"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.
The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre site holds over 12,000 entries and is growing daily.
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.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Formation of Regiment occurring at Morphettville Race Course Camp, Adelaide, while "C" Squadron is formed at Broadmeadows Camp, Victoria. Signalling instruction begins at Signalling School, Broadmeadows Camp.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Draft of men arrived from Egypt at 2300. Made up as follows: 9 Reinforcements, 7 Returned from hospital and 3 original drivers of the Regiment from Egypt Base.
Sunday, November 12, 1916
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Bir Etmaler
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - General Officer in Command Anzac Mounted Division [Chaytor, Brigadier General EWC] carried out an inspection of the Brigade. Bleechmore, Captain C; and, 50 Other Ranks left for Anzac Rest Camp, Port Said. McDonald, Lieutenant JM, left for Cairo on leave. Linacre, Lieutenant FJ, left for Alexandria on leave.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0530 A Squadron moved out watered Arak el Menshiyeh then moved north and occupied Burkusieh and Tel es Safi [ancient Gath] at 0800 remainder of Regiment proceeded to water at Arak el Menshiyeh concentrating 1/2 mile north east of El Faluje. At 1200 moved just south of Ijseir in wadi Sq V7 central [Wadi Bisia - ed.].
At 1445 urgent message received that enemy were attacking Burkusieh in force and this Regiment ordered to reinforce 5th Mounted Brigade at Burkusieh. At 1500 the Regiment moved at the trot along western side of railway crossing over to the eastern side of Sq O72 N18d and trotting to 5th Mounted Brigade headquarters. At 1530 B Squadron under Ragless, Captain BB, was immediately put into the line in Burkusieh village. A Squadron had been in position on Burkusieh ridge since 0630 with one troop holding Tel es Safi.
Smith, Lieutenant PT; and, his troop A Squadron was holding Tel es Safi and at 1100, he reported a large enemy force had arrived by train at Et Tine, where they detrained and were advancing in attack formation towards his position and Burkusieh. Smith, Lieutenant PT; and, troop rejoined remainder of A Squadron on Burkusieh Ridge. From 1500 onwards a heavy enemy bombardment was concentrated in and around Burkusieh village covering the advance of about 4,000 enemy infantry who were advancing south on either side of railway. At about 1530 enemy on western side of railway were observed to halt and take up positions approximately in SQ O72 N1 - 2 - 3 cd. The force on eastern side of railway moving in towards Ridge came under heavy fire from our machine guns, Hotchkiss and rifles. The strong enemy attack continued with great determination forcing our artillery to withdraw to just north of Summeil. 5th Mounted Brigade now withdrew to a strong position 1500 yards north east of Summeil with the 9th Light Horse Regiment covering their withdrawal. At 1600 the enemy 2000 strong had advanced to within a few hundred yards of Burkusieh village and ridge when 9th Light Horse Regiment withdrew and reinforced 5th Mounted Brigade's line. The enemy now occupied Burkusieh village and ridge where his advance was held up by our heavy rifle and machine gun fire. At 1700 5th Mounted Brigade withdrew to reserve. With C Squadron on left and B Squadron on right an outpost line running 500 yards north and east of Summeil from railway to railway bridge in Sq O72V2 - 5 - 2 Sheet XX. Night passed uneventfully.
Killed in Action
705 Lance Corporal KC Bennett ;
1021 Trooper A Thurlow; and,
1602 Corporal WH Shadforth.
Wounded in Action
528 Private Paul Teesdale Smith;
544 Private Claude Foubister;
552 Private Albert Ernest King; and
1426 Private William George Oliver.
3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary -
At stand to arms at 0430 the situation along the Divisional front was still quiet and at 0600 one squadron 9th Light Horse Regiment under Parsons, Major HM, moved from El Faluje to reconnoitre Burkusieh from the south west. 8th Light Horse Regiment maintained line of observation posts and watched for any enemy movements on the roads leading from Arak el Menshiyeh - Beit Jibrin road. Dust had been observed rising from direction of Beit Jibrin since daylight.
At 0830 the reconnoitring squadron of 9th Light Horse Regiment occupied Burkusieh without encountering enemy opposition. Information was gained from the inhabitants that enemy estimated at 5,000 in strength, with machine and field gun had withdrawn, to Tel el Safi at 2200 on the previous night.
