To the beating of the Australian Army Band drums, A Squadron of the 10th Light Horse Regiment marched onto the parade ground to commemorate the centenary of the Regiment’s return to Australia.
When Great Britain declared war in 1914, there was an overwhelming enthusiasm among Australians to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force.
One of the key elements was the mounted infantry of 3rd Brigade and their Light Horse regiments across the country.
The 10th Light Horse Regiment was formed in Guildford, Western Australia, and broken into three Squadrons; A, B and C. On February 8, 1915, A and B Squadrons left Fremantle Harbour on the transport ship Mashobra, with C Squadron leaving on February 17.
The complete regiment was in Egypt by March at Mena Camp and Heliopolis, before going on to serve with distinction at Gallipoli.
They saw action at Quinn’s Post, the Battle of the Nek and the fight for Hill 60, where Lieutenant Hugo Throssell was awarded the Victoria Cross. The regiment also campaigned against Turkish forces in Sinai, Palestine and Syria, before its final mission of quelling the Egyptian uprising.
Parade Commander Major Duane Nurse said it was fitting that the commemorative parade was held at the Australian Army Museum of Western Australia, overlooking Fremantle harbour, where the regiment arrived home nine months after the war ended.
“This historic occasion has been enhanced with the addition of the mounted members from the Kelmscott Pinjarra 10th Light Horse Memorial Troop, a M113 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle and A squadron’s own Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle,” Major Nurse said.
“The members of the 10th Light Horse Regiment that fought so gallantly over 100 years ago will live on in the A Squadron members here on parade who are charged with carrying on the regiment’s traditions and legacies.”
The 10th Light Horse Regiment was a significant component of 3rd Light Horse Brigade and the most highly decorated Australian light horse unit for The Great War – it was also the last Australian Light Horse regiment to return to Australia, arriving home on the transport ship Oxfordshire on August 4, 1919.