"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
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Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Australian Light Horse - Full Index, Contents Topic: AIF - ALH - A to Z
Australian Light Horse - Full Index
The following is an alphabetical roll of some 34,000 members of the Australian Light Horse, AIF including ancillary units, who are known to have embarked overseas during the Great War.
Search for the category that suits a search requirement. The link will take you to a page listing each man on this reference list with the following information:
If applicable, any false name employed; and,
Note 1: All soldiers’ names are linked to the specific unit and date when embarkation occurred. By utilising the link, upon the Embarkation Roll is a brief military biography of the individual. Also on the page are details and picture of the ship in which embarkation occurred for that specific soldier.
Note 2: There are duplications of some names in the following list. The reason for this is that the soldier embarked on more than one occasion. This was the simplest way of resolving the problem of multiple entries for a single individual.
Note 3: In comparing this roll with the official Embarkation Rolls published by the Department of Defence during the Great War, it will be noticed that some names are absent. The reason for this lies in the fact that when the official Embarkation Rolls were compiled, last minute absentees for one reason or another were recorded as embarking whereas in actuality, no embarkation occurred. In addition, there are other names that have been included that do not appear in the official Embarkation Rolls and yet they embarked with that particular group.
The Battle of Sannah's Post, South Africa, 31 March 1900, Outline Topic: BatzB - Sannahs Post
The Battle of Sannah's Post
South Africa, 31 March 1900
Sannah's Post, an action fought on 31 March 1900 during the Second South African War, after the British army commanded by Field Marshal Lord Roberts occupied the Orange Free State capital, Bloemfontein, on 13 March. Two days after the town's capture 300 mounted infantry were sent to Sannah's Post, situated on the Modder River 34 kilometres to the east, to secure the pumping station which supplied Bloomfontein's water supply. As it was known that a strong Boar commando under General JH Olivier was in this area, on the 18th another force - a 1,500-strong column of cavalry and mounted infantry under Lieut.-General John Drench - was sent to take up a defensive position at Thaba 'Nchu, a further 34 kilometres east. On the 26th French had departed to resume command of his cavalry division, leaving the garrison at Thaba 'Nchu under command of Colonel R.G. Broadwood.
When Broadwood found himself seriously menaced by Olivier's force of 5,000 men, he decided on 30 March to withdraw in towards Bloemfontein taking with him any of the town's pro-British residents who wished to be evacuated. Unknown to him, his movement coincided with a bold plan by another Boer leader, General Christiaan de Wet, who had moved south from Brandfort with a column of 1,600 men and seven guns, with the intention of seizing control of the Sannah's Post waterworks and placing himself astride the escape route which Broadwood would use once Olivier launched his planned attack. By 4 a.m. on the 31st he had his men in position: 400 under his own command west of the waterworks, the rest east of the Modder. De Wet's plan called for the larger force to mount the initial attack on the Sannah's Post garrison, in the expectation that the defenders (reduced now to only 200) would abandon the place and head to the capital-and straight into the ambush laid for them.
Intelligence reports delivered during the night told De Wet that a convoy had been despatched down the road from Thaba 'Nchu the previous afternoon, but he did not know that Broadwood's whole force was on the move. When he learned of this fact shortly before dawn, he decided to continue, laying in wait even though Broadwood's much larger force (about 1,800) - which he could actually see bivouacking nearby on the west bank of the Modder - could potentially overwhelm his own meagre numbers. While various minor skirmishes before sunrise at 6 a.m. should have given warning that Boers were in the vicinity, the nature and scale of the threat which was actually present was not evidenced to Broadwood until shells from the north-east started falling around the waterworks bivouac site at 6.20 a.m. Assuming that Olivier's commando had caught up with them, the British column and its convoy rapidly took to the saddle and moved out along the road to the west.
