"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, 1 June 2008
3rd LHB, AIF, Gallipoli Signal No. 7, 1 June 1915 Topic: AIF - 3B - 3 LHB Sigs
3rd LHB, AIF
3rd Light Horse Brigade
Gallipoli Signal No. 7, 1 June 1915
Gallipoli Signal No. 7, 1 June 1915
The transcription follows:
Sent at 6.23 pm To Third Infantry Brigades 1 June 1915
Following message received from Corps Headquarters begins: Informaiton received yesterday indicates that first Army Corps troops taking eith transports say sixteen thousand men from fear of submarines disembarked and left Constantinople for Peninsular via Uzun Kupri and Keshan AAA The leading echelons of these troops are probably reachin a point somewhere between Anzac and Bulair this afternoon AAA The First Army Corps are considered good troops ends
From Australian Division Time 6.10pm CRB White
This is an interesting signal detailing an intelligence report forecasting the arrival of about 16,000 men from the 1st Corps to Gallipoli.
One of the most complete set of Light Horse unit signals at Gallipoli belongs to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade. Signals provide a window into the unvarnished form of history. These are the comments made by people who had important needs that required immediate attention. As such, they tell a story about a campaign that existed before the occurence of the newspaper reports leading to the Official Histories and all the other works that followed. Since they do not originate in a vacuum, it is the immediacy of the signal in a dense communication transfer that gives it a unique currency. It is a moment in time. We need all the other items such as the War Diary, Routine Orders and lastly, the published books to get a fully appreciation of the humble signal.
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.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 2100 In accordance with instructions from Brigade Headquarters, fire was placed on the Turkish trenches north of Quinn's Post with a view to assist in a forward movement from Quinn's Post. Fire was sustained for half an hour.
3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary - Preparing shelters for Brigade Headquarters, Walker's Hill.
Conference with COs and 2ICs regarding sorties to Turk trenches.
8th Light Horse Regiment two men wounded; 9th Light Horse Regiment 1 man wounded, 2 killed and one missing.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Routine Patrol and Training work carried out.
The City of London Yeomanry take over Posts "7" and "58" with the corresponding Patrol Posts No.'s 1 and 3. "B" Squadron returning to Roadhead Camp.
Order received from General Headquarters prohibiting all natives to cross through the front line - any seen wandering about near to the posts to be at once fired upon. All Bedouin Markets to be forthwith closed.
Lieutenant H Williams, "B" Squadron, admitted to No. 1 Australian General Hospital, Ismailia.
Friday, June 1, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Um Urgan
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - The Regiment undertook routine work for the day.
Divisional Gas Officer trained three Troops, one per Squadron.
Hotchkiss Rifle and Signalling Parades carried out.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - One hundred and thirty all ranks engaged on Anti - Malaria work. Daly, Major TJ, in command of Brigade Party. Work consisted in narrowing the Wadi Mellama, the confining of the waters thus increasing the current and preventing mosquito breeding.
Sunday, June 1, 1919
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Tel el Kebir
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 1000, voluntary church parade conducted by Turner, Captain Chaplain RC.
1100 Hahn, Lieutenant HJ; and, nine Other Ranks proceeded to Cairo on leave.
1500, Tod, Lieutenant PA; and, patrol returned to camp and reported all normal.
1900, voluntary church parade conducted by Turner, Captain Chaplain RC.
The Great War, Propaganda, The use of women in Australian enlistment propaganda Topic: GW - Propaganda
The Great War
The use of women for enlistment propaganda
Women portrayed as "Fate"
[Melbourne Punch, 1 October 1914, p. 585.]
Boer War and Great War use of women in Australian enlistment propaganda
Each nation promoted the Boer War in their own way. Australia was no different. To entice young and single men to enlist into the mounted infantry for the near utopian emolument of half a crown per diem all found - 2/6d per day - or 17/6d per week, as a private. The re was an overseas allowance of 1/- per day making it a total of £1/4/6d per week in total, about 6/- below the ordinary labourer's pay. Quite unattractive for a single man in good steady employment. The first groups of men coming forward for service in South Africa were mainly poor and unemployed looking to get their first regular paid job. So to increase the pool of eligible candidates and get quality recruits, the best way was to tie an understated sexuality to the message. Below is a good example of an active piece of Boer War propaganda employing a woman to sell the war.
A nymph passing the rifle
[Sydney Mail, 3 March 1900, p. 503.]
