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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

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Thursday, 23 July 2009
The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, No. 1 Battery, Field Artillery
Topic: Militia - LHW - WA

Western Australian Militia

No. 1 Battery, Field Artillery


The following is an extract from the book written in 1962 by George F. Wieck called The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia 1861-1903, p. 50:

No. 1 Battery, Field Artillery
This corps was created in 1887 by changing the designation of the Perth Artillery Volunteers. Captain G. B. Phillips continued in Command.

The two Armstrong-Whitworth guns were replaced by two 9Prs [9 pounders] in August 1894, which in turn were replaced by 15Pr B. L. guns [15 pounder breach loading guns] in 1902. The corps continued to play a very active part in Defence activities, especially in connection with the firing of salutes on official occasions. In 1903 under the Federal Defence Organization scheme the corps became No. 1 W.A. Battery, A.F.A. [No. 1 Western Australian Battery, Australian Field Artillery].

Officers of No. 1 Battery, Field Artillery

Captain GB Phillips, 21 March 1882

Lieutenant Colonel EW Haynes, 21 March 1882

Captain WA Stone, 25 April 1882

Major JJT Hobbs, 26 April 1889

Second Lieutenant GH Smith, 20 January 1896

Captain HE Hurst, 7 March 1896

Lieutenant JH Hurst, 20 March 1896

Brevet Major FWM Parker, 30 November 1897

Lieutenant JS Hughes, 20 October 1898

Second Lieutenant J de Castilla, 17 March 1899

Second Lieutenant J Campbell, 28 April 1899

Second Lieutenant E Vernon, 22 January 1900

Captain EJ Nicholson, 1 March 1900

Lieutenant CA Sherwood, 3 February 1902

Second Lieutenant HSW Parker, 15 May 1903


Previous:  Albany Defence Rifles

Next: Plantagenet Rifles 


Further Reading:

Western Australian Militia, Light Horse

Western Australian Militia, Infantry


Citation: The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, No. 1 Battery, Field Artillery

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 4 September 2009 10:10 PM EADT
Australian Light Horse, Roles within the Regiment, Hints for Camp Cooking
Topic: AIF - Lighthorse

Australian Light Horse

Roles within the Regiment

Hints for Camp Cooking


The following entries dealing with the roles and duties within the hierarchy of a light horse regiment are extracted from a very informative handbook called The Bushman’s Military Guide, 1898. While written in 1898, the information contained in the entries held true for the next twenty years with only minor modifications with the principles remaining as current then as now.


Hints for Camp Cooking


(Extract from Manual of Military Cooking, 1895).

For Guidance of Quartermasters and Sergeant-cooks, and Quartermaster-Sergeants Acting.

N.B. The following instructions could be readily adopted to the conditions of outdoor life of the bushmen of Australia with advantage to the Military Force as well as the comfort of men in camp under any circumstances.

(1.) To cook rapidly and well is an art which can be easily acquired, and which every soldier should learn. Officers commanding should be responsible that there are a certain number of men (at least eight or ten) in each troop who have been instructed in the cutting up of meat, making field kitchens, and cooking. A sergeant-cook or regimental quartermaster-sergeant should be specially trained for the purpose of instructing men in this part of their duty. It is a matter of paramount necessity that soldiers' food should be carefully looked after, and this should be attended to by the officers themselves.

(2.) Service kettles are as follows:


Name weight Contents Surface Diameter Depth Outside With Vegetables Without Vegetables
  lb. Gallons. in. x in. inches. Number of men Number of men
Oval, large 8 3 13½  x 9 11 8 15
Oval, small 12½ x 8½ 8 5 8


(3.) On arrival in camp the cooking party, consisting of the sergeant-cook, assistant-cook, two men per troop, will proceed to make the kitchen. If the encampment be only for one night, one trench per company should be dug 6 feet long 9 inches wide, and 18 inches deep at the mouth, and continued for 18 inches up the trench, then sloping upwards to 4 inches at the back, with a splay mouth pointing towards the wind 2 feet 6 inches by 3 feet 8 inches deep, and a rough chimney, 2 feet high, at the opposite end, and formed with the sods cut off the top of the trench. It will be advantageous if these trenches be cut on a gentle slope.

(4.) All brushwood and long grass should be carefully cut for a circle of 20 feet round the kitchen, and may be used in lighting the fire. On damp or marshy sites a wall trench will be found to answer best, constructed as follows:-

Cut some sods of turf about 18 inches long and 9 inches wide, and lay them in two parallel lines 6 feet long, with an interval between them of 2 feet 6 inches. Build these walls 2 feet High for the large kettles and 18 inches for the small ones. Lay the wood all over the bottom between the walls. Light the fire. This trench will hold twelve large or twenty small ones. It should be built sideways to the wind to prevent the flame and heat being carried through by the draught. If there be no time to dig a trench, or the ground be hard or sandy, the kettles may be placed in rows 10 inches apart, and the fires lighted between them, the heat being thus applied to the sides as well as the bottom. If necessary a row of kettles can be placed across the others over the fire. By this method, however, the cooking takes a little longer and more fuel, but the time required to construct the kitchen is saved. Troops should, in all circumstances, have their dinners an hour and a half after the rations are issued.