When it was reported to Broadwood that 300 Boers had been sighted along hills to the north, he deduced that an enemy force was trying to interpose itself along his escape route from that direction. He accordingly ordered one of his two batteries of Royal Horse Artillery with a mounted escort to occupy rising ground on this flank, retaining the bulk of his mounted infantry to provide a rearguard at the Modder. The battery proceeded towards the head of the supply convoy, which had become bottlenecked in a gully fifteen feet below the level of the plain-not realising that this was due to the action of De Wet's men, who were silently disarming and making prisoners of the teamsters as they entered the trap. The lead battery of guns was already in the enemy's hands when the true position was discovered by the following ('Q') Battery. This immediately turned about, with its escort, and galloped back to where a railway station was under construction-under heavy fire from the Boers after De Wet decided the time was right to reveal his hand.
With the ambush sprung, Broadwood proceeded to try and fight his way out of the predicament. Despite severe losses suffered during its flight out of the Boer trap, Q Battery brought four of its guns into action beside the unfinished railway buildings. Among the officers and men working these weapons was Lieut. J.C. Walch, a member of the Tasmanian Defence Forces on special service duty; he was severely wounded. Aided by the fire of the guns, Broadwood sent cavalry elements around by the south with orders to move into the gully and take the Boers from the right flank and rear. When these moves failed to case the pressure which the Boers continued to apply, at 10 a.m. Broadwood felt obliged to order a general retreat towards the south-west. In preparation for this movement, volunteers braved a storm of rifle-fire to pull back four of the guns and limbers from their exposed positions and thus prevent them being left for the enemy.
While two-thirds of Broadwood's force made good their escape, the various Boer forces now moved in to press the mounted infantry covering the rear-while also collecting up the spoils left behind. The leading elements of the British 9th Infantry Division began reaching the battlefield in the hour before midday, after marching from Bloemfontein, but these were too late to prevent the Boers making an orderly withdrawal by 1 p.m., taking with them 421 prisoners, seven guns and 83 wagons of stores. Broadwood had also suffered 159 officers and men either killed or wounded.
The considerable disaster which befell the British in this action might have been avoided, or at least attenuated, by the skilful intervention of a brigade of mounted infantry which had also arrived three kilometres in De Wet's rear at about 8 a.m. but then wasted the opportunity which its appearance presented. This brigade, ordered by Lord Roberts from Springfield when he first heard of Broadwood's planned retirement, was commanded by Colonel C.G. Martyr and comprised two British battalions and the Queensland contingent (commanded by Lieut.-Colonel St G.C. Henry) - a total of 600 men. A force of this size might have materially altered the course of events, but Martyr chose to split it up and disperse it.
While one battalion was sent to join in the belated cavalry movement Broadwood had initiated against De Wet's right flank and rear, the other British unit and the QMI had been sent north-east to aid an isolated outpost at Waterval Drift, an important crossing on the Modder north of the waterworks. I Here Henry's Queenslanders came into action after crossing the river for a distance, until recalled to take part in a short-lived defence of the ford. When the QMI was forced to join in the abandonment of Waterval to the enemy, they left behind two killed, two wounded and five men who became prisoners. The position at Sannah's Post was not restored to British control until 23 April.
Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, pp. 72-74.
Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:
L.S. Amery, (ed.) The Times History of the War in South Africa 1899-1902, Vol. 4 (1906), London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co.
R.L. Wallace (1976) The Australians at the Boer War, Canberra: Australian War Memorial & Australian Government Publishing Service.
1.35 am - Moon five fingers above horizon. Dead astern and above Imbros Island. Troops began embarking. Destroyers began to close up. Embarkation absolutely silent on Queen.
2.35 am - Tows from battleships reported all ready. Destroyers all close up.
2.53 am - proceeded due east under steam.
3.30 am - Battleship stopped. Orders to tows to "Go ahead and land."
4.10 am - Signal made to destroyers to come on.
4.5 am - First streak of dawn.
4.30 am - Firing heard on the beach.
5.40 am - Sunrise.
5.50 am - Report brought by Commander Dix that men were all ashore, fighting forward, heavy casualties.
6.0 am - Battleship advanced.
6.30 am - Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General left Queen on picket boat.
9.45 am - Fleet shelled by 11 or 12 guns - (Barbarossa?). Battleships shifted position.
10.45 am - Australians seen crowning height 224 D (Baby 700).
