regiment.

Senior cadets at Casino and Parramatta had become affiliated to the regiment by January 1894. While the Casino affiliation may have lasted until perhaps 1897, the Parramatta Lancers Cadet Half-Squadron was a flourishing adjunct of the regiment for over a decade, finally being disbanded about 1911. Cadets provided their own mounts, as did the adult members of the regiment, wore a brown uniform and brown leather equipment and were trained with under-sized lances.

In January 1894 a half-squadron was formed at Singleton under Doctor Bowman and was linked with the Maitland (formerly Hunter River) Half-Squadron to complete the establishment of No. 3 Squadron. The original officers at Singleton were Lieutenants A. S. Bowman, G. H. Allan and R. H. Dangar.

The designation of the regiment was altered to the New South Wales Lancers by a Gazette notice in January 1895. The new name seems to have been taken into use in 1894.

Another change in the organisation occurred in August 1896, when the Wollongong Troop, or Half-Squadron, was disbanded. This sub-unit had never been up to strength. In 1895 Captain C. E. Eglese was the only officer and attempts to fill the two vacancies for subalterns were unsuccessful. Also, an artillery company was raised at Wollongong and with the limited personnel available the maintenance of artillery was considered of greater importance. In December Captain Eglese submitted his resignation. Although the half-squadron was granted a reprieve for a probationary period until March 1 1896, it was found to be futile to retain it. Upon its disbanding in August 1896 a new half-squadron was immediately formed at Berry under Lieutenants A. Hay, H. M. Osborne and H. D. Morton.

Surgeon-Captain T. H. Fiaschi, eminent in medicine, viticulture and other fields, who had been attached successively to the Lancers and the Mounted Brigade since 1891, was the head of a family with a fine military record and a long connection with the regiment. In 1896 he was accepted for his medical experience to serve with the Italian forces in the Abyssinian War and in April obtained six months' leave from the regiment. While in Abyssinia he wore the uniform of the New South Wales Lancers, complete with feather plume and double red stripes on breeches, thus being the first to wear it at war. After his return he gave a lecture on his experiences abroad at the Sydney orderly room.

Colonel Macdonald, owing to advancing years and failing health, retired from active military life in June 1896. This was a distinct loss to the Mounted Brigade in particular and to the military forces of the colony in general. Major-General G. A. French, C.M.G., R.A., general officer commanding the local forces, paid high tribute to Colonel Macdonald and his work in a valedictory General Order, in the course of which he remarked:

"His influence and example of soldierly rectitude have been of enormous value in placing his special branch of the service in this colony upon its present efficient basis."

 

No immediate successor as Commandant of the Mounted Brigade was appointed.

At some date after 1891 regimental headquarters were moved from Phillip Street to Richmond Terrace alongside the Domain. In 1897 they were transferred to the old barracks at Parramatta, where the local half-squadron had its headquarters, and which now became known as the Lancer Barracks. The Sydney Half-Squadron orderly room became established in a building in Chancery Square at the rear of the old Immigration Barracks at the top of King Street, Chancery Square being entered through a grass forecourt opposite St Mary's Cathedral. From here the Sydney squadron was administered until the building was demolished in 1910 to make way for the Registrar-General's building, when the orderly room was re-located in an old store at No. 71 Macquarie Street.

Throughout the nineties the Lancers were often in demand for displays and mounted competitions at various gatherings and functions in the community. Tentpegging, lemon cutting, wrestling on horseback and other mounted competitions were spectacular and held the attention of the audience. One reads that for the Military Tournament on the Sydney Showground on April 20 1897, 12 mounted events were listed, with cash prizes totalling £166. 10. 0. At this period, too, the annual Lancer Ball was usually a feature of every squadron or half-squadron's programme. Even a funeral could be the occasion for meticulous ceremony. In 1895 at the funeral of a highly respected staff sergeant, J. E. Sparks of Parramatta, the bier was carried on a gun-carriage which was followed by the deceased's charger, saddled, with boots reversed in the stirrups, and by detachments of the half-squadron, led by Captain Burns, and of the local infantry in which Sparks had formerly served.

On September 17 1897 Major Burns was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and gazetted to command the regiment. He was a man of fine character and a generous nature, of ability and enthusiasm for his regiment. Although a busy city man with many interests, he devoted a good deal of time to the regiment, sparing no effort to increase its efficiency and taking a great interest in its members. His period of command, practically six years, might be regarded as an era in itself.

 


Previous: 1st/7th/1st (New South Wales Lancers) Australian Light Horse

Next: Royal New South Wales Lancers 1897 to 1900

 

Further Reading:

1st/7th/1st (New South Wales Lancers) Australian Light Horse

New South Wales Lancers, Boer War Contingent

Militia Light Horse, New South Wales

Australian Militia Light Horse

 


Citation: Royal New South Wales Lancers 1885 to 1897

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Thursday, 1 July 2010 1:40 PM EADT
New South Wales Mounted Rifles, History, Part 2, 1890
Topic: Militia - LHN - 2/9/6

NSWMR

New South Wales Mounted Rifles

History, Part 2, 1890

New South Wales Mounted Rifles [1888 - 1903]
2nd (New South Wales Mounted Rifles) Australian Light Horse [1903 - 1912]
9th (New South Wales Mounted Rifles) Australian Light Horse [1912 - 1918]
6th (New South Wales Mounted Rifles) Australian Light Horse [1918 - 1941]
6th (New South Wales Mounted Rifles) Motor Regiment [1941 - 1943]
6th Australian Armoured Car Regiment [1941 - 1943]
6th (New South Wales Mounted Rifles) Motor Regiment [1948 - 1949]
6th New South Wales Mounted Rifles [1949 - 1958]
Royal New South Wales Regiment [1958 - 1960]

Toujours pret - Always Ready

March - The Kynegad Slashers

 South Africa 1899 - 1902

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

 

The following is the second extract from a manuscript written by an anonymous author. The hand written manuscript outlines the history of the 2nd ALHR NSW Mounted Rifles from commencement in 1888, until 5 April 1899, when history ceases. From the internal evidence of the manuscript, it appears to have been composed sometime from July 1903 to 1904.

