Commentary: Strike and Strike Swiftly

“The 10th went forward to meet death instantly, the men running as swiftly and as straight as they could be at the Turkish rifles. With that regiment went the flower of the youth of Western Australia…who had flocked to Perth with their own horses and saddlery in order to secure enlistment in a mounted regiment of the A.I.F. Men known and popular, the best loved leaders in sport and work in the West, then rushed straight to their death.” – Charles Bean

The 10th Light Horse Regiment is one of the Australian Army’s oldest and most famous units.

Raised 107 years ago in 1914, they hold battle honours from Gallipoli, Gaza, Beersheba, Jerusalem, Megiddo and Damascus. 

Their valour and sacrifice at the Battle of the Nek, described above by Charles Bean in his Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918, is famously captured in Peter Weir’s iconic film Gallipoli.

However since 1976 they have been reduced in size to a sub-unit, serving in 13th Brigade as ‘A’ Squadron, 10th Light Horse. 

This was a consequence of post-Vietnam downsizing of the Army. 

But as great power competition increases across the Indo-Pacific, we must be ready for whatever the future holds.

On Sunday, the 10th Light Horse will be re-raised as a full regiment here in Western Australia. 

We are equipping the 10th Light Horse Regiment for the challenges of the decade ahead.

Their mission will remain a traditional cavalry one of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance—enabled by modern innovation and technology.

The 10th have already taken delivery of their first new Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicles, 1,100 of which are being built for the Army here in Australia.

By increasing its size to a full regiment, the 10th Light Horse Regiment will play an important role supporting ADF operations here in WA and across the Indo-Pacific.

To mark the re-raising of the regiment, a parade is being held this Sunday from 1.30pm at Langley Park in Perth.

The parade is open to the public, with a mounted horse troop and the new Hawkei vehicles taking part.

I’ll be there, and if you’re in Perth, I hope you can make it too.   

The way we fight has changed over the last century, but the 10th Light Horse Regiment esprit de corps endures today, spurred on by their motto: Percute et Percute Velociter – Strike and Strike Swiftly.  

Andrew Hastie Picture Of The Week I Was Only Nineteen is one of Jonathan’s favourite books at the moment. When I told him that one of my mates—Bill, from Preston Beach—is a Vietnam Veteran, he was determined to meet him.  Bill was wounded in action fighting with 1RAR at the Battle of Coral-Balmoral on 16th May 1968.

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