« July 2004 »
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in

Search the site:

powered by FreeFind
Volunteer with us.

Entries by Topic All topics  
A Latest Site News
A - Using the Site
AAA Volunteers
AAB-Education Centre
AAC-Film Clips
AAC-Photo Albums
AIF - Lighthorse
AIF - ALH - A to Z
AIF - DMC - Or Bat
AIF - DMC - Anzac MD
AIF - DMC - Aus MD
AIF - DMC - British
AIF - DMC - French
AIF - DMC - Indian
AIF - DMC - Italian
AIF - DMC - Medical
AIF - DMC - Remounts
AIF - DMC - Scouts
AIF - DMC - Sigs
AIF - DMC - Sigs AirlnS
AIF - DMC - 1 Sig Sqn
AIF - DMC - 2 Sig Sqn
AIF - DMC - Eng
AIF - DMC - Eng 1FSE
AIF - DMC - Eng 2FSE
AIF - 1B - 1 LHB
AIF - 1B - 6 MVS
AIF - 1B - 1 LHMGS
AIF - 1B - 1 Sig Trp
AIF - 1B - 1 LHFA
AIF - 1B - 1 LHR
AIF - 1B - 2 LHR
AIF - 1B - 3 LHR
AIF - 2B - 2 LHB
AIF - 2B - 7 MVS
AIF - 2B - 2 LHFA
AIF - 2B - 2 LHMGS
AIF - 2B - 2 Sig Trp
AIF - 2B - 5 LHR
AIF - 2B - 6 LHR
AIF - 2B - 7 LHR
AIF - 3B - 3 LHB
AIF - 3B - 8 MVS
AIF - 3B - 3 LHB Sigs
AIF - 3B - 3 LHFA
AIF - 3B - 3 LHMGS
AIF - 3B - 3 Sig Trp
AIF - 3B - 8 LHR
AIF - 3B - 9 LHR
AIF - 3B - 10 LHR
AIF - 4B - 4 LHB
AIF - 4B - 4 Sig Trp
AIF - 4B - 9 MVS
AIF - 4B - 4 LHFA
AIF - 4B - 4 LHMGS
AIF - 4B - 4 LHR
AIF - 4B - 11 LHR
AIF - 4B - 12 LHR
AIF - 5B - 5 LHB
AIF - 5B - 10 MVS
AIF - 5B - 5 LHFA
AIF - 5B - 5 Sig Trp
AIF - 5B - ICC
AIF - 5B - 14 LHR
AIF - 5B - 15 LHR
AIF - 5B - 1er Regt
AIF - 5B - 2 NZMGS
AIF - Aboriginal LH
AIF - Badges
AIF - Cars
AIF - Chinese LH
AIF - Double Sqns
AIF - Engineers
AIF - Fr - 22 Corps
AIF - Fr - 13 LHR
AIF - Honour Roll
AIF - HQ - 3rd Echelon
AIF - Marching Songs
AIF - Misc Topics
AIF - NZMRB - Sig-Trp
AIF - Ships
AIF - Ships - Encountr
AIF - Ships - Una
AIF - Wireless Sqn
BatzA - Australia
BatzA - Broken Hill
BatzA - Liverpool
BatzA - Merivale
BatzB - Boer War
BatzB - Bakenlaagte
BatzB - Belmont
BatzB - Bothaville
BatzB - Buffels Hoek
BatzB - Coetzees Drift
BatzB - Diamond Hill
BatzB - Driefontein
BatzB - Elands
BatzB - Graspan
BatzB - Grobelaar
BatzB - Grootvallier
BatzB - Hartebestfontn
BatzB - Houtnek
BatzB - Karee Siding
BatzB - Kimberley
BatzB - Koster River
BatzB - Leeuw Kop
BatzB - Mafeking
BatzB - Magersfontein
BatzB - Modder River
BatzB - Onverwacht
BatzB - Paardeberg
BatzB - Palmietfontein
BatzB - Pink Hill
BatzB - Poplar Grove
BatzB - Rhenoster
BatzB - Sannahs Post
BatzB - Slingersfontn
BatzB - Stinkhoutbm
BatzB - Sunnyside
BatzB - Wilmansrust
BatzB - Wolvekuil
BatzB - Zand River
BatzG - Gallipoli
BatzG - Anzac
BatzG - Aug 1915
BatzG - Baby 700
BatzG - Evacuation
BatzG - Hill 60
BatzG - Hill 971
BatzG - Krithia
BatzG - Lone Pine
BatzG - Nek
BatzJ - Jordan Valley
BatzJ - 1st Amman
BatzJ - 2nd Amman
BatzJ - Abu Tellul
BatzJ - Es Salt
BatzJ - JV Maps
BatzJ - Ziza
BatzM - Mespot
BatzM - Baghdad
BatzM - Ctesiphon
BatzM - Daur
BatzM - Kurna
BatzM - Kut el Amara
BatzM - Ramadi
BatzN - Naval
BatzN - AE1
BatzN - Cocos Is
BatzN - Heligoland
BatzN - Marmara
BatzN - Zeebrugge
BatzN - Zeppelin L43
BatzNG - Bitapaka
BatzO - Other
BatzO - Baku
BatzO - Egypt 1919
BatzO - Emptsa
BatzO - Karawaran
BatzO - Peitang
BatzO - Wassa
BatzP - Palestine
BatzP - 1st Gaza
BatzP - 2nd Gaza
BatzP - 3rd Gaza
BatzP - Aleppo
BatzP - Amwas
BatzP - Ayun Kara
BatzP - Bald Hill
BatzP - Balin
BatzP - Beersheba
