TASMANIAN LIGHTHORSE IN WW1
The Formation of the Brigade
When war was declared against Germany in 1914, the Australian government decided to equip and send overseas an Expeditianary Force. Part of this force was comprised of a Brigade of Lighthorse. Of this Brigade the 3rd Regiment was recruited from Tasmania and South Australia. C squadron was formed entirely of Tasmanians. The officers and many of the men came from the pre-war Militia, with many having served in the 26th Lighthorse Regiment. Many of the officers and men had also served in the Boer War. Training commenced immediately othe organisation of the Regiment was completed with C squadron training at Pontville in the south of Tasmania. Initial training focused on squadron drill before the troops were equiped and commenced qualifying with what was to become their primary weapon, the Mark III Lee-Enfield .303 rifle.
Transportation and Egypt
On the 19th of October 1914 C squadron struck camp at Pontville and marched to Hobart where they embarked on the transport ships S.S Katuna and Geelong. These ships rendezvoused with a fleet of 26 transports which carried other units of the 1st Australian Expeditionary Force (later to become the Australian Imperial Force). This fleet was further strengthened by the addition of 10 more transports containing the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. The fleet departed for its destination in Egypt on the 1st November 2014 and was escorted by the H.M.S Minatour, H.M.A.S Sydney, and H.M.A.S Melbourne. During the voyage troops were trained further in scouting, outposts, infantry minor tactics, trench warfare, reconnoitering, and target indication. This training helped to fill time during the 7 week voyage across the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and up the Suez Canal. The fleet reached its final destination at Alexandria and commenced disembarkation on the 9th of December 1914.
Although not involved in the landings the Regiment did see action in the Gallipoli campaign. After being issued with infantry equipment the Lighthorse were landed at Anzac Cove as reinforcements on the 12 May 1915. Although the Regiment were primarily involved in defensive roles around Shrapnel Gully, they soon came into contact with the Turks who were making a determined push toward the sea.
Battle of Romani
Battle of Romani
Beersheba and Jerusalem
The Jordan Valley
Armistice and deployment home
“The Story of the 3rd Australian Light Horse Regiment”
“Tasmania’s AIF Lighthorsemen C Squadron 3rd Light Horse Regiment” compiled by Peter James Pickering, ISBN 978-0-646-46704-7 2006