(5.) Another way is to have a hole prepared by forming a mound with stones, clay, or turf, and making a hollow in the centre the size of the kettle, in such a way as to allow only air enough to support combustion and prevent the escape of the heat.

(6.) The sergeant-cook (or regimental quartermaster-sergeant if no sergeant-cook available) will apportion the meat, potatoes, etc., to the various messes, which the cooks will cut up and place in the kettles.

(7.) Messes should be by kettles - that is, the number of men composing a mess should depend on the kettle used. Lighting the fires should be performed by a man used to the work. Small pieces of wood, about the size of lucifer matches, should be first ignited, and the fire gradually fed with larger ones. By this time the water party should have brought the requisite water in the camp kettles, and the moment the fire is well lighted the kettles should be laid on the trench and brought to a boil, after which allowed to simmer gently. The time from the opening of the ground until the water boils should not exceed thirty-five minutes. The water in which the potatoes are boiled should not be thrown away, as it is required for washing up. When the cooking is done for the day, kettles should be filled overnight with clean water and placed on the trenches and covered with turf, so that in the event of rain during the night the trenches and wood may be kept dry. In case the corps move away the cooks should light the fire thirty minutes before reveille, so that the water is boiling by the time it is sounding. The camp kettles should be delivered to the quartermaster by the assistant cooks of each company. Each cook to fill up the trench he dug. All offal and refuse that is not sold to be buried. All wood not used to be left in a heap on the ground. The sergeant cook on the line of march should always arrange to have a portion of dry wood carried from one camp to another for kindling purposes. Room can easily be found in the waggons to carry a small bungle of sticks; if not, each cook should carry enough small dry wood to light his own fire. This, will be found a great assistance in wet weather.

(8) If troops remain in camp more than a day or two it is advisable to build a regular field kitchen.

(9.) The gridiron kitchen (Aldershot pattern) consists of nine trenches 12 feet long, 9 inches wide, 18 inches deep at the mouth, this depth is carried for 18 inches inwards, and forms the fire-place, gradually diminishing to 6 inches where it enters the flue; they are connected by splay mouths 2 ft. by 2 ft., and 18 inches deep to the transverse trench, which is 36 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 21 inches deep.

(10.) The centre trench is connected with the chimney (6 feet high 3 feet square at the bottom, sloping gradually up to 2 feet square at the top) by a flue 12 feet long, 9 inches wide, and 6 inches deep, covered with the sods removed from the trenches.

(11.) To mark out the kitchen, drive a picket to mark the centre of the chimney, a second one 12 feet below, which will mark the top centre of the trench, the third one 12 feet below marking the bottom centre of the trench, the fourth one 2 feet below marks the centre of the splay mouth, and the fifth 2 feet below the outer edge of the transverse trench, for a single trench this would be 4 feet long. For each extra trench added a picket would be driven in 4 feet from each of the latter four pickets used in forming the centre or main trench, and parallel to it leaving after the excavations 3 ft. 3 in. for the cooks to work in, the top of each trench being attached to the chimney by a covered flue as shown in diagram.

(12.) Where it is possible to build the kitchen on a slope, flues are not required, the trench should be lengthened 1 foot, and a chimney about 2 feet high will be found sufficient to provide the draught and carry away the smoke.

(13.) Construction. - One man excavates each trench, commencing from the ends nearest the chimney, another man cuts out the bottom of the chimney, and builds it up with the sods cut in construction of the trenches. The third man excavates the draught or flue, which is 12 feet long, 9 inches wide, and 6 inches deep; and as soon as the trenches are dug, he cuts a line from the head of each into the main flue, taking care that the openings of the outer tunnels do not face one another (which would interfere with the proper working of the draught), then covers the flue with turf or sod from the top of the trenches to the chimney.

The other two men excavate the transverse trench, and provide turf for the construction of the chimney.

The men on the completion of the trenches are employed respectively in providing and mixing clay, carrying water, and covering the trenches for the reception of the kettles.

(14.) Great care must be taken in the construction of the chimney; all holes and interstices must be plastered with clay.

(15.) The insides off the trenches may be plastered with clay if it be plentiful. If this is done the dimensions should be slightly increased. If the clay is scarce the trenches should be cut smooth. Each trench will accommodate about eleven oval or twelve small oval kettles, the holes for which should be modelled in clay, using the base of a kettle as a mould. The intervals across the trench should be covered by sods placed grass side downwards, or stones, hoop-iron, sticks plastered with clay, and all interstices closed with clay or sods. This kitchen will last a fortnight even if not plastered with clay. Time required to construct eight hours, working party one non-commissioned officer and twelve men, tools required:

Axes, pick - 3

Hooks, bill - 2

Kettles, camp - 9

Pickets, bundle of - 1

Spades - 11

It will be seen that this kitchen admits of easy extension by the addition of more trenches.

