Indigenous Australian, Arthur HOMER, 5th Light Horse Regiment.
Trooper Arthur HOMER, was born in Bathurst, NSW in 1889 the son of Thomas Homer and Margaret Mary Mason; he enlisted at Lismore, NSW not long after the declaration of Australia’s involvement in the First World War, in September 1914.
With previous service in a Light Horse regiment at Corakai, he was assigned to join a mounted regiment and transferred to Enoggera Camp, Brisbane where the 5th Light Horse was being brought to strength, under the command of Lieut. Col. Harris.
It was here that Homer had his photograph taken, which was later published in The Queenslander Pictorial, prior to his embarkation.
Trooper Arthur Homer was allocated to ‘B’ Squadron, 5th Light Horse Regiment; on 12 December 1914 troops and horses travelled by train from Newmarket, Qld and arrived in Liverpool, NSW, 2 days later. They sailed for Egypt from Sydney on board HMAT Vestalia, 21 December 1914.
Several men died on the voyage, of pneumonia and measles, but the remainder of the troops and horses arrived at Alexandria on 1 February 1915 where they were transported by train to Cairo and marched to the Light Horse camp at Maadi.
While infantry battalions were readied for operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula, the Light Horse were keen to join them, and offered their services ‘dismounted’. They were to join their comrades in 3 weeks after the landing, arriving at Anzac Cove on 19 May 1915.
Arthur Homer was killed in action, Harris Ridge, Gallipoli, 28 June 1915 during a difficult operation when British shell fire from ships anchored in the harbour, landed among the Australian troops. There is little noted in Homer’s records about his service, however in red script it is stated that Homer’s body was initially left where he fell, at the Balkan Gun Pits, on Harris Ridge.
In 1921 his body was re-interred at Shell Green Cemetery by the Imperial War Graves Commission, along with 403 other identified casualties. His effects and service medals eventually found their way to his next of kin, his father Thomas Homer.
Read more …
- SERVICE RECORD: HOMER, Arthur Charles
- EMBARKATION ROLL: 5th Light Horse Regiment
- HONOUR ROLL: Homer, Arthur Charles
- UNIT WAR DIARIES: 5th Light Horse Regiment
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- GALLIPOLI: THE ABORIGINAL PRESENCE
- IMAGE: The Queenslander Pictorial, 28 November 1914
- One of the soldiers featured in SLQ’s HistoryPin Collection
- View the whole Collection: Indigenous enlistment
- Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen Digital Story and Oral History
Marg Powell & Des Crump | QANZAC100, State Library of Queensland