3rd Light Horse Regiment (Australia)

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3rd Light Horse Regiment
3rd light horse badge.jpg
3rd Light Horse Regiment hat badge
Active 1914–1919
Country  Australia
Branch Australian Army
Type Mounted Infantry
Size Regiment
Part of 1st Light Horse Brigade
Engagements First World War
North African Campaign
Gallipoli campaign
Senussi Campaign
Sinai and Palestine Campaign
Insignia
Unit Colour Patch 3rd Light Horse.jpg

The 3rd Light Horse Regiment was a mounted infantry regiment of the Australian Army during the First World War. The regiment was raised in September 1914, and by December as part of the 1st Light Horse Brigade had moved overseas. During the war the regiment only fought against the forces of the Ottoman Empire, in Egypt, at Gallipoli, on the Sinai Peninsula, and in Palestine and Jordan. After the armistice the regiment eventually returned to Australia in March 1919. For its role in the war the regiment was awarded nineteen battle honours.

Formation[edit]

On 17 August 1914, the 3rd Light Horse Regiment was raised in Adelaide, South Australia and in Hobart, Tasmania.[1] It had an establishment of twenty-five officers and 497 other ranks serving in three squadrons, each of six troops.[2] Each troop was divided into eight Sections, of four men each. In action one man of each section, was nominated as a horse holder reducing the regiments rifle strength by a quarter.[3] Once formed the regiment was assigned to the 1st Light Horse Brigade serving alongside the 1st and 2nd Light Horse Regiments.[1]

All Australian Light Horse regiments used cavalry unit designations, but were mounted infantry armed with rifles, not swords or lances,[4] and mounted exclusively on the Australian Waler horse.[5]

Operational history[edit]

3rd Light Horse Regiment in front of Bethlehem

Departure for Egypt[edit]

In October 1914 the regiment left Australia arriving in Egypt in December. Here they took part in the North African campaign defending the Suez Canal. They remained there until May 1915, when they left for the Gallipoli campaign with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).[1]

Gallipoli[edit]

The regiment left their horses in Egypt, and arrived at the Gallipoli peninsula on 12 May 1915.[1] Here regiment fought in the Landing at Anzac Cove, and the Battle of Sari Bair, but spent most of the campaign in a defensive posture. The regiment left Gallipoli for Egypt in December 1915, by which time they had earned four battle honours.[1]

Sinai and Palestine Campaign[edit]

Two snipers from the 3rd Light Horse Regiment

Back in Egypt, the regiment still with the 1st Light Horse Brigade, became part of the ANZAC Mounted Division, responsible for the defence of the Suez canal from raiding Senussi Arabs. The on 4 August 1916, they fought in the Battle of Romani, before being withdrawn to rest and refit.[1] The regiment rejoined the brigade in November and took part in the battles of Maghaba and Rafa in December 1916 and January 1917. This was followed by defeat in the second battle of Gaza in April 1917, and the successful Battle of Beersheba and the third battle of Gaza in October and November.[1]

The regiment followed up the retreating Ottoman forces and fought in the battle of Mughar Ridge the battle of Nebi Samwill, the battle of Jerusalam, the battle of Jaffa, the capture of Jericho, the attack on Amman, the attack on Es Salt and finally in September and October 1918 the battles and Megiddo and Nablus.[1]

The Ottoman Empire signed the Armistice of Mudros on 30 October 1918, and the regiment sailed for Australia in March 1919. Their campaigns in the First World War had cost them 158 men killed and 653 men wounded.[1]

Commanding Officers[edit]

Battle honours[edit]

ANZAC · Defence at ANZAC · Suvla · Sari Bair · Gallipoli 1915–1916 · Egypt 1915–1917 · Romani · Magdhaba-Rafah · Gaza-Beersheba · El Mughar · Nebi Samwill · Jerusalem · Jaffa · Jericho · Jordan (Es Salt) · Jordan (Amman) · Megiddo · Nablus · Palestine 1917–1918
[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "3rd Light Horse Regiment". First World War, 1914–1918 units. Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 – Volume Vol7". Australian War Memorial. p. 54. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Horner and Williams, Chapter Setting up the Light Horse
  4. ^ "Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 – Volume Vol7". Australian War Memorial. p. 29. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 – Volume Vol7". Australian War Memorial. p. 38. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  • Horner, David; Williams, Dr Peter (2010). Australia's Military History For Dummies. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-1-74246-894-5. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Smith, Neil (1993). The Third Australian Light Horse Regiment 1914–1918: A Short History and Listing of Those Who Served. Gardenvale, Victoria: Mostly Unsung Military History, Research and Publications. ISBN 9780646134871.