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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

Let us hear your story: You can tell your story, make a comment or ask for help on our Australian Light Horse Studies Centre Forum called:

Desert Column Forum

WARNING: This site contains: names, information and images of deceased people; and, language which may be considered inappropriate today.

Sunday, 28 June 2009
Détachement Français de Palestine et Syrie, 1er Regiment Mixte de Cavalerie Du Levant
Topic: AIF - DMC - French
Détachement Français de Palestine et Syrie

1er Regiment Mixte de Cavalerie Du Levant

1er Regiment Spahis


The 1er Regiment Mixte de Cavalerie Du Levant was a French cavalry regiment added to the 5th Australian Light Horse Brigade and attached to the Australian Mounted Division on 26 July 1918. This Composite French Regiment was formed from two colonial regiments, they being one squadron each of 1er Regiment Spahis and 4er Regiment Spahis; and, two of 4er Regiment de Marche Chausseurs d'Afrique.



The Australian Light Horse – Structural outline

Australian Light Horse Order of Battle



Desert Mounted Corps (DMC)



Australian Mounted Division



5th Australian Light Horse Brigade



1er Regiment Mixte de Cavalerie Du Levant



Further Reading:

AIF, MEF and the EEF

Détachement Français de Palestine et Syrie


Citation: Détachement Français de Palestine et Syrie, 1er Regiment Mixte de Cavalerie Du Levant

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 20 July 2009 11:31 AM EADT
The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Finance
Topic: Militia - LHW - WA

Western Australian Militia



The following is an extract from the book written in 1962 by George F. Wieck called The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia 1861-1903, pp. 73 - 74:


Lack of adequate finance has ever been the peacetime bugbear of armed forces. Money spent in this way is not an investment but an insurance which returns not interest or dividends but an intangible bonus in the form of fighting efficiency which varies according to the amount of premium and the way it is applied. A soldier must be dressed, armed, equipped and trained to a standard at least equal to that of any likely opponent. Except in time of national emergency, the average politician is ever ready to whittle down the amounts asked for by this non-revenue producing organization without which it cannot make any worthwhile progress.

The Executive Council of the Colony was always short of funds for developmental works and had little to spare for Defence. It adopted the cheapest possible form and for some years the Volunteer Movement had a hand-to-mouth existence. No definite allocation of funds was made until 1884 when the Budget set aside the modest sum of £540 as Capitation Fees for 540 efficient Volunteers.

During the period 1862-72 the annual cost was small, being confined to an allowance of 10/- per efficient, plus a small amount for ammunition and an occasional purchase of weapons. In 1874 the estimated cost of raising a Company of Infantry of 67 all ranks was £250. Calculated over successive quinquennial periods the average annual per capita cost was as follows:- (Figures in parenthesis indicate number of men under arms)

1873-77 = £1/18/2 - (365) ,

1878-82 = £3/7/- - (588),

1883-87 = £5/7/6 - (578),

1888-92 = £5/15/1 - (610),

1893-95 =    £12/19/- - (737).

The original allowance of 10/- per efficient was increased to 15/- in 1872, to 20/- in 1882, and to 30/- in 1886. Other factors were

(a) More and better weapons,

(b) Purchase of camp and training equipment,

(c) Payment of Staff and Instructors,

(d) Erection of buildings and defence works.

The fighting value of the average Volunteer was infinitely higher in 1895 than it was in 1872 if the premium was higher so was the dividend.


