"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
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Formed in September 1914 as part of the 2nd Contingent and attached to the Australian Division, the 2nd Light Horse Brigade was made up of Light Horsemen from two different states. The Regiments included:
5th Australian Light Horse Regiment
This Regiment was recruited exclusively Queensland.
6th Australian Light Horse Regiment
This Regiment was recruited exclusively from New South Wales.
The use of a wallaby fur puggaree gave the unit a distinctive appearance.
7th Australian Light Horse Regiment
This was projected to be a composite Regiment recruited from three states, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. The Squadron split was scheduled to be as follows:
"A" Squadron recruited from New South Wales.
"B" Squadron recruited from South Australia from where the commander, Lieutenant Colonel Miell was appointed.
"C" Squadron recruited from Western Australia.
However the volume of recruits meant that "B" Squadron was enlarged to the 9th Light Horse Regiment and "C" Squadron was enlarged to 10th Light Horse Regiment. Consequently the 7th Light Horse Regiment became an exclusively New South Wales unit.
2nd Signal Troop
The 2nd Signal Troop was created on 1 April 1916 by drafting in four signallers from each of the 12 Regiments at the Suez Canal. In addition 16 men from the Wireless troop were drafted into the 2nd Signal Troop.
2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance
The core 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance was formed in Brisbane with a contingent from from Gympie.
2nd Light Horse Brigade Train
The 2nd Light Horse Brigade Train was primarily recruited around Brisbane and trained at Enoggera. After Gallipoli, this unit underwent some name changes from 2nd Supply Section in February 1916 to 34th Australian Army Service Corps Company in February 1917.
7th Mobile Veterinary Section
After the formation of the Anzac Mounted Division, the three individual Regimental Veterinary sections were brigaded to form the 7th Mobile Veterinanry Section.
2nd Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron
In July 1916, all Regimental Machine Gun Sections were to be excised and brigaded to form a Machine Gun Squadron. The 5th, 6th and 7th Machine Gun Sections were combined to form the 2nd Machine Gun Squadron under the command of the Brigade.
Artillery support was provided for the 2nd Light Horse Brigade from British batteries. The first British battery attached to the Brigade was the 3rd (Territorial Force) Horse Artillery Brigade, Somerset Battery. This battery remained until the re-organisation of February 1918 when the Somerset Battery was replaced by the British 18th Royal Horse Artillery Brigade, Inverness Battery
2nd Light Horse Training Regiment
Formed in Egypt during March 1916, this unit trained incoming reinforcements while allowing the wounded and sick a place to recover before returning to active service. The Training Regiment contained three squadrons, each duplicating the Regiments within the Brigade to whom it supplied the reinforcements. The Training Regiment was disbanded in July 1918 to be replaced by the Anzac Light Horse Training Regiment when recruits were no longer tied to a Regiment but placed in a general pool of reinforcements called the General Service Reinforcements.
2nd Light Horse Double Squadron
Formed Egypt 6 July 1916 from 2nd Light Horse Brigade reinforcements. It was officered and administered by the 2nd Light Horse Brigade. This Double Squadron was broken up in November 1916 with the men being transferred to the newly formed Imperial Camel Corps Battalions.
The Brigade embarked to Egypt during the months of October and November 1914. In Egypt additional training occurred at the Maadi Camp.
See:Troop transport ships for information and photographs about the various ships employed in transporting the troops to Egypt.
To assist with identification of the various units within the AIF, Divisional Order No 81 (A) Administration was issued at Mena on 8 March 1915 detailing the Colour Patch for the 2nd Light Horse Brigade as others received their colours. The colour patch was made of cloth 1¼ inches wide and 2¾ inches long and worn on the sleeve one inch below the shoulder seam. The colour patch for the 2nd Light Horse Brigade was plain red.
2nd Light Horse Brigade Colour Patch
The individual units attached to the 2nd Light Horse Brigade carried the white colour as a lower triangular part of the colour patch, the unit itself having their colour on the top. This is illustrated with the above description about each individual unit.
Brigadier General Granville De Laure Ryrie, 17 September 1914 to March 1919
Formed Australia September 1914.
