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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.

Monday, 30 June 2008
Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 30 June 1918
Topic: Diary - Schramm

Diaries of AIF Servicemen

Bert Schramm

30 June 1918


Bert Schramm


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 Diaries

The complete diary is now available on the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre Site at:

Bert Schramm Diary

Finding more about a service person. See:

Navigating the National Archives Service File 


Bert Schramm's Handwritten Diary, 30 June - 6 July 1918

[Click on page for a larger print version.]

Bert Schramm

Sunday, June 30, 1918

Bert Schramm's Location - Solomon's Pools, Bethlehem, Palestine.

Bert Schramm's Diary - Everything pretty quiet. Have written several letters today.


9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Solomon's Pools, Bethlehem, Palestine.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0600 Roman Catholic Church Parade proceeded to Bethlehem.

1045 Church of England and other denominations parades held in Regimental lines.

9th LHR AIF War Diary, 30 June



Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924.

No Entry.



Previous: Bert Schramm's Diary, 29 June 1918

Next: Bert Schramm's Diary, 1 July 1918

Sources Used:

Bert Schramm's Diary

National Archives Service File.

Embarkation Roll, AWM8.

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour

Nominal Roll, AWM133, Nominal Roll of Australian Imperial Force who left Australia for service abroad, 1914-1918 War.


War Diaries and Letters

All War Diaries and letters cited on this site should be read in conjunction with the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy which may be accessed at:

Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy 


Further Reading:

Bert Schramm Diary

Bert Schramm Diary, Album

Bert Schramm's Photo Album

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, AIF

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, War Diary, Day by Day Account

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 30 June 1918

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 1 June 2011 4:39 PM EADT
9th LHR AIF War Diary, 30 June
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 30 June

Pro Gloria et Honore - For Glory and Honour

Regimental March -  Marching Through Georgia



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.


The Diary



Tuesday, June 30, 1914

See 4th Military District, South Australia for militia activities.