It will have been seen from the various orders issued for the operations that the idea was to land the covering force of about 4,000 men in two lots. The first lot off the battleships - 1,500 men - in tows. The second lot by destroyers which would stand in quite close and land the troops in pulling boats. The battleship tows did not get off quite together, but closed up soon. They closed too much and intervals were much less than that given in orders. The direction was given from the right. The Naval Officers responsible for direction noticed when 1½ miles from shore, that the time being taken would take the force further another than was intended. He tried to induce the tows to change course - but could not succeed in this. To avoid landing alone into two tows at a selected beach, he decided to join up with the remainder. The tows then joined up and went to the beach to this point - striking the shore at Fisherman's Hut. The enemy (since estimated at 900 on the beach) opened fire on the boats, when still off the shore, but the boats drove on, pulling themselves in after the steamboats cast off. The troops lept gallantly ashore, and rushed the enemy in font of them. With great dash they pushed straight on up the very steep hills they found in front of them, and gained the crest. The accounts are too confused, as yet, to show exactly what happened on shore.
The points to notice are:
1. The objective, given in orders, was missed entirely, but by the dark and resource of the covering force, a ridge was seized, which was a much later objective in the plan.
2. The advance from seaward was evidently seen and the enemy were fully prepared for it. Reports say that enemy detected the attack as early as 2 am and, from subsequent observation seaward from the ridge, this is more than probable.
3. Such an attack is possible if the men can take punishment, are fit, and determined to win the fight.
The casualties on the beach alone are estimated at 300 or 400 amounting to 10% of the covering force.
There followed there and interval. The destroyer service was somewhat disorganised for a while, and there was delay in getting the 2nd Brigade ashore. They followed, however, as fast as towage could be obtained. The action of the Galeka in standing right in under shell fire was noticeable. The mountain battery ships also stood in close and much facilitated disembarkation thereby. The 2nd Brigade moved off to the southward and gradually the landing place was shifted southward. The anchorage and landing places were shelled continuously from Kaba Tepe despite the fire of HMS Bacchante which stood right in to afford covering fire and protection as much as possible.
Demands for ammunition were constant. The supply was kept up but there was great difficulty in getting the ammunition ships to remain in the anchorage.
Major General Bridges went ashore about 9 am and conducted the fight. Major General Godley landed about 1 pm.
The force landed by the evening 6 pm consisted of -
3rd Australian Brigade (Covering Force)
2nd Australian Brigade
1st Australian Brigade
New Zealand Infantry Brigade
½ Section Field Battery, Australian Field Artillery
2 Mountain Batteries
Casualty Clearing Station
3 Field Hospitals and bearer subdivisions
The General Officer Commanding went ashore at 3 pm conferred with commanders and inspected the beach arrangements. He apportioned parts to commanders and received their reports. The troops ashore were not secure but the situation was not such as to cause great alarm at that time. General Officer Commanding gave out dispositions he required made. He then returned to Queen and made a report to General headquarters. Later both Divisions Divisional General represented that General Officer Commanding presence was necessary on shore. He landed again at 8 pm. A long conference was held at which the necessity and possibility of re-embarkation were discussed. The General Officer Commanding decided that we must hold on and he issued orders for the hastening of the disembarkation of more troops, including the New Zealand Infantry Brigade, a howitzer battery and more 18 pounder guns.
During the afternoon the troops were subjected to a heavy shrapnel fire, before they could dig in. It was this which caused the disorganisation and depression of which signs were apparent.
The casualties during the day were estimated at 2,000. 1,500 wounded were evacuated before 2 am, to ships.
26 April 1915
The night on the whole passed quietly. The enemy were evidently exhausted as a force but snipers and machine guns kept up a continuous fire on our advanced lines. The flat tops of hills were also reached with shrapnel, as was the beach at times. The 2ns and 3rd Brigades had to use the bayonet on occasion to repel counter attacks.