Attached to the New Zealand and Australian Division from December 1914 to April 1915. Attachment ceased on the Division's deployment to Gallipoli.
Attached to the New Zealand and Australian Division at Gallipoli from May 1915 to February 1916.
Attached to the Anzac Mounted Division March 1916 until March 1919.
1. Operation orders - Acknowledgment and interpretation of.
(a) Operation orders are to be acknowledged by signal as well as by the messenger, without delay. Other communications are to he acknowledged by the' method best suited to their urgency. Each unit of the Brigade will send a mounted orderly to Brigade Headquarters at 6 p.m. every evening, to remain there during the night. He should bring with him the State mentioned in Ap. I. He should be fully acquainted with the whereabouts of his unit commander.
Routine Orders, will normally be issued at 12 noon, at which hour an officer from each unit will report at Brigade Headquarters. The officer will be prepared to give any information required regarding the command to which he belongs. Watches will be compared on this occasion.
(b) The term "Brigade Headquarters" in orders includes Headquarters of Brigade Signal Troop.
2. Brigade Orders.
Brigade orders will normally be distributed as under:
A.D.C. (for Brigadier) – 1 copy
Brigade Staff. – 2 copies
C.O's 3 regiments – 3 copies
O.C. Signal Troop – 1 copy
O.C. L.H.F. Ambulance – 1 copy
O.C. Train – 1 copy.
Detachments detailed in Army Corps orders will send reports direct to Army Corps Headquarters, repeating to the headquarters of the nearest formation, when it is concerned. When detachments (outposts, advanced, flank, rear guards, etc.) are detailed, and an officer is named to command them, the units detailed for such duties will send representatives at once to this officer for instructions unless the time and place of assembly have already been notified in orders.
Similarly when a commander is not named, but a certain unit is directed to detail him, orderlies will be sent to the headquarters of that unit, unless the time and place of assembly are notified in orders.
When times and places of assembly are notified in orders commanders or representatives of units will reach the rendezvous 15 minutes before their respective troops.
When the officer commanding a detachment is not detailed by name in Brigade orders, the commander responsible for his selection will immediately report his name to Brigade Headquarters.
4. Signal Service.
Every care will be taken to protect lines laid by the signal units. If a cable is found to be exposed, dragged from the side of the road, or liable to damage, it will be put back.
Permanent telephone and telegraph lines will not be cut or instruments damaged without definite orders from Brigade Headquarters or Higher Authority. Station calls for all units are shown in Appendix II.
All commanders must see that their system for reporting progress and for passing on important information is such, that these matters are not overlooked when their own attention is absorbed in handling their commands. All important information, whether regarding the enemy, or the position of our own troops, must be reported at once to Brigade Headquarters. Information must he passed not only to immediate superiors but also to all neighbouring troops to whom it may be of importance. Whether on the move or at rest it is the duty of all commanders to make themselves acquainted with what is going on around them, Find the position of all neighbouring troops.
MARCHES AND MARCH DISCIPLINE.
6. Normal order of March.
Brigade Headquarters and Signal Troop will be at the head of the main body. Spare horses and 1st Line Transport (other than technical vehicles) of the above immediately in rear of the 1st Line Transport of the leading unit. 1st Line Transport will march in rear of units. Water carts in front, followed by G.S. limbered wagons, Maltese cart, Cook wagon and spare horses.
7. March Discipline.
Troops, vehicles and horses will keep to the right of the road.
Strict precautions are to be taken to prevent men leaving their units unless unfit In this case they will be given a sinned permit by an officer and will then remain on the near side of the road till the arrival of a field ambulance. Should they require attention, this will be arranged for by leaving men from the medical personnel of the unit.
No man, not the bearer of a message, is to be detached on a duty which takes him from the line of march, unless accompanied by another man, and furnished with in order indicating the duty he has been detached for. Such parties will always be armed.
On the march, no man, not belonging to the Provost Marshal's establishment, is to enter a house, unless furnished with a written authority by a commissioned officer. A proportion of the brigade mounted police will brink up the rear of the brigade, accompanied by such reinforcements of mounted men as may be necessary. The chief duty of these police will be to sweep up stragglers, in which duty they will enlist the assistance of the local authorities. The military police will be especially vigilant in repressing plunder and in protecting the inhabitants from ill-treatment by soldiers.
