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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.

Contact: Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

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

Thursday, 4 June 2009
Pink Hill, 12 February 1900, Chamberlain Account
Topic: BatzB - Pink Hill

 Pink Hill, 12 February 1900

Chamberlain Account

Map 57, Pink Hill, 12 February 1900.


The following account is extracted from Max Chamberlain's book called The Australians in the South African War 1899 - 1902, A Map History, published by Army history Unit in Canberra, 1999. This section is called Map 57.



There is great confusion in the references about Pink Hill - one of the first major military actions by Australians. Most British and Boer histories omit the place completely. The map in the Times History, Vol III, actually locates it correctly but the label gives the date of the action as 12 January 1900. The Official Boer History map correctly indicates that the action tool: place on l ? February 1900, but does not name Pink Hill. However, from these two maps it is possible to locate the site of the battle precisely and gain an impression of the terrain.

The Australian references which show Pink Hill on a map locate it variously to the south or east of Colesberg instead of north-west. Reay's written account is generally regarded as the most accurate, but Cunliffe points out that Reay errs in indicating the presence of the Bedfords. It is too late now to resolve all the contradictory points but this analysis attempts to unravel what actually happened by piecing together the events from as many authoritative sources as possible.



Chamberlain, M., The Australians in the South African War 1899 - 1902, A Map History, Army history Unit, Canberra, 1999.


Further Reading:

The Battle of Pink Hill


Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 8 June 2009 12:05 AM EADT
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
New Zealand Militia and Volunteers, Contents
Topic: Militiaz - New Zealand

New Zealand Militia and Volunteers





New Zealand Militia and Volunteers, THE SKELETON ARMY 

Ellesmere Guards, James McVINNIE 

A cautionary tale of the Scallywag Soldier and his girfriend


Further Reading:

New Zealand Militia and Volunteers 1899 - 1920

New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, NZEF


Citation: New Zealand Militia and Volunteers, Contents

Posted by Project Leader at 3:43 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 June 2009 4:07 PM EADT
New Zealand Militia and Volunteers, THE SKELETON ARMY
Topic: Militiaz - New Zealand

New Zealand Militia and Volunteers



The following article about the New Zealand volunteers proves the supposed Napoleonic adage that an "Army marches on its stomach."  The Volunteers from the Wellington region drafted in to perform ceremonial duties during the visit of the Duke of Cornwall found their conditions unacceptable. Tea that tasted like cabbage water, rancid meat and stale bread let alone no fodder for their horses was a recipe for mutiny.



[From: The Adelaide Advertiser, 1 July 1901, p. 6.]


The transcription of the article follows:





The jarring note of the festivities during the reception of the Duke of Cornwall in the capital city of New Zealand was the scandal in connection with the treatment of a number of visiting volunteers. The very heavy rain which had fallen had con- verted Newton Park, where the men were encamped, into a quagmire. Several inches of mud ano water were on the surface of the park, and 'the moisture found its way through into the tents, soaking the straw beds and belongings of the men, and making them very unhappy. Several deputations of men complained of insufficiency of accommodation and lack of food, and said that their horses were practically starving, there being a lack of fodder and water for their use. When the men went to get some hot water to make tea there was none avail- able, the supply having been cut off. When they informed the officer in command that unless they were adequately provisioned they would have to leave camp he threatened them with pains and penalties.

One trooper declared "you had to scramble for what you got; it was served in dirty dishes, the tea was like cabbage water, and the whole thing was-ugh! let me go home!" One of the officers, who had seen service with our contingents in South Africa, is reported to have said that in the whole of his experience at the 'front he had never put in such a week as this just passed at Newtown Park. "Hungry we often were when at the front," because there was no food," He remarked, "but when we did get food it was cooked, not sent to us half cooked." . One trooper said he wouldn’t; have minded the treatment so much if it only concerned himself, but when it came to starving his horse "it was time to squeak".  He added that he had bad to go into town and buy a feed for 'his horse, as well as for himself.

Undeterred by the terrors of militarism, a "skeleton army" of men in uniform actually paraded the streets of Wellington, carrying some stale bread and questionable meat upon a pole, a board above which bore the significant legend, "Our Rations."

The bearer of the pole attracted much attention, and quite a procession was formed, which, amid much cheering and groaning, passed not only along the main streets, but through the streets around Government House. Four troopers were noticed taking a prominent part in the head of the procession, and their demonstrations (says the Wellington "Post") gave the affair an importance which otherwise would not have been attached to the demonstration.

