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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.

Thursday, 3 December 2009
Brigade Scouts, Contents
Topic: AIF - DMC - Scouts

Brigade Scouts


The most well known Brigade Scouts were the 3rd LH Brigade Scouts who were even granted their own particular scout badge which could be worn on their uniform.



Regimental Scouts


Dove, FA, Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance, 1910.

Part 1, Preface & Introduction

Part 2, Protective Scouting 

Part 3, Communication 

Part 4, Patrol Formations 

Part 5, Co-operation of Patrols 

Part 6, Lecturettes 

Part 7, The Flank Screen 

Part 8, Screen To Rear Guard 

Part 9, Scouting For Information 

Part 10, Finding One's Way 

Part 11, Avoiding Detection 


Priestley, PH, Light Horse Duties in the Field, Military Journal, March 1912, pp. 171 - 185.

Part 1, Scouting for Troop Leaders

Part 2, The Scouts of the Screen

Part 3, Scouts, Pointers, and Connecting Files of the Flank Guard

Part 4, A Criticism of the Article


Brigade Scout Roll

10th LHR Brigade Scouts

Captain Albert Ernest Wearne

Obituary, Frederick Allan Dove


Further Reading:

Brigade Scouts

The Light Horse

Australian Light Horse Militia

Militia 1899 - 1920

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Brigade Scouts, Contents

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Saturday, 26 December 2009 4:22 PM EAST
Aboriginals in the AIF
Topic: AIF - Aboriginal LH

Aboriginals in the AIF

Great War Service


While not given the recognised status enjoyed by all other non-indigenous people in Australia but still regarded as British subjects, the Aboriginals came forward in numbers to join the AIF and fight on the various fronts. One group for special attention relates to the Aboriginal men who served with the Australian Light Horse. This section provides a tribute to honour the service and sacrifice of the Aboriginal Light Horsemen to the Australian nation.



Published Sources

Reveille Articles on Aboriginals in the AIF

Aboriginals in the AIF, A Scheme for Training the Aboriginal Natives in the Northern Portions of the Commonwealth by Major WO Mansbridge


Aboriginal Servicemen

11th Light Horse War Diary Index for 1918 - 1919, Lesson 11 Resource

11th LHR, AIF account about the 2nd Es Salt Raid - March to May 1918, Chapter XVI

11th LHR, AIF account about the Jordan Valley – May to August 1918, Chapter XVII



Other AIF Units

2919 Pte Alfred John Henry Lovett, 12thBtn


Light Horse

Aboriginal Light Horse Servicemen – The Full List


10th Light Horse Regiment

Pte Tom Cooper, 10th LHR, 15thR


11th Light Horse Regiment, 20th Reinforcement

2422 Pte William Bert Brown

2423 Pte Frederick Arthur Burnett

2424 Pte Edward Collins

2459 Pte Fred Collins

2425 Pte Jack Costello

2426 Pte Harry Doyle

2428 Pte Frank Fisher

2427 Pte Joe Fitzroy

2462 Pte Rupert Franklin Gore Gallaway

2429 Pte John Geary

2460 Pte John Hall

2430 Pte John Johnston

2431 Pte Jack Kearns

2432 Pte John McKenzie Laurie

2433 Pte James Lingwoodock

2434 Pte Leonard Lynch

2438 Pte James McBride

2437 Pte David Molloy

2435 Pte Frank Morris

2453 Pte Martin Mulrooney

2436 Pte Harry Murray

2439 Pte William Nicholld

2440 Pte Jack Oliffe

2443 Pte Charlie Parkes

2441 Pte Jack Pollard

2445 Pte Edward Smith

2447 Pte Joe White

2448 Pte Leslie Thomas Wogas


Further Reading:

Aboriginals in the AIF

The Light Horse

Australian Light Horse Militia

Militia 1899 - 1920

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Aboriginals in the AIF, Contents

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Friday, 11 December 2009 5:08 PM EAST
General Service Reinforcements, Roll: D - J
Topic: AIF - DMC - GSR


General Service Reinforcements

Roll: D - J


The following is a composite alphabetical roll of all those Light Horse General Service Reinforcements who are known to have embarked overseas during the Great War.

Each man is listed with:

Service Number

Rank at Embarkation

First Names

Family Name

If applicable, the false name used


Each entry is linked to a specific Embarkation Roll which contains the following details:

Rank on embarkation;

Full name of the soldier

Declared age of the soldier;

The last occupation held;

The last address as a civilian;