On the march and especially during and after a long halt, the mounted police will be oil the alert against stragglers, and should search the villages and houses in the vicinity of the route followed. All ranks will be warned that if detached from their unit and unable to catch it tip the same night the surest way of rejoining is to return on their tracks and report to supply columns or reserve parks following up the troops, or to the nearest railhead on the line they have been following.
Should it be necessary to halt an ambulance wagon in order to pick up a casualty, the ambulance will pull to the side of the road and ,will rejoin the column in rear of any unit.
Vehicles that break down will not resume their proper places by passing the column, but will rejoin the column at the rear of any unit and will only resume their proper places during halts or by order of the Brigade Commander.
At the conclusion of a day's march the roadways must be cleared as soon as possible. When troops or trains are coming into quarters, no units are to send parties, horses water carts or other vehicles along the road on which troops, etc., are moving, without leave from a Brigade Commander.
Every unit of the Brigade will be halted by its commander at 10 minutes before every clock hour, unless tactical exigencies forbid, and the march will be resumed at the clock hour. The first halt will be made irrespective of the time the unit concerned marched off.
Distances are not to be made up during halts without the orders of the Brigade Commander.
During halts no men, vehicles or horses are permitted to remain on the left side of the road, but officers will fall out on the left of the road provided that the roadway is not thereby blocked.
Riding horses will be kept to the right of the road, but with their heads turned inwards towards the centre of the road.
9. Billets. Billeting parties.
The brigade billeting party will consist of:
The Staff Captain.
An A.S.C. Officer for requisitioning (if necessary).
Billeting parties from units in accordance with F.S.R.L 51(3) will march in formed parties under the senior officer in rear of the Brigade Headquarters.
10. Allotment of Quarters.
Officers will be clotted quarters with their respective squadrons, companies, etc., which must be kept intact. Officers and soldiers are not permitted to leave their allotted unit areas except on duty, and then only in formed and armed bodies under adequate control, except in the case of orderlies. O.C. units will invariably issue orders in quarters on the following points:
Curfew regulation for troops.
Restrictions on entry into liquor shops and other undesirable places.
Horses and vehicles will be concealed as far as possible and regular formation will be avoided when horses have to be picketed or vehicles parked in the open.
When going into billets or when unloading transport care must be taken to avoid blocking the road for troops still on the march. This is especially necessary in narrow village streets.
On reaching new quarters, an orderly from each unit will be sent to the Headquarters of the Brigade area. Orderlies sent to Brigade Headquarters will not leave without permission of the QC. Signal Troop.
When the Army Corps is oil the march and the Brigade or any part of it is on outpost duty, the officer commanding the outposts will not close or withdraw any part of their command until the officers commanding the advanced or flank guards have reported to them either personally or in writing that their troops are in position ready to take up the service of protection. Officers commanding advanced or flank guards will arrange to take over duties of protection in sufficient time to enable the outposts to resume their places oil the line of march, as detailed in operation orders.
The "Alarm" should be given through the ordinary channels of communication, i.e. the signal troop and orderlies without sounding bugles and as quickly as possible. In cases of great urgency and when the alarm has to be sounded by bugles (e. g. in scattered billets) this call will be taken up throughout the brigade, a report will be sent by the most rapid means and a officer to confirm this report will be dispatched immediately to Brigade Headquarters.
Unless otherwise ordered, all units on outpost, advanced, flank or rear guard duties or when going into action will march with their magazines charged.
15. White Flags.
The display or hoisting of a white flag the enemy is not a sign of surrender, but merely that he has a communication to make. If a white flag is displayed during an action firing will not be discontinued, but the appearance of the flag will be reported to Brigade Headquarters. The carrying on the person of white handkerchiefs or other white material is prohibited.
When troops are halted such measures as are practicable will be taken for concealment from aircraft; but no movement is to be suspended in order to secure this object without the order of the officer responsible for the movement. Messages from aeroplanes are dropped in weighted canvas bags, with streamers of blue, yellow and red cloth 4½ feet long; these messages will be forwarded at once to the addressee, through Brigade Headquarters in the case of units outside the Brigade.
