"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.
General Service Reinforcements, Outline Topic: AIF - DMC - GSR
General Service Reinforcements
By late 1917, the pool of Australian volunteer recruits had dried up. This created difficulties for individual battalions and regiments as recruiting was specific to that particular formation. To overcome this problem, it was determined to place recruits into a pool from which the battalions and regiments could draw their reinforcements. In the latter part of 1917 and throughout 1918, men who enlisted with the Light Horse became part of this reinforcement pool known as the GSR (General Service Reinforcements).
For men who embarked with the latter regimental reinforcement, from the 33rd Reinforcements, the men in these cohorts were sent into the General Service Reinforcements pool and thence allotted on the same principle as those who entered specifically the GSR through the recruiting office.
As they arrived in Egypt, the men were allotted to a Light Horse Training Regiment, one being established for each of the four Light Horse Brigades. This system lasted until July when these training regiments were abolished and a single training camp was established for new recruits at Moascar, known as the ATD & DC (Australian Training Depot and Details Camp). From there they were allotted to a regiment, usually a regiment of the state from which the man originated. While this did not overcome the manpower shortages in the regiments, it was a system that allotted men according to the greatest need.
One peculiarity in recording the details of these men who enlisted within the Light Horse GSR that did not occur for the other GSR, no Embarkation Rolls were created as they existed for the infantry. This has meant that these particular soldiers do not show up in the major institutional data bases. It is through intensive research of individual service files held by the National Archives of Australia, the various unit Routine Orders and available ship rolls that the Light Horse GSR rolls on this site can be re-constructed and placed in their present form. The consequent rolls are a living monument to the research dedication of a small group of volunteers.
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