Enlistment Date; and,



Embarkation Roll: D - J


64333 Private Percy Vivian DAHL.

57259 Private Allan DALE.

50431 Private Charles Albert DALE.

57317 Private John DALEY.

53229 Acting Corporal Ernest John DALTON.

57247 Private Horace Thomas DALTON.

64256 Private Alfred Ernest DANIELS.

64808 Private Carodoc Bevan DARBYSHIRE-ROBERTS.

52699 Private Robert Reginald DARGAN.

52923 Private Albert Raif DARLINGTON.

57074 Private Stephen DAUNT.

64694 Private Alexander Sutherland DAVIDSON.

57473 Private Redvers Oliver DAVIDSON.

50432 Private William Albert DAVIDSON.

64186 Private Crawford William DAVIES.

64571 Private Lewis Roland DAVIES.

64187 Private Samuel DAVIES.

64188 Private William Edwin DAVIES.

64053 Private Alan Charles DAVIS.

64692 Private Arthur Corrall DAVIS.

64055 Private Percy John DAVIS.

64693 Private Donald DAVISON.

57428 Private Edward Matthew DAW.

64337 Private Matthew William DAWSON.

57089 Private John Herbert DAY.

64334 Private Robert Nathaniel DAY.

57129 Private Rutherford DEANE-SMITH.

64189 Private George Alexander DEANSHAW.

64056 Private William DEARLING.

57684 Private Henry Charles DeCOURCY.

52701 Private George Victor DELANEY.

64190 Private Hugh John DELANEY.

52700 Private Joseph Thomas DELANEY.

52863 Private Thomas Theodore DELANEY.

64539 Private Oliver Comeford DEMPSEY.

50559 Private Ronald Bilton DENHOLM.

56975 Private William DENMARK.

57200 Private John Henry DENNIS.

64766 Private Samuel John DICK.

64696 Private Sidney DICK.

64335 Private William Charles DICKSON.

52641 Private Albert Richard Ferdian DIETZ.

64338 Private William Francis DILLON.

64695 Private John Fenwick DODD.

64054 Ptr Harold John DOHERTY.

50312 Private Jock Thompson DONALDSON.

64551 Private Francis George DONEHUE.

57382 Private James Laurence DONNELLY.

64191 Private John DONOGHUE.

57535 Private Valentine DONOVAN.

57429 Private John Thomas DORAN.

57365 Private John Keith DOWNIE.

64192 Private William Henry DOWNING.

57248 Private Cedric George DRAKE.

64336 Private William Rodney DRANEY.

57163 Private Arthur DUFFIELD.

57536 Private Bruce Stanford DUNCAN.

62079 Private James Colin DUNCAN.

64810 Private Albert Lancelot DUNDAS.

64259 Private William Ernest DUNK.

52819 Private Victor James DUNSTAN.

57318 Private John Matthew DWYER.

58091 Private Robert William DWYER.

52820 Private Christopher DYER.

64550 Private William Henry DYSON.


64058 Private Robert EARL.

64344 Private Oscar Aubrey EBELING.

50251 Private Charles Ross EDEN.

57091 Private Samuel Hawkins EDGE.

57249 Private Alfred George EDWARDS.

52892 Private David Eric EDWARDS.

64408 Private John EDWARDS.

64057 Private Richard Luther EDWARDS.

56974 Private Roy Archibald EDWARDS.

52704 Private William EDWARDS.

64342 Private Peter EHRLICH.

64341 Private Alfred Sydney Douglas James Priestley ELDRIDGE.

64339 Private Archibald Joseph ELLIOTT.

57092 Private Arthur Joseph Henry ELLIOTT.

64340 Private Melvin George ELLIOTT.

57215 Private Cecil George ELLIS.

63990 Private Joseph John ELLIS.

64343 Private Robert Alfred ELLWOOD.

64193 Private Norman Redvers ELY.

57138 Private William Richard EMMETT.

56973 Private Allan Percy Ray ERINBERG.

52703 Private Benjamin Willoughby ERRATT.

50249 Private Percy William ESSEX.

57130 Private James ESSON.

57168 Private George Tasker EVANS.

57555 Private John William George EWINGTON.


50433 Private Henry Berry FAIRWEATHER.

52705 Private Harrison Goodenough FALLON.

64350 Private Henry Joseph FALLON.

64273 Private James George FALLON.

50305 Private Archibald Leslie FARLEY.

52050 Private George Michael FARRELL.

56976 Private John Michael FARRELL.

64701 Private Thomas FARRELL.

64348 Private William Morris FAULKNER.

57141 Private Andrew Thomas FAULKNER aka John McGowen.

52143 Private William Harold FAULL.

57093 Private Hector Charles FAUVEL.

64059 Private Stanley Roy FAYLE.

64699 Private Sydney Hubert FELL.

64764 Private Leonard Keith FERGUSON.

62047 Acting Sergeant Sydney Eric FERRIS.

64274 Private John Frederick FERRY.

57135 Private Gilbert Henry FINLAY.

64346 Private William Frederick FISCHER.

50315 Private Roy Durrell FISHER.

64698 Private Herbert Cecil FITZROY.

50252 Private James Thomas FLANAGAN.

57027 Private Arthur James FLANAGAN aka Frank WILLIAMS.

62551 Private Edward Cooper FLEET.

52864 Private Arthur Burch FLETCHER.

57750 Private Harry Oliver FLETCHER.

50383 Private Gladstone FLINT.

64353 Private Walter Stanley FLOHR.

64347 Private William Patrick FLYNN.

50418 Acting Corporal Frank FLYNNE.

64351 Private Edward FOGG.

50545 Private Reginald D'Oyly FORBES.

64352 Private Eric Victor FORD.

52631 Private Philip McIlwraith FORREST.

57969 Corporal Walter Blake FORSTER.

52924 Private James FORWARD.

52930 Private Kenneth Ernest FORWARD.

64271 Sergeant Andrew FOSTER.

57094 Private James FOUND.

64194 Private Arthur Herbert FRANCIS.

64195 Private Samuel Oliver FRANCIS.

50313 Private George FRASA.

50273 Private Douglas Martin FRASER.

63991 Private Victor Douglas FRASER.

64241 Private Leigh McKenzie FRECKLETON.

50434 Private Alfred Frederick FREEMAN.

64811 Private Charles FREEMAN.

50560 Private Gordon Stewart FRENCH.

50314 Private Leslie FREW.

50316 Private William Charles FREW.

64349 Private Ronald Charles FRISKE.

64697 Private Arthur David FROST.

57430 Private Clement Havelock Buller FROST.

64700 Private Reginald Arthur FRY.

57508 Private Patrick William FURLONG.

52706 Private Harold Hughes FURNER.


50435 Private Clarence Henry GALE.

50321 Private Ross Percival GALL.

56929 Private Ronald Fraser GALLOWAY.

64249 Private Alfred Robert GARDNER.

52899 Sapper David Edward GARRETT.

52900 Driver Walter Samuel GARRETT.

64196 Private William Herbert GARSIDE.

56977 Private Edward George GARTH.

63992 Private Albert Victor GAYLARD.

57095 Private John Robert GELLATLY.

50253 Private Robert Henry GERAGHTY.

52942 Private Rupert Otto GERKE.

52943 Private Wilfred Ludwick GERKE.

57431 Private Leslie James GERRY.

50319 Private William George GIBBS.

52709 Private Edward Albert GIBSON.

50537 Private Harold Ernest GIBSON.

52642 Private James GIBSON.

50436 Private Albert Edwin GILBERT.

57096 Private George Samuel GILBERT.

52707 Private William GILCRIST.

57136 Private William GILES.

57752 Private William Charles GILLAM.

57195 Private William Edgar GILLVOYTE.

57320 Private James Henry Hercules GINN.

57414 Private Harold Thomas GLANVILLE.

50320 Private Thomas Percy GLEESON.

57321 Private William John GODBOLD.

64197 Private Alexander John GODING.

64198 Private John Baxter GOFF.

57030 Private Arthur Rudolf GOLDSMITH.

50511 Private Edward Vernon GOLDSMITH.

64199 Private Frank Henry GOODWIN.

57972 Private William Frederick GORDON.

64937 Private Allan Mervyn GORE.

64938 Private Robert James GORE.

52822 Private James Thomas GORRINGE.

56978 Private Herbert GOWER.

64060 Private Edward GRAHAM.

56910 Private James Robert GRAHAM.

57293 Private Alexander Wheatley William GRAY.

Second Lieutenant Alfred Edgar GRAY.