 

The anonymous manuscript.

 

The second extract from the manuscript.

 

Encampment 1890

On April 4th 1890 the Regiment marched to National Park, and took part in the Easter manoeuvres, the splendid horsemanship of the men excited so much attention that his Excellency The Governor ordered a display to be made before him and the public. As a special mark of her favour, lady Carrington presented the Regiment with a silver bugle.

Speaking about the operations of April 5th 1890, a daily paper says:

"The tactics were carried out with few mistakes, the whole being an evidence of the great strides recently made by the Mounted Infantry, it would be impossible to speak too highly of this new and valuable arm of the service, as they turned out on Saturday."

On April 12th 1890, the Sydney Morning Herald said:

"Captain Antill and his Picton Company had ridden 10 or 11 miles over terrible country on the right flank with a view to stopping the Infantry, and after a journey of the most dangerous description in crossing bogs, creeks and descending the fearful cliffs overhanging the river, they swam their horses through the stream, rode forward on the camp side of it by means of a beaten track, and sent a fire into the Infantry, that not only startled them, but set them wondering how such a force could have got ahead of them. Captain Antill did a magnificent piece of work."

"A force composed of men of this stamp is a valuable element in any Military Service."

 

Disbandment of the Permanent Company

July 3rd 1890 saw the disbandment of the Permanent company, on account of the great expense of maintaining the horses; at this time there was much distress throughout the colony and a great deal of commercial depression, and as no immediate necessity appeared to exist for the maintenance of the Company, parliament decided to disband it with a gratuity of six months pay to each man.

Maritime Strike, 1890.

Owing to the excited state of the strikers during the great maritime disturbances in 1890, the Campbeltown and Picton Companies were invited to take up the duties of Special Mounted Constables. The instructions were telegraphed on Sunday, September 21st, 1890, and a few hours after the message was received, Officers Commanding these two companies, assisted by prompt action of the Railways Department, reached Dawes Battery, Sydney, with 95  out of a total 100 men.

The following day work was commenced in earnest and the troops, who in the meanwhile had been sworn in as "Specials" and fitted with mounted constables’ uniform and equipment, were told off in reliefs for patrol duty in the city and suburbs. This duty continued from 6am till midnight. The men exhibited much intelligence and by their good judgement, prevented a good deal of trouble. For this duty they were paid their usual regimental rates of pay, as well as receiving rations and forage. No cases of misconduct occurred during their tour of duty.

The work of patrolling continued until October 30th 1890, when the strike was practically ended. On this date the Premier, Sir Henry Parkes, held a review of the troops in Moore Park, and on behalf of the Government and the people of New South Wales, thanked all ranks for the work they had performed.

 

Previous: New South Wales Mounted Rifles, History, Part 1, 1888 - 1889

Next: New South Wales Mounted Rifles, History, Part 3, 1891

 

Further Reading:

2nd/9th/6th Australian Light Horse

Militia Light Horse, New South Wales

Australian Militia Light Horse

 


Citation: New South Wales Mounted Rifles, History, Part 2, 1890

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Friday, 2 July 2010 2:25 AM EADT
2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance, AIF, Embarkation Roll, 22nd Reinforcement
Topic: AIF - 2B - 2 LHFA

2nd LHFA, AIF

2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance

Embarkation Roll, 22nd Reinforcement

 

HMAT A43 Barunga

 

2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance, AIF, 22nd Reinforcement, embarked from Brisbane, Queensland on board HMAT A43 Barunga 26 October 1916.

The HMAT A43 Barunga weighed 7,484 tons with an average cruise speed of 11 knots or 20.37 kmph. The Barunga was previously a captured German vessel called Sumatra. It was manned by Australia officers and crew. The Barunga was torpedoed and sunk by a submarine in the North Atlantic, 15 July 1918.

The ensuing individual soldier's embarkation information contains the following details:

Rank on embarkation;

Full name of the soldier

Declared age of the soldier;

The last occupation held;

The last address as a civilian;

Enlistment Date; and,

Fate.

 

Finding more about a service person.

See: Navigating the National Archives Service File 

 

Embarkation Roll

 

15472 Private Wilfred Stephen TEMPLE, a 21 year old Grocer from Toowoomba, Queensland. He enlisted on 11 April 1916; and at the conclusion of the war Returned to Australia, 24 July 1919.

 

15473 Private Maurice Victor UHLMANN, a 21 year old Slaughterman from Woolloongabba, Queensland. He enlisted on 11 April 1916; and at the conclusion of the war Returned to Australia, 24 July 1919.

 

15474 Private Cyril James Randolph WHITE, a 21 year old Cine-graph operator from Red Hill, Queensland. He enlisted on 11 April 1916; and subsequently was Discharged in Egypt, 3 July 1919.