In the morning the proceedings took a serious turn. Colonel Penton (Commandant of the forces) ordered a parade of the troops. He addressed them in severe tone upon the subject of "last night’s disgraceful proceedings." The action of the four troopers who took part in the procession, he said, had brought disgrace upon the whole of the proceedings of the week. It was the most disgraceful thing that had happened in the whole of the colonies, and it was deeply painful that it should have happened when the representative of the King was with us. An example must be made of the men who had been the cause of the scandal, and he (Colonel Penton) looked to the officers to find out those men and bring them before him for punishment. It was also to be regretted that the men should have aired their grievances to the press. Finally the Colonel said he laid the whole blame upon the officers. "You should have seen to the complaints of the men, found out what was wanted, and by remedying them, prevented this disgrace.'

Colonel Sommerville, who was in charge of the camp, was understood to say that he had tried his best to get the bad condition of affairs remedied, but without success. The officers then dispersed, some muttering unutterable things, and went along the ranks of their companies, seeking the names of "the four." Some of the men laughed outright when the question was put to them, and the officers had to report that no names were procurable.

Then Colonel Penton addressed himself to the whole of the troops. He commenced by saying that up till that time the men had borne their hard lot like soldiers, but by the action of four "infernal cowards" the whole regiment had been disgraced. There were in the ranks, he said, some "infernal curs" Who were not men enough to step forward and own up, so as to save the good name of their comrades. "You four curs," exclaimed the Colonel, "who have spoilt the whole show, had not the pluck to come out, but you go and make a disgraceful scene when the son of your King is present in the city. In my regiment if any of the men had done as these four have done their comrades would have given them a jolly bad time."

At this interesting point of the proceedings Colonel Penton, who was addressing the men with a great deal of warmth, observed a representative of a newspaper, who was standing some little distance away, on the footpath,-taking a note. The Colonel paused, and in a stentorian voice, called to the pressman, "Will you leave here, please?" And the pressman withdrew out of earshot. The colonel then continued to address the troops for a few minutes, after which the men were dismissed to their quarters.


Further Reading:

New Zealand Militia and Volunteers 1899 - 1920


Citation: New Zealand Militia and Volunteers, THE SKELETON ARMY

Posted by Project Leader at 3:36 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 June 2009 3:48 PM EADT
Monday, 1 June 2009
The Battle of Heligoland Bight, North Sea, 1 June 1915, Roll of Honour
Topic: BatzN - Heligoland

The Battle of Heligoland Bight

North Sea, 1 June 1915

Allied Forces

Roll of Honour

Poppies on the Roll of Honour, Australian War Memorial, Canberra


The Roll of Honour contains the names of all the men from the Allied Forces known to have served and lost their lives during the Battle of Heligoland Bight, North Sea, 1 June 1915.


Roll of Honour

The Battle of Heligoland Bight, North Sea, 1 June 1915, Allied Forces, Roll of Honour

Lest We Forget


Further Reading:

The Battle of Heligoland Bight, North Sea, 1 June 1915

The Battle of Heligoland Bight, North Sea, 1 June 1915, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: The Battle of Heligoland Bight, North Sea, 1 June 1915, Roll of Honour

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 3 June 2011 10:12 AM EADT
Sunday, 31 May 2009
Australian Light Horse, Australian Militia Field Force, Contents
Topic: Militia - LH

Australian Light Horse

Australian Militia Field Force




Volunteer v Volunteer, Definitional matters within the Militia

The Loyd Lindsay Competition


Mounted Rifles or Mounted Infantry

The Australian Mounted Rifles, Militia Outline, An essay by Ivan, 1885

The Australian Light Horse, Militia and AIF, Concept 1902


Collyer, JJ, Mounted Rifle Tactics, Military Journal, April, 1915, pp. 265 - 305

Part 1, Preface 

Part 2, Contents

Part 3, General Considerations 

Part 4, The Attack 

Part 5, Defence 

Part 6, Protection 

Part 7, Night Operations 

Part 8, Reconnaissance 

Part 9, Conclusion


Light Horse

Notes on Squadron training for Light Horse Major FA Maxwell, June 1911

The Australian Light Horse, Militia and AIF, The Australian Light Horsemen, June 1912


Dove, FA, Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance, 1910.

