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"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.

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

Sunday, 3 August 2008
The Fremantle "Silver Chain" Ball, September 1914
Topic: Gen - St - WA

The Fremantle "Silver Chain" Ball, September 1914 

The highlight of the Fremantle social calendar was the "Silver Chain" Ball. This was one of those fancy dress balls where the good folks were asked to give their interpretation of the dress worn by those in the days of yore. The costumes worn are a wonderful reflection on how the good folks interpreted their past during the contemporary period.

All the pix noted below were taken by CM Nixon of Fremantle, a reputable photographer in the area, was hired to do photo shoots on major Fremantle occasions.

Pic #1: This is a pic of two girls, Hazel Collett on the left and Mavis Doepper to the right, dressed up as a "Rag Time Couple". Rag Time was big in Australia at the time. It was the syncopated beat that made it so attractive. The tunes of Scott Joplin will give an example of Rag Time, a beat that was transformed into Jazz and then Mo Town of today.

"Rag Time Couple"

[Click on picture for larger version.]

Of course, this is a non American white interpretation of Rag Time rather than any deep American south reality.

Pic #2: Here is Jack McNeece who was awarded a special prize for his portrayal as Uncle Tory.

"Uncle Tory"

[Click on picture for larger version.]

Nothing like a good old solid Tory. Almost reminds me of the satire in Gullivers Travels when Swift is describing the difference between the Tories and the Whigs.

As to the first, you are to understand, that for about seventy moons past there have been two struggling parties in this empire, under the names of Tramecksan and Slamecksan, from the high and low heels of their shoes, by which they distinguish themselves. It is alleged, indeed, that the high heels are most agreeable to our ancient constitution; but, however this be, his majesty has determined to ake use only of low heels in the administration of the government, and all offices in the gift of the crown, as you cannot but observe; and particularly that his majesty's imperial heels are lower at least by a drurr than any of his court (drurr is a measure about the fourteenth part of an inch). The animosities between these two parties run so high, that they will neither eat, nor drink, nor talk with each other.

Everything changes but nothing changes.

Pic #3: Here are Roy and Doris Wallis who came dressed respectively as the First Lord of the Admiralty and Duchess of Devonshire. They were awarded the prize as the Best Dressed Couple.

The First Lord of the Admiralty and Duchess of Devonshire

[Click on picture for larger version.]

This, of course, was a historical interpretation, since at the time, the First Sea Lord was Prince Louis von Battenburg until he resigned in favour of Fisher. Neither looked like this in their attire.

Pic #4: This is young Miss Elsie Dunn posing as the "Queen of the Druids". For her efforts, she received the prize as the Most Originally Dressed Girl.

"Queen of the Druids"

[Click on picture for larger version.]

Of course, this is a fantasy presentation. Local knowledge of Druids was confined to that elicited from the legends of King Arthur.

The Druid theme was big at the Ball, as the next pic will demonstrate.

Pic #5: This group of young girls and women was collectively awarded First Prize for their costumes, a work which was called "The Druid Set".

"The Druid Set"
[Click on picture for larger version.]

Over the last century nothing has changed in the portrayal of Druids. The film version of "Lord of the Rings" presents Druids in a similar manner. For those avid readers of Asterix, the Druid Getafix, is also portrayed like this. So too are the Smurfs.

In contrast to the Druidical theme, three of the young women are wearing sashes with words that come straight from 1 Corinthians 13:13 from the King James Version. An interesting juxtaposition to say the least.

Well the clock has stuck midnight and all the good folks must leave the ball.

Citation: The Fremantle "Silver Chain" Ball, September 1914

Posted by Project Leader at 10:41 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 3 August 2008 11:54 PM EADT
AIF Orders regarding the Anzac "A" Badge
Topic: AIF - Badges

The Australian Light Horse

AIF Order 937

The "A" Anzac Badge


Light Horse Officer with Anzac "A" Badge and 1914 Leave Rosette

[From: Cossum,  Australian Army Badges, p. 57.]


Routine Orders throughout the Light Horse Regiments in the field during January 1918 produced lists of men to be furnished to AIF Headquarters with the aim of gazetting of all those men who were qualified to wear the "A" Anzac Badge in the prescribed manner.

AIF Order 937, 6 November 1917.

