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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.

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Sunday, 28 June 2009
The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Finance
Topic: Militia - LHW - WA

Western Australian Militia



The following is an extract from the book written in 1962 by George F. Wieck called The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia 1861-1903, pp. 73 - 74:


Lack of adequate finance has ever been the peacetime bugbear of armed forces. Money spent in this way is not an investment but an insurance which returns not interest or dividends but an intangible bonus in the form of fighting efficiency which varies according to the amount of premium and the way it is applied. A soldier must be dressed, armed, equipped and trained to a standard at least equal to that of any likely opponent. Except in time of national emergency, the average politician is ever ready to whittle down the amounts asked for by this non-revenue producing organization without which it cannot make any worthwhile progress.

The Executive Council of the Colony was always short of funds for developmental works and had little to spare for Defence. It adopted the cheapest possible form and for some years the Volunteer Movement had a hand-to-mouth existence. No definite allocation of funds was made until 1884 when the Budget set aside the modest sum of £540 as Capitation Fees for 540 efficient Volunteers.

During the period 1862-72 the annual cost was small, being confined to an allowance of 10/- per efficient, plus a small amount for ammunition and an occasional purchase of weapons. In 1874 the estimated cost of raising a Company of Infantry of 67 all ranks was £250. Calculated over successive quinquennial periods the average annual per capita cost was as follows:- (Figures in parenthesis indicate number of men under arms)

1873-77 = £1/18/2 - (365) ,

1878-82 = £3/7/- - (588),

1883-87 = £5/7/6 - (578),

1888-92 = £5/15/1 - (610),

1893-95 =    £12/19/- - (737).

The original allowance of 10/- per efficient was increased to 15/- in 1872, to 20/- in 1882, and to 30/- in 1886. Other factors were

(a) More and better weapons,

(b) Purchase of camp and training equipment,

(c) Payment of Staff and Instructors,

(d) Erection of buildings and defence works.

The fighting value of the average Volunteer was infinitely higher in 1895 than it was in 1872 if the premium was higher so was the dividend.


Previous:  Rifle Ranges 

Next: Organization and Training 


Further Reading:

Western Australian Militia, Light Horse

Western Australian Militia, Infantry


Citation: The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Finance

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 4 September 2009 6:52 PM EADT
AIF & MEF & EEF, Glossary of Gallipoli Terms
Topic: AIF & MEF & EEF


Glossary of Gallipoli Terms


The following is a glossary of common place names at Anzac on the Gallipoli Peninsular.

Gallipoli  -   
Aghyl Dere   -  Sheepfold Valley
Anafarta   -  There are two villages inland from Suvla Bay called Buyuk (Big) Anafarta and Kuchuk (Small) Anafarta.
Anzac Gully   -  The gully that housing corps and divisional headquarters.
Apex   -  A knoll on Rhododendron Ridge.
Ari Burnu  -  At the north end of Anzac Cove. 
Australia Valley  -  Running off north from Aghyl Dere.
Baby 700   -  [Tk: Kiliç Bairi] A hill on the Second Ridge.
Battleship Hill   -  [Tk: Düztepe] Hill between Baby 700 and Chunuk Bair.
Bauchop's Hill   -  Hill between the Aghyl Dere and Chailak Dere.
Broadway   -  A wide trench from Walker's Ridge to the back of Russell's Top.
Bully Beef Sap   -  A communication trench from Russell's Top to Monash Gully.
Canterbury Slope   -  On the slopes of Rhododendron Ridge
Chailak Dere  -  [Tk: Creviced Valley] A valley south of Aghyl Dere, from Chunuk Bair to Ocean Beach 
Chessboard   -  A Turkish position south of The Nek named because the trenches constructed on it like the layout of a chessboard. 
Chunuk Bair  -  [Tk: Conkbayiri] 860foot hill in the centre of the 'Sari Bair' range.
Destroyer Hill   -  A hill mid way between Rhododendron Ridge and No. 1 Post.
Farm, The  -  [Tk: Sari Tarla] Plateau just below the Chunuk Bair.
Fisherman's Hut   -  Stone hut between the sea and Sazli Beit Dere. 
Gaba Tepe  -  [Tk: Kaba Tepe]  A headland south of the Anzac Cove.
Happy Valley   -  A valley north of Walker's Ridge and below Turks' Point. 
Hill 60  -  [Tk: Bomba Tepe] A 60 metres high hill between the Kaiajik Dere and the Asma Dere.
Hill 971  -  [Tk: Kocaçimen Tepe] A 971 foot hill in the Sari Bair Range. 
Kaiajik Dere  -  [Tk: Little Rock Valley] A well near Hill 60.
Malone's Gully   -  A dry riverbed from The Nek running between Happy Valley and No. 1 Post. 
Mule Gully   -  A gully between The Sphinx and Walker's Ridge where the Indian Supply Corps hid their mules. 
Nek, The  -  [Tk: Boyun] A narrow piece of land between Russell's Top and Baby 700.
Old No 3 Outpost  -  A hillock inland from Fisherman's Hut. 
Outpost No 1   -  Located by the sea between Malone's Gully and Fisherman's Hut. 
Outpost No 2  -  Located north of Fisherman's Hut and by the sea. 
Outpost No 3  -  [Tk: Haliden Rizar Tepesi] North of No. 2 Outpost 
Reserve Gully   -  A 'rest' gully between Plugge's Plateau and The Sphinx.
Rhododendron Spur or Ridge  -  A ridge running off Chunuk Bair and between Chailak Dere and Sazli Beit Dere.
Russell's Top   -  A small plateau between the Nek and Plugge's Plateau.
Sazli Beit Dere  -  A seasonal river running from Chunuk Bair to the sea near Fisherman's Hut. 
Sphinx, The  -  [Tk: Sari Bair] A knife like promontory from Walker's Ridge to the sea. 
Table Top  -  [Tk: Pilav Tepe] A hill Sazli Dere captured on 6 August 1915.
W Hills  -  [Tk: Ismailoglu Tepe] Held by the Turks overlooking the southern end of the Anafarta Spur and Hill 60. 
Walker's Ridge   -  A sharp ridge from Russell's Top towards the sea. 