17. Documents, etc.
(a) Individuals in the possession of any maps or papers which would be of value to the enemy will at once destroy them if in danger of being captured.
Officers and soldiers detached on special missions will not can- any orders or instructions in writing.
(b) Any letters, papers or documents found on the march or in quarters will be collected and handed over to an officer for examination. Those of importance will be handed over to the nearest staff officer.
(c) Copies of orders are to be reduced to a minimum and all drafts, notes, etc., are to be burnt.
(d) Leakage of information. All ranks must be constantly on their guard against allowing any information which might be of use to the enemy becoming known to the inhabitants. Conversations with inhabitants in friendly countries should be limited to ordinary courtesy and oil no account are military affairs to be discussed.
In hostile countries there should be no conversation with the inhabitants except what is necessary for the carrying out of military operations and business. Military operations are not to he discussed by anyone in public places where there is any chance of the conversation being overheard.
All errors and important omissions discovered in maps will be at once reported to Brigade Headquarters.
Photographs. No photographs will be permitted to be taken in the field.
19. Civilians, etc.
All civilians whose conduct gives rise to suspicion will be arrested, whether they have passes or not. Officers and soldiers are forbidden to give military information to military attaches, press correspondents or civilians.
(a) Prisoners will be searched immediately on capture and will be interrogated for tactical information; otherwise they will not be questioned except by the General Staff Officers whose duty it is to examine them.
(b) If any officer or man in the Brigade is captured he will give no information except his name and rank. This is all he is bound to tell the enemy.
All cipher work will be burnt immediately the ciphering or deciphering is completed.
No record of the ciphering will be kept in writing.
22. Arrival of Train.
Units are responsible for guiding their own portion of the train from the line of march to quarters, they will leave guides at suitable points on the road for the purpose.
All details ordered to accompany the train will march in closed formations, except men told off to attend to the breaks and drag shoes. These men will march in rear of their respective vehicles; their packs may be placed on the vehicles at the discretion of the O.C. Train, but they will invariably carry their rifles themselves.
No horses, mules, cycles, motor cars or other vehicles not allowed in War Establishments, 1914, or by subsequent sanction of the army corps commander, will be permitted to accompany the troops. All such animals or vehicles found with units overseas will be confiscated and handed over to the nearest remount or transport depot. No compensation of any kind will be given in respect of such forfeiture.
To assist identification of vehicles at night, all horsed vehicles will have distinguishing boards prepared, painted white, with the:
Nature of contents
in large black lettering.
The shape of these boards is to be:
Australian Division - Square.
New Zealand & Australian Division – Oblong (length twice height)
Corps Troops - Diamond.
The boards should be made to screw or nail on so as to be readily removed in the case of a breakdown. Distinguishing colours now in use by units may be retained, if desired, in addition to these boards.
Baggage sections of the train will be quartered with their regimental units.
Supply sections will empty on arrival in billets and will be quartered with their company of the train.
O.C units will detail one man per vehicle for escort and loading duties to accompany the train. The party front each unit being under an NCO or oldest soldier. These parties should be changed as little as possible.
(a) Rations for Army Service Corps drivers and men doing duty (one per wagon) with the train will be drawn by the unit with which they are quartered. The day’s rations both for the men and horses will be carried on the waggons to which they are allotted.
(b) Parties on detached duties which cannot be supplied regularly with rations, will either pay cash (and account for it on AFP 1967) or give receipts (AFP 280 and AB361) as ordered.
Officers commanding parties will report the number of rations purchased or requisitioned to their respective supply officers.
Unless otherwise ordered indents AB 55 will be furnished by units to their supply officers by 5 p.m. two days before the supplies are required.
All ranks are forbidden to divert their attention from the enemy in order to tend wounded officers or men. A wounded man who is unable to advance or take any further active part in an action will hand over his ammunition to the nearest soldier.
31. Evacuation of sick.
(a) On the march field ambulances form receiving stations. for. the sick of units in their vicinity. The sick who are to be evacuated to the lines of communication will be taken to refilling points. The O.C. Train will name the hour at which the sick are to be ready at these places.