 

Previous:  21st Reinforcement

Next: 23rd Reinforcement

 

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:

2nd Australian Light Horse Field Ambulance, AIF

2nd Australian Light Horse Field Ambulance, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance, AIF, Embarkation Roll, 22nd Reinforcement

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Monday, 29 March 2010 9:14 PM EADT
Saturday, 13 November 2004
1st Australian Horse Boer War Service in detail
Topic: Militia - LHN - 3/11/7

AH

Australian Horse

Boer War Service, 1899-1900

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 - 1937]
7th/21st Australian Horse [1949 - 1957]

 Hearth and Home

 South Africa 1899 - 1902

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

 

Murray's account of the 1st Australian Light Horse Boer War Service

 

In 1911, Lieutenant-Colonel P. L. Murray, produced a marvellous Boer War reference detailing all the contingents sent from Australia to South Africa, giving a brief history of the formation and finally, listing all the soldiers who saw service in South Africa with that unit. The book was called, Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa. It is now the standard reference and starting place for any person interested in pursuing information about Australian involvement in the Boer War.

 

1st Australian Horse marching through Newcastle to the wharf for embarkation, 14 November 1899.

[From: Sydney Mail, 18 November 1899, p. 1233.]

 

P. L. Murray, Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa, pp. 41 - 47A:

 

THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN HORSE.

 

THE "First Australian Horse" should not be confounded with the "Australian Commonwealth Horse," which consisted of service battalions of Mounted Rifles, raised after the establishment of the Commonwealth, and despatched successively to the seat of war; the squadrons being from the different States. The First Australian Horse was Bush Cavalry upon the Volunteer system originally; but subsequently converted to the partial-payment, class; and raised in 1895, chiefly by the exertions of Colonel JHK Mackay, their first commanding officer, for service in the remote country districts of New South Wales. The movement became very popular; and several excellent squadrons were enrolled, of a superior class of men, who were admirably mounted. They wore a distinctive and somewhat remarkable uniform of dark green with black embroidery, of the hussar pattern; with handsome belts and accoutrements, including sabretaches. For irregular cavalry they attained a high standards of proficiency; and when the war broke out they were not behind their comrades of the other arms in seeking service, or obtaining honour.

The First Australian Horse despatched two Contingents; the first of which departed on the 14th November, 1899, taking their own horses with them. It consisted of 2 officers and 32 sergeants and rank and file, with 36 horses. Of these, 1 died, 1 officer and 2 others returned to Australia, 28 were transferred to the second Contingent, and 1 officer and 1 trooper were commissioned in the Imperial Army.

The second Contingent or service squadron left on the 17th January, 1900. It comprised 5 officers and 102 others, with 28 that joined subsequently from the first Contingent, and 112 horses. One man joined in Western Australia and one in South Africa. Of these, 3 officers and 8 others were killed or died; 1 officer suit 121 others returned to Australia; 1 officer and 1 other quitted the corps in South Africa; and 1 officer and 2 others were commissioned in the Imperial Army. The squadron arrived in Sydney on 2nd May, 1901.

For the detachment the conditions were:- Men to be good shots and proficient swordsman, of superior physique, not under 5 ft. 6 in. or 34 in. chest; good riders and bushmen, accustomed to find their way about in strange country. Horses to be up to 16 or 17 stone, and fit to carry that weight day after day.

 

Clothing, etc.

Uniform consisted of brown F.S. jacket and pants, with puttees and hat. Vide clothing issued to 1st Mounted Rifles, see Murray page 57.

Arms and equipment:- M.E. Carbines, swords, cartridge-belts with supporting braces. Fully horned and provided with saddles.

Also provided with Regimental transport.

 

Record of Service.

The first, Contingent of this regiment, comprising 2 officers and 32 non-commissioned officers and men, with Lieutenant Willoughby Dowling in command, left Newcastle, New South Wales, in SS Langton Grange on 14th November, and arrived at Cape Town on 13th December, 1899.

On arrival they were attached to the Royal Scots Greys serving in General French's cavalry division. Present at battle of Slingersfontain on 16th January, in which they were sharply handled; Lieutenant Dowling being severely wounded and captured, Sergeant Major Griffin killed, and Corporal Kirkpatrick severely wounded, afterwards dying of his wounds. Sergeant Major Griffin was the first Australian soldier who fell in the war. Present at various actions in Cape Colony during February.

Early in March the Service Squadron, which recently arrived from Australia, joined.

The Service Squadron, 1st Australian Horse, embarked at Sydney, on transport Surrey, on 17th January, and arrived at Cape Town on 23rd February, 1900.

Ordered to Modder River, arriving there on 3rd March; proceeded to Ossfontein and joined the Royal Scots Grays on 6th. Took part in the battle of Poplar Grove on the 7th March. Present at Dreifontein, 10th March, and occupation of Bloemfontein, 11th March. Formed portion of escort to Thabu 'Nehu under Major Allenby, Inniskilling Dragoons.

Present at Karee Siding, 29th March, under very heavy fire for some time. Present at Sannas Post and at affair at Evans’ Farm.

Joined advance to Pretoria, 6th May. Took part in battle of Zand River, 10th May, when the squadron formed part of an attacking force ordered to take some kopjes which were found to be so strongly occupied that the attacking force, after suffering heavy loss, was compelled to retire. In this affair Lieutenant Wilkinson and two men were taken prisoners and two men were killed. Present at capture of Kroonstadt, 12th May. Continued with advance to Pretoria, taking part in various actions en route. Present at the surrender of Pretoria, 5th June; release of prisoners at Waterval on 6th; and battle of Diamond Hill on the 9th.

Lieutenant Wilkinson assumed command on 2nd July. On 8th, the squadron moved to Crocodile River and took part in a smart engagement at Zilicats Nek on the 11th inst.; also in affair at Kameel Drift on 16th., and various minor affairs during the remainder of this month.

On 10th August, Lieutenant Vaughn was ordered into hospital at Pretoria, Lieutenant Wilkinson being the only officer left with the squadron.

