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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Light horse

Guest carrielee

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Hi my great grand father was in the 2nd light horse regiment,he enlisted in 1914 his name is William denis James and his service number was 25.He was a drover from Queensland and horse breaker prior to the war.My granparents photos were all destroyed in a flood in Brisbane and there are no photos of him. I am looking for any info on the 2nd 14th light horse.

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Welcome to the forum!

There is a little bit of info here


Not much!

You may try contacting the regimental museum if you have not already. The following website has details of its location and contact details.


All the best


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The Light Horse unit diaries are available on line at the Australian War Memorial.


His service record is digitised at the National Archives.


There is a little more information from the Embarkation Rolls (where he was living and the ship he embarked on)


Bright Blessings


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You don't say where you live. If you are near Brisbane, you can visit the State Library. They have on microfilm copies of the 'Queenslander', a magazine published from the mid-1800's till the early 1960's. During the 1914 - 1918 they published photographs of thousand's of Queensland soldiers before embarkation. In 1914 -1915 they published a portrait photo of nearly every individual soldier. I would be willing to bet serious cash that your great-grandfather's photo is amongst them. The library had a card index to make locating the photos easier. Copies could then be ordered through National Archives.

There have been two unit histories published:

History of the 2nd Light Horse Regiment byG.H. Bourne. This book was reprinted a few years ago and should be available from Australian military book sellers. It is also available on CD at http://www.ozebook.com/ozebook/2lh.htm

Forward: A history of the 2/14th Light Horse Regiment by J. Starr and C. Sweeney. This is available at http://www.lighthorse.org.au/unitsact/2_14th.htm

This is a potted history of the Regiment in 1914 - 1918, cut & pasted from the Australian War Memorial's site:

2nd Light Horse Regiment

The 2nd Light Horse Regiment was raised at Enoggera in Queensland on 18 August 1914. Its recruits came mainly from Queensland but some hailed from the northern rivers district of New South Wales. The 2nd was one of three regiments of the 1st Light Horse Brigade - the first Australian mounted formation raised by Australia during the First World War. The regiment sailed from Brisbane on 25 September and disembarked in Egypt on 9 December.

The 2nd Light Horse Regiment deployed to Gallipoli without its horses and landed there on 12 May 1915, joining the New Zealand and Australian Division. It played a defensive role for most of the campaign but did attack the Turkish trenches opposite Quinn's Post, one of the most contested positions along the ANZAC Line. The first assault wave was mown down and fortunately the officer commanding the attack had the wisdom and courage to call it off. The 2nd was withdrawn from the front line in September and left the peninsula on 18 December.

Back in Egypt, the 2nd Light Horse joined the ANZAC Mounted Division. Between January and May 1916, the regiment was deployed to protect the Nile valley from bands of pro-Turkish Senussi Arabs. On 18 May, as part of its parent brigade, it joined the forces defending the Suez Canal. The 1st Light Horse Brigade played a significant role in turning back the Turkish advance on the canal at the battle of Romani on 4 August. In ensuing days the regiments of the brigade participated in the immediate follow-up of the defeated Turks, but were soon withdrawn to rest.

The 2nd Light Horse Regiment rejoined the Allied advance across the Sinai in November and was subsequently involved in the fighting to secure the Turkish outposts on the Palestine frontier - Maghdaba on 23 December 1916 and Rafa on 9 January 1917. A stint of protective duty along the line of communications through the Sinai followed. The 2nd's next major engagement was the abortive second battle of Gaza on 19 April. Gaza finally fell on 7 November, after a wide outflanking move via Beersheba, in which the 1st Light Horse Brigade played a part.

With the capture of Gaza, the Turkish position in southern Palestine collapsed. The 2nd Light Horse Regiment participated in the advance to Jaffa that followed, and was then committed to operations to clear and occupy the west bank of the Jordan River. It was involved in the Amman (24-27 February) and Es Salt (30 April-4 May) raids and the repulse of a major German and Turkish attack on 14 July 1918.

The final British offensive of the campaign was launched along the Mediterranean coast on 19 September 1918, with the ANZAC Mounted Division taking part in a subsidiary effort east of the Jordan aimed at Amman. Turkey surrendered on 30 October 1918. The 2nd Light Horse Regiment sailed for Australia on 13 March 1919 without their horses, which were either shot or transferred to Indian cavalry units.

Battle honours


Defence at ANZAC


Sari Bair

Gallipoli 1915-1916



Egypt 1915-1917


El Mughar

Nebi Samwill




Jordan (Es Salt)

Jordan (Amman)



Palestine 1917-1918


203 killed, 472 wounded

Commanding Officers

Stodart, Robert Mackay

Glasgow, Thomas William (Bill)

Barlow, Sydney William

Bourne, George Herbert




10 MC


15 MM


34 MID

3 foreign awards

All the best in your research,


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Bob your a bloody legend,thanks for the infomation and i am a Brisbane girl but i live in Western Australia ,and will be hopefully going over in July.Just so happens my Great Grandfather was Batman to Lieut-Col Stodart ,I got his service papers from Canberra War Memorial recently.I am trying to chase his war medals up,he remarried after my Great Grandmother died and her name was Mabel Campbell but don't know his second wife's maiden name.her name was Mary.I am in the process of getting birth cert and death cert with help from my mum .I am going to Gallipoli next year as i can't get holidays till July this year.

Once again thanks very much to all who replied.

Cheers Carrie

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