Tabulam's central position in formation of 41st Battalion

Members of the 41st Battalion at Tabulam Centenary, October 5, 1985
Members of the 41st Battalion at Tabulam Centenary, October 5, 1985

ON October 5, 1985 an important army ceremony was held at Tabulam.

People came from far and wide to see the soldiers parade and to watch the ceremonies.

What was the reason for this celebration, and why was it held at the rural village of Tabulam?

The story goes back to the establishment of volunteer army units in our area, to the proud history of the Australian Light Horse and the Lancers, both overseas and in Australia, to its descendant, the Byron Scottish Regiment, and to the present-day 41st Battalion based in Lismore.

The man who established the local units was Captain C.H.E. Chauvel, owner of Tabulam Station.

Captain Chauvel had been in the Indian Army before settling in Australia.

When the units were formed he became their leader and four of his sons were also members, including Lt. Gen. Harry Chauvel who led the Light Horse in the First World War.

Harry Chauvel is said to have been Australia's greatest cavalry leader, and possibly the world's greatest.

The original troop was established in 1885 and soon several other troops were established at various towns throughout the Northern Rivers Area.

Regular parades were held as well as annual camps when the units vied with others from around the state.

Many trophies were won by local men and some even participated in competitions and ceremonies in England.

When the Boer War began local men volunteered.

The First World War saw Harry Chauvel and his men at Gallipoli, fighting as infantry, and then in Palestine.

They were involved in many battles but perhaps the most famous event was the Charge of Beersheba.

This was later immortalised in the film 40,000 Horsemen, produced by Harry Chauvel's nephew, Charles Chauvel.

Many of the local men serving in the regiment at that time participated in the Beersheba scene.

Lismore-based architect and soldier Lt. Col. Frederick Johnson Board was the commanding officer of the local Light Horse/Lancers from 1912-16 when he was put in charge of the 41st Battalion.

He was wounded in early 1918 at Messines Ridge and invalided home.

Most local men were in this Queensland-based Battalion.

After the War Board resumed his role and remained in charge of the local unit until 1923.

The 41st Battalion fought with great distinction in the war and it was presented with a King's union flag at Lismore Showground in 1924.

The presentation was made by Sir Harry Chauvel who, by that time, was Chief of General Staff.

In 1927 the local unit was renamed The Byron Regiment and in 1937 a link was made with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

In 1949 the name was again changed, this time to Byron Scottish Regiment and the unit had the right to wear kilts - one from the famous Black Watch Regiment.

The Second World War saw further changes. The horses were replaced with tanks and armoured carriers, and eventually the old name of 41st Battalion returned.

Lismore was proclaimed battalion headquarters and over the years it has became a solid part of the local community, especially in times of flood.

Local military history is, however, long and involved.

Topics:  history light horse brigade world war 1

How to judge a winning bull at Casino's Cattle Competition

James Dockrill from Clovass handles the winner on the day Flemington Like A Cat at the Cattle Competition at Casino Beef Week.

High prices and big bulls at Casino's Cattle Comp

'Hunted like game': nude beach creeps prompt calls for safety

Residents have made calls for beachgoers to report sexual harassment to local police.

Calls for beachgoers to report sexual harassment to the local police

Stan our man for Archibald Prize

Stan Gilchrist in front of the portrait  East Ballina artist Brett Belot will enter in the Archibald Prize later this year.

Local face to be entered in prestigious national art prize

Local Partners

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

IF AUSTRALIA does have a tall poppy syndrome, Mia Freedman has most certainly been a victim.

Comedy production hits Rochdale stage

Thoroughly relishing their roles as the three crotchety old veterans (performed by Co Gray Wilson, Jason Smith and John Taylor), they provide fascinating individual insights into three proud men who despite their frailties are determined be adventurous and joyful to the end.

Heroes is a comedy play by Gerald Sibleyras.

Stan our man for Archibald Prize

Stan Gilchrist in front of the portrait  East Ballina artist Brett Belot will enter in the Archibald Prize later this year.

Local face to be entered in prestigious national art prize

Mandy and Ellen will be just women like us in Nimbin

DUO: Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs bring their hit show Women Like Us to Nimbin.

Hit comedy show heading towards Nimbin

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Bonville to become new housing hub

REZONING: Large areas of Bonville have been rezoned for residential

Land rezoning will turn farmland into housing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!