Present at battle of Belfast on 27th; the splendid scouting of the Australian Horse enabling General French to turn the Boer right flank, and compel them to retire.

The squadron was engaged almost daily during the month of September, including the occupation of Barberton. Took part in operations round Ermelo and Bethel, where some heavy fighting took place; in fact the squadron was engaged almost every day during October.

Returned to Pretoria for a much needed rest on 29th October, and remained until 12th December, on which date it was ordered to Machadodorp, joining some Queenslanders and Sough Australians, and employed patrolling railway line. Ordered to Belfast rot 10th February, where remounts ware obtained; and, on 14th, took part in sharp action near Belfast, the Australian Home being complimented by General Kitchener on their gallant conduct.

On 25th February the squadron entrained at Middelberg for Pretoria, en route for Australia, and on 31st March embarked on SS Tongariro at Cape Town, and arrived at Sydney on 2nd May, 1901.

 

Engagements

First Contingent

13th January, 1900 Arundel and Colesberg Districts.
12th February, 1900 Reit River.
13th February, 1900 Klip Drift, Modder River.
15th February, 1900 Relief of Kimberley.
16th February, 1900 Donrfieid.
18th February, 1900 Paardeberg.


Both Contingents.

8th March, 1900 Poplar Grove.
10th March, 1900 Abraham's Krall and Dreifontein.
13th March, 1900 Surrender of Bloemfontein.
29th March, 1900 The Glen or Brandfort.
31st March, 1900 Koorn Sprint. or Sannas Post.
10th May, 1900 Zand River (Ventersburg-road).
12th May, 1900 Kroonstadt.
26th May, 1900 Hartebeesfontein.
27th May, 1900 Hartebeesfontein.
28th May, 1900 Oliphant's Nek.
30th May, 1900 Doornkop.
2nd June, 1900 Johannesburg.
3rd June, 1900 Fall of Pretoria.
6th June, 1900 Waterval - Release of prisoners.
11th June, 1900 Diamond Hill.
11th July, 1900 Zilicat's or Nitrel's Nek.
16th July, 1900 Kameel Drift.
20th July, 1900 Olifantsfontein.
23rd July, 1900 Olifant’s River.
24th July, 1900 Kromdraai.
27th July, 1900 Near Middleberg.
31st July, 1900 Wonderfontein.
24th August,1900 Geluk's Farm, near Belfast.
25th August,1900 Geluk's Farm, near Belfast.
26th August,1900 Geluk's Farm, near Belfast.
27th August,1900 Belfast.
29th August,1900 Helvetia.
31st August,1900 Waterval Onder.
4th September, 1900 Bonnefoot.
5th September, 1900 Carolina.

 

Extracts from Report of Captain R. R. Thompson.

At 2 a.m. on 8th March, the squadron marched with the 1st Brigade of the Cavalry Division and took part in the engagement at Poplar Grove. The first shot was fired by our artillery at 5.20 a.m., the Boers replying with shell and rifle fire.

In the afternoon Trooper Palmer was shot in the head (our first casualty).

This trooper behaved very pluckily when wounded; he bandaged his own head and rejoined the ranks, until compelled to retire through loss of blood. He has since been in hospital and is now invalided to England.

No further casualties occurred amongst the men, but several horses were lost through exhaustion during the rapid advance.

The advance was continued next day; the squadron being detailed to furnish scouts, and when extended, covered in front and flanks about 5 miles of country.

10th March - Battle of Dreifontein.-The squadron moved off with the Royal Scots Greys at daybreak, and occupied two kopjes in succession and used volley firing at long ranges, which had the effect of stopping the independent firing and causing the Boers to open fire with artillery. In advancing across some open country, mounted, some Vickers-Maxim shells (pom-pomp) dropped between the 2nd and 3rd troops. One horse was killed, and Trooper Owen Taylor wounded in the shoulder. Trooper Parry, whose horse was killed, had his log broken.

This was a general engagement; 380 casualties - about 200 killed.

On Wednesday, 14th March, I heard certain British prisoners were in Bloemfontein Free State Hospital, and visited it in the hope of finding some of the Australian Horse prisoners who had been captured at Rensburg. I found Lieutenant W. V. Dowling, who had been seriously wounded, now fairly convalescent. He had lost the sight of one eye, his right thumb, and had been wounded in the thigh, but was otherwise in good health. Although he desired to continue serving throughout the campaign, the Medical Board decided that he should return to Australia.

The camp remained at "The Willows" until the 18th, when the brigade moved 4 miles further west to " Wessels Farm"; still without tents.

 

The Nominal Roll

Lieutenant-Colonel P. L. Murray, Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa, p. 45.

 

1st Australian Horse Contingent, Murray, page 45

 

 

Page 45

Vet. Lieutenant H BOWKER; Listed in Murray at p. 42; Murray states he took the 'Surrey' to Cape Town in medical charge of horses and returned by the next steamer.

947 Trooper John Henry APPLEBY; Listed in Murray at p. 45.

916 Shoeing Smith Alfred William ARMSTRONG; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states invalided to Australia and arrived on 17 August 1900.

Squadron Sergeant Major Herbert ARNOLD; Listed in Murray at p. 45. Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 5 bars (Cape Colony, Driefontein, ?, Diamond Hill, & Belfast), and DCM.

245 Sergeant Sydney Charles BARNES; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states Squadron Sergeant Major 17 February 1900. Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 8 bars (Driefontein, Paardeberg, Cape Colony, Diamond Hill, Johannesburg, Belfast, South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902).

