Topic: Gen - St - Tas
Brighton and Pontville Camps
Watering Horses at Brighton Camp
Often mention is made in the early records to both Brighton and Ponville camps located just north of Hobart in Tasmania. At the outbreak of the Great War, the men from "C" Squadron, 3rd Light Horse Regiment trained at Brighton while the infantry trained at Pontville. Yet on a map they appear to be at the same location. To clear up any confusion, both camps are described below.
Here is the AWM commentary:
Brighton is a small town 28 kilometres from the Tasmanian capital of Hobart. Brighton was one of five sites selected for townships in Tasmania by the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, in 1821 and for a while was spoken of as a potential capital. A military post was established on the main Hobart-Launceston road at Brighton in 1826 beginning a military presence there that would last for over 170 years. Troops were prepared at Brighton Camp for service in both the First and Second World Wars, and it was also a site familiar to Tasmania's citizen soldiers throughout the Twentieth Century. In the later years of the Second World War Brighton Camp was also used to house prisoners of war and after the war it became a reception camp for refugees from Europe. From the early 1950s onwards, Brighton's primary use was for the training of members of the Citizens Military Forces and Later the Army Reserve. Such usage declined after 1993, and in 1999 it was one of several military camps across Australia used as a save haven for refugees from the conflict in Kosovo. Brighton Camp was closed and sold off soon after.
Extracted from the Aussie Heritage site:
Pontville's involvement in the First World War included volunteers and the establishment of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in Tasmania. The Pontville Army Camp was renamed Brighton Army Camp, becoming the focus of military training in Tasmania on 13 August 1914. An ordnance depot was established and volunteers trained as members of the Light Horse, the Field Artillery, Infantry, Engineers and Army Medical Corps. Prior to embarkation South Australian Troops were also in camp at Pontville, and with the Tasmanian Infantry were formed into the 12th Battalion. Historical photographs c.1914 clearly delineate the use of the area by Light Horse Soldiers and it is likely that the name of Rifle Hill, which occupies the centre of the range was named at that time, and that the rifle range was also completed at that time. The rifle range may also incorporate an earlier range used by the Derwent Company of volunteers, since it was usual to retain and develop existing ranges.
That answers the question. Pontville and Brighton camps are two different camps serving different arms of the AIF in 1914.
Just to add to the moment, here is a picture of some horsemen watering their horses at Brighton Camp.Brighton Camp was also the home for the Medical Corps.
It is part of a series of pictures taken by William Williamson, a respected Hobart photographer. This picture is clearly identified as having been taken at Brighton.
Citation: Tasmania, 1914, Brighton and Pontville