"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, 15 June 2008
Rifle Club Construction Works - 1910 Military Order No. 9, p. 18 Topic: MilitiaRC - Rifle Clubs
1910 Military Order No. 9, p. 18 amending Regulation 540.
While it may seem obscure, this is quite a significant Military Order in many ways. The key importance is the methodology of funding a Rifle Club and any additional works that might be attributed to maintaining the specific club.
In essence, Military Order states that if a Rifle Club wanted to undertake any type of capital work, apart from its own internal fund raising, it has access to a sum of up to 25% of the District grant allocation for a particular year.
Immediately the tensions within the system become obvious. The grant available for the District is a key consideration. Then the allocation of that grant needs to be offset against not only the application for funds but any ongoing activity that requires recurrent funding. In addition, it is up to the District Commandant to actually allocate those funds. Judging from the phraseology of the Regulation, this is at the discretion of the District Commandant.
One thing is obvious that the Military Order was designed to provoke these very tensions which would then act as a self regulating device with different layers of Rifle Clubs checking up on each other to ensure funds are distributed wisely and fairly. The Order envisages vigorous debate between the various tiers in order to secure these funds for capital works.
Formation of the 10th LHR, October 1914 Topic: AIF - 3B - 10 LHR
The creation of the 10th LHR (Light Horse Regiment) was more of an evolution than a dramatic event. Initially the Western Australian Light Horsemen were to be formed into a Squadron and attached to another composite regiment as "C" Squadron. Plans changed when the numbers enrolling far exceeded all expectation.
The first the public knew about the formation of the 10th LHR was by an article in the Western Mail of 16 October 1914 at p. 43:
THE LIGHT HORSE.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S CONTRIBUTION.
When the organisation of the second Australian contingent was first decided upon, Western Australia was asked to contribute a squadron of Light Horse, and the call met with such a remedy response that within a few days the whole of the 148 men required had been selected, while many more, who were offering in the country districts, had to be refined. On Saturday night, however, instructions were received by the military authorities in Perth from headquarters to raise a whole regiment of Light Horse (536 officers and men, instead of the 'original' squadron, and the necessary arrangements are now in progress. It is expected that the work of enlistment will be commenced toward the end of the present week, and no difficulty is anticipated in getting the required number of men. The new force will be known as the Tenth Regiment of the Third Brigade.
Since 16 October 1914 was Friday, then the Saturday night mentioned in the article can only have been Saturday, 10 October 1914.
It can be assumed that the Military District received the order by telegram that day which if that trail were followed back a bit further, it leads to the early part of October when the actual decision was made to form the 10th LHR.
Captain Gollan was requested by General Antill to pull together documents that establish the commencement of the 3rd LHB (Light Horse Brigade) of which the 10th LHR was one of its allotted regiments. Gollan presents these documents in his history regarding the formation of the Regiment:
Finally, Gollan quotes an un-named newspaper source and presents this story:
The 10th. LH Regiment was formed in Western Australia. The following newspaper report gives a description of the formation and training:
On the banks of the Helena River Just about half-a-mile to the Eastward of the bridge which is crossed as Guildford is approached the 'first regiment of light Horse which is being sent to the war from Western Australia, is being trained. The grounds are those which have been hitherto used as a Remount Depot for he Military Forces of the State. They are very suitable for the purpose, being on comparatively hard soil and the tents being pitched on a partial elope and the parade areas being on the grassy slopes bordering the river.
For about c month the Regiment has been forming. Its nucleus was a squadron which Lieut.-Col. Noel M Brazier, the Officer commanding the Light Horse in Western Australia, had got together to loin with similar Squadrons which were being organised in the Eastern States. Most of the members of these Squadrons are men who have undergone some training at Annual Encampments good-natured homely fellows for the most part, and it was this class of fighting men that proved such splendid material during the Anglo-Boer Campaign. They entered into the task of preparing for active service with much enthusiasm and a lot of them provided their own horses and fighting equipment.
