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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, 1 August 2009
The Nek Gallipoli, 7 August 1915, Trench Map
Topic: BatzG - Nek

The Nek

Gallipoli, 7 August 1915

Trench Map


Trench Map illustrating the trench systems at Russell's Top and Pope's prior to the August Offensive, 1915.

[Click on map for larger version.]


In attempting to understand the complexity of the planning involved in producing the August Offensive at Gallipoli in 1915, accurate maps of the trench systems were at a premium. This map was produced by the M.E.F. Headquarters in the weeks prior to the attack. All references to trench systems in plans or War Diaries relate specifically to this specific map. Thus this map becomes an essential companion in understanding all the references given for this particular region.


Further Reading:

The Nek, Gallipoli, 7 August 1915

Roll of Honour, Australian, British and Turkish 

Gallipoli Campaign

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1919


Citation: The Nek  Gallipoli, 7 August 1915, Trench Map

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 6 August 2010 5:00 PM EADT
Surafend, the massacre, Palestine, 10 December 1918, Fotheringham Account
Topic: BatzP - Surafend

Surafend, the massacre

Palestine, 10 December 1918

Fotheringham Account


Sergeant Harold Alexander Fotheringham's account of his actions

The following account by 1054 Sergeant Harold Alexander FOTHERINGHAM, 6th LHR, details events he witnessed during the day leading up to the events at Surafend.

About 1500 on the 10th December 1918, I saw a NZ Soldier near the farriers forges. There several of our farriers were there. The New Zealander said to me: "We are going to raid the village at daylight tomorrow - let any of the men know it's on and if they care to join us they can." I then walked away to my own lines. The New Zealand soldier who visited the 6th LH Lines at 1500 on December 10th wore red and white colours on the puggaree of his hat.

Between 1800 and 1830, I saw another NZ Soldier in the lines of "C" Troop, "A" Squadron. He was mounted and speaking to some men in the end bivvy. I overheard him say - "We've altered the time of the raid and it's going to take place in about an hours time." (I do not think he was the samde man who was in the lines at 1500.) I did not hear any reply from any men. I went to the latrine and he was still there when I returned. I then wsent to my bivvy and did not see him again.

The next thing I know of the matter was when the raid started. I heard a number of men in the lines talking about it and apparently watching the raid.

A short time afterwards an order came down to "Stand to".


Further Reading:


Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


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

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 January 2010 1:37 PM EAST
Australian Light Horse, Roles within the Regiment, Orderly Officer
Topic: AIF - Lighthorse

Australian Light Horse

Roles within the Regiment

Orderly Officer


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.


Orderly Officer


(1.) He will report himself to the Captain of the day at reveille and remain on duty until reveille the following day, and attends all parades ordered during that period.

(2.) He will generally assist the Captain of the day, and report any extraordinary occurrence to that officer.

(3.) He will attend all stable hours, and at morning stables he will see that all are present on the horse-lines during the time ordered for stable duty.

(4.) He will turn out the regimental guard and inspect it about breakfast hour.

(5.) He will visit the tents allotted him by the Captain of the day at breakfast, dinner, and evening meal hours, avid report any complaints as to quality of provisions.

(6.) He will inspect the manure and rubbish pits after morning stables, and see that no paper or rubbish is thrown about the Camp on any account.

(7.) He will attend the delivery of forage and rations to see that the scales and weights are correct, and that the proper quality and quantity are issued.

(8.) He will attend the Commanding Officer when making his daily inspection of tents and horse-lines.

(9.) He will not leave Camp or change his duty without permission.

(10.) He will visit the canteen, regimental hospital, sick horse lines, and water-troughs.

(11.) He will inspect all guards, visit sentries on regimental guard, horse-lines, etc., accompanied by a non-commissioned officer of the guard concerned once a day and once at night at uncertain hours.

(12.) He will inspect the field kitchens to see that the cooking places, utensils, etc., are clean and in good order.

(13.) He will see that the tent orderlies are paraded for the issue of meals and for the conveyance of meals to men on guard.

(14.) He will collect the reports at watch-setting, and see that the lights are extinguished at the proper hours.

(15.) He will furnish his report to the Captain of the day by 8.45 a.m. on the day he completes his tour of duty.


Form of Orderly Officer's Report.

..................................... Regiment.
Camp, ...........................................

................................... 18 ..............


Rations, Forage. - I inspected the rations and forage before issue, and found them of good quality.

Breakfasts - I visited the tents at ......... o'clock; men present, except as reported. Tents clean and in good order; bedding neatly folded; no complaints. I saw the ration-carriers to the men on guard paraded and marched off.

Dinners. - I visited the tents at dinner-hour; found them clean and regular; men present, except as reported; no complaints. I saw the ration-carriers to the men on guard paraded and marched off.

Watering Horses. - I assisted the Captain of the day in regulating the manner of watering Horses.

Parades. - I attended all parades.

Canteen. - I visited the canteen at correct.

Cooking-places, Horse-troughs, Manure pits. - I visited the cooking-places at ....... o'clock; inspected the utensils and horse troughs and manure-pits. Found them clean and in good order.

