"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, 14 June 2008
Australian troop commitment to the Western Frontier Force Topic: AIF - WFF
Troops supplied by Australia for the Wetern Frontier Force
The forgotten battle front, the Western Frontier Force has little detail as to the actual number of Australians who participated in the campaign. During mid 1916, in an effort to ascertain the numbers of troops available in Egypt a by product was the Western Frontier Force. Without this census, we would not have even this sketchy idea. The figures detailing the total Australian troop commitment to the Western Frontier Force are tabulated below.
345 Sergeant Linton Hall Swann, 9th Light Horse Regiment, B Squadron.
Below are two section of a brief Military Biography of 345 Sergeant Linton Hall Swann. It is divided into two parts. Part One deals with all his specific details from enlistment to discharge in England. Part Two is a week by week summary of status from “Enlistment” to “Discharged in England”.
No photograph available.
Part One:Specific details from “Enlistment” to “Discharged in England”.
Surname: Swann First Name: Linton Other Names: Hall Service Number: 345 Rank: Sergeant 1924 List: Yes Place of Birth: England Boer War Service: No Age: 34 Birth Year: 1880 Employment: Farmer Status: Married District: Edwardstown State: South Australia NOK: Son Title: Mr Last: Swann First: SLH Locality: Edwardstown Province: South Australia Country: Australia Religion: Church of England Enlisted Day: 22 Enlisted Month: October Enlisted Year: 1914 Embarkation Ship: HMAT A10 "Karroo" Embarkation Day: 11 Embarkation Month: February Embarkation Year: 1915 Embarkation Port: Melbourne Section: B Squadron Regiment: 9th Light Horse Regiment Fate: Discharged in England Day: 8 Month: December Year: 1915 Last Rank: Lieutenant Honours: None Squadron: B Gallipoli: A Ship: NA Notes: 1. Served 6 years with the Tower Hamlets Volunteers 2. Enlisted in 9th Light Horse Regiment B squadron, 19 October 1914 3. Promoted to Provisional Corporal, 23 October 1914 4. Promoted to Provisional Sergeant, 27 December 1914 5. Promoted to Sergeant, 6 April 1915 6. Arrived at Gallipoli, 21 May 1915 7. Evacuated to hospital sick, 17 June 1915 8. Discharged from 9th Light Horse Regiment 8 December 1915 9. Transferred to British Army, 2/1st Suffolk Yeomanry, 8 December 1915 10. Promoted to Second Lieutenant, 8 December 1915 11. Transferred to the Royal Army Service Corps 12. Promoted to Lieutenant
Signal from Colonel Hughes demanding the arrest of Sergeant Swann
At the beginning, the transfer to the Imperial Army did not seem to go too smoothly for 345 Sergeant Linton Hall Swann. Brigadier General Hughes, the General Officer Commanding the 3rd Light Horse Brigade demanded the arrest of Swann for desertion on 14 September 1915. This would appear to have been the result of a misunderstanding as Swann was never arrested. It must have been an awkward moment for Swann when the Military Police arrived at his doorstep a few days after this signal was sent. The explanations must have been in order for a couple months later the transfer of Swann into the 2/1st Suffolk Yeomanry as Second Lieutenant went smoothly.
Part Two:Week by week summary of status from “Enlistment” to “Discharged in England”.
21/10/14 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 28/10/14 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 7/11/14 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 14/11/14 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 21/11/14 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 28/11/14 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 7/12/14 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 14/12/14 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 21/12/14 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 28/12/14 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 7/01/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 14/01/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 21/01/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 28/01/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 7/02/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 14/02/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 21/02/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 28/02/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 7/03/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 14/03/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 21/03/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 28/03/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 7/04/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 14/04/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 21/04/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 28/04/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 7/05/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 14/05/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 21/05/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 28/05/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 7/06/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 14/06/15 - 9th Light Horse Regiment Nominal Roll 21/06/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 28/06/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 7/07/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 14/07/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 21/07/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 28/07/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 7/08/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 14/08/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 21/08/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 28/08/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 7/09/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 14/09/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 21/09/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 28/09/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 7/10/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 14/10/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 21/10/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 28/10/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 7/11/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 14/11/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 21/11/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 28/11/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 7/12/15 - Evacuated to hospital sick 14/12/15 - Transferred to British Army, 2/1st Suffolk Yeomanry, 8 December 1915
Fawkner Street, Broadmeadows looking downhill towards Moonee Ponds Creek, 1909.
