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"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess

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

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Saturday, 25 July 2009
Surafend, the massacre, Palestine, 10 December 1918, Spaven Account
Topic: BatzP - Surafend

Surafend, the massacre

Palestine, 10 December 1918

Spaven Account

 

Trooper HS Spaven's account of his actions

 

The following account by 3793 Trooper Henry John SPAVEN, 6th LHR, details events he witnessed during the day leading up to the events at Surafend.

At about 1900 on the 10th December 1918, a NZ soldier came to my bivvy and said: "Do you know the New Zealanders are going to raid the village over here tonight?"

I replied: No, I was not aware tat any raid was taking place."

He said: "Well, we are going to raid it, of course, you have heard of one of our chaps being shot."

I said: "I have heard different rumours about a man being shot."

He replied: "I can tell you the right story as I'm one of his mates. We feel badly about it, these people have given us a very bad spin and we intend to make an example of them this time."

I said: "I could not go over as if any raid was made were would almost certainly be stood to."

He then called the men out of a couple of bivvies close by and told them what was about to take place and said: "Don't bring any ammunition or we will be shooting each other in the dark, but bring a pick handle or some such weapon or a bayonet will be as good as anything, as we may be attacked ourselves." He then said: "If you go dswn and wait at the lower side of the village, I will come back later and lead you round the opposite side where the attack is going to take place from at 0800, as of course the raid is organised and the plan will be explained to you when you get round there. I have been to "B" and "C" Squadrons, are there any other Regiments about here?"

I replied: "We are the only Regiment here."

He then said: "I will go ovder to your YMCA, there is a good crowd there, and up to the MG Squadron."

About ½ an hour later he came back through the Squadron lines but there was no one with him. I heard the men say:

"A man does not want to be going over there."

And I know that none of the men he spoke to when I was present took part in the raid and I do not know of a single man who did.

I remarked: "You never know where these things are going to end, especially if there is a rum ration."

And one of the men said: "No, when thing get started they will probably end up by raping the women."

When we got the order to "Stand to" I believe nearly all the men of my troop were there and they kept coming in from the Pictures. I spoke to a good number o the men the following day and they all expressed themselves as disgusted with the raid.

 

Further Reading:

Surafend

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Surafend, the massacre, Palestine, 10 December 1918, Spaven Account

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 January 2010 2:37 PM EAST
Australian Light Horse, Roles within the Regiment, Duties of Tent Orderly
Topic: AIF - Lighthorse

Australian Light Horse

Roles within the Regiment

Duties of Tent Orderly

 

The following entries dealing with the roles and duties within the hierarchy of a light horse regiment are extracted from a very informative handbook called The Bushman’s Military Guide, 1898. While written in 1898, the information contained in the entries held true for the next twenty years with only minor modifications with the principles remaining as current then as now.

 

Duties of Tent Orderly

 

(1.) A tent orderly will be detailed daily by the non-commissioned officer or section leader in charge of the tent.

(2.) His duties are, generally, to keep the tent clean, to see that the arms and accoutrements are neatly arranged round the tent-pole, blankets and men's clothing neatly folded; although each man in the tent will keep his own part clean, his own blankets, etc., folded, and generally assist the tent orderly.

(3.) He will parade under the Troop Orderly Corporal fifteen minutes before the time appointed for meal-hours with the dishes allotted to his tent, convey the provisions from the cooking-place, and arrange its being equally apportioned amongst the men.

(4.) He will convey the meals of men on guard to the guard tent before he has his own.

(5.) He will "rash up" and keep clean the mess tins, knives, and forks, etc., of all the men of his tent, keep the bread, etc., required for next meal clean and safely put aside.

(6.) Every man in the tent except non-commissioned officers or the section leader in charge of the tent, will be required to take his turn of Tent Orderly.