Early in the morning the general line held was straightened out. The men, taught by the experience of shrapnel fire in the previous afternoon had dug themselves well in and feeling secure in the morning were in better heart. Units were rallied and some order restored. This was most noticeable in the New Zealand Infantry Brigade which had been taken over by Brigadier General HB Walker DSO and reorganised. During the night ample water and ammunition was got up to the troops on mules and by hand. In the forenoon the troops on the northern and north eastern portions of the front pressed the enemy back to the summit of the ridge. 224 D. This was helped considerably by gunfire from the ships. Queen Elizabeth mad good practice and knocked out two guns. Ships guns ceased fire at 10.20 am. It is not quite certain by whose order the fire was stopped. The rumour is that the order originated with the enemy. Fire slackened later in the day. Our troops were sticking it well but were very exhausted. It appeared essential to effect some relief in the front line. This relief was made possible by the arrival on shore of the 4th Australian Brigade. Entrenching was continued throughout the day.
Observation of ships fire, which had been poor on 25th was much improved as the special cable connection were got through to flank observation officers. Judging from reports of prisoners the High Explosive shells did great execution and had great moral effect.
There were two instances of unnecessary retirements by units. These led, in both cases, to considerable losses.
Some more 18 pounders landed. These were got into position on right flank. The Howitzers landed during the night were got into position on left flank.
Casualties 500 to 600. No details available.
All War Diaries cited on this site should be read in conjunction with the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, AIF War Diaries of the Great War, Site Transcription Policy which may be accessed at:
The Battle of Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915, Lt-Col. Sefik Aker Account, Contents Topic: Tk - Bks - 27th IR
The Battle of Anzac Cove
Gallipoli, 25 April 1915
Lt-Col. Sefik Aker Account, Contents
In 1935, Lieutenant Colonel Sefik Aker, erstwhile commander of the 27th Infantry Regiment, produced a small book called: Canakkale - Ariburnu savaslari ve 27 alay (The Dardanelles - The Ariburnu Battles and the 27th Regiment). This book was an account of his regiment which was the first to confront the Australians as they landed at Anzac Cove. This is a very moving account from the other side of the trench. The book was published in Ankara in 1935. There is no official translation of the book into English. This translation is from the Rayfield Papers.
Lieut Col Sefik Aker, Canakkale - Ariburnu savaslari ve 27 alay, (Ankara), 1935.
The Battle of Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915, 1st Australian Division War Diary Topic: BatzG - Anzac
The Battle of Anzac Cove
Gallipoli, 25 April 1915
1st Australian Division War Diary
War Diary account of the 1st Australian Division, AIF.
The following is a transcription of the War Diary of the 1st Australian Division, AIF, of their role in the landings at Anzac on 25 April 1915.
25 April 1915
Anzac Bay, Gallipoli
1 am - The Prince of Wales anchored about 5 miles from shore owing to the clear moonlight the shore outline was visible. With glasses the ships all around could be clearly seen.
The men were got into the boats very silently. There were 4 tows. The tows fell in in rear of the battleship. At 3.57 am the ship got into position and advanced towards the shore. At a distance of about a mile the ship halted and the steam boats took the tows in.
Rifle fire was heard from the shore at 4.32.
A gun was fired at 4.57 am from one of the supporting ships.
GSO II and Major Villiers Stuart landed and reported landing between 237 W and 224 B.
General Officer Commanding visited Army Corps Headquarters Queen and came ashore. Informed position of warships. Attending ships Queen, Prince of Wales, London - covering ships Triumph and Bacchante on south Majestic on north.
9 am - 2nd Infantry Brigade report on line 224 Q to right of 3rd Infantry Brigade advancing to ridge 212 G-B. Constant firing 224 M no sign of enemy on ridges 224 W or 212 G-B. Headquarters 224 R.
3 Krupp guns captured by 10th Infantry Battalion 224 I.
Third Infantry Brigade called constantly for more ammunition.
9.45 am - 2nd and 3rd Infantry Brigades in touch. 2nd Infantry Battalion of 1st Infantry Brigade sent to help 2nd Infantry Brigade.
9.54 am - A Company 7th Infantry Battalion in touch with 3rd Infantry Brigade's right.
10.25 am - 2nd Infantry Brigade informed us that 6th Infantry Battalion wanted reinforcements and he sent in his only available troops in 2 platoons of 5th Infantry Battalion.