52708 Private George Harold GRAY.

50317 Private George William GRAY.

56952 Private Robert Paul GREER.

50540 Private Edward Hamilton GREGSON.

52682 Private William GREY.

50318 Private Albert Thomas GRICE.

50538 Private Ivan Robert GRIFFITHS.

57250 Private Ronald Thomas GRIMLEY.

64812 Private Louis Edward GRINHAM.

57537 Private John GROVES.

64813 Private William John GUNN.

52823 Private John Livingstone GUNSON.

64859 Private Ernest Thomas GUNTON.

57032 Private Victor GUPPY.

57319 Private Francis William Heyden GURNEY.

64702 Private John GWALCHMAI.


57977 Acting Sergeant Reginald HADDOCK.

57323 Private Edward Patrick HADDON.

56983 Private Francis Cecil HAINES.

57097 Private George Eric HALE.

64275 Private Donald Jarvis HALL.

52824 Private Francis Richard HALL.

57377 Private Walter Alexander HALL.

56982 Private James HALLENAN.

64576 Private George Crompton HALLIDAY.

64358 Private Alexander Kenneth HAMILTON.

64357 Private George Balcarras HAMILTON.

56088 Private George Edward HAMILTON.

56985 Private Charles Stuart Fitzgerald HANDFIELD.

56984 Private Alexander Forrester HARDIE.

64356 Private Arthur Henry HARDING.

50512 Private George HARDY.

64208 Private Percival Embling HARDY.

52825 Private Henry Edgar HARE.

57433 Private Henry Arthur HARKNESS.

52827 Private Harrie Alexander HARLEY.

56980 Private Geoffrey HARLUM.

64294 Private John Stanfield HARPER.

64204 Private Edward Hamilton HARRATT.

50255 Private Victor William HARRINGTON.

57071 Private Edward Charles HARRIS.

50437 Private George Albert HARRIS.

56986 Private Joseph HARRIS.

57531 Private William Richard HARRIS.

57098 Private Frank HARRISON.

57434 Private James HARRISON.

52925 Private Reginald Hughes HART.

50438 Private Robert Reubin HARVEY.

62614 Acting Corporal Stanley Norman HASKARD.

64703 Private Bruce Everard HASSALL.

64065 Private Hector HASSALL.

52714 Private James Albert HAUBER.

56981 Private Henry HAWKINS.

50322 Private Stanley Thomas HAWKINS.

57322 Private William Gordon HAWKINS.

64205 Private James Robert HAY.

52716 Private Keith HAYES.

64864 Private Merton Elliston HAYES.

52828 Private Harold Eric Roy HAYTER.

52662 Private William Walter HEAD.

64206 Private Robert Huzzy HEARD.

52646 Private John HEDGES.

56911 Private William Henry HEDGES.

50324 Private Patrick August HEFFERNAN.

52898 Private Stanley Gordon HEFFRON.

52944 Private Robert William HEMPSEED.

64066 Private Ernest Francis Geary HENDERSON.

57556 Private Frederick Fleming HENDERSON.

50524 Private Gilbert Bruce HENDERSON.

52715 Private Malcolm McGregor HENDERSON.

50327 Private Thomas HENDERSON.

64889 Private John Paul HENDRICKSON.

52645 Private Henry Norman HENRICKSON.

50439 Private Thomas Samuel HENRY.

52945 Private William Bertram HEPBURN.

64705 Private Gerard Patrick HESPE.

50385 Private Henry Ernest HEWITT.

64064 Private Robert William HEWITT.

57324 Private Albert James HIBBS.

57101 Private Daniel Joseph HICKEY.

52829 Private Frederick Laurence HIGGINS.

64359 Private John Denis William HIGGINS.

64207 Private Leslie Victor HILL.

64862 Private Robert Alfred HILL.

64858 Private William George HILL.

63993 Private William HINTON.

52717 Private Patrick HOARE.

64817 Private Joseph Stanley HOCKING.

64360 Private Cyril Kingsley HODGE.

63994 Private James HODGE.

52644 Private Victor Albert HOFFMANN.

64209 Private Matthew Leo HOGAN.

50325 Private Richard Bernard HOGAN.

57509 Private Arthur Joseph Edgar HOGBEN.

64818 Private Alan Bruce HOLDSWORTH.

50440 Private John Albert HOLLAND.

50256 Private Alfred William HOLLINGSBEE.

57325 Private Cedric William HOLLOWAY.

57510 Private William James Stanbrook HOLMAN.

64062 Sapper Joseph HOLMES.

52647 Sapper William Henry Hilless HOLMES.

57435 Private Edgar Arthur HOLTHAM.

63995 Private Alfred Charles HOMER.

64918 Private Stewart HOOD.

64112 Private James Edward Balford HOOKER.

57193 Private Albert HOPKINS.

52857 Private William Gwynne HOPKINS.

50514 Private William John HOPKINS.

64211 Private Henry Ernest HORNE.

50513 Private Horace Glen HORNHARDT.

64704 Private Ronald James Robert HORTON.

50475 Private Francis George HOSKING.

64820 Private Leslie George HOWARD.

64210 Private Russell HOWARD.

50384 Private Henry Ernest HOWELL.

50275 Private Hunter Maitland HOY.

57360 Private Colin Bruce HUDSON.

52830 Private Charles Vincent HUGHES.

50441 Private Clifford Beresford HUGHES.

56913 Private Frank Cameron HUGHES.

52831 Private Frederick HULL.

57172 Private Frank Lavington HUMPHRIES.

52643 Private John Edward HUMPHRYS.

64706 Private Alexander HUNT.