Wednesday, June 30, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Walkers Ridge
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0015 Turk artillery opened on the trenches with field guns and kept up a heavy fire for 20 minutes. Most of the shells were aimed a trifle high.
0030 Very heavy firing was heard in the direction of Quinn's Post and Courtney's but no shots were fired at Walkers ridge.
0040 Observers reported Turks advancing in direction of Sap 1, 2, 3 and Turks Point. All troops promptly occupied the firing parapet and fired on the Turks. A large body attacked Sap 1 and temporarily occupied a portion of it - they were however promptly driven out by a bombing party under Sergeant Sullivan. About 50 Turks assaulted Turk's Point but were driven off.
0130 Turks again advanced but fire from No 1 sap prevented them from getting closer than 50 yards to that sap. From this time onward supporting fire from about 30 rifles was given to the 8th Light Horse Regiment holding Saps 2 to 4 inclusive.
The action ceased at 0330.
The fire discipline of the Regiment was extremely good and few wasted shots were fired. There was a chain of voice and confirmation thus enabling commands and orders to be heard distinctly.
Our casualties were 1 Other Rank killed and 8 Other Ranks wounded. 54 Dead Turks were counted immediately in front of the Regiment's trenches and 7 prisoners were take.
Kirwan flares were used with great effect.
During the assault on Turks Point on machine gun was in danger of capture. Sergeant Ashburner acting as No 1 after having lost his No 2 seized a rifle and shot a Turk who had reached the gun and then turned the gun on the remainder drove them back at once. 50 rifles were captured from the Turks.
Killed in action:
134 Private John Leslie Hopping, 23
Report on action at Anzac, Gallipoli, 30 June 1915 - Captain Weik, Adjutant 9th Light Horse Regiment.
1. General Situation. The period immediately prior to the 30th June 1915 was not marked by any unusual activity on either side. The secret sap had been completed to the edge of the cliff and communication trenches constructed as shown on Sketch A. The sap had not been used as a fire trench and had only a few posts in it. There was nothing to indicate that any hostile attack was imminent.
2. Distribution of Troops. “A” Squadron [Captain Bleechmore] was on the right; “B” Squadron [Major Parsons] on the left; “C” Squadron [Captain Scott] in reserve; and, the Machine Gun Section [Lieutenant Hutchinson] was posted at Turks Point. Lieutenant Colonel Miell was temporarily commanding the whole of Russell's Top and the Regiment was therefore under Major Reynell.
3. The Action. At about 0015 the enemy opened a heavy fire with 77mm guns against our position but very little damage was done and no casualties were caused.
At 0100 a considerable volume of rifle and machine gun fire was noticed and appeared to come from trenches on Baby 700.
At 0130 a report was received from the 8th Light Horse Regiment that the enemy infantry was leaving his front line trench.
At this stage, 15 to 20 men of “A” Squadron moved to the right and occupied several fire bays in the 8th Light Horse Regiment area - from here they were able to bring fire to bear along the front of the secret sap. This sap had been dug through the low scrub and was screened by a low rise about 25-30 feet in front.
Very shortly after 0130 “A” Squadron reported that the Turks had captured the Secret Sap as far up as point "Z" and that one of our men [Hopping] was missing. Major Reynell promptly organised and led a counter attack down Sap "P" and after an exchange of rifle and revolver fire retook the Sap without loss. The Turks had been in possession for about 15 minutes. The garrison of the Secret Sap was at once increased to [45] forty five. As will be seen later, some 40 Turks had already crossed the Secret Sap and were then in our territory.
The infantry action has lasted for 20 minutes and the Turkish attack ceased.
At 0200 a party of 40 Turks appeared in front of the Machine Gun positions at Turk's Point and were promptly engaged with conspicuous success. Heavy casualties were caused and the party dispersed, It is certain that the enemy was not aware of the position of these two guns until they opened fire. As it was not quite clear how many of the enemy were in this vicinity it was thought necessary to reinforce Turk's Point by two troops of “C” Squadron - by 0210 these troops were in position.
At 0210 the Cossack post in Latrine Gully reported that the post had captured a Turk and that others were in the vicinity; almost simultaneously a report was received that several of the enemy were at point Y. The Adjutant, Captain Wiek sent [4] four men to reinforce the Cossack Post, placed two sections at point X; and placed composite parties [consisting of Regimental headquarters personnel] at point V and W to guard the approaches to the 6 inch howitzer. The Turks made no further effort in this locality and it is believed that practically all who crossed the Secret Sap had become casualties.
At about 0230 the enemy attacked again and found our troops alert and eager for the encounter. Our men in the Secret Sap and those who were enfilading the approaches maintained a very accurate rapid fire and the attack was completely crushed. The Machine Gun Section obtained a good skyline target on what the Turks evidently believed to be dead ground and daylight revealed 45 bodies.
At daylight the Turks were detected using dummies for the purpose of drawing our fire.
During the 24 hours after the action finished the enemy was extremely quiet and it is thought this was done to enable us to recover the wounded.
4. Casualties. It is certain that not less than 200 Turkish dead were to the credit of the fire of this Regiment alone and in addition over 100 rifles secured.
Our casualties amounted to 9 Other Ranks including Private Hopping who was killed. All ranks behaved splendidly and the fire discipline of the Regiment was all that could be desired.
Special Army Corps Order, Army Corps Headquarters, 30 June 1915
Last night, the Turks were evidently much upset in their minds after the action of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade and the 3rd Australian Infantry Brigade on the afternoon before.
They evidently anticipated we might be making a big attack from our right, or it may be that they were trying to take us in by making us suppose they themselves were going to attack our right heavily before they brought in an attack against our left.
In any case, about 2100-2200, the commenced a very heavy rifle fire and machine gun attack from their trenches opposite our right front. This continued for about a couple of hours, during which they must have expended an enormous amount of ammunition without drawing any response from us at all.
Then their real attack began on our left and left front against the New Zealand and Australian Division. After a heavy bombardment and rifle attack, the Turks advanced out of their trenches against the 3rd Light Horse Brigade. Nine Turks actually got into our trenches where they were immediately bayoneted. A large force then advanced and tried to work round our left flank, evidently being quite unaware of an excellent secret sap, which had been thrown out by General Russell and which completely guards our left flank. The Turks came up against this with fixed bayonets and were at once met with a heavy fire, losing about 250 men. Finding they could make no headway, they retired to their trenches completely beaten.
About the same time, they advanced to attack Pope's Hill which was held by Colonel Rowell and the 1st Light Horse Brigade. Here too they were at once beaten back leaving some twenty dead in front of our trenches. Another party of Turks tried to break down a gully between the New Zealand right and Pope's Hill, when two troops of Light Horse went out to meet and disperse them.
The Turks, who had prepared their advances by a heavy artillery bombardment, evidently meant and hoped to push their attack home, as it is said that Enver Pasha was with them and told them they must drive us out, while the troops engaged in the attack consisted of three new battalions who have just been brought up against us.
The General Officer Commanding wishes to convey his thanks and congratulations to the troops for their excellent work on this occasion.
3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary - Turks heavily bombarded our trenches from 2100 to 2300 and at midnight after another heavy bombardment with French 75s and bombs, advanced in force. The 8th and 9th Light Horse Regiments were in the trenches and easily repelled the attack with much slaughter and little loss.
Turks consisted of the 18th Regiment [three Battalions of about 1,000 strong each], many bombs were used but not much firing from enemy who from a short distance about 60 or 70 yards rushed the saps and trenches. Some few, about twenty, succeeded in getting in but most were shot a few yards in front. Some ten were made prisoners and 300 killed, There would probably be another 400 wounded.
Stated by prisoners that Enver Bey was personally present and ordered the position to be taken. Turks had no chance and attacked very half heartedly. They had water and food for two days and trenching tools. A lot of arms and ammunition taken.
Casualties: 8th Light Horse Regiment, six killed, 12 wounded. 9th Light Horse Regiment, 1 killed, 7 wounded.
Men behaved excellently in this there first serious fight and were very cool doing good work. Fire was received until the last. Machine Guns did nothing, positions being unfavourably placed and we got no assistance whatever all night from any of our own artillery. Regiments are depleted and hard worked.
Carew Reynell Diary   - No Entry.