The supply section of the train must not be unnecessarily delayed in order to pick tip sick on its return journey, and the empty waggons, etc., will not wait if the sick have not arrived at the appointed places in time.
Infectious cases are not to be carried in the supply waggons.
(b) When troops are stationary the same procedure will be adopted as the above, with the exception that the sick will if necessary, he taken direct to the various refilling points.
32. Sanitation. Evacuation of quarters.
(a) The attention of commanding officers is drawn to the regulations contained in FSR II 83(2) for the observation of which they will be held personally responsible.
(b) Except when tactical conditions forbid troops must fill in latrines and clear the ground before leaving.
(c) All paper, refuse, etc., will be burnt. Sign-boards, marks, etc., which would show strength of troops will be removed.
(d) Sites of latrines will be marked with a lame letter "L” formed with stones or with a notice board.
(e) Care will be taken that regimental units will employ in their sanitary detachments only NCO's and men who are trained in sanitary duties and their personnel should be charmed as seldom as possible.
(f) In order to ensure detection of cases of infectious diseases every individual suffering from fever or diarrhoea will be sent sick by O.C. units as early as possible.
33. Inspection of water.
Drinking water will only be taken from sources approved of by a medical officer and then only under the strictest supervision by the various RAMC detachments detailed for this duty.
34. Daily Duties.
(a) Inspections. Arms, ammunition and iron rations are to be inspected daily.
(b) Brigade Headquarters Guard, will be furnished as follows.
1 NCO and 9 other ranks will be detailed by the OC unit area in which the Brigade Headquarters are billeted or by the O. C orderly Regt. in camp. This guard will mount directly the camp, bivouacs or billets are reached.
(c) Fatigue and working parties are to parade fully armed.
(d) Fires. Fires will be concealed and grouped together as far as possible and extinguished when no longer required.
OC units will furnish daily a consolidated state in the form given in appendix II. This is to reach Brigade Headquarters by 6 p.m. daily. A nil report being furnished in the case of no change having occurred. The states referred to in FSR II 131(1) will be furnished on Sunday by 10 a.m. containing information up to 12 noon of the previous Saturday. The other states referred to in FSR II 131(2), (3) will be rendered as may be necessary.
(a) All messages should be written on AFC 2121 and will be numbered from 1 to 999 and then continence at No. 1 again.
(b) The following index letters will be used
Brigade Major - B.m.
Staff Captain - S. C.
Units will notify any requirements in cash one week in cash one week in advance.
General staff time, which will be used throughout the army corps, will be obtainable from the officer i/c army signals or staff officers of the army corps headquarters.
39. Station Calls.
The station calls as detailed in Appendix 1 will be used.
40. Priority telegrams.
The OC 2nd Light Horse Brigade is authorised to frank "priority" messages.
41. Distinguishing badges.
The following distinguishing armlets will be taken into wear by staff officers of the army corps:
Army Corps - Red over white armlet, 4" wide lettering in black "A. & N. Z.”
Divisions - Red armlet, 4" wide, lettering in black: 1/ AUST. Div. or N. Z. & A.
Infantry Brigades and Light Horse or Mounted Rifle Brigades - Blue armlet, 4" wide, lettering in black:
N. Z. M. R.
1/ L. H.
Corps Troops - Blue armlet, lettering black
2/ L. H.
3/ L. H.
Under no circumstances is specific reference to be made on post-cards, in letters, or matter posted in parcels or in private diaries sent home, to the place from which they are written or dispatched, to plans of future operations, to organisation, numbers and movements of troops, to the armament of troops and fortresses, to defensive works, to the moral or physical condition of the troops, officers or men, or personal criticisms thereon, to casualties, or to the service of maintenance.
43. Surplus or unserviceable equipment.
Surplus or unserviceable equipment will be returned daily by the supply columns. It should be noted that the OC Train will not he called on to give receipts for equipment so returned nor does lie demand one from the Authorities Railhead. Arrangements will also be made to collect and return sick or surplus animals to the advance base.
An aeroplane requires an open and clear landing place and alights in the direct line in which it is travelling. The general rules for safety to be observed by troops in the event of aircraft fly in; low are as follows:
(a) Individuals or quarter parties will at once proceed to some fixed object such as a tree or house.