64061 Private Clarence William HUNT.

64063 Private Claude James HUNT.

52710 Private George Joseph Patrick HUNT.

64821 Private Morris James HUNT.

57102 Private Albert Stanley HUNTINGTON.

57131 Private Edgar HUNTLY-DAVIS.

52947 Private Charles Henry HURD.

56912 Private James HURLEY.


64472 Private Herbert Francis HUTCHISON.

57327 Private William Gordon HUTCHISON.

57364 Private Patrick James HYLAND.

57557 Private Herbert Percy HYNES.


56914 Private Eric Ronald INGLIS.

52718 Private Sefton Errol INGRAM.

64067 Private William Henry INGRAM.

50443 Private Jack Samuel INMAN.

52648 Private Robert Thomas IRELAND.

64361 Acting Sergeant William George IRELAND.


56557 Private Rene Maurel JACK.

57103 Private David Lleweyln JACKSON.

56988 Private Lionel JACKSON.

64710 Private William Fenton JACKSON.

57169 Private Alfred JAENSCH.

64822 Private Stanley Orlando Marke JARMAN.

52803 Private Cecil Henry Trethowan JEFFREY.

64276 Private Jack JEFFREY.

57366 Private Henry Joseph JEFFRIES.

56987 Private George Henry Edward JENNINGS.

64365 Private Alexander JENSEN.

50331 Private Harry JEWELL.

64886 Acting Sergeant William Francis JOHNS.

64070 Private Bernard Frederick JOHNSON.

57194 Private Edward JOHNSON.

50539 Private Ernest Alfred JOHNSON.

64709 Private Vere Hazar JOHNSON.

64476 Private Maxwell Rimmer JOHNSTON.

64711 Private Norman Arthur Ronald JOHNSTONE.

64475 Private Stanley JOHNSTONE.

50375 Private Roy Aldous JONAS.

64364 Private Albert JONES.

50329 Private Albert Lindon JONES.

50516 Private Arthur JONES.

50330 Private Ebenezer Roy JONES.

57104 Private Harry JONES.

52832 Private Leslie Samuel JONES.

64707 A/Cpl QMS Rupert Herbert Struthers JONES.

64473 Private Stanley Trehearne JONES.

64068 Private Thomas JONES.

64474 Private William JONES.

57166 Private Leslie Oscar JONSSON.

57436 Private Numa Ferdinand JOUBERT.

50561 Private Percy JOWETT.

64823 Private Vincent Elliott JOYCE.

64363 Private Allan Charles Berkley JOYNER.

50754 Private Ernest Frederick JUILLERAT.

57179 Private Edward JURY.


Further Rolls:

Roll: A - C

Roll: D - J

Roll: K - Q

Roll: R - Z


Sources Used:

National Archives Service File.

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

Collected Records of Steve Becker.


Acknowledgement: Many thanks to Steve Becker who provided much of the raw material that appears in this item.


Further Reading:

General Service Reinforcements, AIF

General Service Reinforcements, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: General Service Reinforcements, Roll: D - J

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Wednesday, 16 December 2009 10:17 AM EAST
The Australian Light Horse, Notes on Squadron training for Light Horse Major FA Maxwell
Topic: AIF - Lighthorse

The Australian Light Horse

Notes on Squadron training for Light Horse

Major FA Maxwell


Francis Aylmer Maxwell

[VC Heroes - Boer War, Card No. 67.]


One of the better leaders of Light Horse in the British Empire, Major Francis Aylmer Maxwell, VC (Sannah's Post), DSO, was seconded for a short period to the Australian Commonwealth Military Forces from the 4 March 1910. As part of his duties, he was asked to give a lecture on the issues that he considered to be the essential points on training a good Light Horseman. The essay which emerged from his lecture notes detail the indispensable knowledge with precision based on hard won experience while gently chiding those who sort to use drill as a goal rather than a means to an end. Maxwell's lecture was published under the title Notes on Squadron training for Light Horse in the Military Journal, June 1911.

Maxwell, FA, Notes on Squadron training for Light Horse, Military Journal, June 1911, pp. 214 - 221.


Notes on Squadron training for Light Horse.

The object of this lecture is to give you a few new lights on how and what to teach squadrons, and, more particularly, troops.

The first and foremost thing I want to rub in is the absolute necessity of training for war, and excluding all that is useless in war or for war. This great principle is neglected by many squadron and troop commanders. The fault lies in the failure to distinguish recruit's training from that of the trained soldier, and we constantly and far too often see the trained soldier coming to parade without his horse, paddling about on his feet at foot-drill, and going through rifle exercises. Once the Light Horseman has passed through the recruit stage, he should leave foot drill and rifle exercises, and similar elementary work, for ever, and go right on to the real business of war.

