The 8th Light Horse was a mounted rifles regiment raised in Broadmeadows, Victoria on 23 September 1914. They sailed from Melbourne on 24 February 1915 with a strength of just over 500 men alongside the rest of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade.
During the First World War, the 8th Light Horse served on Gallipoli and in the Sinai and Palestine campaigns against the Ottoman Empire. They took part in the Battle of Beersheba, the capture of Jerusalem and the capture of Damascus.
The date of this service remembers the Battle of the Nek on 7 August 1915. The 8th Light Horse, sent to Gallipoli without their horses, formed the first two waves of attack on an easily defended Turkish position. Rushing the enemy over open ground and facing rifle and machine gun fire, the 8th Light Horse suffered heavy losses. Of the 600 Australians who took part in the charge, 234 were killed.
Over the course of the First World War, the 8th Light Horse lost 302 men killed in action, with a further 675 wounded.
Reviewed 14 November 2022