10th Light Horse Regiment

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10th Light Horse Regiment
10th Light Hrse Regiment.jpg
Shoulder patch
10th LHR.jpg
10th LHR Machine Gun on Rhododendron Spur, Gallipoli. AWM photo G01339

Brief History

On 10 October 1914, "C" Squadron of what had until then been known as 7th Light Horse Regiment was officially re-designated the 10th Light Horse Regiment. It was the only AIF light horse unit raised in Western Australia, with initial members forming "C Squadron" of the 7th Light Horse Regiment at Guidford in October 1914. When it was obvious that an entire unit could be formed in WA, the existing members became "A Squadron" of the new 10th Light Horse Regiment while "B & C Squadrons" formed up at the Claremont Agricultural Showgrounds before moving to join the original men at Guildford until December when they all relocated to Claremont. Following Christmas leave, on 6 Jan 1915 the unit boarded SS Zephyr at the Claremont jetty for Rockingham where they remained until early February when they returned to Claremont to prepare for embarking overseas.

The Regiment (less "C" Squadron ) embarked on HMAT A47 Mashobra on 8 Feb 1915 and sailed in convoy for Colombo, arriving there to re-coal the ships on 21 Feb 1915. Departing two days later they reached Alexandria in Egypt on 8 Mar 1915. From there they travelled by train and by march to Mena Camp. Meanwhile "C Sqadron" arrived in Suez aboard HMAT A52 Surada on 22 Mar 1915, and joined the rest of the Regiment at Mena Camp the following day.

The regiment's first action came during the Gallipoli campaign. Due to the terrain and the static nature of the fighting on the peninsula, it was felt that mounted units could not play a part; however, a number of light horse units were deployed in a dismounted role as infantry. These units left 25% of their personnel in Egypt to care for the horses. The 10th Light Horse Regiment landed at Gallipoli on 21 May 1915 from the SS Lutzow. Initially they were used in a defensive role, but in August, with the Allies attempting to break the stalemate, they were active participants in the August Offensive. The regiment's action at The Nek during this offensive which was immortalised in the final scenes of the 1981 Peter Weir film Gallipoli. It was also involved in the Battle of Hill 60 later in August. In the late evening of 14 Dec 1915 remnants of the Regiment, less its Machine Gun Section was evacuated by lighter to the steamer "Abassia" which sailed overnight for Mudros harbour where they transhipped on 16 Dec 1915 to HMAT A10 Karoo for the journey to Alexandria where they disembarked on 20 Dec 1915.

Reverting to its original mounted infantry role, the regiment saw service in the Middle East for the remainder of the war, taking part in numerous actions including those at Romani and Beersheba. But first it needed to retrain as a mounted unit, and it undertook training at Heliopolis where it was not only brought back up to strength with newly arrived reinforcements, but was able to form a fourth Squadron. On 29 Feb 1916 the Regiment moved to take a position in the defensive line east of the Suez Canal, relieving the 11th Battalion. Ther first offensive action in the Sinai was to empty or damage natural watr points that the Turks could use to support an action against the Canal.

The regiment was later given the honour of leading the Australian Mounted Division into Damascus, and accepted the formal surrender of the city on 1 Oct 1918. It had also been amongst the first troops to enter Jerusalem. During its service during the war, the regiment suffered 237 killed and 479 wounded including two deaths and four wounded during actions to assist in the suppression of a nationalist uprising in Egypt during March 1919. Six of the forty locals who served with the unit did not return to Australia.

What remained of the 10th Light Horse were eventually repatriated to Australia aboard SS Oxfordshire, departing Egypt on 10 July and arriving in Fremantle on 4 Aug 1919. Following its return to Australia, the 10th Light Horse Regiment was disbanded in 1919, after which the 10th Light Horse was raised as a CMF Unit.

Regiment Personnel

Battle Honours

  • South Africa
  • Gallipoli
  • Gaza-Beersheba
  • Jerusalem
  • Megiddo
  • Damascus

Individual Honours


Further information on the 10th Light Horse Regiment's role in the war can be found in Westralian Cavalry in the War - Limited Edition by Lt Col Olsen; ndated, Alexander McCubbin and Gallipoli to Tripoli, 2011, Neeville Browning & Ian Gill - Hesperian Press.

Content for the history and honours sections has come from a combination of Wikipedia and the Australian War Memorial websites. Both of the above references have also contributed.

  1. "10th Light Horse Regiment". Australian Army. Retrieved 21 April 2012.

External Links