This picture immediately jumps out as it oozes sexuality in every sense of the term. No skinny, anorexic, waif like, androgynous creature as seen today regaling the contemporary magazines. This is the 1900 version of a beauty - covered in the robes of a vestal virgin accentuating all her intimate curves, replete with aquiline nose - this young lass appears to be promising steamy romance to anyone in uniform who takes a rifle from her.
Of course, the mythology is redolant. We see a sylvanian nymph or a lady of the lake passing the new sword, Henry Martini, rather than Exculiver. Whatever the call, it is up to the individual to read the story.
Who could resist the call of this siren?
The war was initially popular and seen as a romp in the park. A few brave souls might be killed but many will return as heroes. The popularity of the war waned after the first year as it became bogged down in relentless police and counter insurgency work which was never glamorous. No gallant charges, just burning houses and rounding up women and children for transport to concentration camps. The war was then unpopular and disappeared from the newspapers. So cartoons were employed.
The Lion of the Hour
[Sydney Mail, 27 July 1901, p. 207.]
The Sydney Mail cartoon aimed to welcome home the returning men from the Imperial Bushman's Contingent. In so doing, it employed the alure of the uniform to young women. There was an impelling reason for this - a failed recruiting campaign. The Imperial Army had offered to pay 400 passages from Sydney in July. When the day arrived for the men to arrive, only 128 men actually turned up to accept a passage to South Africa.
In Victoria, it more entertaining to lampoon the institution of marriage as a method of recruiting. Nice to have a woman but even nicer to be done with them.
Martial and Marital
[Melbourne Punch, 24 January 1901, p. 86.]
The overall impression was that the Boer War was a game for young men to enjoy. Women were a part of the winnings.
This popular perception can be seen at the beginning of the Great War. This theme of sirens to support the war effort came to the forefront. Two common two images promoted at the beginning of the Great War.
The first image was taken in October 1914 and demonstrates a craze at the beginning of the war. There were an incredible number of pix showing women dressed as Britannia. This started almost from day one. The pic below shows a whole bevy of nubile Britannias, all trying to rule the waves from the cheering crowds.
The line up of Britannias
[Sydney Mail, 21 October 1914, p. 7.]
Then other young women went to ridiculous lengths to demonstrate that they are happy to lead their menfolk into war. This pic taken in March 1915 shows a young woman dressed as Joan of Arc looking all inviting, ready to lead her admirers to Orleans and defeat the English??? Not quite sure why Joan of Arc was seen as an appropriate costume unless it was a metaphor rather than a real call to arms against the English.
Joan of Arc - the friend of Britain
[Sydney Mail, 21 April 1915, p. 22.]
These are the young things over whom the young men were supposed to swoon.
The swooning took a more sophisticated propaganda turn later on in the war. The next picture is from 1916 and could have come from Women's Weekly, although it didn't, but the message is very clear. Only women whose men went to war would remain loyal and faithful to them.
Here is the swooning swain captivated by a voluptuous siren, heeding the call to go to war with a promise to remain faithful and pure while keeping the home fires burning until the soldier returns, obviously in one piece. No cripples need apply.
[Sydney Mail, 13 December 1916, p. 15.]
These pictures demonstrate the gradual change in methods of portraying gender attraction as a military tool to enhance recruitment. This set of pictures illustrate the use of the siren leading men to war.
Here is a glamour shot of the actress and impresario, Mrs HT Kelly.
Mrs HT Kelly
[Sydney Mail, 26 June 1918, p. 10.]
Here she is in a raunchy shot as an "It" girl, wearing an Italian uniform - or should I say her interpretation of an Italian Uniform - which was part of a show she starred in and funded in Sydney. It was a special benefit concert to raise funds for the Italian soldiers.
The shot shows everything that was considered to be steamy - a well built, buxom young lady striding upon the scene. No waif like figure here - this is someone who likes her food. All the embrace of motherhood, something a nation traumatised by hideous slaughter needed. The men needed mothering and here was the imagery to provide that need.
Great War Issues, Lest We Forget - But We Did Anyway, George William Pearson Topic: GW - We forgot
Great War Issues
Lest We Forget - But We Did Anyway
George William Pearson
An outline of Pearson's case as told by him
[Melbourne Truth, 8 December 1916, p. 4.]
The story of 981 Private George William Pearson and justice denied.