The initial authority for this for the issue of the "A" Anzac Badge originated from AIF Order 937, issued on 6 November 1917. It reads:


AIF Order 937


The transcription:

937. Badges - Gallipoli Service.

The following Military Order, issued by the Department of Defence, Melbourne, is published for information:-

"Members of the Australian Imperial Force who served on Gallipoli will be entitled to wear over their Unit 'Colour Patches' on both sleeves of the Service Dress Jacket and Greatcoat the letter 'A' as an indication that the wearer had taken part in the operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula."

The provisions of the above will apply in all units to all members of the Australian Imperial Force who come within the scope of the Order.

OC Units will indent on ADOS Administrative Headquarters, AIF, 130 Horseferry Road, London, for necessary supplies.

(Authority: DAG, AIF, 15/86 of 29.10.17.)


It was seen that the description was too limiting as many men were exposed to similar dangers when assisting the troops at Anzac. Men who were involved in supply or medical work and other hazardous activities required to support the men at Gallipoli itself. In response AIF Order 1084, 25 January 1918 was issued to widen the scope of men entitled to wear the Anzac "A" Badge.


AIF Order 1084


The transcription: 

1084. Badges - Gallipoli Service.

AIF Order 937, dated 6th Nov 1917, is amended by the addition of the following after the word "Gallipoli" (2nd line):

"or the islands of Lemnos, Imbros and Tenedos, or who served on the transports or hospital ships at or off Gallipoli or those islands or in AIF lines of communication units from Egypt."

(Authority: Defence Cable WV 430 of 9.1.18.)


At the same time, a certain amount of confusion as to whom would qualify arose. For example: If a person was a reinforcement and landed at Lemnos on 4 December 1915 but was not taken on strength till 28 December 1915, would he be entitled to wear the Anzac "A" badge? Or if an unattached soldier was by way of circumstances forced to remain at Gallipoli for a day until the night ferry was able to remove him, would he be entitled to wear the badge? These questions received clarification with the publication of AIF Order 1068, 18 January 1918.


AIF Order 1068

[Click on page for a larger print version.]


The transcription:  

1068. War Medals, &c.

The following Army Order, dated 30.12.17, is published for information:-

VIII - War Medals, &c. -

It has been decided that officers or soldiers no definitely appointed on the establishment of a unit serving overseas are not, by virtue of a visit to any theatre of operations for a temporary purpose, to become eligible for war medals or for the "crossed swords" entry in the Army List.

(Authority: DAG, AIF, 15/98 of 8.1.18.)


In essence, a person had to be on the nominal roll of a formation in service at Gallipoli or the surrounding islands, or involved in supply and communications work. While this broadened the scope of the badge,  it also restricted  its use to the nominal roll of the formation.


Light Horse Medal Set Illustrating the Anzac "A" Badge


Further Reading:

Medals and Badges awarded to the Light Horse

The Australian Light Horse

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: AIF Orders regarding the Anzac "A" Badge

Posted by Project Leader at 12:40 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 1 March 2010 7:59 AM EAST
Desert Mounted Corps Routine Orders - 8 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.

In this case, the  Desert Mounted Corps Routine Orders for October 1917 have been highlighted to illustrate the tempo of this formation from the beginning of October towards the end. The aim is to illustrate the implementation of the Allenby Offensive that began at the end of October 1917 with the capture of Beersheba.

 Desert Mounted Corps Routine Orders - 8 October 1917

Desert Mounted Corps Routine Orders, 8 October 1917, p. 1.

[Click on page for a larger print version.]


Desert Mounted Corps Routine Orders, 8 October 1917, p. 2.

[Click on page for a larger print version.]

Citation: Desert Mounted Corps Routine Orders - 8 October 1917

Posted by Project Leader at 11:44 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 3 August 2008 1:53 PM EADT
Hotchkiss Machine Gun Pack for Cavalry - Page 9
Topic: Wp - Hotchkiss PMG

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.

Hotchkiss Machine Gun Pack for Cavalry - Page 9

[Click on page for a larger print version.]

Citation: Hotchkiss Machine Gun Pack for Cavalry - Page 9

Posted by Project Leader at 11:25 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 3 August 2008 1:55 PM EADT
Colonel Husnu, Yildirim, Page 27
Topic: Tk - Bks - Yildirim

Another entry from the book written by Lieutenant Colonel Hüseyin Hüsnü Emir, called Yildirim. Every day, one page of the book will be posted. This is Page 27.

Colonel Hüsnü, Yildirim, Page 27.

[Click on page for a larger print version.]

Citation: Colonel Hüsnü, Yildirim, Page 27

Posted by Project Leader at 11:18 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 3 August 2008 1:59 PM EADT

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