Topic: AIF - Lighthorse
Australian Light Horse
Roles within the Regiment
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.
(1.) As a departmental or non-combatant officer, he is responsible to the Commanding Officer generally for the issue and return of all stores, the feeding of men and horses, the cleanliness, pitching, and striking of CAMP, in fact to particularise,
For all that concerns the issue, return, to and from the regimental store of: arms; equipment; accoutrements; clothing; necessaries; saddlery; and ammunition.
(2.) He will see that the regimental records of issue and returns to country units are duly entered by the Regimental Quartermaster-Sergeant in the regimental arms, clothing, and equipment ledgers; receipt and issue vouchers covering issues despatched to officer commanding units, and every care taken to be able to account AT ANY TIME for the distribution of the whole of the stores on charge to the regiment, whether on issue to country units or in store. Any articles lost or missing to be reported on, written off charge, and the individual responsible (if lost by neglect) debited with cost of replacing loss.
(3.) Previous to Camp, he will see that a requisition is prepared and the articles required by the regiment, according to scale authorised, are applied for.
(4.) DURING CAMP. - He will be present in Camp with the Permanent Regimental Quartermaster- Sergeant prior to the assembly of the regiment in sufficient time to see:(a) That the Camp equipment requisitioned for has been drawn and despatched to site selected for Camp under proper control.
(b) The Camp pitched and the horse lines laid clown.
(c) Latrines provided separately for officers, non-commissioned officers, and men.
(d) Places allotted for horse manure and cook's rubbish.
(e) Kitchens allotted each troop or half-squadron.
(f) Tents allotted officers of each unit, servants, cooks, etc. Tents to be numbered and entered in the Quartermaster's book, who will point out to all concerned the locality of their respective tents when they arrive in camp.
(g) He will ascertain from the Adjutant the time of arrival of each troop, and arrange for cooks to have their first meal ready by the time the men arrive and dismount, and are dismissed for the meal in question.
(h) He will see that blankets, water-proof sheets, horse equipment, etc., are arranged in the regimental store tent in lots ready for issue to the troops on arrival, taking care that receipts are given for all articles issued, and when returned to store on conclusion of camp, deficiencies noted and located with troops or individuals responsible.
(5.) He will attend at headquarters at the issue of bread and meat, fuel, rations, etc., for the regiment prior to being accepted for distribution amongst the troops, and see that both are of good quality and full weight, and report any irregularity to the Commanding Officer or Adjutant.
(6.) He will be present at the issue of forage, but will have nothing to do with the quality of it. He is solely responsible for the gross weight received, and its distribution to the regiment after it has been passed by the Board of Officers appointed to inspect it.
(7.) He is responsible for the cleanliness of the Camp generally, and will take care that all ground allotted to the Regiment and parade ground, are kept clean and in good order. He can obtain a fatigue party on application to the Adjutant, to assist in keeping the Camp in order. All ranks are expected to assist this officer for sanitary reasons, as well as the well ordered appearance of the Camp of the regiment in this most important duty. The motto in the Camp of a mounted regiment, above all other places, must be “EVERYTHING IN ITS PROPER PLACE AND A PROPER PLACE FOR EVERYTHING."
(8.) He will see that:(a) Discipline and good order (no confusion or noises) is maintained amongst the cooks.
(b) That they receive an equal share of water, fuel, rations, &c., for cooking according to the number of men they are cooking for.
(c) That they make such arrangements that they will have all meals ready at the time appointed in Regimental Orders.
(9.) He will see that tent orderlies are marched to the tents by troop orderly corporals, and that they fall in according to the number of their tents, and are each supplied in turn with their rations when called upon. No hurry or confusion to be allowed.
(10.) He will make any reports of breach of discipline to the Commanding Officer or Adjutant.
(11.) On conclusion of the Camp he will see that the tents are struck if dry, horse lines taken up, stores collected, handed over, losses (if any) located to troops concerned, and the interest of the regiment looked after so that no charges are made for deficiencies or damages other than those for loss by neglect or wilful damage.
(12.) He will make a report to the Commanding Officer on the conclusion of each camp on the work of his department.
Next: Squadron Commander
Citation: Australian Light Horse, Roles within the Regiment, Quartermaster