Military Wiki
2nd Light Horse Brigade
Active 1914–1919
Country Australia
Allegiance Australian Crown
Branch Australian Army
Type Mounted infantry
Role Light horse
Size cavalry Brigade
Part of (1) 2nd Australian Contingent, 1914-15;
(2) Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) New Zealand and Australian Division, 1915-16; and,
(3) ANZAC Mounted Division, 1916-19.
Equipment Horse rifle and bayonet

World War I

Unit colour patch 2nd Light Horse Brigade.jpg

The 2nd Light Horse Brigade was a mounted infantry brigade of the First Australian Imperial Force which served in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. The brigade first saw action while serving in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC)'s New Zealand and Australian Division during the Dardanelles Campaign in the Battle of Gallipoli. After being withdrawn to Egypt in February 1916 they served in the ANZAC Mounted Division from March 1916 as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign until the end of the war.


The 2nd Light Horse Brigade was raised in response to a promise made by the Australian Government to supply a division of 20,000 Australians comprising infantry, artillery and cavalry to be used at the discretion of Britain. The 2nd Light Horse Brigade was part of the 2nd Contingent that was hastily put together at the beginning of September 1914. The 2nd Light Horse Brigade was primarily raised from recruits currently serving in the various militia light horse formations created as a consequence of the Kitchener Report 1910 and the introduction of Universal Training.

Middle Eastern Theatre during World War I

The Brigade

5th Light Horse Regiment

This Regiment was recruited exclusively from Queensland.[1]

6th Light Horse Regiment

This Regiment was recruited exclusively from New South Wales. The use of a wallaby fur puggaree gave the 6th Light Horse Regiment a singular and distinctive appearance.[2]

File:P7100178 major-d-cross 1qaa1.jpg

The wallaby fur puggaree worn by the 6th LHR.

7th Light Horse Regiment

Originally planned to be a composite regiment drawing squadrons from Queensland, South Australian and Western Australia, the volume of recruits changed this plan and the regiment recruits came exclusively from New South Wales.[3]

2nd Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron

Initially, each Regiment within the Brigade raised their own Machine Gun Section which consisted of two troops and two Maxim machine guns. This situation remained from 1914 until in July 1916, when all Regimental Machine Gun Sections were excised and brigaded to form a Machine Gun Squadron. The 5th, 6th and 7th Machine Gun Sections were combined to form the 2nd Machine Gun Squadron under the command of the Brigade. The 2nd Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron was armed with 12 machine guns.[4]

2nd Light Horse Signal Troop

The 2nd Signal Troop was created on 1 April 1916 by drafting in four signallers from each of the 12 Regiments at the Suez Canal. In addition 16 men from the Wireless troop were drafted into the 2nd Signal Troop.[4]

2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance

The core 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance was formed in Brisbane with a contingent from Gympie.[4]

2nd Light Horse Brigade Train

The 2nd Light Horse Brigade Train was primarily recruited around Brisbane and trained at Enoggera. After Gallipoli, this unit underwent some name changes from 2nd Supply Section in February 1916 to 34th Australian Army Service Corps Company in February 1917.[4]

7th Mobile Veterinary Section

Prior to 1916, each Regiment maintained their own Veterinary Section, usually consisting of half a troop. After the formation of the ANZAC Mounted Division in 1916, the three individual Regimental Veterinary sections were brigaded to form the 7th Mobile Veterinary Section.[4]


Artillery support was provided for the 2nd Light Horse Brigade from British batteries. The first British battery attached to the Brigade was the 3rd (Territorial Force) Horse Artillery Brigade, Somerset Battery. This battery remained until the re-organisation of February 1918 when the Somerset Battery was replaced by the British 18th Royal Horse Artillery Brigade, Inverness Battery.[4]

2nd Light Horse Training Regiment

The 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment was formed in Egypt during March 1916, tasked with training incoming reinforcements while allowing the wounded and sick a place to recover before returning to active service. The Training Regiment contained three squadrons, each duplicating the Regiments within the Brigade to whom it supplied the reinforcements. The Training Regiment was disbanded in July 1918 to be replaced by the Anzac Light Horse Training Regiment when recruits were no longer tied to a Regiment but placed in a general pool of reinforcements called the General Service Reinforcements.[4]

2nd Light Horse Double Squadron

Formed Egypt 6 July 1916 from 2nd Light Horse Brigade reinforcements. It was officered and administered by the 2nd Light Horse Brigade. This Double Squadron was broken up in November 1916 with the men being transferred to the newly formed Imperial Camel Corps Battalions.


The Brigade embarked to Egypt during the months of October and November 1914. In Egypt additional training occurred at the Maadi Camp. Subsequent embarkations of reinforcements occurred as and when sufficient recruits were gathered and prepared for movement to a war theatre. See: Troop transport ships for information and photographs about the various ships employed in transporting the troops to Egypt.


Brigadier General Granville De Laure Ryrie, 17 September 1914 to March 1919.[4]



The Brigade was disbanded at Kantara, July 1919 when the various regiments within the Brigade embarked for Australia. As each Regiment arrived at its specific home port, it was disbanded.


Other Australian Light Horse Brigades

External links

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