Previous:  Rifle Ranges 

Next: Organization and Training 


Further Reading:

Western Australian Militia, Light Horse

Western Australian Militia, Infantry


Citation: The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Finance

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 4 September 2009 6:52 PM EADT
Australian Light Horse, Regimental Administration, Nominal Rolls
Topic: AIF - Lighthorse

Australian Light Horse

Regimental Administration

Nominal Rolls


Within the AIF, in continuation with the British military practice and hence Australian Militia practice, every call on the public purse needed to be accounted. As votes for moneys to supply the material, food and wages of the military came from parliament, the expending of those items was in accordance of the accounting standards of the day. When a person enlisted and was accepted as a recruit, there was a call on the public purse to provide for the individual. Units had legislated peace and war strengths which they were not permitted to exceed. Thus to maintain the expectations of prudent guardianship of the public purse, each person was required to be registered on a roll of a particular unit. This required the production of a regular Nominal Roll. For the smaller parts of the units such as Squadrons or Companies, it was a daily procedure. Reports were then sent to centres advising when an entry has been made into the Nominal Roll. Occasionally these reports contained additional messages on the right hand side of the report. These messages were important as they required further action.

In the case of the light horse, the Squadron was paraded every morning. In this parade two major functions occurred.

1. Roll Call

2. Reading of the Regimental Routine Orders

After the marking of the rolls, any movement of troops in or out of the Squadron were accounted for through movement slips and a cross reference onto the Squadron Roll. Any changes were notified to Regimental Headquarters who then sent this information by way of reports up the line through Brigade, Division, Corps and Third Echelon.

Under extraordinary circumstances roll calls were also taken. These might be emergencies, police actions, battles and other singular occasions.

The Nominal Roll formed the basis for:

1. Ordnance;

2. Rations; and,

3. Payroll.


After the Great War, a purge of all accumulated paper work occurred and many rolls were burnt. The logic being that the information existed on the individual soldier's file and thus retaining that information would be superfluous to record needs. Sadly, very few documents of this nature survived this purge. The Australian War Memorial holds 848 individual Nominal Rolls within their AWM 9 series, a very small percentage of the actual rolls available after the war. Other rolls exist in Routine Orders but these are rare finds indeed. Other rolls are to be found in newspapers on special occasions.


Further Reading:

Australian Light Horse

Militia 1899 - 1920


Citation: Australian Light Horse, Regimental Administration, Nominal Rolls

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 September 2009 5:12 PM EADT
AIF & MEF & EEF, Glossary of Gallipoli Terms
Topic: AIF & MEF & EEF


Glossary of Gallipoli Terms


The following is a glossary of common place names at Anzac on the Gallipoli Peninsular.

