"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.
WARNING: This site contains: names, information and images of deceased people; and, language which may be considered inappropriate today.
Saturday, 6 September 2008
Gallipoli Signal No. 3, 29 June 1915 Topic: AIF - 3B - 3 LHB Sigs
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.
To ensure that this appreciation is available to many, over the coming months, a series of signals will be posted commencing from April till December.
22nd Corps Cavalry Routine Order 564, 29 January 1918, p. 2. Topic: AIF - Fr - 22 Corps
Apart from the War Diary which presents a reflected view of Regimental history, one of the best sources of understanding the immediate challenges facing a regiment is to be found in the Routine Orders. They are a wealth of detail.
In this case, the 22nd Corps Cavalry Routine Orders for 1918 have been highlighted to illustrate the tempo of this formation from the beginning of the year towards the end of the war. The aim is to illustrate the tumultuous year that followed ending in the defeat of Germany. Too little is known of the role regarding the Light Horse in the drama on the Western Front. This should address some shortfalls of information.
22nd Corps Cavalry Routine Order 564, 29 January 1918
22nd Corps Cavalry Routine Order 564, 29 January 1918, p. 2.
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.
Diaries of AIF Servicemen, Bert Schramm, 6 September 1918 Topic: Diary - Schramm
Diaries of AIF Servicemen
6 September 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:
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Daly, Major TJ, DSO, returned from hospital and resumed command of the Regiment. Charley, Major WT, returned to C Squadron and Nelson, Captain AH, was transferred from C Squadron to 2nd in command A Squadron.
Ten Other Ranks admitted to hospital. Two Non Commissioned Officers and four Other Ranks per squadron attended Demolition instruction at Field Squadron.
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:
Peace establishment of Australian Light Horse, 1903-14 Topic: Militia - LH
In the Commonwealth of Australia, Governement Gazette, Number 35 of 25 July 1903 at page 387, Order 912 outlines the peace time establishment structure of the Light Horse in Australia. The table is below.
Commonwealth of Australia, Governement Gazette, Number 35 of 25 July 1903 at page 387
[Click on page for a larger print version.]
The most noticable item is the size of the sqadrons and finally, the regiment. Each squadron contained just 72 men, a figure that included both officers and other ranks.
This contrast is made quite stark when compared to war time strength establishment of a light horse regiment. Below is an extract from AIF Order Number 172, 2 July 1916 dealing with the reorganisation of the Australian light horse regiments.
AIF Order Number 172, 2 July 1916
[Click on page for a larger print version.]
The contrast stands out very clearly. Each squadron in the reformed regiments of 1916 contain 140 men including officers and other ranks. This is double the peace establishment rate. Since both peace and war establishment squadrons assume a four Troop structure, each peace time Troop was 18 men while the war time troop was 35 men.
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