10.35 am - 3rd Infantry Brigade reports Hill 224 C6 seriously threatened and asks support on left. General Officer Commanding ordered 1st Infantry Brigade to sent two companies to the hill.
10.50 am - 6th Infantry Battalion advanced under shrapnel fire.
General Officer Commanding went to see Colonel M'Cay at 2nd Infantry Brigade Headquarters.
11.30 am - General Officer Commanding informed that New Zealand Infantry Brigade on way to shore to come under his command on arrival.
11.30 am - 2nd Infantry Brigade reports position 7th Infantry Battalion 224 N and half 6th Infantry Battalion and half 5th Infantry Battalion 224 S, half 5th Infantry Battalion in support. Half 6th Infantry Battalion, half 8th Infantry Battalion moving to support to his right - no reserve.
11.8 am - 2nd Infantry Brigade reported that a party of 3rd Infantry Brigade being driven south.
General Walker to take command of New Zealand force on shore vice Colonel Johnstone.
12.15 pm - GSOIII (General Service Officer III) sent to Officer Commanding 2nd Infantry Brigade to take up ammunition and water.
12.25 pm - Auckland Infantry Battalion joined on left of 2nd Infantry Battalion. 4th Infantry Battalion complete and in hand.
1.0 pm - 8th Infantry Battalion saw troops on left retiring and began to fear being cut off.
1.15 pm - 2nd Infantry Brigade reported that 6th Infantry Battalion must be reinforced at once. "C" Company 1st Infantry Battalion which had been about left in the main valley to wait for orders was sent in and two platoons of 5th Infantry Battalion under Captain Walstan reported themselves and were sent in.
1.7 pm 6th Infantry Battalion reported that their right was taken. (Message delayed till 1.50 pm.)
Indian Mountain Guns came into action Square 224 H5.
1.45 pm - Owing to pressure on 6th Infantry Battalion, the 8th Infantry Battalion was drawn into the left to support 6th Infantry Battalion except one company left out on a knoll. This left a gap of 600 yards.
1.40 pm - Situation much easier but pressure not ceased.
2.48 pm - Officer Commanding 2nd Infantry Brigade reported that his left could not stand unless supported.
2.55 pm - Divisional Headquarters directed 2nd Infantry Brigade to entrench line 224 RUI.
3.10 pm - 6th and 8th Infantry Battalion have built up defensive firing line but shrapnel shell active.
3.20 pm - 3rd Infantry Brigade report issuing orders to entrench but will not have sufficient strength.
5 pm (approximate) - General Officer Commanding discussed situation with Officer Commanding 2nd Infantry Brigade and General Service Officer III by telephone and determined to send up 4th Infantry Battalion. General Service Officer III to guide it up. About this time many stragglers came out of firing line and lay about under the crest.
5.37 pm - Attack on left of 2nd Infantry Brigade developed. Headquarters asked to expedite landing of 4th Infantry Brigade.
The beach on which the landing took place was not the beach originally arranged but about one mile further north. The landing place was banked by hills running 400 feet with 300 yards of water's edge. It was up these steep slopes that the 3rd Infantry Brigade charged with the bayonet. No firing was permitted and no halting.
6.0 pm - 4th Infantry Battalion began to move up, crossed the valley under hostile shrapnel fire and went in by companies from left taking up a line of about 600 yards along left of 8th Infantry Battalion and right of 6th Infantry Battalion. The pressure relaxed very soon after.
6.15 pm - 1st Infantry Brigade reported firing line on left being driven back.
6.23 pm - Queen asked to shell 238 M
6.38 pm - 2nd Infantry Brigade proposed to show right flank at night by a seaward light.
10.20 pm - Enemy attacked 8th Infantry Battalion with bayonet but were driven off.
26 April 1915
Anzac Bay, Gallipoli
3.13 am - 1st Infantry Brigade reports in touch 1st, 2nd and 3rd Infantry Battalions, 1st intact and can hold on, 2nd and 3rd greatly split up.
