5th Light Horse Regiment (Australia)
|5th Light Horse Regiment|
5th Light Horse Regiment hat badge
|Part of||2nd Light Horse Brigade|
|Engagements||First World War
North African Campaign
Sinai and Palestine Campaign
|Unit Colour Patch|
During the war the regiment 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 sixteen battle honours.
The 5th Light Horse Regiment was raised in September 1914, at Brisbane from volunteers from Queensland, and was assigned to the 2nd Light Horse Brigade. Light horse regiments normally comprised twenty-five officers and 497 other ranks serving in three squadrons, each of six troops. 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.
On 21 December 1914, the 5th Light Horse Regiment left Sydney for Egypt, arriving on the 1 February 1915. When the Australian infantry units were dispatched to Gallipoli, it was thought the terrain was unsuitable for mounted troops, and the light horse regiments remained in Egypt. However casualties resulted in the deployment of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade as reinforcements in May 1915. On arrival the regiment was attached to the 1st Division, who by this stage of the campaign were fighting a defensive battle. The regiment were involved in several small attacks, before being withdrawn in December 1915.
Sinai and Palestine Campaign
After arriving back in Egypt, the regiment still with the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, was assigned to the ANZAC Mounted Division. There first action defending the Suez canal from an Ottoman incursion through the Sinai desert. The regiment's role was mainly patrolling the desert, and in August following the battle of Romani, were involved in several small battles.
In December 1916, the ANZAC Mounted Division moved into Palestine, the regiment carrying out patrols and raiding Ottoman positions during the advance. On 27 March 1917, the regiment fought in the first battle of Gaza, and attacking the town from the rear, was fighting through the town when ordered to withdraw. They then fought in the unsuccessful second battle of Gaza and the third battle of Gaza, when the town was finally captured.
The regiment was then involved in following up the retreating Ottoman forces into Palestine. In 1918, they were positioned on the River Jordan, fighting two small battles at Amman in February and Es Salt in April and May. The main British assault was on the coast, but the regiment remained on the Jordan, attacking Amman in September. On 29 September two of the regiments squadron's accepted the surrender of 4,5OO Ottoman soldiers. When the armistice of Mudros was signed in October 1918, and the war in the Middle East ended, the regiment returned to Egypt, to assist in putting down a riot. Then on 28 June 1919, the regiment sailed for Australia, the war having cost them 137 killed and 708 wounded.
ANZAC · Defence at ANZAC · Suvla · Sari Bair · Gallipoli 1915–1916 · Egypt 1915–1917 · Romani · Gaza-Beersheba · El Mughar · Nebi Samwill · Jerusalem · Jordan (Es Salt) · Jordan (Amman) · Megiddo · Nablus · Palestine 1917–1918
- Lieutenant Colonel Hubert Jennings Imrie Harris
- Lieutenant Colonel Lachlan Chisolm Wilson
- Lieutenant Colonel Donald Charles Cameron 
- "5th Light Horse Regiment". First World War, 1914–1918 units. Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 – Volume Vol7". Australian War Memorial. p. 54. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- Horner and Williams, Chapter Setting up the Light Horse
- "Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 – Volume Vol7". Australian War Memorial. p. 29. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "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. Milton, Queensland: John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-1-74246-894-5.
- Wilson, L.C.; Wetherell, H. (1926). History of the Fifth Light Horse Regiment (Australian Imperial Force) from 1914 to October 1918. Sydney, New South Wales: The Motor Press of Australia. OCLC 221240758.