BatzP - Berkusieh
BatzP - Damascus
BatzP - El Auja
BatzP - El Buggar
BatzP - El Burj
BatzP - Haifa
BatzP - Huj
BatzP - JB Yakub
BatzP - Kaukab
BatzP - Khan Kusseir
BatzP - Khuweilfe
BatzP - Kuneitra
BatzP - Megiddo
BatzP - Nablus
BatzP - Rafa
BatzP - Sasa
BatzP - Semakh
BatzP - Sheria
BatzP - Surafend
BatzP - Wadi Fara
BatzS - Sinai
BatzS - Bir el Abd
BatzS - El Arish
BatzS - El Mazar
BatzS - El Qatiya
BatzS - Jifjafa
BatzS - Magdhaba
BatzS - Maghara
BatzS - Romani
BatzS - Suez 1915
BatzSe - Senussi
BatzWF - Westn Front
BW - Boer War
BW - NSW - A Bty RAA
BW - NSW - Aust H
BW - NSW - Lancers
BW - NSW - NSW Inf
BW - Qld
BW - Qld - 1ACH
BW - Qld - 1QMI
BW - Qld - 2QMI
BW - Qld - 3ACH
BW - Qld - 3QMI
BW - Qld - 4QIB
BW - Qld - 5QIB
BW - Qld - 6QIB
BW - Qld - 7ACH
BW - SA - 2ACH
BW - SA - 4ACH
BW - SA - 8ACH
BW - Tas
BW - Tas - 1ACH
BW - Tas - 1TIB
BW - Tas - 1TMI
BW - Tas - 2TB
BW - Tas - 2TIB
BW - Tas - 3ACH
BW - Tas - 8ACH
BW - Vic
BW - Vic - 1VMI
BW - Vic - 2ACH
BW - Vic - 2VMR
BW - Vic - 3VB
BW - Vic - 4ACH
BW - Vic - 4VIB
BW - Vic - 5VMR
BW - Vic - 6ACH
BW - Vic - AAMC
BW - Vic - Scot H
BW - WA - 2ACH
BW - WA - 3WAB
BW - WA - 4ACH
BW - WA - 8ACH
BW Gen - Campaign
BW Gen - Soldiers
BW General
Cavalry - General
Diary - Schramm
Egypt - Heliopolis
Egypt - Mena
Gen - Ataturk Pk, CNB
Gen - Australia
Gen - Legends
Gen - Query Club
Gen - St - NSW
Gen - St - Qld
Gen - St - SA
Gen - St - Tas
Gen - St - Vic
Gen - St - WA
Gm - German Items
Gm - Bk - 605 MGC
GW - 11 Nov 1918
GW - Atrocities
GW - August 1914
GW - Biographies
GW - Propaganda
GW - Spies
GW - We forgot
Militia 1899-1920
Militia - Area Officers
Militia - Inf - Infantry
Militia - Inf - 1IB
Militia - Inf - 2IB
Militia - Inf - 3IB
Militia - Inf - NSW
Militia - Inf - Qld
Militia - Inf - SA
Militia - Inf - Tas
Militia - Inf - Vic
Militia - Inf - WA
Militia - K.E.Horse
Militia - LH
Militia - LH - Regts
Militia - LH - 1LHB
Militia - LH - 2LHB
Militia - LH - 3LHB
Militia - LH - 4LHB
Militia - LH - 5LHB
Militia - LH - 6LHB
Militia - LHN - NSW
Militia - LHN - 1/7/1
Militia - LHN - 2/9/6
Militia - LHN - 3/11/7
Militia - LHN - 4/6/16
Militia - LHN - 5/4/15
Militia - LHN - 6/5/12
Militia - LHN - 28
Militia - LHQ - Qld
Militia - LHQ - 13/2
Militia - LHQ - 14/3/11
Militia - LHQ - 15/1/5
Militia - LHQ - 27/14
Militia - LHS - SA
Militia - LHS - 16/22/3
Militia - LHS - 17/23/18
Militia - LHS - 24/9
Militia - LHT - Tas
Militia - LHT - 12/26
Militia - LHV - Vic
Militia - LHV - 7/15/20
Militia - LHV - 8/16/8
Militia - LHV - 9/19
Militia - LHV - 10/13
Militia - LHV - 11/20/4
Militia - LHV - 19/17
Militia - LHV - 29
Militia - LHW - WA
Militia - LHW-18/25/10
Militia - Military Orders
Militia - Misc
MilitiaRC - Rifle Clubs
MilitiaRC - NSW
MilitiaRC - NT
MilitiaRC - Qld
MilitiaRC - SA
MilitiaRC - Tas
MilitiaRC - Vic
MilitiaRC - WA
Militiaz - New Zealand
Tk - Turkish Items
Tk - Army
Tk - Bks - Books
Tk - Bks - 1/33IR
Tk - Bks - 27th IR
Tk - Bks - Air Force
Tk - Bks - Yildirim
Tk - POWs
Wp - Weapons
Wp - Hotchkiss Cav
Wp - Hotchkiss PMG
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
Open Community
Post to this Blog
Site Index
Education Centre
LH Militia
Boer War
Transport Ships
LH Battles
ALH - Units
ALH - General
Aboriginal Light H
Ottoman Sources

