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© Christopher J Chalk

Photo license: © All rights reserved

The Australian Light Horse were mounted troops who served during the Second Boer War and World War I that combined characteristics of both cavalry and mounted infantry.

Light horse were like mounted infantry in that they usually fought dismounted, using their horses as transport to the battlefield and as a means of swift disengagement when retreating or retiring. A famous exception to this rule though was the charge of the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments at Beersheba on 31 October 1917. In 1918 some light horse regiments were equipped with sabres, enabling them to fight in a conventional cavalry role during the advance on Damascus. However, unlike mounted infantry, the light horse also performed certain roles, such as scouting and screening, while mounted.
The light horse were organised along cavalry rather than infantry lines. A light horse regiment was roughly equivalent to a battalion, but containing only about 600 men (an infantry battalion would contain about 1000 men). Around a quarter of this nominal strength (or one man in each section of 4) could be allotted to horse-holding duties when the regiment entered combat.

A regiment was divided into three squadrons, designated "A", "B" and "C", (equivalent to a company) and a squadron divided into four troops (equivalent to but smaller than a platoon). Each troop was divided into about ten 4-man sections. When dismounting for combat, one man from each section would take the reins of the other three men's horses and lead them out of the firing line where he would remain until called upon.

Photographed in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

*Canon EOS “KISS” D/SLR Camera

Exp - 1/160

F/L - 37mm

Apt - F/9

ISO - 100

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