"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.
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Friday, 4 July 2008
Bridge building over the Sweetwater Canal, Kantara, July 1916 Topic: AIF - Engineers
With the decision to keep the Light Horse in Egypt, one of the important innovations was to create the Field Squadron Engineers. The first independent task performed by the Australian engineers was to build a bridge across the Sweetwater Canal at Kantara in July, 1916. It was a small start to undertaking some major tasks.
Taking a cross section over the canal
This picture articulates all people have come to expect from a work site. One fellow doing the hard work watched by everyone else. Although it seems that way, these men worked very hard at their tasks. Once the man in the water finished his task, it was the signal for his work mates to get busy.
Close to finishing the bridge
With some hard work, good leadership and materials, the bridge is nearly completed. After this bridge, the engineers tackled some more urgent projects.
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 - Routine training and patrol work. Two hours training carried out daily.
Wednesday, July 4, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - El Shellal
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - The Regiment moved out of bivouac at 0100 and joined the remainder of the Brigade and with the 8th Light Horse Regiment as advance guard proceeded through Goz el Basal, Karm, El Buggar to the cross roads in the north west corner of Square C7.
Here, Shaw, Lieutenant OJ, with special reconnaissance party moved out. The 8th Light Horse Regiment moved north and east and the 9th Light Horse Regiment formed a screen of two squadrons, B and “C” Squadrons connecting with the 8th Light Horse Regiment left and the 4th Light Horse Brigade on the right and the advance now continued. Enemy patrols were encountered a mile or so east of El Buggar but fell back as the screen pushed out.
By 0630 the line 790 to where the black track crosses the Beersheba Road Square C7 was occupied by “B” Squadron on the left and “C” Squadron on the right and touch was obtained with the 8th Light horse Regiment on the left and the 4th Light horse Brigade on the right. Regimental Headquarters was established on Hill 820. The enemy could be seen in holding a strong line of entrenchments running on a north to south line one mile to 1½ miles east of Beersheba - in strength - and numerous camps were spread out along the foothills north west of the town.
At 0700 they commenced shelling our screen with a battery of small mountain guns and two heavier guns and kept on intermittently shelling throughout the day. At 0900 two Squadrons of enemy cavalry move out from El Abreij and took up a position but did not come within rifle fire.
At 1715 word was received to withdraw the advanced screen and at 1800 the Regiment withdrew, “B” Squadron covering the retirement with two troops. Small enemy patrols followed up the rear guard but kept out of range. A line Point 720 to El Buggar held by the 10th Light Horse Regiment was passed through at 1900 and the Regiment reformed and joined the column returning to camp by 2200.
One Other Rank slightly wounded by shell fire and one horse wounded. Throughout the day the enemy remained quiet but could be seen holding the positions in strength.
Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 4 July 1918 Topic: Diary - Schramm
Diaries of AIF Servicemen
4 July 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:
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:
Ellesmere Guards, James McVINNIE Topic: Militiaz - New Zealand
Ellesmere Guards, New Zealand
The Canterbury Times, 30 October 1901, p. 37.
On 30 October 1901, the New Zealand Canterbury Times, published the above picture of the officers and non-commissioned officers in the Ellesmere Guards.
In the back row, standing to the extreme right is Corporal James McVinnie of Hornby, at the time a village outside Christchurch, although now it is part of the metro area. During the Great War he saw service as 33754 Pte James McVinnie. After the war, he went back to his farm where he remained for many decades. He died at Hornby in 1961.
MO 349 Two Promotions for the 16th ALHR, 1911 Topic: Militia - Military Orders
The two men mentioned in this RO both served their nation with distinction during the Great War. Both joined the Light Horse. Sells transferred to the infantry while Siekmann served with the 11th LHR and then the 9th LHR. Here are their brief biographries.
Religion Church of England Occupation Sheep farmer Address Delamere, South Australia Marital status Married Age at embarkation 34 Next of kin Wife, Mrs Ida Mary Sells, 40 Pier Street, Glenelg, South Australia Enlistment date 3 March 1916 Rank on enlistment 2nd Lieutenant Unit name 27th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement AWM Embarkation Roll number 23/44/4 Embarkation details Unit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A19 Afric on 6 November 1916 Rank from Nominal Roll Lieutenant Unit from Nominal Roll 27th Battalion Fate Returned to Australia 4 June 1919
Date of birth 9 August 1876 Other Names SIEKMANN, Thomas Anglesey Brinkworth Religion Church of England Occupation Civil servant Address Poole Street, North Adelaide, South Australia Marital status Married Age at embarkation 38 Next of kin Wife, Mrs J C Siekmann, 'Etruia', Poole Street, North Adelaide, South Australia Enlistment date 18 March 1915 Rank on enlistment Captain Unit name 11th Light Horse Regiment, C Squadron AWM Embarkation Roll number 10/16/1 Embarkation details Unit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A7 Medic on 2 June 1915 Promotions Major Fate Returned to Australia 10 July 1919 Notes Changed name by Deed Poll from Siekmann to Brinkworth, named after the town in South Australia where he grew up.
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