"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.

Contact: Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

Let us hear your story: You can tell your story, make a comment or ask for help on our Australian Light Horse Studies Centre Forum called:

Desert Column Forum

WARNING: This site contains: names, information and images of deceased people; and, language which may be considered inappropriate today.

Saturday, 24 July 2004
Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 2
Topic: Militia - LHQ - Qld


Queensland Mounted Infantry

Outline, Part 2


March: Soldiers of the Queen

 South Africa 1899 - 1902

Allied with: King Edward's Horse (The King's Oversea Dominions Regiment).


The following outline of the Queensland Mounted Infantry is extracted from a book written by Joan Starr called Forward: the history of the 2nd / 14th Light Horse (Queensland Mounted Infantry), published Queensland, 1989. This section comes from pp. 4 - 9:


Towns in Queensland affected by the Shearers' Strike, 1890.


The Shearers' Strike

The first "action" for the Queensland Defence Force occurred in 1891 in the Western District of the Colony in what was to become known as the "Shearers' Strike". The confrontation began in the late 1880s when leading pastoralists, feeling the pinch of lower wool prices announced they would reduce the pay of the shearers. The shearers were already seething at their unjust conditions, they were paid as low as eight shillings per hundred sheep and then had to pay unusually high prices for the goods provided by the squatters, often leaving the shearers as little as fifteen shillings per week. For this they worked eleven hours per day and were accommodated in the roughest of conditions - earth-floored huts without ventilation or lights. They could not quit for fear of forfeiting accumulated pay, but the squatter on the other hand could withhold payment if he considered a sheep not properly shorn, and he could dismiss a worker without reason and not pay a penny for work already completed. To counter these unfair conditions, the shearers formed unions and between 1886-89 staged more than three hundred minor strikes and walk outs.

In 1890, the Queensland Shearers' Union was strong enough for a full-scale showdown. The crisis came to a head when the union demanded that only union labour be used in the sheds. Initially the pastoralists refused, but they backed down when wharf labourers refused to handle wool shorn by non-unionists. However, in late 1890, the pastoralists held a conference in Melbourne where they decided to levy members in proportion to the number of sheep to create a fighting fund to defeat the shearers. The squatters were preparing to fight the shearers once again and they nominated Queensland as the battlefield.