Outline of events
981 Private George William Pearson, of the 6th Infantry Battalion, H Company, enlisted in the first month of the war (20 August 1914) at the age of 20 for service in the First Contingent. He went to Egypt and spent time at Maadi Camp. Following that, was on shore at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. During the fighting at Gallipoli, he looks like he did some bombing for Colonel Harold Edward "Pompey" Elliott and personally cared for the wounds of Major Harry Gordon, who later became the Commander of the 6th Infantry Battalion. On 13 July 1915, he was wounded in nine places by sharpnel in the face and arm. He was evacuated from Gallipoli and admitted to a hospital in Malta and then to England.
After Pearson's return to Egypt, he was transferred from the 6th Infantry Battalion to the newly formed 58th Battalion as part of the seeding process in building the 5th Division. That is, experienced veterans were scattered amongsth the new recruits so that there would be some degree of experience in the Battalion. This was a troubled exercise for everyone. Here is a candid assessment on the Division byGeneral Murray, the Commander in Chief in Egypt to the Chief of the Imperial General Staff in London, sent on 7 May 1916:
To say that the infantry of the 4th and 5th Australian Divisions is little inferior to that of the 1st and 2nd. Divisions is hardly correct. I know that this is Birdwood's theory, but as a matter of fact I consider from personal observation and inspection that the infantry of the 4th and 5th. is decidedly inferior as regards physique, training and officers to that of the first two divisions, I hope that the infantry of the 4th. and 5th. will be fit to proceed to France at the end of the present month. There are Special efforts being made as regards the training of artillery and Divisional troops, and they are making progress, but the artillery is not coming on as fast as General Godley had anticipated, and I do not think it will be ready for service in France until the end of June, unless the intention is that this artillery shall complete the ground work of their training in France.
To say things were bad all round is an understatement. Pearson began to react to his surroundgs in a very negative manner.
Pearson gets into strife
Finally, he got into trouble with the military authorities through absenting himself without leave. Pearson alleges that he and another man was arrested on a boat bound for France.
In contrast, the Court Martial of 10 June 1916 found otherwise. Pearson was found guilty for:
1. Being in Ismailia without a pass;
2. Attempting to rob a native; and,
3. Striking a military policeman.
Pearson was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour and to be discharged with ignominy. His sentence was reduced to 12 months.
Pearson was then sent back to Victoria where he was discharged from the army and imprisoned at Pentrige Gaol. Later on he was transferred to Geelong Gaol. His mother was never informed about this and only found out that her son was in Australia when her allotment ceased.
The following account, on information given by Pearson's mother, was published in the Melbourne Truth, 8 December 1916, at p. 4:
Wounded Soldier's Woes
A case which on the face of it seems to show harsh treatment of a wounded soldier has been reported to this office. The soldier in question, Private GW Pearson, of the 6th Battalion, enlisted in the first month of the war (August 1914), being then only 20 years of age. He went away with the first contingent and took part in the landing at Gallipoli. Three months later (in July 1915) he was badly wounded, receiving in all ten bomb wounds in the body. he was invalided to Malta, and later to England, returning to duty in Egypt in January of this year, though not fully recovered from his wounds. He got into trouble with the military authorities through absenting himself with three companions without leave. Pearson and one of the other men were arrested on a boat bound for France, court martialled on June 10, sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, and sent back to Victoria. Arriving here on August 14, Pearson was taken to Pentridge and afterwards to Geelong Gaol, where he still is. His mother was not informed of her son's return, the first official intimation she received being the stopping of his allotment to her. She states that a large amount of deferred pay is owning to her son, but she can get no satisfaction concerning this. We have no cause to palliate Pearson's offence against military discipline; but in view of his youth, his long service, and his suffering and the fact that he has now been a prisoner for six months, no doubt this is a case where clemency might well be exercised to the remission of the balance of his sentence.
Seque to 1940
The 1940 letter from Pearson's sister Mrs W Reddish
The letter from Pearson's sister of 1940 pleading for his medals fills in the gaps of the years and is filled with pathos. It reads:
I am writing to you on behalf of my brother who fought in the last war of 1914 enlisted in August 1914 sailed on the troopship leaving here on Sunday in October 1914 was in the landing of Gallipoli throwing bombs for Pompee Elliott bandaged Major Conden's wounds and was wounded himself, taken in the Malta Hospital was in 6th Battalioni his number + name being
Private George William Pearson 6th Battalion North Melbourne No. 981
I am asking if I could have his medals as he never ever received them he is a sick man has broken both his legs this year suffering from ulceration of the stomach caused through bomb wounds of which he as Trusting I can have them.
