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.

Gallipoli

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

Sinai campaign

Beersheba and Jerusalem

The Jordan Valley

Armistice and deployment home

References
“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

3rd Lighthorse Regiment

Battle Honours

25 April 1915 – 30 June 1915

Awarded for participation in operations within the “Anzac” area of the Gallipoli Peninsula, which extended from Gaba Tepe in the south, to Fisherman’s Hut in the north.

08 May 1915 – 30 June 1915

Awarded for participation in defensive operations at Anzac (Gallipoli) between 8 May and 30 June 1915.

06 August 1915 – 21 August 1915

Awarded for participation in the amphibious landings at Suvla Bay and the subsequent consolidation of positions ashore. Also awarded for participation in operations conducted from the Anzac area to support the effort at Suvla.

06 August 1915 – 10 August 1915

Awarded for operations at Anzac between 6-10 August 1915, including the breakout, the various diversions, and operations conducted in support of the Suvla landing.

25 April 1915 – 07 January 1916

A theatre honour acknowledging all contributions to military operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula between the landings on 25 April 1915 and the evacuation of Allied forces in the period December 1915 to January 1916.

04 August 1916 – 05 August 1916
Awarded for defensive operations conducted between 4-5 August 1916 against Turkish forces near Rumani (Romani), Egypt.
23 December 1916 – 09 January 1917

Awarded for participation in operations conducted in the vicinity of the Egypt-Palestine frontier between 23 December 1916 and 9 January 1917, including the battles at Maghdaba and Rafa, Egypt.

26 January 1915 – 08 February 1917

Acknowledges involvement in defensive operations to protect Egypt from Turkish incursions during the period January 1915 to February 1917.

27 October 1917 – 07 November 1917

Awarded for participation in operations, collectively known as the third battle of Gaza, mounted to breakthrough the Gaza-Beersheba line, including the capture of Beersheba, the assault on Sheria, and the capture of Gaza.

08 November 1917 – 08 November 1917

Awarded for participation in operations to secure Mughar Ridge, Palestine.

17 November 1917 – 24 November 1917

Awarded for operations conducted in the vicinity of Nebi Samwil.

07 December 1917 – 30 December 1917

Awarded for participation in the operations to capture and occupy Jerusalem between 7 and 9 December 1917, and its subsequent defence between 26 and 30 December 1917 .

21 December 1917 – 22 December 1917

Awarded for operations conducted around Jaffa to secure the British and dominion position at Jerusalem.

19 February 1918 – 21 February 1918

Awarded for participation in the advance to, capture and occupation of the strategically important town of Jericho, as part of operations to secure the west bank of the Jordan River.

24 March 1918 – 04 May 1918

Acknowledges involvement in actions around Es Salt during the 1918 raids across the Jordan River: the Amman Raid (24-25 March 1918), and the Es Salt Raid (30 April-4 May 1918).

27 March 1918 – 30 March 1918

Awarded to specifically acknowledge participation in the actual assault on Amman during the Amman Raid of March 1918.

19 September 1918 – 25 September 1918

Awarded for participation in the first phase of the final Allied offensive in Palestine.

19 September 1918 – 25 September 1918

Awarded for participation in operations conducted in pursuit of Turkish forces retreating towards Nablus after the British and dominion breakthrough of 19 September.

26 March 1917 – 31 October 1918

A campaign honour acknowledging all military contributions made between 26 March 1917 and 31 October 1918 to operations against Turkish forces in Palestine.