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

Sneaky $1 parking hike takes motorists by surprise

The cost to park at the Lismore Rowing Club car park is now $1 more. Photo : Mireille Merlet-Shaw

It now costs $1 more to park at the rowing club.

Flu cases jump by 259% in Northern NSW

Community members are urged to access the 2017 flu vaccine.

Is there a flu crisis on the Northern Rivers?

Ten things to do in Ballina, Byron Bay and Lismore this week

The 1975 perform to a huge crowd at Splendour in the Grass 2014. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Spending a week in the Northern Rivers? Check this list out

Local Partners

Channing Tatum’s cheeky $2400 sex toy prank

ALWAYS the prankster, Channing Tatum decided he would go all out after wrapping his latest movie.

Still downloading Game of Thrones? Expect a letter

You mean to tell me HBO want to protect one of the world’s most popular shows?

HBO title holds record as most illegally downloaded show

Sam Newman's Footy Show performance baffles panel

Sam Newman on the Footy Show

“Cat got your tongue tonight has it?”

OJ Simpson loses cool as he begs to go free

Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectables sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier.

Tension at the parole hearing didn't stop OJ going free

Lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, dies age 41

Coroner spokesman Brian Elias says they are investigating Bennington's death as an apparent suicide but no additional details are available.

Chester Bennington's body was found in LA at 9am local time.

Chester Bennington’s tragic Chris Cornell connection

Bennington sings at Chris Cornell’s funeral on May 26 in Los Angeles. Picture: AP

Bennington reportedly godfather of one of Cornell’s three children

Holy schnit: This steak's the size of a small child

WHAT A STEAK: Sarah Atkins was amazed to see the Pinnacle Pub crumbed steak was bigger than one of her four-month-old twin daughters, Jorja.

It's not every day you get served a steak as big as a baby

Island resort living from just $250 a week

Couran Cove on Stradbroke Island is undergoing a makeover. Photo: Steve Holland

Resort offering permanent rentals at almost half normal rental price

New era for stunning historic Rocky venue

St Aubins Village, West Rockhampton.

St Aubins Village reopens to the public after years of closure.

Cashed-up investors driving Ipswich's luxury housing market

SOLD: Elia Youssef bought a home on Hilton Drive Camira for $830,000.

New wave of interstate investors and young super savers in town

Boom or bust? '5.5 million moving into retirement'

National Seniors said that the inequalities with the retirement sector are "a big problem and it's a growing problem".

"It's a big problem and it's a growing problem."