It is believed that the photograph was taken between 1899 - 1903. Depicted is a group of fourteen unidentified young men dressed in Australian military uniforms. A few of them are holding swords.
This group were part of the Beechworth Mounted Rifles; a voluntary detachment of the Australian Light Horse Militia. This unit consisted of soldiers from the Euroa, Longwood, Violet Town, Benalla, Thoona, Wangaratta, Rutherglen, and Beechworth Detachments of Victorian Rifles, and subsequently formed into the 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment (Victorian Mounted Rifles). The Victorian Mounted Rifles was gazetted as a volunteer formation on 2 December 1885 with the aim of consolidating all the disparate calvary units dispersed across Victoria into a coordinated and single administrative and military unit.
Two contingents of the Victorian Mounted Rifles fought during the Second Boer War (11 October 1889 - 31 May 1902). This conflict was fought between the British Empire and two independent Boer states; the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South Africa.
The photograph is historically significant due to its connection to the Second Boer War and Australian Light Horse Regiment. This significance is enhanced by Australia's involvement in this war, specifically of the Victorian Mounted Rifles. This unit retains a special significance within Victorian culture, as there is a memorial and monument - erected in 1903 - honouring their service on St. Kilda Road in Melbourne.
The record has strong research potential. This is due to the ongoing scholarly and public interest in war, military history, and the ANZAC legend. The historic context of this record can provide insight into Australia's history, military and defence policies. Lastly, as the Victorian Mounted Rifles remain a largely unexplored topic in comparison to other military units and divisions, the record presents a unique opportunity for further and important study and research.
Sepia rectangular photograph printed on matte photographic paper.
Inscriptions & markings
071 1NA211 22JAN98 FOTOSUPPLIES........ ........................................ /