Now, passing from what not to do, let us look into what we should work at to make ourselves efficient for war, taking the shortest cuts to do so.

First of all, for regimental and squadron work, the troop needs to be handy and mobile in drill, so that, when it is thrown into squadron, it takes its place without confusion. Now, fortunately for us, as so much of our work (in the 3rd Light Horse Brigade) is in troop, the foundation of all drill and manoeuvre is the suppleness and high training of the individual troop, which should be so well trained that it follows its leader unhesitatingly and correctly, no matter what is happening, to right, left, front, or behind.

Therefore, the first business of a troop leader is to make his command as handy and obedient as a polo pony, and there is no quicker method of doing so than by literally teaching it to play " follow my leader " behind him. It is a simple form of instruction: The troop leader gets out in front of hip troop, and without command or signal wheels it all angles of the wheel at the trot and gallop with, of course, considerable advances in between to shady the ranks. He starts at a very slow jog-trot for ten minutes or a quarter of an hour before thinking of increasing the pace to a slow canter or gallop, and so settles the men down and steadies the horses (which latter soon get like slugs thinking there is nothing in it !). The men learn to watch the troop leader's every movement for, unless absolutely alert, those on the outer flank will be all over the place when a wheel is made. They easily tumble to the game, and wheel like a regular troop. After fifteen minutes I have led a light horse troop, which never saw the game before, round and round, as if round a maypole, half-a-dozen men, the pivot man walking, the flank at full gallop, and then moved straight ahead again, the troop following at a perfectly easy pace, and perfectly steady, as if it had been at the job daily for months.

If a troop can play this game moderately well, it has, in my opinion, learnt all its mounted drill, and, in addition, each man in it has learnt that he must look to his troop leader for everything always, and realizes that the troop is the unit to which, and to which only, he belongs.

Combined with the following leader exercise, rapid dismounting and mounting should be practised. Halt the troop, and give the commands, "prepare to dismount" - "dismount," almost simultaneously, and see that the men are off and the even members up in line in two ticks of your watch. Similarly order "prepare to mount" and "mount" close on top of the other, and walk on yourself, by which you will discover the slow ones, who will be seen waltzing around trying to mount, while at the same time you inculcate the principle (if "follow my leader" again, for each man mounted at once moves up behind you. If dismounting and mounting are slow - very slow at first, it uncommonly soon becomes a point of honour not to be left behind, and there is nothing like this method to get the business done. It is a matter of the first importance to mounted rifles to be able to mount and dismount quickly, but it is not realized by squadron and troop commanders in peace; in war it very soon becomes apparent, possibly too much so.

The above is about all the "drill" there is for a troop. It learns to advance by section or file in the recruit stage, and no time should be wasted on increasing or diminishing of front.

When you get troops together in squadron, start them off, individually, for at least a quarter of an hour's "follow my leader." Then bring them together, and move about in column of troops, wheeling them in and cut of line (not for the sake of forming line, but to supple them); wheel troops about, form squadron, and immediately out of it, for a squadron does not need to advance in (unextended) line.

Practise forming squadrons at any pace you like, but never at the halt, so there is no object in practising it in peace. (Later I will explain why it is necessarily for a squadron to be able to form line as a preparation for forming extended line, which is a formation of great value to mounted rifles.)

Do not bother about the formation of column, of half squadrons, unless you an think of any use for it in war. I cannot.

For the rest, practise rapid dismounting and mounting as already described as a most essential part of your "drill."

And now come to what may be termed "fighting'" or "tactical" drill, or exercises as distinct from "drill" in the ordinary sense of the term. But where proceeding with this, it is first necessary to decide what we want, and why we want it; and this short discussion of light horse fighting methods.

First of all, have we tactics of our own or are we - as infantry regiments so persistently urge - to adopt those of infantry, whose characteristics differ so much from ours? Infantry have numbers and great fire power as their assets, while our deficiencies in both are compensated for, and more than made up to us, by our magnificent possession of mobility, if we know how to use it, and use it fully.

Consider the infantry mode of attack. It aims at reaching a position within effective range of the enemy, and there building up such a volume of fire as will crush the enemy and enable the assault to be made. The advance to this fire position, and the gradual piling up of men on it, is slow and costly, but infantry have the numbers to stand the racket.

Shall light horse attack on the same lines, and hope to succeed with their comparatively small numbers? Shall they throw away their mobility, hand over their horses to Nos. 3 (further reducing strength), and transform themselves into a feeble and un-numerous infantry?

If so, why not have a number of one-horse cabs, each of which will carry five or six men to the battle-field? It would be a great deal cheaper than providing each man with a horse to do the same thing, and if infantry complained of our luxury, and if we found it necessary to change our name from light horse to heavy what matter?

Surely it seems ridiculous to suppose for a moment that our methods are the same as those of infantry. Ours should be such as will minimize our deficiencies in numbers and fire power and magnify our possession of mobility. Briefly, our tactics are to rattle at the front door and enter the back; that is, we demonstrate or pin the enemy in front, and, no matter how far we have to go, we turn his flanks and threaten his rear. If we are acting in co-operation with infantry, it may be we only turn or operate on the flanks or rear; but acting alone we shall almost invariably have to play a tune in front as well.

Infantry choose what they believe to be the weakest point in the enemy's position as the objective of their main attack, and the intervening ground may have nothing to say in the matter. They simply go ahead and reach a point beyond which, till the enemy's resistance is overcome, they cannot move, but from which, as already stated, an effective and decisive fire can be poured on him.

Now, our frontal attack is different from the above, and we should choose our ground with the double object of giving us cover behind which we dismount on arrival at it, and at least a fairly effective fire position. We may not find it opposite the weakest point of the enemy's position; but find one we must or consent to walk on our few flat feet in the probably vain hope of arriving at a position within effective range of the enemy.

