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Light Horse on Foot
Light Horse on Foot 
 

Western Mail, Thursday 27 July 1933, page 2

Light Horse on Foot

Dear "Non-Com."-"Five Nine," in your issue of June 29, is quite right when he says that cavalry drill on foot is not the same as infantry drill. Dismounted cavalry drill is the same as cavalry drill; no movement being done dismounted that cannot be done mounted. But when he states that "form fours" is done differently, he slips a ton, for the simple reason that in cavalry drill, there is no such thing. It is an impossible movement.

The first, introduction I had to "form fours" was in a convalescent camp at Elandsfontein in 1901. The major in command of the camp was an infantry regular of an obsolete pattern. Each morning he used to take us for a route march, himself sitting on top of a horse. Those of us who were not smart enough at the preliminary dozen or so "form fours," "front” were picked out for instruction. He soon had about 200 mounted men, ranging from men of the Composite Household Cavalry Regiment to members of Kitchener's Fighting Scouts, on intensive infantry training. It was like this:

Instructor - "Number! As you were! Don't turn your 'ead when you number; you're not 'orseback now. Form fours! As you were! I might be trying to drill a mob of dummies!"

This went on for five days, when French's Cavalry marched in and camped near us.

General French rode over next, morning, put a few questions and then made some remarks to the major that-were an education in themselves.

Infantry drill, as far as we were concerned, stopped forthwith.

J. Ryder, Lake Biddy.