My address: Mrs W Reddish 100 Barnett Street Kensington W1 Victoria
This application was turned down. It appears as though the AIF was an unforgiving institution. Despite the man being punished in full for his crime, regardless of his previous service, he was never granted his medals. His wounds counted for nothing. Thrice punished. Gaoled, dischaged and a life sentence on receiving no medals. Perhaps one day the Department of Veteran Affairs will relent and allow his descendants to gain the medals that were denied to this man during his life, where even on his deathbed, a premature death brought about sacrificing his body for Australia, the nation denied him this last honour.
Lest we forget.
Let us hope these words have more substance than the hollow ring in his case.
The problem with a time of crisis as occurs with war is the forcing up of social temperature. Things that take a leisurely pace now become urgent. Social change and attitudes were put into sharp relief as a consequence of many young men gathered together in a circumstance that enhances a socially sanctioned desirability from the single women. One of the natural consequences is a breakdown in the social sanctions that, under ordinary circumstances, existed. There became a greater urgency on behalf of both genders to remove the time of propriety and engage in sexual behaviour in a compressed period of time.
The knock on effects of this social breakdown also tore at other institutions. One was the necessity for greater numbers of abortions which led to a greater number of women dying as a consequence of these back yard abortions.
The particular story here may have come from New Zealand but is not unique to either New Zealand or Australia. The penalties were clear cut. This article was first published in the Melbourne Truth, 31 March 1917 at page 3.
A SCALAWAG SOLDIER.
BLACKGUARDLY TREATMENT OF A TRUSTING GIRL.
Aftermath of Abortion Case.
Just before the last New Zealand mail left, Mr. Justice Edwards had before him in the Wanganui Supreme Court, for sentence, Richard Patrick Pollard, 23, who, after three trials-two juries disagreeing - had been found guilty of the illegal use of an instrument to procure abortion.
Counsel for the defence suggested that the accused should be allowed to go to the war, but his Honor rejected the proposal with wrathful score. In the course of his judgment, he said;
"In 1915 Edna Hogg was employed by a firm of dentists at Hawera, and in that year you were a sergeant-major in the Defence. Office there. It was apparently a case of the
GLAMOR OF THE UNIFORM
on the feminine mind. Unfortunately, she was living far from her parents. Under those circumstances you were able to make her acquaintance early in December, 1915, but must have rapidly proceeded to something more than were acquaintance. You were sent to Taumarunui, and at the latter end of February, according to evidence, you received, while there, letters from her informing you that as a result of improper intimacy, she was pregnant. You stated that you did not answer them. Yet, on March 10, she saw you and asked you to marry her, and you refused. You allege that you had quarrelled on the grounds of her behavior with returned soldiers and commerial travellers.
"Of course, it is very difficult when a man and woman go wrong to apportion the offence; but there has been sufficient evidence before the court and jury to apportion the offence between you and Edna Hogg. The girl had
AN INNOCENT AFFECTION FOR YOU.
The tales of your affection is best shown by the letter you received from your friend Farrell while you were in Taumanmui, and which you carefully preserved. Your confidant announced his intentions with regard to deceased after her chastity bad been taken from her by you. The letter was so coarse and vile that no newspaper would dare to put in into print. No man possessed with the smallest affection for a girl could but resent that letter. Plainly, your only wish was to gratify your lust. She fell. She is dead. You stand there and endeavor to blacken the character of an unfortunate girl why now lies in her grave.
"You stand before the court a plainly unrepentant criminal, guilty of a crime for which the extreme penalty is hard labor for life. We are told that you should be allowed to go away and fight for your country. I am not one of these who think that legions composed of criminals should be sent to fight the enemy. Germans have formed regiments of them, but I hope that New Zealand we will not have to do so. I gravely doubt that you would be a fit associate for young men. My position is not to set prisoners at large to fight for their country, but to deal with them according to the law."
After which common sense remarks, his Honor sentenced the blackguard to seven years' imprisonment with hard labour.
Post Script: Richard Patrick Pollard died at Takapuna, 1965. He never served his country. After the completion of his prison sentence, he found work as a labourer. One wonders if he ever reflected over the untimely death of Edna Hogg as he grew older. Like most people, these episodes return to haunt like Banquo's Ghost, always there and never disappearing regardless of the activity or liquor. A sad tale that built up a pressure for the emancipation that is enjoyed today.
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