Further Reading:

Battles where Australians Fought

AIF, MEF and the EEF


Citation: AIF & MEF & EEF, Glossary of Gallipoli Terms

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 9 July 2009 9:47 PM EADT
Australian Light Horse, Regimental Administration, Nominal Rolls
Topic: AIF - Lighthorse

Australian Light Horse

Regimental Administration

Nominal Rolls


Within the AIF, in continuation with the British military practice and hence Australian Militia practice, every call on the public purse needed to be accounted. As votes for moneys to supply the material, food and wages of the military came from parliament, the expending of those items was in accordance of the accounting standards of the day. When a person enlisted and was accepted as a recruit, there was a call on the public purse to provide for the individual. Units had legislated peace and war strengths which they were not permitted to exceed. Thus to maintain the expectations of prudent guardianship of the public purse, each person was required to be registered on a roll of a particular unit. This required the production of a regular Nominal Roll. For the smaller parts of the units such as Squadrons or Companies, it was a daily procedure. Reports were then sent to centres advising when an entry has been made into the Nominal Roll. Occasionally these reports contained additional messages on the right hand side of the report. These messages were important as they required further action.

In the case of the light horse, the Squadron was paraded every morning. In this parade two major functions occurred.

1. Roll Call

2. Reading of the Regimental Routine Orders

After the marking of the rolls, any movement of troops in or out of the Squadron were accounted for through movement slips and a cross reference onto the Squadron Roll. Any changes were notified to Regimental Headquarters who then sent this information by way of reports up the line through Brigade, Division, Corps and Third Echelon.

Under extraordinary circumstances roll calls were also taken. These might be emergencies, police actions, battles and other singular occasions.

The Nominal Roll formed the basis for:

1. Ordnance;

2. Rations; and,

3. Payroll.


After the Great War, a purge of all accumulated paper work occurred and many rolls were burnt. The logic being that the information existed on the individual soldier's file and thus retaining that information would be superfluous to record needs. Sadly, very few documents of this nature survived this purge. The Australian War Memorial holds 848 individual Nominal Rolls within their AWM 9 series, a very small percentage of the actual rolls available after the war. Other rolls exist in Routine Orders but these are rare finds indeed. Other rolls are to be found in newspapers on special occasions.


Further Reading:

Australian Light Horse

Militia 1899 - 1920


Citation: Australian Light Horse, Regimental Administration, Nominal Rolls

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 September 2009 5:12 PM EADT
Détachement Français de Palestine et Syrie, 1er Regiment Mixte de Cavalerie Du Levant
Topic: AIF - DMC - French
Détachement Français de Palestine et Syrie

1er Regiment Mixte de Cavalerie Du Levant

1er Regiment Spahis


The 1er Regiment Mixte de Cavalerie Du Levant was a French cavalry regiment added to the 5th Australian Light Horse Brigade and attached to the Australian Mounted Division on 26 July 1918. This Composite French Regiment was formed from two colonial regiments, they being one squadron each of 1er Regiment Spahis and 4er Regiment Spahis; and, two of 4er Regiment de Marche Chausseurs d'Afrique.