Gallipoli  -   
Aghyl Dere   -  Sheepfold Valley
Anafarta   -  There are two villages inland from Suvla Bay called Buyuk (Big) Anafarta and Kuchuk (Small) Anafarta.
Anzac Gully   -  The gully that housing corps and divisional headquarters.
Apex   -  A knoll on Rhododendron Ridge.
Ari Burnu  -  At the north end of Anzac Cove. 
Australia Valley  -  Running off north from Aghyl Dere.
Baby 700   -  [Tk: Kiliç Bairi] A hill on the Second Ridge.
Battleship Hill   -  [Tk: Düztepe] Hill between Baby 700 and Chunuk Bair.
Bauchop's Hill   -  Hill between the Aghyl Dere and Chailak Dere.
Broadway   -  A wide trench from Walker's Ridge to the back of Russell's Top.
Bully Beef Sap   -  A communication trench from Russell's Top to Monash Gully.
Canterbury Slope   -  On the slopes of Rhododendron Ridge
Chailak Dere  -  [Tk: Creviced Valley] A valley south of Aghyl Dere, from Chunuk Bair to Ocean Beach 
Chessboard   -  A Turkish position south of The Nek named because the trenches constructed on it like the layout of a chessboard. 
Chunuk Bair  -  [Tk: Conkbayiri] 860foot hill in the centre of the 'Sari Bair' range.
Destroyer Hill   -  A hill mid way between Rhododendron Ridge and No. 1 Post.
Farm, The  -  [Tk: Sari Tarla] Plateau just below the Chunuk Bair.
Fisherman's Hut   -  Stone hut between the sea and Sazli Beit Dere. 
Gaba Tepe  -  [Tk: Kaba Tepe]  A headland south of the Anzac Cove.
Happy Valley   -  A valley north of Walker's Ridge and below Turks' Point. 
Hill 60  -  [Tk: Bomba Tepe] A 60 metres high hill between the Kaiajik Dere and the Asma Dere.
Hill 971  -  [Tk: Kocaçimen Tepe] A 971 foot hill in the Sari Bair Range. 
Kaiajik Dere  -  [Tk: Little Rock Valley] A well near Hill 60.
Malone's Gully   -  A dry riverbed from The Nek running between Happy Valley and No. 1 Post. 
Mule Gully   -  A gully between The Sphinx and Walker's Ridge where the Indian Supply Corps hid their mules. 
Nek, The  -  [Tk: Boyun] A narrow piece of land between Russell's Top and Baby 700.
Old No 3 Outpost  -  A hillock inland from Fisherman's Hut. 
Outpost No 1   -  Located by the sea between Malone's Gully and Fisherman's Hut. 
Outpost No 2  -  Located north of Fisherman's Hut and by the sea. 
Outpost No 3  -  [Tk: Haliden Rizar Tepesi] North of No. 2 Outpost 
Reserve Gully   -  A 'rest' gully between Plugge's Plateau and The Sphinx.
Rhododendron Spur or Ridge  -  A ridge running off Chunuk Bair and between Chailak Dere and Sazli Beit Dere.
Russell's Top   -  A small plateau between the Nek and Plugge's Plateau.
Sazli Beit Dere  -  A seasonal river running from Chunuk Bair to the sea near Fisherman's Hut. 
Sphinx, The  -  [Tk: Sari Bair] A knife like promontory from Walker's Ridge to the sea. 
Table Top  -  [Tk: Pilav Tepe] A hill Sazli Dere captured on 6 August 1915.
W Hills  -  [Tk: Ismailoglu Tepe] Held by the Turks overlooking the southern end of the Anafarta Spur and Hill 60. 
Walker's Ridge   -  A sharp ridge from Russell's Top towards the sea. 


Further Reading:

Battles where Australians Fought

AIF, MEF and the EEF


Citation: AIF & MEF & EEF, Glossary of Gallipoli Terms

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 9 July 2009 9:47 PM EADT
Saturday, 27 June 2009
Light Horse, B103, Casualty Form - Active Service, Index to Common Terms
Topic: AIF - Lighthorse

Light Horse

B103, Casualty Form - Active Service

Index to Common Terms 


A typical B103 Form within a Service File


Index to Common B103 Terms

When examining the Light Horseman's Service File, one of the most common forms in the Service File is the B103, the Casualty Form - Active Service. Every movement of the soldier is recorded. The reasons for this are fourfold.

1. The location of the soldier at any one time was essential to establish where his rations were to be drawn.

2.  The form established the entitlements to drawing pay at a particular level. A soldier in the field was allowed to draw pay but when in hospital was not allowed to draw their pay as it was considered that everything to assist the soldier's recovery was provided.

3.  By tracking the movements of the soldier, it allowed early detection of desertion if that were to occur.

4. At the end of the war, the chronology of this form was used as the basis for post war entitlements such as medals, pensions, repatriation assistance, access to hospitals and any other service available for an ex-serviceman for the rest of his life.

The B103 may be as simple as one sheet or multiple sheets. It depended upon the individual serviceman.


Map from Cairo to Haifa

[Click on map for larger version.]

[Adapted From:  Melbourne Age, 6 February 1915, p. 11.]


Common B103 Terms



The numbers next to the towns refer to the numbers in the map above.

Abbassia - 1 - A major city precinct in Cairo. Many of the major Allied hospitals were located in this district.

Alexandria - 2 - The chief northern port located in the Nile Delta. 

Belah - 3 - Full name is Deir el Belah, a small village in Palestine about half way between Gaza and the Egyptian - Palestine border. It served as the camping area of the Desert Mounted Corps in 1917.

Gaza - 4 - The major southern coastal city of Plaestine where three major battles took place in 1917. It became a hub for Allied supply receipt and distribution.