The 1891 season was off to a fiery start when the squatters refused to observe the closed shop principle they had conceded the previous year. Union passions were further inflamed by reports that under a new agreement shearer's pay would be slashed thirteen to thirty-three per cent, and penalty clauses decreed that defiant shearers could be fined or jailed. Union representatives tried to negotiate, but the squatters declared that they would only employ on their terms. Thus rebuffed, hundreds of Queensland shearers walked out of the shearing sheds. With their wives and children they gathered in a dozen strike camps and prepared to battle the thousand strike breakers imported from New South Wales and Victoria. In early February 1891, the first of the contracted labourers arrived in Rockhampton from the southern states and were quickly despatched to properties in the Western Districts. Violence flared as strikers clashed with strike breakers, wool and storage sheds went up in flames on properties where "black" labour was employed.

Large camps were established by the unionists at Barcaldine 6 Forward
(1,000 men), two near Clermont (350 and 150 men), and Capella (80 men). Inflammatory speeches were made with threats of kidnapping squatters and their families, and burning properties. At this juncture the Queensland government ordered additional police to the troubled areas and police magistrates were instructed to enrol all available men as special constables. There was a fear that the trouble could spread and erupt into civil war.

By 20 February the situation had reached such a serious stage that the government decided to call out the Defence Force in aid of the civil power. That morning the Officer Commanding the Defence Force, Major Jackson, was warned to prepare for immediate embarkation. At 5.00 p.m., a force of sixty-one men complete with weapons, a machine-gun and a 9 pounder field gun, sailed for Rockhampton. Three hours later orders were issued to call out the Moreton Mounted Infantry. The Commanding Officer, Major Percy Ricardo, took immediate steps to secure the attendance of all members of the units resulting in four officers and fifty-five men being selected for active duty.

They embarked on the SS Wondonga and sailed for Rockhampton the following day. No horses were despatched as the Pastoralists' Association had arranged to provide mounts, but every member took his own saddle and bridle in addition to kit, accoutrements and ammunition. That same day, 21 February, the Rockhampton Mounted Infantry was called out by the local Police Magistrate. On arrival at Rockhampton the entire force came under the command of Major Jackson. The force travelled by train to Clermont and thence despatched to farms to protect the free labourers and property.

As the situation continued to deteriorate the government called out additional volunteer units including the Wide Bay Mounted Infantry, Mackay Mounted Infantry, Darling Downs Mounted Infantry, Charters Towers Mounted Infantry, and Townsville Mounted Infantry, in addition to units of the Defence Force. The task of aid to the civil power is one that most soldiers dislike. It was work that neither commanders nor men had been trained for and which demanded a level of discipline to be found only among the regulars. Nevertheless the men performed the duty admirably as evidenced by Lieutenant Harry Chauvel's action at Charleville.

Chauvel received a warning order on 24 March to be ready to move to Charleville with twenty men and their horses. The men of the Darling Downs Mounted Infantry were issued with fifty rounds of ammunition each, and were on their way by rail the following morning. By this time there were reports of the burning of pasture and fences by the unionists, while at Blackall a non-unionist's bullocks had been shot.

Chauvel was sent to escort a party of free labourers through the bush to a property north of Charleville. A few police were added to his command. It was a miserable journey across black soil in pouring rain so that after twenty miles the men and horses were exhausted. When barely a mile from their destination, the party ran into a crowd of about two hundred shearers streaming down the track. Several of them were wanted by the police and the inspector in charge quickly arrested four of them.

The shearers closed around the party, some waving iron bars and clubs, shouting in their excitement. One of the four men arrested began inciting the shearers and the situation became dangerous. Chauvel gave the order to load; the inspector told him to force his way through the crowd with his troops and free labourers. The raised rifles of the Mounted Infantry had a cooling effect on the tempers as they shepherded the non-unionists and four prisoners along the road. The inspector thwarted an attempt by the angry shearers to follow up and Chauvel reached Oakwood where another detachment of Mounted Infantry was waiting; these set off after the shearers and more arrests were made. Although minor, the incident impressed on Chauvel the power of discipline and the importance of a cool head in a crisis. Had he not kept his Mounted Infantry under strict control, and they were after all mainly station hands with little military training, there may have been a tragedy.

The Mounted Infantry units were employed principally on patrol and escort duty and to keep communications open between detachments, the police and headquarters. Strong detachments were posted at stations where free labourers were shearing and small detachments were posted as sentries at woolsheds and station buildings. The infantry and artillery were responsible for the security of public buildings, jails, railway stations, and goods sheds.

