"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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Many Light Horsemen were based at Heliopolis Race Course from March 1915. Heliopolis was a satellite town to the east of Cairo and built as an investment by a Belgium consortium. It was quite stylish and designed to rival Monte Carlo with hotels and a casino. Sadly for the consortium, they did not have the right amount of money to bribe the Khedive and so the licence for the casino was never granted. The result was a very expensive but under utilised area which made a massive loss for the investors. That is, until the war. Then all the facilities were hired and everyone made money again.
Apart from all the princely buildings catering for the rich and famous, many local Egyptian traders set up to cater for the six bob a day tourists. One such cafe was the Australian Glory Cafe. Below is a copy of its menu.
The address at 1 Abbas Street, Heliopolis, opposite Luna Park, indicates that it was just over the road from the Race Course and within handy walking distance to the troops stationed there.
The Bill of Fare
Fair dinkum, it's Square Dinkum Tuker. The Bill of Fare reads like that of any Australian cafe of the period that was run by an Egyptian. To gain an appreciation of prices in AUD 2008 terms, 6 Piasters equalled 1 shilling and 1 penny was equal to about $1.70. So a piaster was the equivalent of AUD $3.40 in 2008 terms. The prices are about what would be paid for similar dishes in a similar style restaurant today. However, one would wonder on the number of places that serve jam with bread and butter and charge $6.80 for the treat.
The following entries are extracted and transcribed from the 9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary, the originals of which are held by the Australian War Memorial. There are 366 entries on this site. Each day has entries as they occurred from 1914 to 1919. In addition to the 9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary, when appropriate, entries from the 3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary and other regiments with the Brigade will also appear. Entries from the unit history, Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924 will also appear from time to time. The aim is to give the broadest context to the story and allow the reader to follow the day to day activities of the regiment. If a relative happened to have served in the regiment during the Great War, then this provides a general framework in which the individual story may be told.
3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary - Reinforcements arrived. 10th Light Horse Regiment one Officer [Lieutenant McDonald] and 52 Other Ranks, 8th Light Horse Regiment, seven Other Ranks, 9th Light Horse Regiment, one Other Ranks. Lieutenant Olden, wounded, returned to duty.
Warrant Officer Strang transferred from 9th Light Horse Regiment to 8th Light Horse Regiment.
Notification that Lieutenant FO Thorn 8th Light Horse Regiment unfit for active service.
General Headquarters reports Lieutenants WA Tunbridge and C Chanter, 9th Light Horse Regiment transferred to Base Hospital.
Enemy at Nek very restless and jumpy all night. Very much rifle unaimed fire. Of opinion that these are fresh troops in occupation of trenches.
Fifty more Garland Bombs issued. These are doing excellent work.
Carew Reynell Diary - Notice that I am mentioned along with two of our sergeants and two privates of the 8th Regiment in Army Corps Orders for good work in connection with the defence of Russell's Top.
There is no doubt that a move will be made before many weeks. I am tipping that the idea is to make a crushing blow by waiting until the Helles end get the Turks on the run and collar Archi Baba and then pushing us across to cut off their retreat by land. In this case their retreat across the Hellespont would be a rather doubtful possibility also. We expect that at least another division will be landed her for the forward movement as it will mean that we shall have a long line to hold.
I am very interested to know the form that our attack we will take. It will depend very much on the amount of artillery support available. My idea would be as follows: At 1930 to push a Brigade of infantry out from between No. 1 and 2 outposts to clear the ridges and gullies in their front which are only occupied by a few hundred Turks, they would advance for about a mile and entrench along the big spur running north west from 971 towards the CHA in Inamchal. Owing to the twilight they should be able to do this without much interference from the Turk's main position in front of us.
Under the cover of the above mass the new division during the night between the old out post line and the new one. Just before dawn, sent two Battalions to the W Hills to attack same at dawn and to subsequently put one of the Battalions on the High Ridge 820 North and W Hills while the remaining Battalion entrenched on W Hill. After daybreak, from 0400, the division less its two Battalions already disposed of would make all arrangements for attacking 971 from the north west. At 0500 artillery bombardment to begin and general attack at 0530 with all the artillery support possible. Assaulting line to push right on till a line from Maltepe to Eastern Spurs of 971 Peak reached supporting bodies with bombs to clear up the Turkish communication and other trenches. The line eventually would be:
1. From Gaba Tepe to 213B - outposts;
2. 213B to Maltepe - 971 - Ridge running north west to Chai previously entrenched.
From 213B to 971 would need a chain of small enclosed works made on the spurs on est side of ridge 482 with continuous entrenchments on the ridge.
We very much hope that we shall be on the left flank where there is some scope for individual initiative and qualities cultivated in our training as light horse. Although, alas, there are very few of our old regiment here now - we left 70 behind in Egypt and replaced with reinforcements at the last minute and now we have lost 200 and more away, killed, wounded or sick. The casualties in the advance will be very heavy as the Turks have a strong and well prepared position, but it may result in great things if it comes on top of a crushing success at Helles.
McFarlane wounded yesterday - in the leg, nothing serious - all my pals wounded now and my turn next I suppose - damned nuisance if I have to provide the 20% killed of the said casualties.
Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 13 July 1918 Topic: Diary - Schramm
Diaries of AIF Servicemen
13 July 1918
2823 Private Herbert Leslie SCHRAMM, a 22 year old Farmer from Whites River, South Australia. He enlisted on 17 February 1916; and at the conclusion of the war Returned to Australia, 10 July 1919.
During part of the course of his military service with the AIF, Bert Schramm kept a diary of his life. Bert was not a man of letters so this diary was produced with great effort on his behalf. Bert made a promise to his sweetheart, Lucy Solley, that he would do so after he received the blank pocket notebook wherein these entries are found. As a Brigade Scout since September 1918, he took a lead part in the September Offensive by the Allied forces in Palestine. Bert's diary entries are placed alongside those of the 9th Light Horse Regiment to which he belonged and to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade to which the 9th LHR was attached. On this basis we can follow Bert in the context of his formation.
The complete diary is now available on the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre Site at:
Nominal Roll, AWM133, Nominal Roll of Australian Imperial Force who left Australia for service abroad, 1914-1918 War.
War Diaries and Letters
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