"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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1st Light Horse Field Ambulance, AIF, 2nd Reinforcement, embarked from Sydney, New South Wales on board HMAT A12 Saldanha on 5 February 1915.
The HMAT A12 Saldanha weighed 4,594 tons with an average cruise speed of 11 knots or 20.37 kmph. It was owned by the Ellerman & Bucknall SS Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 14 June 1917. The Saldanha was torpedoed and sunk in Mediterranean, 18 March 1918.
The ensuing individual soldier's embarkation information contains the following details:
1773 Private Arthur EDE, a 21 year old Farmer from Innisfail, Queensland. He enlisted on 14 December 1914; and subsequently Returned to Australia, 14 December 1918.
1771 Private Henry Boake SMITH, a 19 year old Boundary rider from Hyde Park, New South Wales. He enlisted on 14 December 1914; and at the conclusion of the war Returned to Australia, 5 March 1919.
1772 Private Patrick Vaughan TORPY, a 23 year old Tram conductor from Forest Lodge, New South Wales. He enlisted on 14 December 1914; and at the conclusion of the war Returned to Australia, 4 June 1919.
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]
Below is a brief historical outline from RK Peacock, Evolution of Australian Light Horse Regiments 1841-1935, Unpublished MSS, c.1936, p. 6.
This regiment owes its origin to the formation in 1888 of a Corps of Permanent Mounted Infantry in NSW. In the following year the Upper Clarence River Light Horse and this unit, together with the Bega Battery of Artillery, the Reserve Companies of Infantry at Queanbeyan, Picton, Campbelltown and Inverell, were styled the New South Wales Cavalry Regiment, this continued until 1850 when the permanent corps was disbanded.
By 1893 the NSW Cavalry Regiment had become the New South Wales Mounted Rifles and held this title until the year 1903. At the Federal reorganisation in this year No. 1 Squadron from Molong, No. 2 Squadron from Picton and Camden, and No. 3 Squadron from Forbes, together with "C" Squadron of the 1st Australian Horse from Mudgee and Rylston, and "G" Company and "J" Company of the 3rd N.S.W. Infantry from Wellington and Forbes respectively were amalgamated and became the 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment (New South Wales Mounted Rifles). In addition there was the Canterbury 1/2 Squadron, raised in 1900, which became No. 6 Squadron attached to the 2nd A.L.H. Regitment.
In the same re-organisation No. 4 Squadron from Tenterfield and Glenn Innes became part of the 5th A.L.H. Regiment (15th L.H.).
The regiment continued as the 2nd until 1912, when, in the reorganisation of that year it became the 9th Light Horse (New South Wales Mounted Rifles). It saw a further change in 1918 when it was styled 6th Light Horse (New South Wales Mounted Rifles).
This section explores the evolution of the Regiment from its first origins as a Commonwealth formation. Each year maps the movement of men and often locations of the various Squadrons and Troops. To get the flavour of the Regiment, it is best to begin the journey at 1889 and follow though each year till 1920.
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