Haifa - 5 - A coastal city in northern Palestine with a substantial Jewish population [1918]

Kantara - 6 - The largest Allied supply depot in Egypt during the war.

Moascar - 7 - An Egyptian town near the Suez Canal where the Allied training depots were located.

Port Said - 8 - Port at the northern end of the Suez Canal. It contained many Allied Rest Camps

Suez - 9 - Port at the southern end of the Suez Canal. The main embarkation destination for Australian and New Zealand troops


Australian References

1st MD - 1st Military District. This District  incorporated all Queensland, part of Northern New South Wales and Darwin from the Northern Territory.

2nd MD - 2nd Military District. This  District  incorporated most of New South Wales except for the Northern District in the 1st MD, a few towns on the Murray River which are included in the 3rd MD and the Broken Hill region which is included in the 4th MD.

3rd MD - 3rd Military District. This District included all Victoria and some towns along the Murray River that are in New South Wales.

4th MD - 4th Military District. This District included all South Australia and the Broken Hill region in New South Wales.

5th MD - 5th Military District. This District included all Western Australia.

6th MD - 5th Military District. This District included all Tasmania.

Langwarren - Former Victorian military depot near Melbourne converted into a VD Hospital and detention barracks during the Great War.

Torrens Island - South Australian island north of Port Adelaide used in the Great War to hold alien internees and a detention barracks with VD cases.


Middle East References

2nd Aus Stat Hosp - 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital

4 Tng Reg (e.g.) - 4th Light Horse Brigade Training Regiment

4th F Amb (e.g.) - 4th Light Horse Field Ambulance

9 MVS (e.g.)  - 9th Mobile Vet Section

11 LH Regt (e.g.) - 11th Light Horse Regiment

14 AGH - 14th Australian General Hospital

21 Gen Hosp - 21st General Hospital (British)

31 Gen Hosp - 31st General Hospital (British)

24 Stat Hosp - 24th Stationary Hospital (British)

36 Stat Hosp - 36th Stationary Hospital (British)

44 Stat Hosp - 44th Stationary Hospital (British)

45 Stat Hosp - 45th Stationary Hospital (British)

47 Stat Hosp - 47th Stationary Hospital (British)

33 CC Stn - 33rd Casualty Clearing Station (British)

66 CC Stn - 66th Casualty Clearing Station (British)

76 CC Stn - 76th Casualty Clearing Station (British)

A & NZ DC & TC - Australian and New Zealand Details Camp and Training Centre, located at Moascar.

Bde HQ - Brigade Headquarters

Bonlac - An isolation hospital for contagious diseases

Con Dept - Convalescent Depot

EEF - Egypt Expeditionary Force

FP Compound - Field Punishment Compound

Isol Compound - Isolation Compound

PSRC - Port Said Rest Camp

R Camp - Rest Camp

Rfts Camp - Reinforcements Camp



12th/3rd (e.g.) - A member of the 12th Reinforcements for the 3rd Battalion.

21 2/12 (e.g.) - 21 years and 2 months of age.

A/Cpl - Acting Corporal.

AAH - Australian Auxiliary Hospital.

AAMC - Australian Army Medical Corps.

AANS - Australian Army Nursing Service.

AASC or ASC - (Australian) Army Service Corps.

AB/Dvr - able bodied driver.

Act. - acting (in a temporary capacity).

ADBD - Australian Divisional Base Depot.

ADH - Australian Dermatological Hospital.

Adm./adm - admitted (usually to hospital).

ADS - advanced dressing station.

Advd. - advised.

AE & MM & BC - Australian Electrical & Mechanical Mining & Boring Company.

AFA - Australian Field Artillery.

AFC - Australian Flying Corps.

AGBD - Australian General Base Depot.

AGH - Australian General Hospital.

AIBD - Australian Infantry Base Depot.

AIF - Australian Imperial Force.

ALR or AL Rwy - Australian Light Railway.

AM - aircraft mechanic.

AMGBD - Australian Machine Gun Base Depot.