Lieutenant Willoughby Vincent DOWLING; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states promoted to Captain 1 January 1901, dangerously wounded at Slingersfontein where he lost an eye, captured as Prisoner of War. Released at Bloemfontein, March 1900. Invalided to Australia. Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 5 bars. Lived at Bringelly, NSW died 1914.

Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Lancelot Arthur DOWSON; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Invalided to Australia and arrived on 6 August 1900.

38 Sergeant Herbert Frederick DOYLE; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states invalided to Australia and arrived on 21 October 1900.

Lieutenant Alfred EBSWORTH; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states killed Bronkhurstspruit 24 July 1900 - shot through forehead from long range. He was an international cricketer and 'liked by all'.

1107 Farrier Sergeant William GRAY; Listed in Murray at p. 45.

367 Trumpeter Sergeant Major George Allman GRIFFEN; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states GRIFFIN killed in action at Slingersfontein, 16 Janaury 1900. Listed as the first man killed from NSW. Memorialised on a plaque in the Sydney Town Hall.

224 Farrier Sergeant George HANSON; Listed in Murray at p. 45.

582 Sergeant Charles HARGRAVE; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states promoted to Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant, 6 February 1900. Mentioned in Lord Roberts Final Despatch, 12 September 1901.

623 Corporal James Michael JULEFF; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states promoted to Sergeant 1 December 1901.

Lieutenant Keith Kinnaird MACKELLAR; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states killed in action at Deedeport 11 July 1900. Previous service as Second Lieutenant with the 7th Dragoon Guards. He was the son of Sir Charles MACKELLAR.

137 Corporal Herbert Alfred MILLS; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states he was promoted to Sergeant 17 February 1900; invalided to Australia and arrived on 17 August 1900. Went back to farming at farmer Braidwood, NSW.

275 Corporal Harold O'BRIEN; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states he was promoted to Sergeant, 23 April 1900 and Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant, 14 December 1900.

Lieutenant James Bunbury Nott OSBORNE; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 5 bars; Commissioned in 16th Lancers, 6 March 1900. Originally from Gundaroo, NSW.

901 Trooper Sidney Carew McDonald PARRY; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states his leg was broken when his horse fell in anteater hole at Driefontein, 10 March 1900; wounded near Johannesburg; invalided to Australia and arrived on 28 May 1900.

968 Corporal William Ernest PEARD; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states invalided to Australia and arrived on 6 August 1900.

1056 Sergeant Francis Arthur SAYER; Listed in Murray at p. 45.

811 Trooper Owen Albert TAYLOR; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states wounded in shoulder Driefontein, 10 March 1900.

1055 Sergeant Gilbert Arding THOMAS; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states commissioned in Imperial service as Lieutenant, Captain and Adjutant of the 2nd Scottish Horse. Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 5 bars and the Kings South African Medal with 2 bars.

Captain Robert Roland THOMPSON; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states he was the Commanding Officer. Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 4 bars.

393 Sergeant David Douglas VAUGHAN; Listed in Murray at p. 45. Originally from Braidwood, NSW. At the conclusion of his service, he enlisted in the Orange River Colony Police.

Second Lieutenant Percy William VAUGHAN; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states hospitalised Pretoria 10 August 1900 . Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 5 bars. Promoted to Captain and Mentioned in Despatches. Originally the Manager of City Bank, Braidwood, NSW.

Lieutenant John Frederick Moore WILKINSON; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states he was promoted to Captain, 1 January 1901. Captured and a Prisoner of War at Zand River, 11 May 1900. Officer Commanding 2 July 1900. Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 4 bars. Returned to Sydney, 1 May 1901.

1057 Trumpeter Sergeant Alfred WILLIAMS; Listed in Murray at p. 45.

323 Corporal Rufus Roland WILSON; Listed in Murray at p. 45. Captured at Slingersfontein. An original 1897 member of the Australian Horse.

1058 Corporal Harris Dunmore Lang WOODS; Listed in Murray at p. 45; Murray states he was promoted to Sergeant, 6 February 1900; invalided to Australia and arrived on 13 April 1901.

 

Lieutenant-Colonel P. L. Murray, Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa, p. 46.

 

1st Australian Horse Contingent, Murray, page 46

 

Page 46
1062 Trooper John Henry Macartney ABBOTT; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray he was promoted to Corporal; invalided to Australia and arrived on 21 October 1900. Later on, commissioned in Imperial Service, Son of Sir. Joseph ABBOTT.

1063 Trooper John ALICK; Listed in Murray at p. 46, known as 'Jack' from Braidwood, NSW; invalided to Australia and arrived on 1 May 1901.

1064 Trooper John Alexander Stewart ANDREW; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states that he died at Cape Town, 5 March 1900.

984 Trooper Wallace Dalton BALL; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states invalided to Australia and arrived on 17 August 1900 and received a NSW Government pension to 12 January 1904.

5 Trooper Thomas W BARNES; Listed in Murray at p. 46; after Rebsburg action Murray states he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 30 July 1900. Originally from Murrumburrah, NSW.

1065 Trooper Frederick Frank BASHFORD; Listed in Murray at p. 46.

1066 Trooper Walter Montgomery BELL; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states invalided to Australia and arrived on 19 November 1900. Also known as Henry BELL.

845 Trooper Alexander BISHOP; Listed in Murray at p. 46.

1067 Trooper Leslie Stuart BISLEY; Listed in Murray at p. 46.

157 Trooper William Henderson BLACK; Listed in Murray at p. 46. Invalided to Australian, and arrived at Cunningar, NSW, 7 July 1900. Originally from Murrumburrah, NSW.

747 Trooper John BONNER; Listed in Murray at p. 46; hit by shell at and killed outright at The Glen. Murray states Killed in Action at Glen Siding, 28 March 1900. Originally a stockman from Rylstone, NSW. Brother to 912 Trooper William Thomas BONNER.