Say we have found such a position as indicated. It may be, if we are lucky, a. ridge; or it may be a knoll or hill, a creek, a farm, haystacks. How are we to get there? There is only one way in war, whatever peace may teach us, and that is to gallop there in extended order, and, if the range be not too great, covered by the fire of the other portions of our force (in the case of a squadron, say two troops).

Once the frontal attack has safely arrived and has got to work, the covering fire ceases, and the other two troops begin their turning movement, the route of which has previously been thoroughly well reconnoitred.

If the flank attack comes under any part of the enemy's position during its movement, the frontal attack troops devote all their energies to that part, and so divert the attention of the enemy from the flank attack, or at least make them uncomfortable. Immediately the enemy begins to feel the effect of the turning movement, and shows signs of evacuating his position, or some part of it, then will one or both of the first two (frontal attack) troops be ready to mount and gallop to what the enemy has left, and then assist the turning movement.

Thus the whole action is a series of alternate movements, in which one body covers and the other gains ground to flank or front.

Such is my conception of light horse action, and if it is sound and preferable to the purely infantry procedure, then we must try and fit ourselves for it by drill-ground practice, which will enable us to carry out the business on these lines on the field; for it must be remembered that, owing to lack of time, it is comparatively seldom that we can work out actual schemes under which to practise our tactical conceptions.

The following, then, are, I think, some of the exercises one can deduce from the above, and which we should, on non-scheme days practise and perfect ourselves in, so that when we do get into the field we at least have all the essentials of a fight at our finger tips:-


(1) Rapid extensions from troop or squadron

Rapid extensions from troop or squadron; for we may be surprised by fire, and have to extend at a moment's notice (in the preparation for a frontal attack we should probably start from behind cover or out of range, and would extend before getting off).


(2) Long advances in extended order at a steady pace and at the fastest.

Long advances in extended order at a steady pace and at the fastest. The greater our extension and rapidity of our pace the more difficult is the target we offer to the enemy.


(3) Rapid closing on leaders in any direction and at fastest pace

Rapid closing on leaders in any direction and at fastest pace; for, on arrival at our position, whether frontal or flank, we shall have to "close" under the cover we have looked (in the case of our frontal attack) so hard to find, because, whether that cover is small or large, we have to dispose of our horses as well as have men fairly concentrated for purposes of command. (I have frequently been asked why a troop should be closed before dismounting, and the above is the answer.)


(4) Rapid dismounting

Rapid dismounting, already explained under “follow my leader practice."


(5) Disposal of horses

Disposal of horses, of which there are numerous methods:

(a) "Action," when horses are handed to Nos. 3.

(b) " Linking."

(c) Throwing the reins of one troop to one man.

(d) Tying horses to a fence.

(e) Each man holding the reins over his arm while firing in the kneeling position, or hitched round his foot if lying down.

Of the above, neither (a) nor (b) are, in my experience, often employed on service.

As already explained, mounted rifles should always look for cover behind which to dismount, which means that the horses are actually at the fire position, or very close to it. Under such circumstances, it is waste of fire power to leave

one man in four to look after them, and waste of time to link; while the latter method is actually dangerous in wet weather, for when we are in a hurry to mount in order to push on or to retire, we find all the head-ropes have been pulled so tight as to be impossible to unfasten, and life and death delay occurs.

And, therefore, practical experience in war has found other methods than the above more useful, such as (c), (d), and (e). Under (c) method, the horse holder may be the worst shot; he easily holds the dozen horses, which of themselves get in a circle round him, leaving plenty of room between each for their riders to get to them again when "mount" is given. In regard to (d), in this country, as in South Africa, fences abound, and it takes but a moment to hitch the reins to one.

Always remember this dismounting under cover. You cannot dismount in the open under fire, at, say, 800 yards or under. (How often do we see people, surprised perhaps, dismounting on absolutely open ground within even 200 yards of the enemy?)

Suppose, for example, you have chosen a couple of hay rich as the best suitable cover within good shooting distance of the enemy. You gallop towards them in extended order, “class" when near them, and dismount behind them. You cannot fire over the risks, so must get your men out to one side or to both sides, or beyond them; if there is no cover whatever, they must do without, being amply satisfied with the enormous advantage of being brought to within perhaps effective range of the enemy with few, if any, casualties. But in nearly all cases there will be found cover to, which they can crawl, and sufficient to protect them.

When it is time to go on again you double the men back to carer, mount, and gallop on a method ordinarily infinitely preferable to that of pushing on like infantry and leaving your horses further and further behind. Still, there are possible occasions when this may be necessary, and if they can be foreseen, then Nos. 3 must be left with the horses, and the latter made really mobile when led. Personally, l would chance such occasions, put every rifle I could in the firing line, and, getting my men back to the horses close by, ride them on rather than have them led on. When it is a case of retiring, men running back to the horses (to mount under cover) offer a far smaller target than a mob of horses being led out into the open to be mounted. And not the least consideration in all this is the moral effect on the men of having horses in close proximity to them.

The last method (e) also requires explanation, because it is unorthodox as not being in the manual. It is particularly valuable when following up an enemy in retreat, and we have to travel after him at a great pace, and, when near him, dismount, and, without a moment's loss of time (i.e., loss of range), pour fire in on him, then, remounting, repeat the performance. Also, it is of the greatest possible value in fighting a rearguard action pressed by a vigorous enemy over open country offering no features as successive positions. The hottest thing of my small experience was fought under this method over a distance of 3 miles. There was not time to hand over horses to anybody, but each man of a unit dismounted, slung the reins over an arm, dropped on his knee, and opened fire the moment the unit or units nearest the enemy had cleared the front, and continued to do so until the latter had passed through and were dismounted in rear, when up he got and cleared with his unit in rear of them again.

