"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, 2 August 2008
Desert Mounted Corps Routine Orders - 7 October 1917 Topic: AIF - DMC
Apart from the War Diary which presents a reflected view of Regimental history, one of the best sources of understanding the immediate challenges facing a regiment is to be found in the Routine Orders. They are a wealth of detail.
Desert Mounted Corps Routine Orders - 7 October 1917
Desert Mounted Corps Routine Orders, 7 October 1917, p. 1.
The following weeks will see the various pages of the Hotchkiss Machine Gun Pack for Cavalry. The Hotchkiss Gun was introduced in the Light Horse formations during the early months of 1917. The introduction of this robust and portable gun gave the Light Horse Regiments additional mobile fire power which considereably added to their ability to sustain light combat situations and defend against vastly numerically superior forces. Apart from being an excellent weapon, it was in much demand by the Turkish forces who considered the capture of a Hotchkiss Gun well worth any risks involved in the process. This is a manual produced in 1917 and illustrates the method by which the Hotchkiss Gun was packed and moved throughout the Palestine campaign.
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 - Conference with General Godley, New Zealand and Australian Division regarding attack.
Carew Reynell Diary - Since last entry nothing interesting has happened. We knew through the Secret Service that the Turks had been reinforced by upwards of 100,000 and intended to make a grand attack on us either on or before 27th July [last day of 1st fortnight of Ramazan]. I slept up in the front trenches most of the time and we were very hopeful once or twice. Especially one night when they were throwing incendiary shells round us to set bush on fire and bombing us heavily. That night six of our men were bombed while asleep quite close to me without it waking me. However it all ended in smoke and no attack came off, we haven't heard yet why it didn't come off. We are going to make a big attack on the Turk position within a few days now so there will be a fresh crop of casualties as the Turks hold a strong position. I believe our job will be to take the trenches across the Nek so that our casualties are bound to be very heavy indeed as we shall have to cross a confined space under fire of a half circle of Turk trenches thus:
The first job will be to take the trenches this side of the Nek, but that will be easily done although they will be well supported by fire from the trenches on the hill the other side of Nek.
However, I have every confidence in our fellows and even if 75% of us are knocked out I believe the other 25% will get there. I am going to have a talk to them and prepare their minds for heavy losses and impress on them the necessity of getting there or dying in the attempt. However, I believe they will behave well and do or die anyway. In any case we have the comforting reflection that if we don't win our way through to the Narrows during the next month or six weeks we shall die where we are of starvation, because the continuous gales will prevent the landing of supplies here and we can be certain never to be taken off. Moreover, Greeks who know the peninsular say that it will be quite impossible to live here in winter anyway as the torrential rains simply change the surface of the country every year. So as the old saw says - If we go forward we die, if we go backwards we die, better go forwards and die. However we shall go forward and some I trust, self included, will live to fight again. Naturally speculation is very rife and certainly a great deal hangs on the next few weeks - we shall either be made or broken.
I suppose there will be a lot of promotion, but as far as I can see my chances are nil. If the Brigade command becomes vacant they don't seem disposed to put Colonel Meill, the senior Regimental Commander, in - and unless he goes up or out, my cake's dough. Without wishing anyone bad luck there is a lot in the old toast - "Here's to bloody wars and sickly seasons and quick promotion". Well some of us will be making room for others before long I guess and it's all in the game. I see big stacks of new stretchers being made just near by our bivouac.
Wednesday, August 2, 1916
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Bally Bunnion
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Routine work.
Thursday, August 2, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Tel el Marakeb
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Syllabus of work for week ending 9 August 1917 issued.
Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 2 August 1918 Topic: Diary - Schramm
Diaries of AIF Servicemen
2 August 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.
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