Saturday the 27 September, 2014 is not just the day you head into Southbank to watch the spectacular Riverfire Fireworks it is the day you can take in some real history outside The Courier-Mail Piazza at South Bank from 12 noon until 6.00 pm.
The Queensland Government is helping to commemorate the 100 years anniversary of the formation and departure of Queenslanders as members of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). Within weeks of Britain declaring war on Germany on the 4 August 1914 the 9th Infantry Battalion and the 2nd Light Horse Regiment were formed from over 1500 Queensland and Northern New South Wales volunteers. Both of these Queensland units would become heavily involved in landing and then holding their positions on the Gallipoli peninsula.
The two Queensland units were joined with other newly established units from all over Australia to form the AIF that left Australia in September, 1914 for Egypt.
The 9th Battalion, one of the first infantry units raised for the AIF, was joined with the 10th, 11th and 12th Battalions to form the 3rd Brigade. This Brigade became the covering force for the Gallipoli landing and was in the first wave ashore at around 4.30am on the 25 April 1915. The 9th battalion was heavily involved in establishing and defending the Anzac beachhead and served continuously until the evacuation in December 1915.
The 2nd Light Horse Regiment, formed at Enoggera on the 18 August, 1914 from Queensland and some northern rivers, New South Wales volunteers was one of three regiments of the 1st Light Horse Brigade. On the 12 May 1915 the regiment landed at Gallipoli, without its horses, to bolster the forces already there.
2nd Light Horse Battalion in Brisbane August 1914 - Queensland State Library
The tribute to these two iconic regiments will be in the form of an educative encampment and exhibition outside The Courier-Mail Piazza at South Bank from 12 noon until 6.00 pm.
You will be able to see first-hand how Queenslanders played their role in the AIF and what life was like for all the soldiers during the First World War. About 30 actors, dressed in 1914 uniforms and period dress, will re-enact life and events as they happened in 1914 Queensland, including recruitment, training and embarkation of the AIF.
You will also be able to meet current members of the Australian Light Horse Association who will undertake a commemorative ride through Brisbane on 100 horses to represent the 100 years starting at 5.00pm.
Route Map of the 100 Horses Commerative Ride - Qld. Gov.
This spectacle will be an eye-opener for us to see how our forebears proudly and enthusiastically volunteered to answer their nation's call. The educative encampment, exhibition and commemorative ride will add greatly to the occasion and make Riverfire 2014 a much, much more memorable occasion.
Anyone looking for books on these two units can find them at an online bookshop called Booksforever; which specializes in Australian military history and has these unit books available.