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Australian Mounted Division
Active Imperial Mounted Division 1917
Australian Mounted Division 1917–1919
Country  Australia
 Great Britain
Type Division
Role Mounted infantry Australian light horse yeomanry cavalry
Part of Desert Column
Desert Mounted Corps
Egyptian Expeditionary Force
Anniversaries 31 October Beersheba Day
Equipment Horse rifle and bayonet (Yeomanry armed with swords) 1916–1918. After the Yeomanry were sent to the Western Front, from mid-1918 a sword was added to the Light Horse along with Mixte de Cavalerie du Lavant Regiment

First World War

Major General Henry West Hodgson (1917–1919)

The Australian Mounted Division originally formed as the Imperial Mounted Division in January 1917, was a mounted infantry, light horse and yeomanry division. The division was formed in Egypt, and along with the Anzac Mounted Division formed part of Desert Column, Egyptian Expeditionary Force in World War I. The division was originally made up of the Australian 3rd Light Horse Brigade, (formerly Anzac Mounted Division) the reconstituted 4th Light Horse Brigade, and two British yeomanry brigades; the 5th Mounted Brigade and 6th Mounted Brigade.[1]


During the First Battle of Gaza, the division (as the Imperial Mounted Division) provided protection from counter-attack on the eastern flank while the main infantry assault was underway. The brigades became the rearguard during the withdrawal from Gaza after the attack was called off.


The core brigades of the division were:

3rd Light Horse Brigade

4th Light Horse Brigade

5th Mounted Brigade (January 1917 – April 1918)

5th Mounted Brigade
Organisation, July 1917[2]

The British 5th Mounted Brigade (formerly the 1st South Midland Mounted Brigade[3]) joined from Corps Troops in January 1917 on formation of the division.[4] With the division, it took part in the First and Second Battles of Gaza.[5]

The brigade remained with the division when it was renamed Australian Mounted Division on 30 June 1917. It then took part in the Third Battle of Gaza including the Capture of Beersheba and the Battle of Mughar Ridge. It also resisted the Turkish counter-attacks in the Turkish Defence of Jerusalem.[5]

Charge at Huj, by Lady Butler

Three of the brigade's squadrons took part in the Charge at Huj, the last British cavalry charge against enemy guns.

In March 1918, the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division was broken up in France. The Canadian (Canadian Cavalry Brigade) and British units (7th Dragoon Guards, 8th Hussars and N and X Batteries, RHA) remained in France and the Indian elements were sent to Egypt.[6]

By an Egyptian Expeditionary Force GHQ Order of 12 April 1918, the mounted troops of the EEF were reorganised when the Indian Army units arrived in theatre. On 24 April 1918, the 2nd Mounted Division[lower-alpha 1] was formed[7] on the Indian Establishment;[lower-alpha 2][8] 5th Mounted Brigade was merged with elements of the 3rd (Ambala) Cavalry Brigade and assigned to the new division.[9][lower-alpha 3]

6th Mounted Brigade (January 1917 – June 1917)

6th Mounted Brigade
Organisation, July 1917[10]

The British 6th Mounted Brigade (formerly the 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade[3]) joined from the Western Frontier Force in January 1917 on formation of the division.[4] With the division, it took part in the First and Second Battles of Gaza.[5] The complete brigade was transferred to the newly formed Yeomanry Mounted Division on 27 June 1917, joining it at el Maraqeb.[11]

5th Light Horse Brigade (from mid-1918)

British 19th Horse Artillery Brigade

HAC 13-pounders March 1918

Each battery was equipped with four Ordnance QF 13 pounder field guns.[12]

Light Horse Field Ambulance

See also


  1. Not to be confused with the original 2nd Mounted Division which served dismounted in Gallipoli.
  2. British Indian Army standard whereby brigades only retained one British regiment or battalion and most support units were Indian (artillery excepted).
  3. Later, the brigade was redesignated as 13th Cavalry Brigade and the division as 5th Cavalry Division.[9]


  1. Falls 1930 Vol. 1, pp. 273–4
  2. Perry 1992, p. 54
  3. 3.0 3.1 James 1978, p. 36
  4. 4.0 4.1 Perry 1992, p. 55
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Perry 1992, p. 56
  6. Perry 1993, p. 20
  7. Perry 1993, p. 28
  8. Perry 1993, p. 27
  9. 9.0 9.1 Perry 1993, p. 26
  10. Becke 1936, p. 32
  11. Becke 1936, p. 33
  12. Farndale 1988, p. 95


  • Becke, Major A.F. (1936). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 2A. The Territorial Force Mounted Divisions and the 1st-Line Territorial Force Divisions (42–56). London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 1-871167-12-4. 
  • Falls, Cyril; MacMunn, George (1930). Military Operations Egypt & Palestine From the Outbreak of War With Germany to June 1917. Official History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. 1. London: HM Stationery Office. OCLC 610273484. 
  • James, Brigadier E.A. (1978). British Regiments 1914–18. London: Samson Books. ISBN 0-906304-03-2. 
  • Jones, Ian (1987). The Australian Light Horse. Australians at War. Australia: Time-Life Books. OCLC 18459444. 
  • Farndale, General Sir Martin (1988). History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery: The Forgotten Fronts and the Home Base 1914–18. Woolwich: The Royal Artillery Institution. ISBN 1-870114-05-1. 
  • Massey, William T. (1920). Allenby’s Final Triumph. London: Constable & Co.. 
  • Perry, F.W. (1992). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 5A. The Divisions of Australia, Canada and New Zealand and those in East Africa. Newport: Ray Westlake Military Books. ISBN 1-871167-25-6. 
  • Perry, F.W. (1993). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 5B. Indian Army Divisions. Newport: Ray Westlake Military Books. ISBN 1-871167-23-X. 
  • Preston, R.M.P. (1921). The Desert Mounted Corps: An Account of the Cavalry Operations in Palestine and Syria 1917–1918. London: Constable & Co.. OCLC 3900439. 

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