Irwin Barracks, Karrakatta, recently saw the return to the Australian Army, in regimental strength, of the venerable 10th Light Horse Regiment. With a lineage that hails back to the country’s colonial militia units, notably the Western Australia Mounted Infantry (WAMI) of Boer War fame, the 10th LHR was officially formed 10 October 1914 for service in the Great War.
And serve it did, earning battle honors at Gallipoli (with its doomed action at A-Nek immortalized in the 1981 Mel Gibson film of the same name), Gaza-Beersheba, Jerusalem, Megiddo, and Damascus.
Notably, one of the 10th’s squadron commanders, Capt. Hugo Vivian Hope Throssell, was the only light horseman during the “War to End All Wars” to receive the Victoria Cross, appropriately earned at Gallipoli.
During WWII, the unit was the last Australian Army outfit to be mounted on horses, maintaining them into April 1944, spending the war patrolling the remote Western Australian coastline for landings and saboteurs.
Disbanded as a regiment once the threat of Japanese invasion disappeared, it was only reformed in understrength squadron strength in 1949, using a combination of Land Rovers, armored cars, and APCs since then in the light reconnaissance role.
Now, on 10 October, the 107th anniversary of its founding prior to heading out to fight the Ottomans, the regiment is back.
As noted by the Australian Army:
The sound of hooves has blended with the dull roar of protected mobility vehicle engines during the re-raising of a historic Australian Army unit in Western Australia.
The 10th Light Horse Regiment has been re-raised at a ceremony in Perth, which also marked the 107th anniversary of the raising of the regiment in 1914.
The return of the unit to Army’s Order of Battle is a significant milestone of the Army Objective Force in enhancing Army Capability and Defence in Western Australia.
The regiment will now considerably increase its size to form a well-trained and capable new cavalry squadron for the West as part of the Australian Army’s modernisation program to be Future Ready.
Rather than horse, however, they will use Hawkei PMVs and Bushmasters (6×6 up-armored variants of the G-Wagon), in at least two squadrons and an HHC unit.