Friday, June 30, 1916
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Roadhead Serapeum.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Routine training and patrol work.



Saturday, June 30, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - El Shellal
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - The following promotions approved by Divisional Wire - to be Captains: Dean, Captain AE; Wilkinson, Captain R; Luxmoore, Captain EM; and, Pender, Captain WS.


Sunday, June 30, 1918
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Solomon's Pools
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0600 Roman Catholic Church Parade proceeded to Bethlehem.
1045 Church of England and other denominations parades held in Regimental lines.



Monday, June 30, 1919
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Tel el Kebir
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0900 Advanced party Aikman, Lieutenant GE; and, three Other Ranks proceeded to Moascar.
2255, Headquarters, B and “C” Squadrons entrained at Tel el Kebir for Moascar. Strength of Regiment is 15 Officers and 270 Other Ranks.


Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 29 June

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 1 July



See: 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Contents
Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, AIF War Diaries of the Great War, Site Transcription Policy


Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF

Bert Schramm Diary

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 30 June

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 14 September 2010 7:51 PM EADT
Sunday, 29 June 2008
The Boer War British Plan of Attack revealed on 30 September 1899
Topic: BW Gen - Campaign

In this optimistic assessment of the impending Boer War, The Queenslander outlines its speculation on the probable course of the war. The article outlines the strategy to be employed. With inverse prescience, the role of Mafeking is illustrated as a key centre from which to launch an overwhelming attack.

 The Queenslander, 30 September 1899, p. 672.

Interesting also is the use of the diminutive Dr Jim to describe the man Dr Jameson who led the infamous raid into Transvaal four years before. No, instead of being disowned by all and sundry, he was now being hailed as a hero. 

The fascinating feature is the smug self confidence of the author. At no stage does he even consider that the Boers might not be as compliant and be readily defeated in the manner described. With the benefit of hindsight, the assessment in this article appears risible but seen from banks of the Morton River in the warm comfort of Brisbane protected by the might of the British Navy, it seems like a natural conclusion. One wonders what the author thought of his belief in a quick victory some six months hence.

Citation: The Boer War British Plan of Attack revealed on 30 September 1899 

Posted by Project Leader at 6:01 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 29 June 2008 6:04 PM EADT
3rd LHB Signals about Ammunition, 1 November 1915
Topic: AIF - 3B - 3 LHB

It may have been war and there may have been men dying in all manner of hideous deaths, but the accountants required their indents to be properly balanced. When a Regiment took over part of a trench line, all items employed by the men were usually removed by them and maintained on the Regimental asset register. Ammunition was slightly different. It was not wise to remove ammunition from the reserves while there was a change in trench deployment. Even the flinty hearted government accountants could see the danger involved. In a compromise to ensure safety as well as keeping the books balanced, ammunition was counted prior to hand over. The regimental adjutant would give a summary down to the last bullet and bomb of the ammunition holding at the trench. Once this was ascertained, then the incoming adjutant would sign a declaration that the reconciliation was accurate and take control of the ammunition.

The first signal, sent from Colonel Antill, the action GOC of 3rd LHB to General Godley, the GOC of the New Zealand and Australian Division. Antill is detailling the Brigade ammunition stocks as at 1 November 1915.

Since there were new models of the humble .303 bullet, the aim was to expend stocks of the older Mark VI ammunition while holding onto stocks of the newer Mark VII ammunition.

If the adjutant of the 3rd LHB thought his work was done,  he was mistaken. An error in the summary was detected at Divisional Headquarters leading to a signal being sent to the adjutant of 3rd LHB with a "please explain" request. While the incoming signal is lost, the reply still exists. The frustration oozes from the words. 

There was a spare 2,000 bullets which could not be accounted for from the Divisional Headquarters figures and the answer was urgently required. The missing 2,000 rounds had not been added to the Regimental reserve. The accountant at Divisional Headquarters could breath easy knowing that the bullets had not disappeared through theft nor had been frivolously wasted by firing at the Turks.

Many examples exist of Commanders receiving rude and urgent queries about their expenditure of ammunition. If the ammunition consumption spikes upwards, the GOC could always rely upon a demand for an ammunition audit. An army may have travelled on its stomach but it survived on paper.