Broadmeadows was a failed development, often described as dead as Julius Ceasar. After 30 years of attempting to sell the name to the Melbourne public, it was still dead. The picture, taken in the main street of Broadmeadows in 1909, tells the story. This is Fawkner Street in what is now called Westmeadows near Tullamarine Airport. The photographer is looking downhill towards Moonee Ponds Creek. The picture isn't skewed or anything like that even though it appears distorted. The reason is simple - trees are bent over as a consequence of the westerlies blowing across the plains. Frequent visitors arriving at the airport will have experienced the unwelcomed strength of these breezes as their aeroplane lands. It was no better then in 1909. No one ever thought the town to be a pleasant place to reside except by the hardy settler.
Things changed with the outbreak of war in 1914. Three months of the war and the name was imortalised in the lexicon of Australian history. The developers could not hope for a better propaganda coup than that. Land sold quickly at inflated prices. The war was good for the land speculators at Broadmeadows.
Nothing like building up the blood lust for the final months of the war. This movie was released in Australia during September 1918. While claimed to create a furore all over the country, the movie was quietly dropped from the scene after the Armistice was declared with nothing more heard of it. The time had come to heal and movies like this were no longer seen to be appropriate.
Broadmeadows Camp, Inducting Recruits, September 1914 Topic: Gen - St - Vic
Recruit Training at Broadmeadows Camp, Victoria
For those who have been through basic training within the military, these pictures will bring back all those memories of the first day on the job. The pictures are all taken from the Melbourne Punch, 3 September 1914, p. 418.
A group of likely lads have just learned the first piece of parade ground drill - to fall in ... well so to say. Those who are ex-NCO drill instructors will be getting itchy hands just looking at these men.
"Att .... Wait for it sonny ... Attention!"
Now the lads can at least stand to attention in ranks so they can be trusted with unloaded rifles in anticipation of rifle drills.
The toughest part of getting used to a rifle is the unwieldy weight when it first confronts the raw recruit. Sloping arms is a great introductory drill to get the recruits familiar with the feel of a rifle and so introduce the feeling that it is a natural part of the body, like legs and arms.
New squad for the Artillery Lines
New cobbers and horses arrive for the field artillery.
The lads allocated to artillery are going through their primary drills. The lack of uniform tells us that these fellows are just raw recruits and not long at Broadmeadows.
Listening to the instructors
Uniforms have now been issued but judging by the very poor presentation and different styles of hatwear, it suggests that the uniforms issued were rudimentary and very stop gap until their real uniforms arrived. The various clothing factories would have been working double shifts to meet this demand.
One of the physically demanding aspects of military life at the time was to feed the horses. Fodder was heavy and the horses needed lots of it. So when the fodder cart arrived, the men on stable fatigues had all the fun in the world unloading the feed, storing it and then distributing that which was required for the next horse feed at the proper locations. Horse lines would have been very busy places at feed times.
Taking stock of meat
The delivery of prime left over second grade mutton from the Victoria Markets, unrefrigerated and fit for the kings who are soon to be defending Australia.
Makes a person cringe to see the conditions in which meat was delivered - off the back of a horse and GSW cart. You can see the lamb carcasses stacked on the back without any protection whatsoever. Those lads must have had strong stomachs to down this without reporting to sick parade the following day. It also explains why the most common complaint for the Field Ambulance and hospitalisation was diarrhoea.
This is a ubiquitous site at every military camp. The sight of one or many men peeling potatoes for the next meal. Kitchen fatigues were always highly sort after by the men. This happy lot have a mountain of potatoes to peel for the next meal at Broadmeadows.
Hygiene 1914 style was strictly enforced and many men for the first time in their lives took a regular bath. This was not a usual thing in most Australian households and it is only the common experience of all people during the Great War that the daily bath became a feature in Australian life. Despite the strictest hygiene, there were still outbreaks of transmitted diseases from a concentration of humans. Most of the time the consequences were not fatal.
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