The Australian Light Horse – Structural outline

Australian Light Horse Order of Battle



Desert Mounted Corps (DMC)



Australian Mounted Division



5th Australian Light Horse Brigade



1er Regiment Mixte de Cavalerie Du Levant



Further Reading:

AIF, MEF and the EEF

Détachement Français de Palestine et Syrie


Citation: Détachement Français de Palestine et Syrie, 1er Regiment Mixte de Cavalerie Du Levant

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 20 July 2009 11:31 AM EADT
Saturday, 27 June 2009
The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Organization and Training
Topic: Militia - LHW - WA

Western Australian Militia

Organization and Training


The following is an extract from the book written in 1962 by George F. Wieck called The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia 1861-1903, pp. 75 - 77:

Organization and Training

Training in the very early days was restricted to handling of weapons, rifle shooting, and parade ground movements, little attempt being made to teach tactics or field exercises. Facilities were lacking and funds were not available to purchase them. At the end of the first decade there was a Volunteer Force but its value as a fighting force was low.

The first serious attempt to improve matters must be credited to Lieutenant Colonel RA Harvest, R.A., Inspector of Volunteers, who in 1874 grouped the Perth, Fremantle, and Guildford corps for training purposes, under his own command, in a body known as the 1st Battalion W.A. Volunteers. This expedient, which prevailed with little variation until 1899, permitted training to be carried out at a much higher level, field days becoming a popular and valuable item on the training programme.

An important feature was the raising of artillery corps at Perth and Fremantle. From 1872 all field exercises provided for artillery co-operation with infantry. The Artillery corps were called upon to fire salutes on the amazingly numerous occasions when the Governor attended functions. Much of the military value of these activities lay in the amount of "brushing-up" personnel had to undergo prior to each outing. The amount of training greatly exceeded that shown on parade programmes.

The next step was taken by Lieutenant Colonel EF Angelo, Inspector of Volunteers, who organized and commanded the first Camp of Continuous Training to be held in the Colony. This Camp was held during Easter 1884 at Bullen's Grounds, Albion, attendance totalling 355. On the Easter Monday a sham fight took place. A water colour executed by Lieutenant Colonel Angelo illustrating various incidents is filed in the public archives. A small Camp was held at Geraldton in the same year.

The Albion Camp proved most successful but there was one serious blemish. There was a grave shortage of greatcoats and various essential items of camp equipment, of which no official stocks were held. Steps were taken to acquire the necessary stocks but four years passed before another camp could be held. The next Camp was held at Greenmount in 1888, and another at Guildford in 1889 -at neither of these were there adverse comments regarding equipment. From that time Camps were held more frequently but not necessarily annually, finance as usual being the deciding factor. In a year when no Camp was held it was usual to hold a Field Day on the Easter Monday and as the years passed this form of training tended to become extensive and practical.

It is worthy of note that in 1889 the Guildford Volunteer Rifles at its own expense held a voluntary Camp at Albany.

The Adolescent or Growing-up period was marked by considerable progress in tactical and operational knowledge. However, knowledge of corps administration and maintenance was of a rudimentary nature. Corrective action was taken in 1896 when local districts were created to afford experience to senior officers as Commanders, viz. –

Perth (Major EW Haynes),

Fremantle (H/Major J. W. Hope),

Guildford (Major S. Gardiner) and

Geraldton (Major R. H. Cowan).

On July 1, 1899, the organization known since 1874 as the First Battalion W.A. Volunteers, became the 1st Infantry Regiment under the Command of an officer who was given full operational and administrative control. Not until then had it been possible for the Volunteers to view training for war in its true perspective. It had taken 37 years to reach this goal.

The successful formation of the W.A. Infantry Brigade in 1900 indicates that the 1st Infantry Regiment was intended to act as a model for the benefit of new formations then contemplated. Military leaders in Western Australia were prone to overestimate the recruit potential of the Colony and in raising five battalions would appear to have repeated former errors. When the early enthusiasm had waned some of the Battalions would have had to fight hard for bare existence.

In 1889, Major General Edwards, G.B., recommended that the Defence Force be made up of Militia (partially paid) corps, with the support of Volunteers at Perth and Fremantle-two Battalions of Infantry of four Companies each, one battery of Field Artillery, and one Battery of Garrison Artillery. This recommendation may have led to the adoption of the Defence Act 1893, which provided for Militia Forces who could be called out for service anywhere within Australia. The first Militia corps in Western Australia, the 11th Infantry Regiment, was converted to that status on 1 January 1905.


Previous:  Finance 

Next: Uniforms and Badges 


Further Reading:

Western Australian Militia, Light Horse

Western Australian Militia, Infantry


Citation: The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Organization and Training

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 4 September 2009 6:51 PM EADT

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