Part 1, Preface & Introduction

Part 2, Protective Scouting 

Part 3, Communication 

Part 4, Patrol Formations 

Part 5, Co-operation of Patrols 

Part 6, Lecturettes 

Part 7, The Flank Screen 

Part 8, Screen To Rear Guard 

Part 9, Scouting For Information 

Part 10, Finding One's Way 

Part 11, Avoiding Detection 


Priestley, PH, Light Horse Duties in the Field, Military Journal, March 1912, pp. 171 - 185.

Part 1, Scouting for Troop Leaders

Part 2, The Scouts of the Screen

Part 3, Scouts, Pointers, and Connecting Files of the Flank Guard

Part 4, A Criticism of the Article

Notes on Cavalry Principles, Spanish Cavalry Training. Vol. IV, 1910

Some Features of Squadron Training, Arthur William Hutchin, 1912

The Limitations of the Militia Officer by Captain EW Tulloch, 1914 

Training by Lieutenant Colonel Noel Murray Brazier, 1914 

Squadron and Company Training by Major Duncan John Glasfurd, 1914

The Bayonet for Mounted Riflemen by GGA, 1914

The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History, Light Horse

The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History, Mounted Rifles v Mounted Infantry



The Australian Light Horse - Structure 

The Australian Light Horse, Militia and AIF, Organisation 


Regimental Administration

Nominal Rolls


Roles within the Regiment

Officers in general

Commanding Officer

Second in command



Squadron Commander

Officer Commanding a Regimental Unit


Qualifications of Non-Commissioned Officers

Regimental Sergeant-Major

Regimental Quartermaster-Sergeant

Orderly Room Clerk

Squadron Sergeant-Major

Squadron Quartermaster-Sergeant








Orders for Guards

Relieving and Posting a Guard 

Marching Reliefs 

Relieving and Posting 

Sentries Paying Compliments 

Sentries Challenging 

Instruction of Recruits as Sentries 

Guards Turning Out 

Guards on Horse Lines 

Orders for Sentries on the Horse Lines by Night 



Duties of Captain of the Day 

Orderly Officer 

Duties of Regimental Orderly Squadron Sergeant Major 

Duties of Regimental Orderly Sergeant 

Regimental Orderly Corporal 

Regimental Orderly Trumpeter 

Duties of Half-Squadron or Troop Orderly Sergeant 

Duties of Troop (or Half-Squadron) Orderly Corporal 

Duties of Tent Orderly 



Troop Cooks

Hints for Camp Cooking 

Preserved Meat Tins 

Aldershot Oven 

Other Ovens 



Recipes for Field Cooking - Preserved Meat



The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History, Unit Numbering 

The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History, The Division


The Waler

The Waler, Moving the Light Horse

The Riding Test, Argus 27 January 1915 


Kitting out a Regiment.

Regimental Embarkation Equipment Stock List, 1914, Weedon Section

Regimental Embarkation Equipment Stock List, 1914, Accoutrements

Regimental Embarkation Equipment Stock List, 1914, Pioneer Equipment 

Regimental Embarkation Equipment Stock List, 1914, Regimental Transport

Regimental Embarkation Equipment Stock List, 1914, Harness, Saddlery and Packsaddlery

Regimental Embarkation Equipment Stock List, 1914, Signalling and Reconnaissance Equipment

Regimental Embarkation Equipment Stock List, 1914, Miscellaneous Camp Equipment

Regimental Embarkation Equipment Stock List, 1914, Machine Gun Equipment


Light Horse Marching Kit

Australian Light Horse Regiments, AIF, Marching or Service Order Field Kit 

Australian Light Horse Regiments, AIF, Full Marching Order Kit


Light Horseman's Kit

All Light Horsemen wore emu plumes  
Soldier's Housewife - the "Hussif"


The Australian Ligth Horse

The small volume written by RJG Hall called The Australian Ligth Horse, Melbourne 1967, is a simple reference volume on the Light Horse in Australia which outlines in broad terms the trends that effected its history.

The Australian Light Horse, The Early Years 1818-1870, Part 1

The Australian Light Horse, Regional Development, 1870 - 1900, Part 2

The Australian Light Horse, Boer War 1899 - 1902, Part 3

The Australian Light Horse, Federation to 1914, Part 4

The Australian Light Horse, Marching or Service Order Field Kit, Part 5 


Further Reading:

The Light Horse

Australian Light Horse Militia

Militia 1899 - 1920


Citation: Australian Light Horse, Australian Militia Field Force, Contents

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 7 February 2010 2:38 PM EAST

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