(b) Formed parties of troops will halt if possible not in the direct line of flight.
(c) Troops will not scatter in the open as this makes any decision on the part of the flyer impossible.
(d) Should it appear that au aeroplane flying low might strike any- individuals, these should lie down in order not to be struck by the propeller.
(e) When an aeroplane descends in the vicinity of troops the commander of the latter will take steps to keep spectators clear of the ground on which it is about to alight.
45. Variations of compass.
Magnetic variations for 1914 are:
Paris – 13½ degrees W.
Brussels - 13 degrees W.
Berlin - 8 degrees W.
SIGNAL LETTER and SIGNAL STATION CALL
2nd Light Horse Brigade Headquarters
Second L.H. Bde.
L H B
2nd Signal Troop
Second Sig. Troop
5th Light Horse Regiment
6th Light Horse Regiment
7th Light Horse Regiment
2nd Light Horse Brigade Train
Second L.H. Bde. Train
L H T
2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance
Second L. H. F. A.
L H M
Standing Orders for the Military Police
2nd LIGHT HORSE BRIGADE.
1. General. The usual routine police duties will be continued in the Camp pending embarkation. The military police will make themselves acquainted with the names or numbers of the various units comprising the Brigade, and with the names and ranks (and, as far as possible, the personal appearance) of officers of the headquarters of the A. & N. Z. Army Corps, and all senior officers of the Brigade.
2. Command. In the absence of the Assistant Provost-Marshal, military police attached Brigade Headquarters will act under the direction of Staff Captain.
3. Duties on March. On the march, the non-commissioned officer and military police (except those detailed to accompany the billeting parts etc.) will invariably march -with, and in the rear of, the first line transport of the rear unit of the Brigade, and will prevent straggling. Stranglers and animals will be collected and march back to their units at the first opportunity. Strap animals not identified will be handed over to the nearest mounted unit. No man except the driver is to be allowed to ride on a wagon, unless provided with a pass signed by the transport officer. When passing through towns and villages the military police will march in rear of the formations to which they are attached, collect and bring on all stragglers.
4. Sale of Liquor. Non-commissioned officers and men of the Brigade are forbidden to enter any, or restaurant abroad for the purpose of buying liquor of any kind. The proprietors of such places (which are placed out of bounds) will be warned not to sell liquor to the troops, and the names and addresses of any proprietors or purchasers infringing this rule will be noted and reported to the Assistant Provost-Marshal.
5. Close touch and mutual cooperation will be maintained between the military police attached to the Brigade Headquarters and the regimental police belonging to the units of those formations.
6. Great care will be taken to protect the persons and property of the inhabitants from any violence or plundering, and they are to be treated courteously.
7. The military police will always endeavour to get into touch with and co-operate with the civil police in maintaining order.
8. Illegal Requisitioning. Only supply officers Army Service Corps, and ordnance officers are authorized to make requisitions for supplies and material, &c, for current requirements.
Indiscriminate requisitioning by other individual officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men and the granting of requisition receipt notes, is strictly forbidden and will be treated as plundering under the Army Act.
9. Sutlers. Traders and sutlers endeavouring to accompany and deal with the troops, unless provided with a pass signed by the Assistant Provost-Marshal, will be placed in custody and handed over to the civil police.
10. Powers of arrest. The military police may at any time arrest and detain for trial persons, subject to the military law, committing offences, and are authorised in cases of emergency, to call on any troops to assist them by supplying them with guards, sentries or patrols.
11. Charge reports. When handing over an offender to his unit for disposal, care will be taken to hand in a charge report at the same time. A duplicate charge report will be rendered to the Non-commissioned officer 1/c of the detachment of military police and by him to the Assistant Provost Marshal. It is particularly necessary that the names and addresses of all civilians whom the military- police may have to give in custody, or call as witnesses, should be carefully noted at the time, and also the names of the places where they mat- he found. The military police will likewise take steps to procure at the time, (or within 24 hours) a charge report duly signed for each person handed over to them for custody.
