"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess
The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre aims to present an accurate history as chroniclers of early Australian military developments from 1899 to 1920.
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Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 22 July 1918 Topic: Diary - Schramm
Diaries of AIF Servicemen
22 July 1918
2823 Private Herbert Leslie SCHRAMM, a 22 year old Farmer from Whites River, South Australia. He enlisted on 17 February 1916; and at the conclusion of the war Returned to Australia, 10 July 1919.
During part of the course of his military service with the AIF, Bert Schramm kept a diary of his life. Bert was not a man of letters so this diary was produced with great effort on his behalf. Bert made a promise to his sweetheart, Lucy Solley, that he would do so after he received the blank pocket notebook wherein these entries are found. As a Brigade Scout since September 1918, he took a lead part in the September Offensive by the Allied forces in Palestine. Bert's diary entries are placed alongside those of the 9th Light Horse Regiment to which he belonged and to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade to which the 9th LHR was attached. On this basis we can follow Bert in the context of his formation.
The complete diary is now available on the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre Site at:
Nominal Roll, AWM133, Nominal Roll of Australian Imperial Force who left Australia for service abroad, 1914-1918 War.
War Diaries and Letters
All War Diaries and letters cited on this site should be read in conjunction with the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy which may be accessed at:
The following entries are extracted and transcribed from the 9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary, the originals of which are held by the Australian War Memorial. There are 366 entries on this site. Each day has entries as they occurred from 1914 to 1919. In addition to the 9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary, when appropriate, entries from the 3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary and other regiments with the Brigade will also appear. Entries from the unit history, Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924 will also appear from time to time. The aim is to give the broadest context to the story and allow the reader to follow the day to day activities of the regiment. If a relative happened to have served in the regiment during the Great War, then this provides a general framework in which the individual story may be told.
Colonel Cameron, 12th LHR, letter to Dr Bean Topic: BatzP - Beersheba
After the first draft of the Oficial British War History regarding the Palestine and Sinai campaigns was written by Cyril Falls, he circulated the various drafts amongst those officers who particpated in the events described in the particular chapters to ascertain veracity. This particular note was returned to Dr CEW Bean by Lieutenant Colonel Cameron, the former Commanding Officer of the 12th Light Horse Regiment regarding the planning of the soon to be famous charge.
Extracts from Colonel Cameron's letter to Dr Bean
[Click on page for a larger print version.]
The extracts transcribed:
General Grant informed Colonel Bourchier and myself at 4 p.m. that he had been ordered to attack Beersheba. It is evident that the method of attack was left to him, and of that I feel sure, since he asked for our opinion. It was clear to me that the job had to be done before dark, so I advised galloping the place as our only chance. (I had some experience of successful mounted surprise attacks on the Boer camps in the South African war.)
Page 21, lines 17 - 18
"Some squadrons swept straight on to Beersheba" should read "What was left of two squadrons of the 12th LH swept on ..." The 4th Regiment stopped at the trenches with the exception of some six men who were carried along with the 12's squadrons.
The impression given is that Grant was given a free hand in developing the charge, either mounted or unmounted. Grant had opted for the unmounted charge. Cameron recalls his Boer War experience and influences the discussion calling for a charge by horse - a successful tactic used against the Boer lagers.
One caveat must be made. This document needs to be treated with a bit of caution as there was a major personal conflict between Cameron and Grant - Cameron hated Grant with a passion.
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