AMTS - Australian Mechanical Transport Service.

AN & MEF - Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force.

ANZAC - Australian (and) New Zealand Army Corps.

ANZAC Cyc Coy - ANZAC Cyclist Company/Battalion Bn.

ANZAC Mtd Reg - ANZAC Mounted Regiment.

AOC - Army Ordnance Corps.

Arty - Artillery.

ASC - Army Service Corps.

ASH - Australian Stationary Hospital.

Aux. - auxiliary.

AVES - Australian Veterinary Evacuating Station.

AVH - Australian Veterinary Hospital.

AWL - absent without leave.



Bar - second award of same bravery medal e.g. MM and Bar.

Batt - Battalion.

Bde - Brigade.

BEF - British Expeditionary Force (Belgium, France, England).

BGROC - Broad Gauge Railway Operating Company.

Bn - Battalion.

Btn - Battalion.

BW - bullet wound.



Can. - Canadian (usually General Hospital).

Capt. - Captain.

CB - Confined to Barracks, usually a punishment.

CC - confined to camp (as punishment).

CC - convalescent camp.

CCS - Casualty Clearing Station.

CO - Commanding Officer.

Com. Dep. - Command Depot.

Coy - Company.

Cpl - Corporal. The NCO grade above Lance Corporal.

Cps - Corps.

CQMS - Company Quartermaster Sergeant.



DAAG - Deputy Assistant Adjutant General

DAC - Divisional Artillery Column.

DAG - Deputy Adjutant-General 

DCM - Distinguished Conduct Medal.

DCM - Divisional Court Martial.

decd. - deceased.

Den Cps - Dental Corps.

Dis. - discharged (e.g. from hospital or army).

DMC RO 288 - Desert Mounted Corps Routine Order Number 288, 28 April 1918.

Dn (or Div) – Division.

Do (or ") - ditto (same as entry above in record).

DOD - died of disease.

DOW - died of wounds.

DSC - Divisional Supply Column.

Dvr - Driver. Usually the person driving the horse drawn wagons. Drivers were paid 1/- per day above the private or trooper.



EDP - escort duty promotion (temporary).

EDP Cpl - Extra Depot Corporal. A person promoted to a NCO rank over and above the establishment of the unit. .

EEF - Egyptian Expeditionary Force (Egypt, Sinai, Palestine).

Emb. - embarked (boarded ship).

Emb. Roll - embarkation roll.

Engrs - Engineers.

ER Cpl - Extra Regimental Corporal. A person promoted to a NCO rank over and above the establishment of the Regiment. .

ex - from, or out of.



F Amb - Field Ambulance.

FA - Field Ambulance.

FAB - Field Artillery Brigade.

Far - farrier (shoesmith).

FCE - Field Company Engineers.

FGCM - Field General Court Martial.

FP - Field Punishment (e.g. No. 1 or No. 2). For minor offences Field Punishment was implemented to ensure the soldier remained at all time with his unit.

Frac. - fractured (bone as a result of wound).



GCC - German Concentration Camp, Liverpool.

Gen. Hosp. - General Hospital.

GHQ - General Head Quarters.

GSR - General Service Reinforcements.

GSW - Gun Shot Wound, most frequently to describe a shrapnel wound.

GW - gunshot wound.



HMAT - His Majesty's Australian Transport. One of the many ships leased to the Australian government at the outbreak of war.

HQ/Hdgrs/Hgrs - headquarters.

HS - Hospital Ship.

HT - Hired Transport (ship).

HT - see HMAT.

HTMB - Heavy Trench Mortar Battery.



i/c - in charge.

ICC - Imperial Camel Corps.

In The Field - generic term for the 'Front' (usually France or Belgium).

Inf - Infantry.

Infl. - influenza.



KIA - killed in action.



L - left.

L/Cpl or L/Corp - Lance Corporal, the lowest NCO grade.

L/Sgt - Lance Sergeant.

LGROC - Light Gauge Railway Operating Company.

