Military Wiki
3rd 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) 3rd Australian Contingent, 1914–15;
(2) New Zealand and Australian Division, 1915–16;
(3) ANZAC Mounted Division, 1916–17;
(4) Imperial Mounted Division, 1917;
(5)Australian Mounted Division, 1917–19.

World War I

Unit colour patch 3rh Light Horse Brigade.jpg

The 3rd 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 during the Dardanelles Campaign in the Battle of Gallipoli where they were noted for their charge during the Battle of the Nek. After being withdrawn to Egypt in February 1916 they were involved in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign until the end of the war. They were attached to a number of different formations being part of the New Zealand and Australian Division in December 1914, the ANZAC Mounted Division in March 1916 and the Australian Mounted Division in June 1917 who they remained with until the end of the war


The 3rd 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 3rd Light Horse Brigade was part of the 3rd Contingent that was hastily put together at the beginning of October 1914. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade was primarily raised from recruits serving in the various militia light horse formations created as a consequence of the Kitchener Report 1910 and the introduction of Universal Training.

The Brigade

Middle Eastern Theatre during World War I

8th Light Horse Regiment

This Regiment was recruited exclusively from Victoria.[1]

9th Light Horse Regiment

This was a composite Regiment recruited from South Australia with two squadrons and Victoria which formed one squadron.[2]

10th Light Horse Regiment

Originally recruited in Western Australia as "C" Squadron 7th Light Horse Regiment but extended to become a Regiment (10th Light House Regiment) in its own right. It was recruited exclusively from Western Australia and the Militia 25th Australian Horse.[3]

Charge of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade at the Battle of the Nek , Painting by George Lambert, 1924

3rd 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 8th, 9th and 10th Machine Gun Sections were combined to form the 3rd Machine Gun Squadron under the command of the Brigade. The 3rd Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron was armed with 12 machine guns.[4]

3rd Light Horse Signal Troop

The 3rd Signal Troop was created on 1 April 1916 by drafting in four signallers from each of the 12 Regiments at the Suez Canal.[4]

3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance

Originally recruited at Melbourne in October 1914 to form part of the 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance, when Military Order 575 of 1914 created the 3rd Light Horse Brigade and the unit became the 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance.[4]

3rd Light Horse Brigade Train

The 3rd Light Horse Brigade Train was primarily recruited around Melbourne and trained at Broadmeadows. After Gallipoli, this unit underwent some name changes from 3rd Supply Section in February 1916 to 35th Australian Army Service Corps Company in February 1917.[4]

8th 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 8th Mobile Veterinary Section.[4]


Artillery support was provided for the 3rd Light Horse Brigade from British batteries. The first British battery attached to the Brigade was the British 4th (Territorial Force) Horse Artillery Brigade, Inverness Battery. This battery remained until the re-organisation of February 1917 when the Inverness Battery was replaced by the British 19th Horse Artillery Brigade, 1/1 Nottingham Battery.[4]

3rd Light Horse Training Regiment

The 3rd 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]

3rd Light Horse Double Squadron

Formed Egypt 6 July 1916 from 3rd Light Horse Brigade reinforcements. It was officered and administered by the 3rd 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 February and March 1915. In Egypt additional training occurred at the Mena 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 Frederic Godfrey Hughes - , 17 October 1914 to 8 October 1915;
Brigadier General John MacQuarie Antill - 8 October 1915 to 8 August 1916;
Brigadier General John Robinson Royston - 8 August 1916 to 30 October 1917;
Brigadier General Lachlan Chisholm Wilson - 30 October 1917 to August 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.




  • Hamilton, John (2004) Goodbye Cobber, God Bless You, PanMcMillan Australia

External links

Other Australian Light Horse Brigades

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