The tension reached its peak when 200 troops swooped on the strike committee's headquarters at Barcaldine and arrested twelve of the leaders, charging them with conspiracy. The strikers were outraged, some men calling for revolution. At Gympie soldiers fixed bayonets to disperse a menacing crowd, while at Rockhampton 200 strikers heckled police guarding the twelve arrested at Barcaldine, when they came to trial. During the trial, the judge Mr Justice Harding was scarcely impartial, stating that he would have shot the strikers if he had been one of the police. He sentenced the twelve including George Taylor and William Hamilton, who later became members of the Queensland Parliament, to three years hard labour each. These severe sentences provoked another outburst of violence.

Although the strikers voted to stay out on strike, signs of weakness began to appear. The first crack came when threats of long-term sanctions by the squatters forced wool carriers back to work. They really had no alternative, for with whole families subsisting on ten shillings a week, men, women and children were on the verge of starvation. Furthermore, rain had turned the strikers' camps into quagmires of stinking mud. On 11 June 1891, union leaders announced that the strike fund was exhausted. The strike was over. Although the shearers had lost their fight, many claimed that in the long term it had led to victory, as the bitter defeat convinced the unions of a need for a political Labor Party to fight their cause in Parliament.

The strike had proven to be an expensive affair, costing the government £170,000, the pastoralists £41,000 and the unions £60,000, huge sums in 1891.

At times the work of the Defence Forces had been arduous, each district being in a state of flood for a considerable period. Colonel French noted:

Long and trying marches, by day and night, over boggy country (swimming rivers several times a day), were constantly made by the Mounted Infantry, notably so by a detachment of the Moreton Mounted Infantry, under Lieutenant R.S. Browne, which marched 109 miles in thirty-two hours, and by a detachment of Darling Downs Mounted Infantry, under Captain King, which marched sixty-five miles in one day on grass-fed horses.

Colonel Drury reported,

"The general conduct of the troops called out has been reported by all Commanding Officers to have been good.... To the discretion and judgment shown by officers in command, and the patience exhibited by all ranks under provocation and insult, must be credited the fact that bloodshed, or injury to life or limb, has been happily obviated".

As the strike wore on, the men were out on patrol for about five months, and for most of their service endured the boredom that is so often the lot of soldiers. On the plains of Western Queensland emu were plentiful and the men could not resist the excitement of riding after a quarry that could give them a chase at speed. Emu feathers, tucked into the men's felt hats began to appear and soon became widespread among the soldiers. Bill Lieshman of the Gympie Mounted Rifles claimed to be with the group who started the practice. Writing many years later Bill said:

I was in a patrol under Lieutenant Vivian Tozer of the Gympie Mounted Infantry, at Coreena Woolshed. On the way we met another Gympie Mounted Infantry patrol under Captain W. Shanahan and they were chasing an emu, which came toward us. When it was shot, some of us dismounted and Terry Rogers and myself were the first to pull the tail feathers out and place them in our hats. Then all in the patrols got the feathers and placed them in their hats.

When they returned home the Queensland Government allowed the Mounted Infantry to wear the emu plume in recognition of its service during the strike. At first it was solely a Queensland decoration, but in 1903 the privilege was extended to Tasmanian and South Australian regiments and finally, in 1915, to all regiments of the Light Horse.

Previous: Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 1

Next: Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 3


Further Reading:

Queensland Mounted Infantry

Boer War - Queensland Mounted Infantry

Australian Militia Light Horse


Citation: Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline, Part 2

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 9 July 2010 1:44 PM EADT

View Latest Entries

Full Site Index

powered by FreeFind
Let us hear your story: You can tell your story, make a comment or ask for help on our forum.

Desert Column Forum

A note on copyright

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre is a not for profit and non profit group whose sole aim is to write the early history of the Australian Light Horse from 1900 - 1920. It is privately funded and the information is provided by the individuals within the group and while permission for the use of the material has been given for this site for these items by various donors, the residual and actual copyright for these items, should there be any, resides exclusively with the donors. The information on this site is freely available for private research use only and if used as such, should be appropriately acknowledged. To assist in this process, each item has a citation attached at the bottom for referencing purposes.

Please Note: No express or implied permission is given for commercial use of the information contained within this site.

A note to copyright holders

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre has made every endeavour to contact copyright holders of material digitised for this blog and website and where appropriate, permission is still being sought for these items. Where replies were not received, or where the copyright owner has not been able to be traced, or where the permission is still being sought, the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre has decided, in good faith, to proceed with digitisation and publication. Australian Light Horse Studies Centre would be happy to hear from copyright owners at any time to discuss usage of this item.


Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

eXTReMe Tracker