Sir Harry’s Foreword to the ‘History of the 11th Light Horse Regiment’, authored by E.W. Hammond, and published in 1942 by W. Brooks & Co: Brisbane.

 

It gives me great pleasure to write a “Foreword” to the history of the 11th Light Horse Regiment in the War of 1914-1918.

 

It is a regiment for which I have the greatest regard and affection. Not only were a number of its officers and men old friends of mine, but it was largely raised in my old District in Queensland and represents to-day my original Queensland Regiment, the Darling Downs Mounted Infantry which I joined in 1890.

 

The original Commanding Officer, Lieut -Colonel (afterwards Brigadier-General) W. Grant, C.M.G., D.S.O., served with me for many years, prior to the War, in the old Queensland Mounted Infantry and was a great personal friend up to the day of his death.

 

My war-time experience of the Regiment commenced on Gallipoli in August, 1915, when a squadron under my old friend and comrade of the South African War, Major J. A. Loynes, D.S.O., joined my Brigade to be attached to the 2nd Light Horse Regiment.  The squadron remained with the Brigade until the evacuation, and took part in all the vicissitudes of trench warfare incidental to that campaign.

 

I saw little of the Regiment again until a few days after the Battle of Romani, in August, 1916, when it appeared at a very opportune moment on the right flank of the Anzac Mounted Division as part of a Mobile Column under Colonel C. L. Smith, V.C., of the Imperial Camel Corps, to cut off the retreat of the enemy and help to remove, for the time being at any rate, the threat to the Suez Canal.

 

It was employed then in, more or less, independent operations in the Sinai Desert until the formation of the Imperial (afterwards "Australian") Mounted Division In March, 1917, under Major-General H. W. Hodgson, C.V.O., C.B.  The Imperial Mounted Division consisted of two Yeomanry Brigades (the 5th and 6th Mounted Brigades) and two Australian Brigades (the 3rd and 4th Light Horse Brigades.  The 4th Brigade (11th, 12th and 4th L.H. Regiments) had been re-formed for this purpose under Brigadier-General J. B. Meredith, D.S.O., who had commanded the 1st Light Horse Brigade at Romani. The 4th L.H. joined its Division on the 15th April at Deir-el-Belah, just prior to the 2nd Battle of Gaza, in which it distinguished itself (the part played by the 11th Light Horse is well described in this history).

After the 2nd Battle of Gaza the Regiment came actually under my command for the first time and remained therein until April, 1919.  It took a prominent part in all the operations of the Desert Mounted Corps, from Beersheba to Homs, and particularly distinguished itself at Beersheba, Sheria, Um-es-Shert (in the Jordan Valley) and Semakh.  This last brilliant little fight, with the capture of Tiberias which followed, concluded the Battle of Megiddo and left the way open for the advance on and capture of Damascus.

 

During its period under my command the Regiment responded gallantly to every call, and I am proud of my connection with it.

 

I congratulate all who were concerned with the compilation of this History, and particularly the Regimental Historian, Sergeant E.W. Hammond, who enlisted originally on 8th August, 1914, for service in the Islands, and, when that was completed, joined the 11th Light Horse, with which he served throughout the rest of the War.

 

HARRY CHAUVEL

27th March, 1942

Melbourne