Watering of as many horses of the Brigade as possible was now aimed at. The supply at Ijseir and Hatte was very limited, and at 1330 when orders were received from Division for the Brigade to be prepared for immediate action, very few horse or men had been given a drink.
About 6,000 enemy infantry were now reported to be advancing from Et Tine. Troop trains were observed unloading infantry and enemy cavalry were moving to the west of Balin. Orders were received from Division for one Regiment to move to a point one mile south west of Summeil, and support 5th Mounted Brigade which was to meet the enemy advance at Balin. The enemy appeared in strength all along the front and threatened a determined attack. The Notts Battery cooperated with all batteries of the Division in maintaining fire against the enemy, whose advance was being covered by his own artillery from many batteries.
The role of our Division was to hold firmly the right flank of the general advance so that the centre and left could push forward without anxiety for their right flank. From enemy documents since captured the advance of the Turks just mentioned was an organised attack on our right flank. They hoped that it would be successful. If it had, it would have seriously affected the advance of the rear of our forces now moving northwards on our left and along the coast.
At about 1400 the enemy attack had developed.
5th Mounted Brigade was being heavily pressed by the enemy. 9th Light Horse Regiment was now holding Burkusieh ridge, and although attacked time after time continued to check the determined advance of the Turks, One squadron, 8th Light Horse Regiment was sent to the assistance of the 5th Mounted Brigade and the remaining two Squadrons to the assistance of the 9th Light Horse Regiment, where, was now heavily engaged and suffering many casualties.
At 1600, 10th Light Horse Regiment, who had been sent to El Faluje to water horses, was now brought up at the gallop on account of the general situation, and C Squadron thereof was put on the right of the 9th Light Horse Regiment. Owing to enemy pressure on the left the 5th Mounted Brigade was forced to retire, and the 8th and 9th Light Horse Regiments, with 10th Light Horse Regiment supporting on the right, were now compelled to conform and to fall back on to the next ridge, i.e. the one between Summeil and Burkusieh Ridges. As soon as the ridge from which the enemy advance had been checked by 8th and 9th Light Horse Regiments was retired from, the enemy with extreme boldness occupied same. It was discovered that some wounded had been left behind when the retirement from Burkusie ridge was made and Bowman, Sergeant J, of the 9th Light Horse Regiment and Rickaby, Lieutenant TN, 3rd Light Horse Brigade Scout Officer, returned and rescued wounded, the latter being subsequently granted the DCM for his action in this affair.
At 1700 the Turkish attack died away. The night outpost line, [9th Light Horse Regiment on the left, and 8th Light Horse Regiment on the right], from Arak el Menshiyeh to Summeil was taken up. The Brigade had taken part in a day's very heavy fighting and all ranks and horses were in much need of rest and sleep, little of which had been gained for the past several days and nights. The question of water for horses was again becoming very acute. The night, 12/13th November passed quietly and at stand to arms at 0430 there was no enemy activity.
Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 12 November 1918 Topic: Diary - Schramm
Diaries of AIF Servicemen
12 November 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:
11 November 1918, Celebrations for the Armistice, Peace Declared in Sydney Topic: GW - 11 Nov 1918
11 November 1918
Celebrations for the Armistice
Peace Declared in Sydney
Martin Place filled with a jubilant crowd - mostly comprised of women.
[From: Sydney Mail, 13 November 1918, p. 19.]
SYDNEY was thrown into a seething whirlpool of excitement on Friday by the announcement that Germany had agreed to the terms of the armistice offered by Marshal Foch and that hostilities had already ceased. It was early in the morning when the cablegram came through, and the news spread like wild-fire. The fact that it lacked official confirmation counted for little in the minds of people thoroughly convinced, that, even if the signatures of the parties had not yet been actually appended to the document, that act could not possibly be long delayed. The pent-up feelings of four weary years at last found vent; and the result was one of the most memorable days in the history of Sydney. The sirens of the harbour, in a weird medley such as has rarely been heard from the waters of Port Jackson, proclaimed that something of vast importance had occurred; and the shrieking of railway whistles, the clanging of tram bells, the hooting of motor-horns, the rattling of tins, and none: every conceivable kind combined to make a terrific din which everybody welcomed because it represented a paean of victory. A little later brass bands joined up, and there was vociferous cheering everywhere, while innumerable mechanical contrivances added still greater variety and volume to the sounds. The streets were speedily thronged as if by magic the city became enwrapped by gay bunting, and nearly everybody waved a flag. Work was out of the question. Factories, shops, and offices were practically deserted. Hatless girls, and men both old and young, poured out of their places of business and formed processions on foot through the streets, or, mounting lorries, drays, motor cars, and any and every sort of conveyance that happened along, moved slowly through the cheering crowds waving the banners and flags of the Allies and shouting patriotic songs. Early in the day the public-houses were dosed, and some of the large shops barricade heir windows, fearing that the pressure of the vast crowds might damage them. The newspaper offices towards mid-day posted bills announcing that the signing of the armistice had been officially denied. This temporarily damped the public ardour, but enthusiasm speedily again ran riot, and the posters were torn down. Official or not, what did it matter? Germany would be compelled to give in, and a day or two would make little difference. And, after all, was not the news from the front, news apart from the armistice, sufficiently stirring to justify public rejoicings? That was the general feeling and the celebration continued far into the night. Throughout it was marked only by the utmost goodwill.