12. Field punishment. When an offender is handed over to the military police for execution of sentence of field punishment, or otherwise, a return is to be rendered by the officer by whom he his handed over showing the name and description of the offender, the offence, the date of award of punishment the punishment awarded and the name of the awarding officer. A committal warrant is not required for a sentence of field punishment. A register will be kept by the non-commissioned officer in charge of the military police with each formation of all punishments inflicted by them and how the offenders were disposed of after punishment. An extract dealing with the period of Sunday to Saturday will be sent to the Assistant Provost-Marshal each Sunday morning.
Battle of Romani, Sinai, August 4 to 5, 2nd LH Bde, AIF, War Diary Account Topic: AIF - 2B - 2 LHB
Battle of Romani
Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916
2nd LH Bde, AIF, War Diary Account
War Diary account of the 2nd LH Bde, AIF.
2nd Light Horse Brigade
Operations in Sinai Peninsula from 4th August to August 13th 1916.
At 0100 information was received that the enemy were attacking our outpost to the south west of Katib Gannit. The Brigade stood to and awaited orders. At 0400 the Brigade was ordered to support the 1st Light Horse Brigade who were being driven in by the enemy force. The Brigade immediately took up a position on Wellington Ridge. The 6th and 7th Light Horse Regiments in the firing line, and the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment in reserve.
The 1st Light Horse Brigade fell back to Wellington Ridge and subsequently to Et Maler. The Ridge was held by the 2nd Light Horse Brigade and a company of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The enemy in force were pressing forward and the Royal Welsh Fusiliers were then ordered to retire to Post 22. The advance of the enemy was slow owing to the splendid fight the 6th and 7th Light Horse Regiments were putting up. At 0730 the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment were ordered to take up a position with their left flank resting on No. 2 Outpost and extending to the west, to cover the retirement of the remainder of the Brigade from Wellington Ridge.
At 0700 the retirement from Wellington Ridge was ordered. This was carried out very slowly, squadron by squadron retiring short distances each supporting one another. During the retirement, many acts of gallantry were performed. The whole ridge was swept by shrapnel, machine gun and rifle fire, but not a man who was wounded was left behind. The casualties during the retirement numbered about eighty and all these were carried out stage by stage as the troops retired. At the final position taken up before leaving the Ridge a stand was made sufficiently long to have all the wounded removed to safety. The 6th and 7th Light Horse Regiments then withdrew the 7th Light Horse Regiment taking up a position on the west of the position already taken up by the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment. The 6th Light Horse Regiment taking up their position on the right of the 2nd and 3rd Light Horse Regiments who had been brought up into line.
At 0400 the Brigade moved forward to attack the enemy's position on Wellington Ridge and extending to about 3 miles to the west. The Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment supported on their right by the 7th Light Horse Regiment were the first to come into close contact with the enemy on the western slopes of Wellington Ridge. By a brilliant bayonet charge the ridge was carried and that was the turning point of the day in our favour. The enemy broke and fled in disorder. Prisoners were freely taken and in other places hundreds surrendered at a time. Six machine guns and equipment galore was strewn all over the field. The enemy were pressed and retired from their positions on Mount Meredith out on the plains towards Qatia closely followed by the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment supported by the 7th Light Horse Regiment. At Qatia the enemy made a stand and the advance of our troops was checked. During the retirement of the enemy, 800 prisoners, seven machine guns and an ammunition column was taken. Touch was established with the other Brigades of the Division and an order was given by General Chaytor, New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade for a combined attack on Qatia by the Mounted Division to commence at 1415. The Brigade attacked with its left approaching the north end of Qatia Hod and its right the tomb of Qatia. The advance with the 6th Light Horse Regiment on the right, the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment on the left, and the 7th Light Horse Regiment in reserve was carried out with spirit and energy pressing forward to within 500 yards of the enemy's position. Constant pressure was maintained upon the enemy until dusk and considerable casualties were inflicted by machine gun and rifle fire at close rang. At dusk the Brigade was ordered to return to Et Maler for supplies and water for horses. Some of the horses having been without water for forty hours. From the moment the counter attack was made in the morning, the closest touch was kept with the enemy, the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment in particular being conspicuous in this part of the operation.
The Brigade was commanded during the day by Lieutenant Colonel W Meldrum Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment, the Brigadier, Colonel JR Royston having been wounded.
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