912 Trooper William Thomas BONNER; Listed in Murray at p. 46. Originally a stockman from Rylstone, NSW. Brother to 747 Trooper John BONNER.

1061 Corporal Trumpeter David Henry Trayer BOOTH; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states invalided to Australia and arrived on 13 November 1900. Originally from Murrumburrah, NSW.

641 Trooper William BORELAND; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states invalided to Australia and arrived on 9 December 1900 and received a NSW Government pension to 12 January 1904. Originally from Murrumburrah, NSW.

748 Trooper Charles Clifton BOSSLEY; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he reenlisted with the 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse 5ACH(NSW) being allotted to “C” Squadron as 301 Sergeant Charles Clifton BOSSLEY; Listed in Murray at p. 190.

990 Trooper Herbert Throsby BRIDGES; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he reenlisted with the 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse 5ACH(NSW) being allotted to “D” Squadron as 377 Trooper Herbert BRIDGES; Listed in Murray at p. 193.

1068 Trooper Henry Joseph BROSI; Listed in Murray at p. 46. Noted to have been a horse-holder at Vredens Verdrag, 10 May 1900.

1108 Trooper Peter BROWN; Listed in Murray at p. 46.

1069 Trooper Donald Charles CAMERON; Listed in Murray at p. 46; captured at Kaalong, 10 May 1900. Murray states he re-enlisted as a Lieutenant with the 3rd New South Wales Imperial Bushmen 3NSWIB. Service in the AIF as Major allotted to “C” Squadron, 12 Light Horse Regiment. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and Commanding Officer of 12th Light Horse Regiment and led that Regiment during the Charge at Beersheba. Cousin of 1070 Trooper William CAMERON.

1070 Trooper William CAMERON; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he embarked as a Lance Corporal. He was promoted to Corporal, 1 December 1900. Took part in the NSW Coronation Contingent for Edward VII, 1902. Became a NSW MLA and died 1931. Cousin of 1069 Trooper Donald Charles CAMERON.

1070 Trooper William Valentine COOPER; Listed in Murray at p. 46.

956 Trooper Reginald Belmore COX; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he died at Adelaide, 24 January 1900.

994 Trooper James CROWLEY; Listed in Murray at p. 46; re-enlisted as 39690 Trooper James CROWLEY, 2nd Scottish Horse. Promoted to Saddler. Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 4 bars and Kings South African Medal with 2 bars.

996 Trooper Duncan CUMMING; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he was promoted to Lance Corporal. Invalided to Australia and arrived on 30 August 1900.

391 Trooper Michael Joseph CUMMINS; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states died from enteric fever at Bloemfontein, 27 June 1900. He was born 1873 and was a farmer at Michelago, NSW.

1071 Trooper William Joseph CURRIE; Listed in Murray at p. 46.

1072 Trooper Arthur Ernest D'ARCEY; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states wounded badly at Vredens Verdrag near Kroonstadt, 10 May 1900.

17 Trumpeter Ernest Anthony DOBSON; Listed in Murray at p. 46.

1073 Trooper Frederick William DOLMAN; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 17 September 1900. Originally from Braidwood, NSW.

974 Trooper Samuel John DUNN; Listed in Murray at p. 46; re-enlisted as 33410 Trooper Samuel G DUNN, 2nd Scottish Horse. Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 5 bars. Originally from Braidwood, NSW.

812 Trooper William EAMES; Listed in Murray at p. 46. Believed to have been captured at Slingersfontein but escaped to Mafeking although another report states that he was one of 14 Prisoners of War released from Pretoria. Murray states he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 30 August 1900.

999 Trooper William John ELLIS; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states invalided to Australia and arrived on 17 August 1900.

1060 Corporal Alexander Robert Leslie FERGUSON; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states invalided to Australia and arrived on 16 November 1900. Originally from Goulburn, NSW.

737 Lance Corporal George James FIRMAN; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he was promoted to Corporal on 17 February 1902? – possibly 1900; he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 15 September 1900.

301 Trooper Thomas FOGARTY; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states invalided to Australia and arrived on 6 August 1900.

892 Shoeing Smith Michael John FORD; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states wounded in the leg by shell splinter near the rail line in the Colesburg District. He was invalided to Australia and arrived on 17 August 1900. Originally a policeman from Mudgee, NSW.

431 Trooper Samuel Charles FULLER; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he was promoted to Corporal. He was invalided to Australia and arrived on 17 August 1900.

893 Trumpeter Charles Anthony GILCHRIST; Listed in Murray at p. 46. He died enteric fever while at Kimberley, 13 March 1900. Originally from Gundagai, NSW.

1007 Trooper Horace William GILCHRIST; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he died enteric fever while at Bloemfontein, 13 March 1900. However, despite being an entry on the Roll of Honour, it is suspected that this is a confusion with 893 Trumpeter Charles Anthony GILCHRIST who died of the same illness, at the same place on the same date. It is believed that 1007 Trooper Horace William GILCHRIST was appointed Lieutenant in the 3rd Australian Commonwealth Horse 3ACH(NSW). In 1914, he was appointed a Lieutenant in the AIF 7th Light Horse Regiment and died on a hospital ship of wounds sustained at Gallipoli 29 June 1915. He was born at Willoughby, NSW; and the son of Willoughby Mayor.

1074 Trooper Richard Henry GOWLAND; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 13 November 1900.

1075 Trooper Cecil Horace GRANVILLE; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states invalided to Australia and arrived on 17 August 1900. Enlisted in 1914 with the AIF, 1st Light Horse Regiment and rose to Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Officer of 1st LHR. Awarded the DSO.

