"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.
Bert Schramm's Diary, 14 December 1918 Topic: Diary - Schramm
During part of the course of his military service with the AIF, 2823 Private Herbert Leslie Schramm, a farmer from White's River, near Tumby Bay on the Eyre Peninsular, 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 1918 breakout 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.
Bert Schramm's Diary, 14 December 1918
Bert Schramm's Handwritten Diary, 8 - 14 December 1918
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Saturday, December 14, 1918
Bert Schramm's Location - Tripoli
Bert Schramm's Diary - Weather fine today and nothing worth recording. I ought to write to Lucy in fact I am almost ashamed of myself as it is some time since I last wrote but at present is an impossibility to get writing paper here.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Tripoli
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Usual routine. Improving Regimental football ground.
Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924.
The Toodyay Herald - War Declared Topic: GW - August 1914
8 August 1914, War is Declared, The Toodyay Herald
Due to the time zone differences, the declaration of war by Britain against Germany, while officially recorded as 4 August 1914, in terms of Australia, did not happen until Wednesday, 5 August 1915. For the The Toodyay Herald, this did not happen until the end of the week, on Saturday, 8 August 1914.
Apart from being a major regional agricultural and forestry area, the Toodyay region supported minor military training facilities. The Militia formations throughout the region included: Toodyay, 25th Australian Light Horse Regiment, "A" Squadron (part); Toodyay Rifle Club; and, Goomalling Rifle Club
Toodyay was a regional centre which boasted of a weekly newpaper published every Saturday called The Toodyay Herald incorporating the Bolgart and Wyening Districts' Chronicle. It was priced at 3d [3 pence or in 2008 AUD, $5] per edition. The newspaper was circulated around the Toodyay region including the locations and towns of Toodyay, Bolgart, Wyening, Bindoon, Dewars Pool, Buckland, Mumberkine and Goomalling. Apart from some of the most breathtakingly beautiful forests and rural landscapes dotted by wonderfully rustic villages and hamlets, the area contains Swan/Avon River whose rugged terrain forms the basis of the Australian White Water Classic, the Avon Descent. The following two pages are indicative of the life experienced in the Toodyay regionwhen the Great War was declared.
War is Declared
This page explores the way The Toodyay Herald dealt with the news.
The Toodyay Herald, Saturday, 8 August 1914, p. 3.
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German ship siezed at Fremantle
On the morning of 7 August 1914, a telegram was received through the news service stating that the German steamer, SS Griefswald, arrived at Fremantle and was immediately siezed by the military authorities.
War Time Profeteering
On Friday, 7 August 1915, the Western Australian Legislative Assembly pushed through three readings of a bill in an to prevent the social destabilisation and dislocation that occurs through hoarding and profiteering within a society. The law meant business in this matter by imposing a huge maximum fine of £1,000 or a period of imprisonment should a person, having three months or more supplies, refuses to sell these foodstuffs on demand at current prices. Prior to getting the Governor's assent and proclaimation through the Government Gazette, the bill still had to pass through the Legislative Council which was always a difficult prospect for any Western Australian government.
War Coverage versus the Federal Elections
In a comment upon the visit by Senator Pearce to give a speech at the Toodyay Town Hall on Friday evening, 7 August 1914, the reporter for the occasion made a comment about the approach to reporting the speech: "For the sake of brevity in these piping times of war, we will condense as far as possible..." This was either a tongue in cheek comment or the editor did not appreciate the irony of the comment but the space devoted to the ensuing Federal election campaign was equal to the coverage given to war news. Indeed, the newspaper used the balance of the page to detail the local football match between the Toodyay team and the Federals. The only other news on the page related to the Comedy performance and the winning raffle tickets.
Many men who played football at Toodyay on Saturday, 1 August 1914 subsequently enlisted in the AIF and saw overseas service.
Toodyay: Boxall, Meredith, Tidswell, K Wroth, L Wroth, J Ellery, McDermott, S Davey, Pember, Robinson, Bedall, Kingston, Wroth, Smith, Rogers, Manthorpe, Harrison and A Ellery.
On Saturday, 8 August 1914, the Toodyay football team was off to play against the Northam Unions. The eighteen were to be chosen from the following potential team members:
F Atwall, CA Bedall, J Boxall, L Davey, S Davey, A Ellery, J Ellery, V Harrison, F Kingston, H Manthorpe, R McCallum, P McDermott, H Meredith, F Pember, M Robinson, T Rogers, Smith, Smith, W Tidswell, J Wroth, K Wroth, and L Wroth.
Toodyay Activities, 8 August 1914
While the war announcement was a significant story, the life of Toodyay did not halt but just kept going on, as it did for the duration of the war. This page details quite clearly some of the life that occurred within the south Toodyay region.
The Toodyay Herald, Saturday, 8 August 1914, p. 2.
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War is in the air
So are those Horrid Flies.
Householders may protect their homes from invasion by purchasing from Padbury Stores Ltd collapsible meat safes, meat covers, wire gauze and doors.
So read the advertisement by Padbury Stores Limited. The shop was owned by William Padbury who listed his business as being "merchants, importers, iron-mongers, drapers & grocers, machinery and implement importers. The main place of business was located at 114 Terrace Road in Guildford. The building still remains although now has been converted into a restaurant bearing the owner's name, Padburys Cafe Restaurant. Padbury also had branch stores at Moora and Toodyay. The innovative advertisement dealt with a perrenial problem - flies, an iconic symbol of Australian life. Meat safes were always an important part of pre-refrigeration homes in Australia.
The St John the Baptist Church planned to hold a euchre and dance party on 19 August 1914. The funds raised on the night was to contribute towards the running of the church.
The history revealed by a newspaper
A newspaper is a historical snapshot of a particular area on the day the newspaper was published. They contain a wealth of information which can be extracted and used according to the individual taste. The above extracts give an example of the depth of information contained within a simple rural newspaper. Every story contains many more stories, each layered upon each other like onion peels. As one peels away one skin, more appear to reveal a vibrant community brimming with history.
Do you want to take part in uncovering and writing Australian history?
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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 - Commanding Officer received orders to remove the Regimental Headquarters to the Headquarters Area of the 10th Light Horse Regiment and to take over a portion of the line of fire trench held by the 10th Light Horse Regiment as far as WP [West Point by 1400. Orders also received that all sick and weak men were to be collected and handed over to Lieutenant Colonel Todd, Commanding Officer of the 10th Light Horse Regiment to proceed to Lemnos. Forty men were handed over and marched out. Our troops occupied the fire trench and joined up with the 8th Light Horse Regiment who took over the remainder of the line held by the 10th Light Horse Regiment.
Wednesday, December 13, 1916
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Bir el Malha
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - The Regiment undertook routine work for the day. Alarm practice by General Officer in Command Brigade.
Thursday, December 13, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Suffa.
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - A Squadron dispatched patrol towards Kefr Namah and B Squadron patrolled Balin. 6th Royal Irish Rifles on the right of A Squadron. 11th Light Horse Regiment on the left of B Squadron. Enemy observed near Kefr Namah and in Kuddis - Khurbetha Ibn Harith - Ras Kerker. Scott, Lieutenant Colonel WH, returned from Brigade Headquarters.
Friday, December 13, 1918
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Tripoli
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Improving camp area.
Saturday, December 13, 1919
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Adelaide
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Regiment disbanded.
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