LH - Light Horse.

LH Bde - Light Horse Brigade.

LHFA - Light Horse Field Artillery.

LHR - Light Horse Regiment.

Lieut. or Lt. - Lieutenant.

Lt-Col. - Lieutenant Colonel.

LTMB - Light Trench Mortar Battery.



M Vet-Sect; MVS - Mobile Veterinary Section.

M/I; m/i, M/I; M/in - Marched in. The date when a soldier joined a unit.

M/O; m/o; M/o; M/out - Marched out. The date when a soldier departed from a unit.

MC - Military Cross.

MD - Military District.

MEF - Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli).

MG Bn - Machine Gun Battalion.

MG Coy - Machine Gun Company.

MG Sqn - Machine Gun Squadron.

MIA - missing in action.

MIL. - Military.

MM - Military Medal.

MMP - Mounted Military Police

MO - Medical Officer.

MSM - Meritorious Service Medal.

MT/Dvr - motor transport driver.

MTMB - Medium Trench Mortar Battery.

MU - Medically Unfit. This was one of the most common reasons for a soldier's early discharge from the AIF.



NCO - Non Commissioned Officer.

ND - No diagnosis.

NME - non-military employment (leave after Armistice which provided industry placement and training).

NOK - next of kin.

Nom Roll - Nominal Roll.

NONR - Not on Nominal Roll. This occurred when the individual was not recorded on the Embarkation Roll and returned to Australia after October 1919 subsequent to the closing of the Nominal Roll.It also was recorded when a person was engaged in an occupation not deemed to be recorded on the Nominal Roll yet performed service in a theatre of war which required recognition.

NYD - not yet determined or diagnosed.



O/seas, o/s, Oseas - overseas.

OC - Officer Commanding.



Pnrs - Pioneers (Pioneer Battalion).

PO - Petty Officer (Naval Bridging Train only).

Proc. - proceeded.

Pte - Private. The lowest rank in the force.

PUO - pyrexia of unknown origin (usually 'trench fever').



R - right.

RAA - Royal Australian Artillery.

RAE - Royal Australian Engineers.

RANBT - Royal Australian Naval Bridging Team.

RAP - regimental aid post.

Re or re - about, regarding, in relation to.

Reg. - Regiment.

Regt - Regiment.

REIN. - Reinforcements.

Reinf. - Reinforcements.

retg. - returning (e.g. to Australia).

RFA - Royal Field Artillery.

RMO - Regimental Medical Officer.

RMT Unit - Remount Unit.

RSD - Railhead Supply Detachment.

RSM - Regimental Sergeant Major.



S/Smith - shoeing smith (farrier).

SAN Sect - Sanitation Section.

SB - Siege Battery.

Sect. - Section.

Sgt - Sergeant. The NCO grade above Corporal. .

Sig - Signals.

Sig. Tp - Signals Troop.

SIW - self-inflicted wound.

Sqn - Squadron.

STS - Sea Transport Staff.

Sty. Hosp. - Stationary Hospital.

SW - shrapnel wound.



Temp. - Temporary (promotion).

Tfd. - transferred.

TOS - Taken on Strength. This was the process of adding a person to the ration strength of a unit.

Tp - Troop (Light Horse).

Tpr - Trooper. In early 1915, the AIF ordered that all members of the Australian Light Horse who were at the rank of Private were to be thenceforth called "Trooper".

Trans. - transferred.



V.D. - Volunteer Decoration.

Vacc. - vaccination.

VC - Victoria Cross.

VD - venereal disease.

Vet Sect - Veterinary Section.

vice – replacing; In the place of . usually a name follows.

VO Cpl - Voyage Only Corporal.



Whr - wheeler (a wheelwright).

WOAS – When or while on active service.


Further Reading:

The Light Horse

Australian Light Horse Militia

Militia 1899 - 1920

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Light Horse, B103, Casualty Form - Active Service, Index to Common Terms

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 23 August 2010 9:48 AM EADT

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