Evening Meal. - I visited the tents at ....... o'clock; no complaints. I saw the ration-carriers to the men on guard paraded and marched off.

Watch-setting Reports. - I collected the reports at watch setting; men present, except as reported.

Lights. - I saw the lights extinguished at ......... o'clock p.m.

Guards and Sentries, Horse-lines. - I visited the regimental guards and sentries also on the horse-lines at .............. o'clock by day and at ............ o'clock by night, and found them alert, on their posts, and acquainted with their orders.

Reports. - Enclosed watch-setting report, and reports of regimental orderly, regimental orderly sergeant, and regimental orderly corporal.

Irregularities. - I noticed no irregularities, except .....................................



Orderly Officer of the day,

.......................... Regiment.

To the Captain of the day,




Previous: Duties of Captain of the Day 

Next: Duties of Regimental Orderly Squadron Sergeant Major 


Further Reading:

Australian Light Horse

Militia 1899 - 1920


Citation: Australian Light Horse, Roles within the Regiment, Orderly Officer

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 2 September 2009 10:55 AM EADT
The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, 1st Battalion W.A. Volunteers
Topic: Militia - LHW - WA

Western Australian Militia

1st Battalion W.A. 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. 41 – 42:

1st Battalion W.A. Volunteers

The Infantry corps at Perth, Fremantle, and Guildford being completely independent of each other, and having a one-company organization, it followed that training would never be advanced beyond Company level. The Military Commandant was aware of the limitations and accordingly, in 1874 created a temporary training body designated the 1st Battalion W.A. Volunteers embracing the abovementioned corps with himself as Commander.

This organization had no administrative entity: it was designed to extend the field training of officers and men to battalion level and to that end special parades were held. It was an excellent idea for, apart from the purpose of the exercises, inter-corps rivalry caused more vim to be imparted to the home training in preparation. When assembled on parade two or more equal Companies would be formed, corps taking turns to be broken up for that purpose.

This organization answered the purpose of the Military Commandant until 1899 when the formation of the 1st Infantry Regiment rendered it unnecessary.


Previous:  Guildford Rifle Volunteers 

Next: Geraldton Rifle Volunteers


Further Reading:

Western Australian Militia, Light Horse

Western Australian Militia, Infantry


Citation: The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, 1st Battalion W.A. Volunteers

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 4 September 2009 10:47 PM EADT
Romani and Bir el Abd, Falls Account, The Evacuation of the Wounded
Topic: BatzS - Bir el Abd

Romani and Bir el Abd

Sinai, 4 - 9 August 1916

Falls Account, The Evacuation of the Wounded


The Battle of Romani, 4-6 August  and Bir el Abd, 9 August 1916

[Click on map for larger version]

[From: Military operations: Egypt and Palestine, Sketch 10 facing p. 178.]


As part of the Official British War History of the Great War, Captain Cyril Falls and Lieutenant General George MacMunn were commissioned to produce a commentary on the Sinai, Palestine and Syrian operations that took place. In 1928, their finished work, Military Operations, Egypt and Palestine - From the outbreak of war with Germany to June 1917,  was published in London. Their book included a section specifically related to the battle of Romani and is extracted below.

MacMunn, G. & Falls, C., Military operations: Egypt and Palestine, (London 1930), p. 203:


Part 10. The Evacuation of the Wounded.

The evacuation of the wounded in a terrain such as Sinai was of very great difficulty. Neither motor ambulances nor horsed ambulances could be employed. At the period of the Battle of Romani no ambulance trains had yet been taken across the Canal, so that the evacuation of wounded from Romani, and from Mahamdiyah on the light coast railway, had to be carried out on open trucks. However, the distance which wounded had to be carried by rail was comparatively short, since No. 31 General Hospital was in the Canal Works on the east bank at Port Said, and No. 26 Casualty Clearing Station also east of the Canal, at Qantara East, the starting point of the desert railway.

The majority of the wounded and the only cases that caused difficulty were from the A. & N.Z. Mounted Division. The division had four mounted field ambulances: the New Zealand, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Australian Light Horse Field Ambulances. Prior to the battle mobile sections of each of these were organized with eight sand-carts (a two-wheeled cart with an awning) and a number of camel cacolets. Camel cacolets were of two kinds: a small collapsible chair for sitting cases, and a sort of bed for lying cases. Both were carried slung to a camel, one each side. Sand-sledges, which the Australian troops, it is claimed by their official historian, were the first to use, were also employed. [See: Sand Cart Plans and Description .] The tent divisions were immobile and remained in positions further back as main dressing stations. The camel transport was found unsuitable in front of these main dressing stations, and sand-carts and sledges were chiefly employed between them and the advanced stations near the firing line. The wounded suffered very severely during their transport to Qantara in the intense heat.


Previous: The State of The Royal Flying Corps in Egypt at the time of the Battle of Romani

Next: Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916


Further Reading:

Battle of Romani, Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Romani and Bir el Abd, Falls Account, The Evacuation of the Wounded

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 7 September 2009 6:00 PM EADT

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