181 Trooper Wengel GRENENGER; Listed in Murray at p. 46. He returned to Australia on 8 January 1901. Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 3 bars (including Paardeberg, Driefontein and Relief of Kimberley). Originally from Braidwood, NSW.

1009 Trooper Ebenezer HALL; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 8 January 1901.

689 Trooper John Alfred HARMER; Listed in Murray at p. 46.

1011 Trooper Harold Laurence HARNETT; Listed in Murray at p. 46.

1013 Trooper James Patrick HARTNEY; Listed in Murray at p. 46. He took part in the action at Vredens Verdrag, 10 May 1900. Originally from Belltrees, NSW.

334 Trooper John William HAYDON; Listed in Murray at p. 46.

Private John Henry HEAZLETT; Listed in Murray at p. 46. Promoted to Shoeing Smith. Originally from Braidwood, NSW.

1062 Shoeing Smith John Henry HEZLETT; Listed in Murray at p. 46.

585 Trooper Alexander HILL; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he was promoted to Lance Corporal, 17 February 1900. He was invalided to Australia and arrived on 6 August 1900. Possibly he reenlisted as 382 Sergeant Alexander HILL with the 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse 5ACH(NSW) being allotted to “D” Squadron; Listed in Murray at p. 192.

1059 Corporal Hubert Stanley PULSFORD; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he was promoted to Sergeant. He was invalided to Australia and arrived on 21 October 1900.

504 Lance Corporal Sydney John STRIKE; Listed in Murray at p. 46; Murray states he was promoted to Corporal, 17 February 1900.

931 Saddler Arthur Edward THRIFT; Listed in Murray at p. 46.

 

Lieutenant-Colonel P. L. Murray, Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa, p. 47.

 

1st Australian Horse Contingent, Murray, page 47

 

Page 47
1012 Trooper Geoffrey Hamlyn HARRIS; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Originally from Tumut, NSW, and at just 19, thought to be the youngest Australian to go to Boer War. [See: Enlistment ages for the Boer War - A Case Study] Enlisted in the AIF and served with the 1st Light Horse Regiment' at Gallipoli, Sinai and in Palestine. Finished the war as a Major. Awarded a Military Cross and Mentioned in Despatches.

1109 Trooper Alexander HEANEY; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Originally from  Murrumburra, NSW.

1076 Trooper Charles Edward HOCKLEY; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1077 Trooper Reginald Arthur HOPKINS; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1015 Trooper Arthur Ernest HUXLEY; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states he was invalided to Aust arriving on 16 November 1900.

1078 Trooper Walter Joseph JAMES; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states that he died at Bloemfontein, 4 May 1900.

81 Trooper James Allen JONES; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states he was wounded in action at Colesburg District. He was invalided to Australia and arrived on 28 May 1900. He received a NSW Government pension to 3 June 1903.

1079 Trooper Hedley John KIRKPATRICK; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states he was promoted to Corporal. Commissioned in the Imperial Service. Invalided to Australia and arrived on 30 August 1900. Originally from Bourke, NSW.

1017 Trooper William Henry LANGSFORD; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Invalided to Australia and arrived on 30 August 1900.

965 Trooper Walter Givenap LEGGE; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states he was promoted to Lance Corporal and then to Corporal, 23 April 1900. Enlisted in Kitchener’s Horse after completing service.

191 Trooper Joseph LOUIS; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Originally from Braidwood, NSW.

376 Trooper William LUFF; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 30 July 1900. Originally from Gundagai, NSW.

680 Trooper Richard John LYNN; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Captured as a Prisoner of War at Slingersfontein and was released 6 January 1900. Murray states he reenlisted with the 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse 5ACH(NSW) being allotted to “D” Squadron as 384 Trooper Richard John LYNN; Listed in Murray at p. 194. Originally from Braidwood, NSW.

902 Trooper Richard MACDONALD; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 22 March 1901.

1109 Trooper James Peter MAHER; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1080 Trooper Armand Claude MALARTIC; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1026 Trooper James Bernard MARSHALL; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Enlisted as 33541 Trooper, then Sergeant James Bernard MARSHALL 2nd Scottish Horse. Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 3 bars.

454 Trooper Herbert R MARTIN; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states severely wounded by shell fire at Glen Siding. He was invalided to Australia and arrived on 6 August 1900.

894 Trooper Curtis MASTERS; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states inv. Aust arr. 16 November 1900.  Originally from Braidwood, NSW.
 

1084 Trooper William Vincent MCJANNETT

 

1084 Trooper William Vincent MCJANNETT; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1085 Trooper David MCMINN; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 6 August 1900. Originally from Braidwood, NSW.

1025 Trooper Crawford MCWILLIAMS; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Enlisted in the 1st Scottish Horse under the service numbers of 35412 and 30811. Awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with 5 bars. He was the brother of 1825 Trooper Thomas MCWILLIAM, 3rd New South Wales Mounted Rifles (3NSWMR) Listed in Murray at p. 129.

 

1081 Trooper John Walter MECHAM

 

1081 Trooper John Walter MECHAM; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states he was wounded at Vredes Verdrag near Zand River, 10 May 1900. He was invalided to Australia and arrived on 13 September 1900.


1027 Trooper Maunsel Richard MECHAM; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states he was wounded at Vredes Verdrag near Zand River, 10 May 1900. He was invalided to Australia and arrived on 17 August 1900.

1082 Trooper William Patrick MEEHAN; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states that he died Adelaide 24 January 1900.