If we can learn anything from the Boers, it is that they never, to the best of our knowledge, had horse-holders, at any rate, in the proportion of 1 to 4.


6. Protective measures when Dismounted.

When dismounted, throw out scouts always and without fail. Do so even on the drill-ground to flank, flanks, or rear. The manual speaks only of the serrefile N.C.O. keeping up communication between led horses and dismounted men, which I cannot help thinking is a waste of material, for Nos. 3 can well do this themselves. Nothing is said about protection of men and horses from surprise, particularly by cavalry, who, if they can stampede your horses, reduce light horse to a very helpless body of men. There are many ways by which they will try to do this, some of which I would like to instance, but space forbids.

Have, therefore, a man in every troop told off as a permanent scout, who, when the troop dismounts for fire action, remains mounted and receives instructions from his commander as to which direction he is to scout, and to what distance. Often two scouts may be necessary.

As already said, never omit this precaution even chi the drill ground. Send your scout to flank or rear even if working in an acre paddock, so that it becomes an instinct. Your serrefile will do all right, for the better the men the better will this most important business be carried out. (The object of the permanent scout remaining mounted is to remind the leader of his existence and the necessity of it.)


7. Fire Discipline.

We must pay the greatest attention to this, the elder brother of all good shooting, and without which shooting loses half its value.

As an arm, we are very weak in this all-important matter. Infantry more fully recognise Fire Discipline, which includes more than the words appear to mean, as the great factor of their work. It embraces among other things:-

(a) The choice of target and its indication.

(b) Estimation of range.

(c) Choice of fire, rapid or slow, continuous or in bursts.

(d) Control over expenditure of ammunition and its replenishment.

(e) Absolute, rigid control over the unit, and instant obedience by all ranks to the commander's orders.

The indication of target clearly, quickly, and in as few words as possible is not easy by any means, and requires much practice. If badly indicated, men will be firing at all sorts of things, and not “following my leader" in the true sense of the word.

Time prevents even a short discussion of the whole of this important subject, but one thing I want to remind you of very particularly, and that is the use of the whistle. We all, of course, know the long drawn-out blast of the "Cease Fire," but what about the short sharp blast we hear so often when mounted, and which calls our attention to a signal about to be made? It is just as useful for the same purpose of attracting our attention when dismounted, and should be in constant use in order to get that perfect control over fire which is so absolutely essential.

As this short whistle blast is a novelty to some, let me explain its use by an example or two.

Your troop (say) is firing at infantry at 700 yards, when another party opens fire on you from another direction. You wish to switch the fire of half your, men on to this lot. Blow a short blast, on which every man of your troop stops firing on the instant, and waits with ears pricked for the new command. You give it - Nos. 1 and 2 sections continue as before; Nos. 3 and 4 at the infantry half left near farm house 800 yards (or you may leave the range to senior section commander). Nothing further, and all will begin firing again without any other command.

In practising this, be sure to see that not a rifle goes off after the "attention" whistle sounds, and drop like a cart-load of lead on any man that lets his off.

Blank ammunition is generally issued, therefore take it out to every Parade - lots of it. It adds reality and interest, and where there is the latter there is a day out for efficiency. In the above business of fire discipline and the use of the short whistle you can check the men disobedient to it, which you would not be able to do without blank, as the click of a released spring is often inaudible. Constantly check, or get a serrefile to check, the sights and see if the men are all firing at the target you have named. Allow no slip-shodness.

If you order rapid fire see that you get it, and not less than ten rounds a minute at that. Do not by any means always give the order to "unload" after “cease fire." (I notice that numbers of men unload after only being given the command "cease fire" - which is quite incorrect.) "Cease fire" simply means "stop firing and raise your safety catch." You may have more business on hand further ahead - possibly further back - and if so you will open fire so much the quicker if you are not unloaded.

Briefly to recapitulate:-

(a) We learn “drill" and rapid dismounting, and mounting in the “follow my leader” practice; and

(b) We learn what may be called “fighting” or “tactical” exercises by practising the following extensions:-

Advances in extended line.

Closing from extended line.

Dismounting, and disposal of horses in various ways.

Scouting while dismounted.

Fire discipline.

Finally, anything we do must, if we are to preserve and encourage the true spirit of light horse, be full of jump and dash.



Further Reading:

The Light Horse

Australian Light Horse Militia

Militia 1899 - 1920

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: The Australian Light Horse, Notes on Squadron training for Light Horse Major FA Maxwell

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Saturday, 12 December 2009 7:57 AM EAST
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
The Australian Light Horse, The Australian Light Horsemen, Thomas Patrick Conway
Topic: AIF - Lighthorse

The Australian Light Horse

The Australian Light Horsemen

Thomas Patrick Conway


In the early part of 1912, Lieutenant T. P. Conway from the Army and Instructional Staff with the C.M.F. in New South Wales penned an article called The Australian Light Horsemen which was published in the Military Journal, June 1912. Thomas Patrick Conway joined the Army and Instructional Staff on 1 July 1910 and remained as a permanent officer until he retired.

Conway, TP, The Australian Light Horsemen, Military Journal, June 1912, pp. 519 – 522.


At present there are about 6,000 of these troops being trained throughout Australia, and those who have served would be nearly 14,000. Thus Australia has approximately 20,000 men who can claim to have a working knowledge of the duties of the A.L.H. This is undoubtedly a great asset, the actual value of which depends on the quantity and quality of the training assimilated. The amount of enthusiasm which has been displayed in this branch of the service is truly remarkable. It is a common occurrence for a man to ride 30 miles to drill, and often the private affairs of the O.C. a squadron occupy his attention at a distance of over 200 miles from where his squadron is raised and trained, and yet he does not neglect the squadron; numerous other instances can be quoted, all of which go to show to what extent such men are prepared to spend time and money in the development of our national forces.