Citation: 3rd LHB Signals about Ammunition, 1 November 1915

Posted by Project Leader at 2:52 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 29 June 2008 2:55 PM EADT
Fleas on fleas - The results from careless work - another case study
Topic: Gen - Legends

A Legend from Misunderstanding

Squadron? Regiment? Brigade?


This is a brief examination of an entry in the book by Harvey Broadbent, Gallipoli: the fatal shore, Penguin, Camberwell, Vic., 2005. At p. 208 there is reproduced this picture:


It bears the caption:

Survivors. Just these forty-two men of the 1st Australian Light Horse Brigade, lined up for roll-call, escaped death in their charge at Pope's Hill.

This comment bears some scrutiny. Since a Brigade contains about 2,200 men, although at Gallipoli just prior to the August offensive, most Light Horse Brigades were below strength to containing about 1,200 men on establishment. If the formation mentioned and the figures quoted in the caption were taken literally, that is, 42 men survived, then by implication, there was a massacre of some 1,100 men at Pope's. This, of course, never happened. These men are the remnants of one under-strength regiment of the 1st LHB or even more accurate, the balance of a squadron from the 1st LHR on their regular roll call. Unlike the attack on the Nek where failure was compounded, Chauvel, the GOC of the 1st LHB, saw that the attack failed and called off the other waves from charging. So while this may be a picture of haunting pathos for that formation, the caption needs a little bit of modification.

Here is the same picture on the AWM site:


This is the picture caption: "All that was left of the 1st Australian Light Horse. Only 42 members of the regiment returned after the charge at Anzac."

In essence Broadbent seems to be confused between the terms "Brigade" and "Regiment", an understanding of which is fundamental to accurate military historical writing. This is an error that a novice with little understanding would make, not someone producing a coffee table sized book.

Just to recapitulate on the concepts of Light Horse formations, we have these approximate figures:

A Trooper = 1 Man 

A Section = 4 Troopers

A Troop = 10 Sections + 2 troopers or 42 troopers

A Squadron = 4 Troops or 168 troopers

A Regiment = 3 Squadrons + 1 Headquarters Section of 40 troopers or 544 troopers

A Brigade = 3 Regiments + 1 Machine Gun Squadron + 1 Signal Troop + 1 Field Ambulance Squadron + 1 Mobile Vet Troop + 1 Headquarters Section +1  Artillery Battery + 1 AASC Company with Baggage Train, or  about 2,176 troopers.

A Division = 3 Brigades + 1 Headquarters Section or 6,600 troopers.

Obviously in reality these figures varied by between 10 to 20 per cent, depending upon the circumstances. Learning this information is fundamental if one is to begin writing about the Light Horse during the Great War. The difference between a Brigade and Regiment is also a fundamental concept and illustrated above by the figures, is a vast difference between the two formations. 

Our next task is to put the "42 men" into some type of context. If we examine the 1st LHR War Diary, we see this entry:

1st Light Horse Regiment War Diary, 7 August 1915


So if we tally up this data, we get these figures:

15 killed
34 missing - most will be KIA
98 wounded
42 at roll call
189 men in toto for the Regiment on 7 August 1915.

This figure is far too low for even the 1st LHR and possibly understates it by about another 150 - 200 men. In other words, there is every possibility that the men on the roll call are from a particular squadron and not the regiment.

While the loss of men at any time is tragic, the picture caption gives a false sense of tragedy by overstating the result of an event through either careless or deliberate scholarship.

Careless entries occur when the author does not put in the effort to examine the material to be published. Errors like this put the commentary about the other pictures and text into doubt as no one is able to readily discern the level of accuracy of a particular section. Unfortunately, careless scholarship does not have a sign placed upon it by the author warning the ready that something is dodgy so it ends up tainting the body of the text. This is sad because it spoils what is essentially a very well written book.

On the other hand, for conspiracy theorists, deliberate would indicate that the text is highly political with the intent to blame others for the casualties incurred by Australian forces. At first it was blame the British, now it is blame the Americans. The political idea is that it is everyone else's fault except our own. The alternative corollary of this message is that Australians are incapable of bungling themselves. We are perfection personified. A former Australian PM, Keating tried to peddle this line as did the movie Gallipoli. The truism is of course that if there was a choice between screw up or conspiracy, always go for the screw up. Thus it is doubtful that this mistake was a deliberate error designed to push a particular political line.

So with that in mind, careless or deliberate, it would be best to harbour grave doubts about the veracity of the text in this book and actually examine the authenticity of the captions let alone commentary.


Further Reading:

The Australian Light Horse – Structural outline

Myths and Legends


Citation: Fleas on fleas - The results from careless work - another case study

Posted by Project Leader at 11:26 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 13 June 2009 11:25 PM EADT

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