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Light Horse Brigade Memorial
Light Horse Brigade Memorial

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

The Light Horse memorial recognises the origins of the Australian Light Horse emu plume with Capella. The monument consists of a Light Horse Brigade sculpture and two screen dioramas.

The Light Horse Brigade has historical significance to Capella. It is believed, that the first time Australian troopers wore Emu feathers in their slouch hats was at Peak Downs. The story is told, that a detachment of Mounted Infantry troopers guarding a gang of ‘non-union’ shearers during the great shearers strike of 1891 rode down to the creek one day when things were quiet and shot an Emu. Each took a handful of feathers and placed them in the band of his hat. From then on it became tradition for troopers to wear the Emu feathers.

At that time, 1891, officers of the Queensland Mounted Infantry units wore green cock plumes in their felt hats, but the ‘other ranks’ had no plume. By 1894 however, all non-commissioned officers and men of all mounted Queensland units wore the emu plume, and, by 1897 they had replaced the officers’ cock plume.

The Queensland Mounted Troops took great pride in their plumes and seemed to gain great strength of spirit from them during the Boer War (1899 – 1902). Indeed, when Major General Edward Hutton ordered the wearing of helmets in place of the plumed slouch hat, he faced much pressure including that from strongly lobbied Federal Members of Parliament. This led to some individuality being retained when he renamed all mounted Australian troops the Australian Light Horse. The new Queensland based units became the 13th, 14th and 15th Australian Light Horse (Queensland Mounted Infantry). They retained their name and the right to wear the emu plumes as part of their uniform right through Commonwealth Forces uniform revisions up until 1912.


Address:Gregory Highway , Capella, 4723
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -23.082778
Long: 148.021667
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Conflict


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 12th September, 2009
Front Inscription


The Light Horse were a mounted infantry that
usually fought dismounted. Each troop was
divided into four man sections. One would take
the reins of the other three men's horses and lead
them out of the firing line until cleared. The
successful cavalry charge at Battle of Beersheba
in 1917 an Australian legend.

Australian Light Horse units continue, generally as
Royal Australian Armoured Corps.

Capella's sons have proudly served with the
Light Horse and the slouch hat with its plumes
is still worn for parades and ceremonies



Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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