The call came for more than a Squadron. A regiment was asked for from Western Australia and was formed in amazingly quick time. So great was the demand for places in the ranks that there was soon more men than was required to complete the complement. A visitor to the camp of the Western Australians at Guildford was at once impressed with the appearance and order of things. In the ranks one recognised men who a few weeks previously were seen on the Terrace and in other business parts of the City. Professional and business men were amongst them. A Barrister, fortunate in that he only practised his profession for the love of it, having got the war fever, was seen in the horse lines bronzed and happy. A well-known stock auctioneer paced side by side with a shop assistant and a young farmer, owning miles of wheat country showed his enthusiasm by demonstrating that he was not above the most menial work in the camp.
The horses were an exceptionally good lot. Sergeant Love, who saw a lot of service in South Africa, had squads of rough riders who were engaged in the handling of these horses who had not been properly broken. There was no lack of discipline - the first offence was the last - and it rebounds to the credit of Officers and men that an offence list was not started. Not one man absented himself without leave and not one man disgraced himself by becoming intoxicated.
These outlines should give a reasonable idea as to the foundation date of the 10th LHR, from the official order to commencement.
Fargher - Hints on Rifle Shooting, Part 1 Topic: MilitiaRC - Rifle Clubs
At the beginning of the new century, the well known and top Australian rifle shooter, P. Fargher of the Melbourne Rifle Club wrote the book called Hints on Rifle Shooting, published by Sands and Mcdougal in Melbourne. The text deals with all the problems people found with the commonly available service rifles employed in the first decade and beyond within the Australian military forces. As part of the Rifle Club Movement, shooting at rifle clubs was strictly carried out with the designated service weapon. This little book is a gem in detailing all aspects of the rifles from the shooter's point of view. To assist readers to fully understand the weapons used by the Mounted Rifles and Light Horse, the book will be serialised on this blog.
The cover of P. Fargher's book, Hints on Rifle Shooting.
THERE are four patterns of service rifles used in Australia at the present time, viz., Lee-Metford, Lee Enfield, Martini-Enfield, and Martini-Henry. The latter has done useful work during the last twenty years, and some fine shooting has been made with it, but it was never a satisfactory weapon beyond 100 yards, to say nothing of its terrible recoil, and its always more or less inferior ammunition. Most of us are eagerly looking forward to the time that we may hang it up over the mantelpiece as a relic of the past, and a reminder of the days of our youth.
The other three patterns are of the same calibre, and take the .303 service ammunition, with cordite powder and a nickel-covered lead bullet.
The calibre of the Martini-Henry is .450, muzzle velocity 1,315 feet per second, initial velocity of rotation 744 revs. per second. It has seven grooves, which make one full turn in 22 inches.
The Lee-Metford and Lee-Enfield both have the Lee-Speed bolt action, and a magazine which holds 10 rounds of ammunition. The Metford has seven, the Enfield five grooves, and the following particulars apply to all patterns of the .303:-Length of barrel, 30.197 inches; twist of rifling, 1 turn in 10 inches; muzzle velocity, about 2,000 feet per second; velocity of rotation at the muzzle, 2,400 revolutions per second. Length over all of the magazine rifle, 49.5 inches; of the Martini-Enfield, about 46.25 inches. The Metford rifling is semicircular in section, with rounded lands between the grooves; it has therefore no sharp corners in and- part of the barrel for fouling to set hard in. The Enfield has five grooves, which are square cut, so that its rifling consists of sharp corners and right angles. These corners are liable to hold the fouling in hot weather, and cause the rifle to lose its elevation. The trajectory of the .303 is much flatter than the Martini-Henry. At 1,000 yards' range its highest point is at about 600 yards, when it is 25 feet above the line of sight, as against the Martini's 48 feet. It has, therefore, a shade more than half the trajectory of the Martini-Henry. The reason of the M.-E. being 3.25 inches shorter over all than the magazine rifle is because the Martini action is that much shorter than the bolt action, the barrels being the same length.