5.50 am - 3rd Infantry Brigade reports holding line and will be all right if there is no serious attack.
5.41 am - 5th Infantry Battalion in touch with 15th Infantry Battalion on its left.
5.42 am - 2nd Infantry Brigade reports could not reorganise during night. Only enemy are snipers. Plenty ammunition.
6.25 am - 8th Infantry Battalion reports line will entrenched and support trenches nearly ready.
7.30 am - General Officer Commanding Army Corps directs all to be warned against desultory firing, especially at night, and only against definite targets. Digging best protection against snipers.
7.8 am - Officer Commanding 2nd Infantry Brigade in telephone communication with 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Infantry Battalions.
8.17 am - Queen asked to search northern slope of ridge 224 P and T.
9 am - Infantry Battalion Sergeant Major 3rd Infantry Battalion reports firing line hard pressed, Captain King sent up a party.
10.5 am - Many reports as fire from Kaba Tepe.
10.18 am - 2nd Infantry Battalion says Navy shelling our trenches and asks him to increase elevation. Two shells from ships directed at "Green Patch" fell short. Fire wanted at maximum 224 J 3-6, 224 O2.
10.30 am - Gun near Kaba Tepe forward knoll 224 Q3.
10.38 am - 2nd Infantry Battalion report snipers at Fisherman's Hut.
Colonel Pope, 16th Infantry Battalion reports heavy fire on left.
11.42 am - 4th Infantry Battalion reports battery 224 D vide Intel Reports.
10.43 am - 2nd Infantry Battalion reports portion is 237 V6 to 224 C2.
11.35 - Queen fired 12 inch guns on 225 T asked for observation.
11.56 am - 5th Infantry Battalion under shrapnel fire.
Noon - 2nd Infantry Brigade situation unchanged.
2.13 pm - 3rd Infantry Brigade asks for the 450 men on the beach to reinforce his left centre. All available were collected.
During the afternoon, Colonel MacLaurin and staff went up to relieve Colonel MacLagan and staff but Headquarters continued to be known as 3rd Infantry Brigade.
Commanding Officer Divisional Artillery asked to search 224 J. Colonel Rosenthal says impossible with 1 gun he has no more in yet.
2.37 pm - 3rd Infantry Brigade asks for all possible support of naval guns.
2.45 pm - Battery gun opened fire on part of 6th Infantry Battalion lines across 224 M5, 30 degrees east of S.
4.6 pm - 8th Infantry Battalion reports naval guns doing great execution among the Turks.
4.20 - 2nd Infantry Battalion sent party forward and reoccupied 100 yards in front of top of ridge.
4.30 pm - 2nd Infantry Battalion reports successful bayonet charge. His position 237 W5 to 224 C5. 3 snipers found in rear of 6th Infantry Battalion line during night.
Ships again played searchlights on valleys north and south of our positions throughout the night. Enemy ruses (i) A party in Australian uniform; (ii) An order purporting to be from General Headquarters to cease firing; (iii) Turks reported to have come towards our lines dancing and having seen what they wanted to, cleared out dancing. (This seems a very improbable story.)
5.15 - Troops warned against enemy ruses. These consist in passing orders and reports. Eg "The troops at so and so are Indians. Don't fire" etc.
6 pm - 3rd Infantry Brigade reports observing station on point opposite Mountain Battery Square 224 C2.
6.30 pm 8th Infantry Battalion asking for immediate reinforcements on right.
Queen reports message from Colonel commanding on right flank. We have brought guns to 224 M and driven from this ridge and forced to bring down guns to the beach. Can you arrange to keep the enemy from ridge vacated by us.
9.5 - Lieutenant Lloyd, 1st Infantry Battalion reported himself and party on right flank with 4th Infantry Brigade. He proposed to remain there until 4th Infantry Brigade units relieved.
11.45 pm - Officer Commanding 4th Infantry Battalion reported killed. Second in Command wounded, Major Hearne seriously wounded, Adjutant missing, Major Storey carrying on.
All War Diaries cited on this site should be read in conjunction with the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, AIF War Diaries of the Great War, Site Transcription Policy which may be accessed at:
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