A spontaneous street celebration.
[From: Sydney Mail, 13 November 1918, p. 19.]
Friday, 12 November 1918 was a day to remember for all Sydney citizens. It was the day to let loose all the emotions and grasp the joy of peace. This day was one of celebration. The next day was the sober reflection on where things would go. But that was tomorrow's worry. Today was sheer joy.
11 November 1918, Celebrations for the Armistice, Peace Declared in Adelaide Topic: GW - 11 Nov 1918
11 November 1918
Celebrations for the Armistice
Peace Declared in Adelaide
The crowds in front of Parliament House listening to the Declaration of Peace.
[From: The Adelaide Chronicle, 16 November 1918, p. 26.]
Peace Declared in Adelaide
When peace was declared in Adelaide on the morning of 12 November 1918, the city filled with tens of thousands of people.
The crowd is filled with all different people displaying the whole range of human emotions, the key being relief. The crowd is pressing in on the thin line of police who appear to be uncomfortable with the crush. One piece of whimsy is the fellow holding an American flag in the foreground. Each face in this crowd has a specific story to tell about the war and the impact of the war upon that life.
The full story of peace was something to be savoured slowly and sweetly. Below is the page detailing all the information for the news hungry people in Adelaide.
From the Adelaide Advertiser, 12 November 1918, p. 5:
A MERRY THRONG IN ADELAIDE.
MUSIC AND LAUGHTER IN THE STREETS.
Never in the history of South Australia has such a tremendous crowd assembled in King William Street, opposite the Town Hall as on Monday night when the glorious news of the signing of the armistice was made public. It was, anticipated that historic cablegram would arrive probably about 10 o'clock, and the majority of the 30,000 to 40,000 people who were gathered together in the thoroughfare between the Majestic Theatre and the General Post-Office delayed their arrival at the rendezvous until about 9 o'clock. Shortly after 7 o'clock a special edition of "The Express" was published, long before any other paper was on sale, announcing that Germany had signed the armistice terms, and the crowds who were on their way to the places of amusement either altered their minds and remained in the streets or spent only part of the evening in the halls. It was fully 9 o'clock before the trains packed with passengers from all the suburbs began to discharge their living freight at the city terminals, and by 10 o'clock King William street was alive with men and women, boys and girls, all gloriously happy and bent on giving expression to their feelings of joy in any form which suited the moment. The enthusiasm was unbounded, everybody seemed to have let loose a flood of delight, it was sight never to be forgotten. The war had ended: the people know it, and they were intoxicated with joy, but, although such a vast throng joined in the patriotic displays and made merry as befitted the occasion, there was not the slightest exhibition of bad behaviour. It was an intensely loyal, happy, and thankful crowd, every unit of which desired to give voice to his or her feelings in the most becoming way. A great deal of the wonderful enthusiasm was worked up by that popular patriotic worker, Mr "Sammy" Lunn, who led contingents of merrymakers up and down the street singing patriotic songs, but at the same time there was no need for any special encouragement. The people were in a joyful mood and were powerless to restrain their emotions.
After many years of grim news and sorrow filling the lives of relatives left in Australia, the comforting information in the newspaper assures the citizens of Adelaide that the nightmare is over. The relief is palpable in every sentence written on this page. It was a happy time for all.
The newspapers also began to reflect on the meaning that this information held for the citizens of Adelaide. Many issues needed to be addressed. The sobering reality was that casualty lists were still arriving and would continue to do so for nearly another year.
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