General Sir Edward Hutton defined the Australian Light Horse as “Horsemen trained to fight on foot." To attain this characteristic its members are required to be horsemen and horsemasters, to be proficient in scouting and shooting, to be skilful in attack and defence, and to possess the soldierly spirit which is built up by systematic training and sound discipline. The men comprising this force are drawn chiefly from the country districts, and it contains representatives of almost every trade and calling. Fine types of men they are, and splendid soldiers they make. Their stamina is equal to the most trying task, and their resource is usually equal to the situation. Field-Marshal Lord

Kitchener, speaking to a representative gathering during his visit to Australia in 1909-10, said:

“You have got first-rate material on which to work; in no other country in the world, as far as I know, do the young men show such natural military qualifications on which to base their military career. A great deal of the training that would in the ordinary course have to be supplied to obtain an efficient soldier is already part of the daily life of many of your lads. There is no reason, as far as I can see, why the national forces of Australia should not make their standard of efficiency on a par with, if not higher than, those of the military powers in Europe or elsewhere."

It is therefore to be accepted that the Australian, individually, possesses the requisite qualifications for the making of a high class soldier, and it is purely a matter of training sufficiently, it, order to bring the A.L.H. up to the required standard of efficiency. The question then arises. Is the training calculated to produce the required results? i.e., will it make these troops equal to, if not superior, to any other mounted troops. The instruction of the A.L.H. extends aver a period of sixteen days annually. Home training occupies eight of the sixteen, and the balance is spent in the annual camp of training. The training in the annual camps is sound and systematic, and every effort is made to bring all concerned up to the proper plane. But can this also be said with regard to the home training, which, generally speaking, is performed by single troops, or by half squadrons? As a rule the musters are weak, and under such circumstances the instruction of the individual is not in the right sequence, and proper progressive training is extremely difficult. The squadron is the tactical unit of Light Horse, and it is very necessary that cohesion and comradeship between troops should be fully developed. With squadrons which only assemble as such, once yearly, these important factors are neglected, and hence the troops do not work together with confidence and smoothness.

It frequently happens that to attend a half-day parade, a man rides 10 miles, Thus in going to and from a parade of three hours, and in saddling and off saddling, the man spends about four hours; under such conditions it is very easy to understand why attendances at local parades are usually bad, and why the training is not progressive.

During 1908, Lieut.-Colonel Findlater, C.O. 16th A.L.H. initiated a scheme of local squadron camps, which quite made the attendance and training at home equal to that of the annual camps. With this scheme there is something doing every quarter, and there is a special inducement for the members to attend. The year's work is divided somewhat on the following lines:



Date. Duration. Training. Remarks
Sept. 26, 27, and 28 3 days As per syllabusTroops to assemble at X, as per instructions issued.
Feb. 4, 5, and 6 3 days As per syllabus As above
 8 daysAnnual Camp 
To be completed by 31 January 19132 daysMusketryTroop leaders to arrange.


Parades held as above tend to improve the attendance and increase the interest, and when this is the case, knowledge and efficiency are concomitants. The man who makes a long journey to attend drill is catered for, as he rides only the same distance to put in three days as he did previously to put in a half day. The parades are not clashing with local fixtures, as the dates are carefully selected and are in keeping with local requirements. Local camps provide the opportunities for all ranks becoming familiar with the details of horselines, stable duties, and camp routine. They promote comradeship, develop the soldierly spirit in the man, and improve the efficiency of the unit. Keep up interest is the great thing, and it is important to keel) the military movement prominently in the public eye. Camps assist in this. It is surprising how little things help. Take the distribution of pay. With the local camp system, men are paid at every camp, and reference to the attendance roll of any squadron will show that the attendance on pay day is always considerably above the average.

If the A.L.H. is to fulfil its proper role, there can be no slackening off, and one and all must devote their time and attention to the competition for national supremacy. The start due to natural surroundings must be maintained, and there should be no wasted opportunities. Here are some squadron defects which were recently noticed:

(a) Mark III, rifles which were issued three months ago were badly neglected, and the troop officer stated that he never made a practice of examining the rifles of his troop.

(b) When a squadron was ordered into action there was, considerable noise and confusion in the ranks, due to each man not knowing what he should do; and the sergeant of each troop acted as horseholder, while in some instances a private was leading one horse.

All officers should clearly and fully realize their responsibilities, and N.C.O.'s should know that they must be in action with their troops. The leaders, troop and squadron, are responsible for the training, and they should spare no effort to do justice to the natural abilities of their men.

From the 1st July, 1912, the A.L.H. will receive drafts from the compulsory trainees; and those who are not liable to train, but are willing, will also be allowed to do so, Those now serving may continue under existing conditions, and it is hoped and expected that they will at least complete the period for which they enlisted. In the very near future, the A.L.H. will be considerably expanded, and there will be ample opportunities for those now serving to become officers and N.C.O.'s. Expense is now not a deterrent to the men with brains, and without means, becoming officers. Uniform is supplied free, and year after year efforts are being made to keep the messing within the allowance. This is as it should be; the man lives well on his rations, and the officer should manage on the ration plus the allowance.

It is accepted by the highest authorities, that the Australian possesses the natural qualification for the making of a high-class soldier to a marked extent. This should be borne in mind, and the men should be given every opportunity and encouragement to increase their military knowledge. The material is ready to be moulded, the moulding has to be accomplished in a very limited time; it should therefore, be carried out energetically, carefully, and intelligently.



Further Reading:

The Light Horse

Australian Light Horse Militia

Militia 1899 - 1920

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: The Australian Light Horse, The Australian Light Horsemen, Thomas Patrick Conway

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Monday, 14 December 2009 7:51 AM EAST

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