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 After being withdrawn to Egypt in February 1916 they served in the ANZAC Mounted Division from March 1916 as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force during the Sinai and Palestine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.
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. It served in the Gallipoli and Sinai and Palestine campaigns. 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.
This regiment was recruited exclusively from Queensland.
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.
Originally planned to be a composite regiment drawing squadrons from Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, the volume of recruits changed this plan and the regiment recruits came exclusively from New South Wales.
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.
The 2nd Signal Troop was created on 1 April 1916 by drafting in four signalers 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.
The core 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance was formed in Brisbane with a contingent from Gympie.
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.
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.
Artillery support was provided for the 2nd Light Horse Brigade from British batteries. The first British battery attached to the Brigade was the Somerset Battery of III Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (T.F.). This battery remained until the re-organisation of February 1918 when the Somerset Battery was replaced by the Inverness-shire Battery of XVIII Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (T.F.).
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.
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.Brigadier General Granville De Laure Ryrie (17 September 1914 – March 1919)