The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Trooper (later Sergeant) Reginald Brodie

Reginald William Finch Brodie was a warrior who fought with the mounted troops in the Boer War and in WWI and policed the wild tribesmen in New Guinea.

Reginald Brodie was born in 1881 and raised to a rural life on 'Emu Creek' station near Crows Nest, Queensland.

Reginald Brodie worked on the land and was recorded by the Army working as a bushman for his aunts husband, George King on 'Goonoo Goonoo' station near Tamworth, NSW in 1902.

Reginald Brodie enlisted for service in the (second) Boer War (aka British - South African) aged 20 years at Tamworth on 19 Apr 1902 and served in the 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse Battalion on occupation and garrison duties in South Africa where he was promoted to Sergeant.

After the war Reginald Brodie returned to working on the land on various properties and was recorded by the Army working as a stockman at Longreach, Qld in 1915.

Reginald Brodie enlisted in WWI at 33 years at Longreach on 9 Jan 1915 and served mostly in the 11th Light Horse Regiment (11 LH). He embarked with the AIF on HMAT 'Borda' from Brisbane on 16 Jun 1915 and landed in Egypt. He fought in the unsuccessful Gallipoli Campaign for 2 months in the trenches, in the successful Battle of Romani, Sinai where he was wounded in action, being shot in the right leg at El Ferdan on 10 Aug 1916. He returned to duty and fought in the successful Battle of Beersheba (aka Gaza III) on 31 Oct 1917 and they went in pursuit of the retreating Turks and made an unsuccessful cavalry charge at Sheria on 7 Nov 1917. He fought in the Capture of Jerusalem 7-9 Dec 1917 and the unsuccessful Action of Es Salt, Jordan on 30 Apr-4 May 1918 where the Turks cut off their retreat, forcing them to ride over limestone cliffs and crags like mountain goats in the cold rain and mud and some horses fell hundreds of metres to their death. Lastly he put down a Muslim uprising involving riots and terrorism in Egypt from Mar-May 1919. He embarked from Kantara, Egypt on HT 'Morvada' on 20 Jul 1919 and landed in Australia on 28 Aug 1919. He was discharged from the AIF after 5 years service including 27 months in the combat zone on 29 Oct 1919.

After marriage in 1922 he changed occupation to work for the Commonwealth Government at Rabaul, New Britain, New Guinea. He performed a policing role until he died at 55 years at Rabaul on Christmas eve 1936. After his death the Volcanoes of Rabaul harbour erupted in the worst eruption in New Guinea history and it was reported the white women and children including Mrs Brodie, 2 daughters and a son were evacuated on 'Montoro' from Kokopo to Brisbane and Sydney (Bris Courier Mail 10/06/1937).

Refs: History of 11 LH AIF 1914-19 by E. Hammond 1942.
National Archives of Australia ADF Personnel Rec-Army-BoerW sB4418-279-1902 and WWI sB2455-248-1914-20.

Robert McLellan - 2011

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