883 Trooper Albert Abraham METTAM; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

686 Trooper Thomas John MINCH; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1083 Trooper Edgar Lionel MOODY; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Received a NSW Government pension to his death on 28 October 1903 then it was paid to his widow, Mrs. Eva Adelaide MOODY nee Hadwen until her death, 1932.

538 Trooper George Campbell NORTH; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states wounded by being shot through neck with the exit out of the jaw, which occurred near Johannesburg. Originally from Musswelbrook, NSW.

804 Trooper Thomas Edward OVEREND; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Murray states he reenlisted with the 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse 5ACH(NSW) being allotted to “D” Squadron as 387 Corporal Thomas Edward OVEREND; Listed in Murray at p. 193.

1086 Trooper Lawrence Alfred PALMER; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states he was severely wounded by being hit in forehead by spent bullet while at Poplar Grove. He was invalided to Australia and arrived on 24 November 1900. He received a NSW Government pension. Originally from Jerebombra, NSW.

1087 Trooper Richard Hawke PEARD; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

837 Trooper Robert Chaffey POLE; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

891 Trooper Norman C PRIDDLE; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states that he was promoted to Lance Corporal on 17 February 1900. He was wounded above eye from close shell burst near the Colesburg railway line. Originally from Gundagai, NSW.

1088 Trooper Ernest Arthur PRIOR; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1089 Trooper William RENEHAN; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

809 Trooper Richard NJ RESCH; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1054 Trooper Richard James ROE; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1090 Trooper Harry David SEE; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Murray states he reenlisted with the 1st Australian Commonwealth Horse 1ACH(NSW) being allotted to “B” Squadron as 201 Trooper Harry David SEE; Listed in Murray at p. 172.

1097 Trooper Louis SEIFFERT; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Originally from Goulburn, NSW.

1518 Trooper Charles Frederick SMITH; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Originally joined the 1st Australian Horse in 1897.

1092 Trooper Samuel SPITTLE; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

961 Trooper David Hugh SPRING; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states that he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 30 July 1900.

1094 Trooper Guildford William Jack STACKPOOLE; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states that he was promoted to Corporal on 6 February 1900 and Sergeant on 1 May 1901.

1095 Trooper Samuel Thomas STAFFORD; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1108 Trooper John STEWART; Listed in Murray at p. 47. Originally from Murrumburra, NSW.

1039 Trooper Benjamin David SWEETLAND; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Wounded at Vredes Verdrag. Murray states that he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 13 September 1900.

1096 Trooper Frederick John TAYLOR; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1097 Trooper William Herbert THACKER; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1099 Trooper John WELLS; Listed in Murray at p. 47.

1101 Trooper Percy Gordon WILLIAMSON; Listed in Murray at p. 47; Murray states that he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 17 August 1900.
 

Lieutenant-Colonel P. L. Murray, Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa, p. 47A.

 

Page 47A

208 Trooper James BUCHOLTZ; Listed in Murray at p. 47A.

Regimental Sergeant Major George Charles DUNCAN; Listed in Murray at p. 47A.

775 Trooper Edward THOMAS; Listed in Murray at p. 47A.
 

1098 Trooper Neville James USSHER

 

1098 Trooper Neville James USSHER; Listed in Murray at p. 47A; Murray states he reenlisted with the 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse 5ACH(NSW) being allotted to “D” Squadron as Second Lieutenant Neville James USSHER; Listed in Murray at p. 192. Originally from Gundagai, NSW.

1044 Trooper Thomas WALKER; Listed in Murray at p. 47A. Returned to Australia, 16 January 1901. Murray states he reenlisted with the 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse 5ACH(NSW) being allotted to “D” Squadron as 403 Trooper Thomas WALKER; Listed in Murray at p. 194. Originally from Murrumburra, NSW.

1100 Trooper Theodore Vehlmes WESSELL; Listed in Murray at p. 47A; Murray states that he was promoted to Lance Corporal. Murray states severely wounded by shell fire at Glen Siding. Murray states that he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 12 November 1900.
 

1102 Trooper Robert Frank WILSON

 

1102 Trooper Robert Frank WILSON; Listed in Murray at p. 47A; Murray states that he died at Bloemfontein, 16 May 1900. Originally from Goulburn, NSW.

1049 Trooper Eli Alexander WINDSOR; Listed in Murray at p. 47A; Murray states that he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 30 July 1900.

1103 Trooper Frederick Harold WINDSOR; Listed in Murray at p. 47A.

1104 Trooper Joseph James WINTER; Listed in Murray at p. 47A.

1106 Trooper Selwyn Herbert YARRINGTON; Listed in Murray at p. 47A; Murray states that he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 13 September 1900. Originally from Wingham and Upper Manning District, NSW.

 

The last word on the participation of the 1st Australia Horse is summed up by 1062 Corporal John Henry Macartney ABBOTT, the son of Sir Joseph ABBOTT and was later on, commissioned in Imperial Service. 

Why did we ever come? This isn't charging into battle. This isn't racing through flying foe. This isn't getting the Victoria Cross. Where is all the 'pomp and circumstance of war?  Where's anything but dirt, and discomfort, and starvation, and nigger-driving? Who wants to participate in a shabby war like this?

Regardless of these sentiments, the 1st Australian Horse members conducted themselves in a manner that impressed all who saw them, especially the men from the Scottish Greys with whom they were attached.

 

[Note: All photographs of individual members from the Australian Horse are extracted from a group photograph published in the Sydney Mail, 20 January 1900, p. 148.]

 

Further Reading:

3rd/11th/7th Australian Light Horse

Militia Light Horse, New South Wales

Australian Militia Light Horse

 


Citation: 1st Australian Horse Boer War Service in detail

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Friday, 2 July 2010 9:48 PM EADT

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