 

 

Previous: Duties of Troop (or Half-Squadron) Orderly Corporal 

Next: Troop Cooks

 

Further Reading:

Australian Light Horse

Militia 1899 - 1920

 


Citation: Australian Light Horse, Roles within the Regiment, Duties of Tent Orderly

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 2 September 2009 10:02 AM EADT
The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Northampton Rifle Volunteers
Topic: Militia - LHW - WA

Western Australian Militia

Northampton Rifle Volunteers

 

The following is an extract from the book written in 1962 by George F. Wieck called The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia 1861-1903, pp. 48 - 49:

 
Northampton Rifle Volunteers
About the year 1881, Captain E. Shenton applied for authority to raise a Volunteer Infantry corps at Northampton as a detachment of the Geraldton Rifle Volunteers. Approval was deferred. On 30 June 1883 a second application was made and on the Military Commandant's recommendation the Governor approved subject to funds being available under the 1883-84 Budget. The requisite authority appeared in the Government Gazette of 1 July 1884. The official designation of the new corps was "Northampton Rifle Volunteers" but it was definitely part of the Geraldton corps. Lieutenant S. Mitchell was appointed to Command.

Rapid progress was made and the permitted strength of 40 was maintained at first - on paper, at any rate. Training conformed to the Geraldton programme, the corps achieving similar proficiency in rifle shooting. Later on matters were not so satisfactory. On 21 January 1899 the detachment was disbanded owing to general inefficiency. This was a clear case of exhaustion of recruit potential and names of inefficients being kept on the roll.



Officers of the Northampton Rifle Volunteers

Captain S Mitchell, 23 March 1884

Lieutenant HP Spalding, 23 March 1884

Lieutenant SH Mitchell, 11 November 1886

Lieutenant WB Burges, 5 September 1889

 

Previous:  Perth Volunteer Artillery

Next: Albany Defence Rifles 

 

Further Reading:

Western Australian Militia, Light Horse

Western Australian Militia, Infantry

 


Citation: The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Northampton Rifle Volunteers

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 4 September 2009 10:18 PM EADT
Friday, 24 July 2009
The Battle of Elands River, South Africa, 4 August 1900, Report by Major Tunbridge, 15 September 1900, File Note page 1
Topic: BatzB - Elands

The Battle of Elands River

South Africa, 4 August 1900

Report by Major Tunbridge, 15 September 1900, File Note page 1

 

 Report by Major Tunbridge, 15 September 1900, File Note page 1.

 

On 15 September 1900, Major Tunbridge wrote a report of the action at Elands River for the NSW General Staff of which page 1 of the file note is transcribed below.

 

Major Tunbridge
2nd Rhodesian Field Force

Report on Siege of Elands River
4 Aug 1900

 

 

Previous: Elands River

Next: File Note page 2

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Elands River, South Africa, 4 August 1900

The Battle of Elands River, South Africa, 4 August 1900, Roll of Honour

The Boer War, 1899 - 1902

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of Elands River, South Africa, 4 August 1900, Report by Major Tunbridge, 15 September 1900, File Note page 1

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 6 August 2010 2:05 PM EADT
Surafend, the massacre, Palestine, 10 December 1918, Thompson Account
Topic: BatzP - Surafend

Surafend, the massacre

Palestine, 10 December 1918

Thompson Account

 

Captain Francis Clarke Thompson's account of his actions

 

The following account of the Captain Francis Clarke Thompson, 2nd LHFA:

To the best of my knowledge none of the men of the 2nd Brigade Field Ambulance were absent from camp on that night between the hours of 1930 and 2115. During the time the village was burning. I overheard several men say they would not go near the scene as it would only lead to trouble.

Later on when in the village on ambulance work I neither saw, on the way over, or while there, any man belonging to this Brigade.

Question: What were the hours of your arrival at and departure from the village.

Answer: I arrived there at 2315 and left at 0230.

 

Further Reading:

Surafend

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Surafend, the massacre, Palestine, 10 December 1918, Thompson Account

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 10 August 2009 2:18 AM EADT

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