(16.) Advantages - More room is provided between the trenches for the cooks to work in, less time is required to build. Eighteen feet less ground is required to provide this transverse trench, the flues are easy to repair.



Previous: Troop Cooks

Next: Preserved Meat Tins 


Further Reading:

Australian Light Horse

Militia 1899 - 1920


Citation: Australian Light Horse, Roles within the Regiment, Hints for Camp Cooking

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 2 September 2009 9:59 AM EADT
The Battle of Elands River, South Africa, 4 August 1900, Report by Major Tunbridge, 15 September 1900, File Note page 2
Topic: BatzB - Elands

The Battle of Elands River

South Africa, 4 August 1900

Report by Major Tunbridge, 15 September 1900, File Note page 2


 Report by Major Tunbridge, 15 September 1900, File Note page 2


On 15 September 1900, Major Tunbridge wrote a report of the action at Elands River for the NSW General Staff of which page 2 of the file note is transcribed below.


The following extract from a report by Major W Howard Tunbridge Commanding the 2nd Rhodesian Field Force dated Pretoria, 15th September 1900 is published for general information.

Elands River, Relieved 18 August.

One hundred and eleven NSW troops in twelve days seige here. Commandant states all ranks behaved most gallantly under adverse circumstances.



Previous: File Note page 1

Next: Report page 1


Further Reading:

The Battle of Elands River, South Africa, 4 August 1900

The Battle of Elands River, South Africa, 4 August 1900, Roll of Honour

The Boer War, 1899 - 1902

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: The Battle of Elands River, South Africa, 4 August 1900, Report by Major Tunbridge, 15 September 1900, File Note page 2

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 6 August 2010 2:49 PM EADT
Surafend, the massacre, Palestine, 10 December 1918, Allman Account
Topic: BatzP - Surafend

Surafend, the massacre

Palestine, 10 December 1918

Allman Account


Lieutenant Alfred Edward Allman's account of his actions


The following account by Lieutenant Alfred Edward Allman, 6th LHR, details events he witnessed during the day leading up to the events at Surafend.

I was in the Officers' Mess when I heard the raid start. This was the first I heard of it. After minutes later an order went round to "Stand the Regiment to". I went to "B" Squadron and ordered the Squadron Sergeant Major to stand the Squadron to. There was then a good number of men standing about in the Squadron lines. The Squadron Sergeant Major said there are a lot of men at the pictures. I then ordered him to dearch over for them. Shortly after this I was detailed to take a patrol of 12 men in to the vicinity of the village. My orders being not to enter the village bu to prevent any men of the Brigade from entering the village. At the same time Lieutenant Berrie [George Lachlan BERRIE] and another 12 men were told off to stand to and follow if needed. My OC told me they were ready before I moved out. I arrived about 2030 and by this time there was not much noise but the village was well in flames. I patrolled right round the village. About ¼ of an hour after I started patrolling. I met a NZ patrol of a sergeant and abot 12 men. I said: "What is your job?" He replied: "To prevent anyone entering the village and that the other half of the troop to which he belonged were coming round the village in the opposite direction." While I was speaking to him I received orders from my CO by mounted orderly to report back to Corps. I saw several groups of men standing well close of the village who stated they were just watching the fire. I enquired of each of these groups to what unit they belonged and ordered them back to their lines. The only 2nd Brigade men I saw was 4 men of the 6th Regiment and they were standing near one of the Squadron ???? and stated they were watching the fire. They returned to their lines when ordered. None of the groups appeared at all exscited and I am quite sure had not been taking part in the raid. I did not see anyone leave the village or attempt to enter it.

When I went to the Squadron lines to stand the Squadron to I noticed between 20 - 25 men about the lines but it was dark and I did not go right around the lines.


Further Reading:


Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Surafend, the massacre, Palestine, 10 December 1918, Allman Account

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 January 2010 1:27 PM EAST
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
The Battle of Koster River, South Africa, 22 July 1900, Contents
Topic: BatzB - Koster River

The Battle of Koster River

South Africa, 22 July 1900




The Battle of Koster River, South Africa, 22 July 1900, Outline

The Battle of Koster River, South Africa, 22 July 1900, The Tunbridge Account


Roll of Honour

The Battle of Koster River, South Africa, 22 July 1900, Roll of Honour 

Lest We Forget


Further Reading:

The Battle of Koster River, South Africa, 22 July 1900

The Battle of Koster River, South Africa, 22 July 1900, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: The Battle of Koster River, South Africa, 22 July 1900, Contents

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 22 July 2010 5:30 PM EADT

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