Rifles referred to in the text are pictured in the order of mention in first paragraph.
Pip, Squeak and Wilfred - the Trio Medals Topic: AIF - Misc Topics
The Medal Trio
Pip, Squeak and Wilfred
The Trio (from left to right) 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Inter-Allied Victory Medal
“Pip”, “Squeak” and “Wilfred” were the common sobriquets given by British and Dominion servicemen to what is known as “The Trio”, the British campaign medals issued to those who served in the Great War. The medals began appearing simultaneously to a popular comic strip which first appeared in the Daily Mirror in 1919 of the same name.
The comic stript “Pip, Squeak and Wilfred” as drawn by Payne
The comic stript “Pip, Squeak and Wilfred”, was drawn by Cardiff-born Austin Bowen Payne who named his characters after Payne's wartime batman who was called Pip-Squeak. Through Payne’s work, this was a term which entered the English language.
Pip and Squeak portrayed as Wilfred's parents.
The characters in the cartoon included Pip the male dog, Squeak a female penguin who was Pip’s partner and later on making an appearance, Wilfred, who was a rabbit. Pip and Squeak were portrayed as Wilfred's parents. In addition, there were supporting characters, most prominently including a Russian bomb maker with his dog Popski. The comic strip ran until 1958.
As time went on, the 1914-15 Star became known as “Pip”, the British War Medal was called “Squeak” and the Inter-Allied Victory Medal received the name “Wilfred”.
Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 15 June 1918 Topic: Diary - Schramm
Diaries of AIF Servicemen
15 June 1918
2823 Private Herbert Leslie SCHRAMM, a 22 year old Farmer from Whites River, South Australia. He enlisted on 17 February 1916; and at the conclusion of the war Returned to Australia, 10 July 1919.
During part of the course of his military service with the AIF, Bert Schramm kept a diary of his life. Bert was not a man of letters so this diary was produced with great effort on his behalf. Bert made a promise to his sweetheart, Lucy Solley, that he would do so after he received the blank pocket notebook wherein these entries are found. As a Brigade Scout since September 1918, he took a lead part in the September Offensive by the Allied forces in Palestine. Bert's diary entries are placed alongside those of the 9th Light Horse Regiment to which he belonged and to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade to which the 9th LHR was attached. On this basis we can follow Bert in the context of his formation.
The complete diary is now available on the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre Site at:
Bert Schramm's Handwritten Diary, 10 - 16 June 1918
[Click on page for a larger print version.]
Saturday, June 15, 1918
Bert Schramm's Location - Ain Ed Duk, Jordan Valley
Bert Schramm's Diary - Day post again today. Believe we are being relieved tomorrow.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Ain Ed Duk, Jordan Valley
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Preparations being made for handing over to Wellington Mounted Rifles who were to take over defence of No. 4 Sub Sector from the Regiment. Patrol to Tel el Truny after a good deal of opposition occupied that place about 1000 but were shelled off it again.
Our artillery replied and the enemy shelling ceased when a small observation post was again placed on Tel el Truny with remainder of patrol in close support. One deserter surrendered to Wart Post.
3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary -
10th Light Horse Regiment was ordered to El Ghoraniyeh bridgehead on 15th June 1918 to remain in support in connection with minor operations being carried out in that sector, and New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade relieved the 3rd Light Horse Brigade as garrison to No. 4 sub - sector.
The 3rd Light Horse Brigade moved to Wadi Kelt, to be prepared to move to El Ghoraniyeh Bridge at 15 minutes warning.
On completion of these operations on night of 17th June 1918, the Brigade left the Jordan Valley and its dust and headed for Talaat ed Dumm en route to Solomon's Pools, where a rest in the cool hills was enjoyed until 10th July 1918.
The severe climate conditions of the valley had raised the percentage of sick of the Brigade very much. Numbers had already been evacuated with malaria.
Nominal Roll, AWM133, Nominal Roll of Australian Imperial Force who left Australia for service abroad, 1914-1918 War.
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