Sippy Downs man James Dorse represented his grandfather and father who served in both World Wars.
Sippy Downs man James Dorse represented his grandfather and father who served in both World Wars. Matty Holdsworth

WWI Light Horse serviceman honoured by grandson

THERE'S a special place in James Dorse's Sippy Downs home reserved for a few items that takes precedence over all others.

It is the service medals of his grandfather and father rest, a daily reminder of the sacrifices they and thousands of Anzacs made for his family.

This morning, Mr Dorse made his way to the Buderim dawn service and gathered with more than 400 people to pay their respects.

As the Last Post sounded, his thoughts turned to the fallen soldiers who never made it home and the current soldiers still in service.

Harry Brown, who served in the Second World War.
Harry Brown, who served in the Second World War.
Buderim service: The Australian national anthem at the Buderim dawn service this morning, where hundreds gathered to pay respects.
Buderim service: The Australian national anthem at the Buderim dawn service this morning, where hundreds gathered to pay respects.

With the morning sun poking through the Coast skyline, his medals shone bright, reflecting the pride he shows for them.

"Dawn services are something I've gone to as early as I can remember. I am from Goomeri, a town of 400 people. So the whole town turns out," Mr Dorse said.

"I remember watching my grandfather and father march. Then you start to see those old guys disappear.

"Not too many of the WWII veterans are left, and even the Vietnam guys are old boys now."

Mr Dorse, who started in the Army Reserves, became a career firefighter before his retirement in 2017.

 

The service medals worn by James Dorse, honouring his father and grandfather.
The service medals worn by James Dorse, honouring his father and grandfather. Matty Holdsworth

He said it felt natural to follow in his family footsteps in serving his country.

"My grandfather, Albert Brown, served from 1915-1920. He was a trooper in the 14th Light Horse and in the first imperial camel corpe regiment," he said pointing to the top row of medals.

"He toured Egypt, Palestine and the Western Desert in WW1, then was transferred to the 14th Light Horse in Gaza for peacekeeping.

"He actually came home and settled in the South Burnett and lived until he was 90."

The second row of medals is for his father, Harry Dorse.

"Dad served over in the second 16th regiment in WWII, which is somewhat famous because of the Kokoda movie," he said.

"He served for a time but contracted malaria and was sent home. But through his service he actually met my mum."

Trooper Albert Brown, service number 1543 of the Australian Light Horse infantry from 1915 to 1920.
Trooper Albert Brown, service number 1543 of the Australian Light Horse infantry from 1915 to 1920.

Mr Dorse encouraged Australians and New Zealanders to pause to say thanks or raise a glass to the troops.

"Unfortunately there will always be wars, and always be conflict throughout the world," he said.

"And, young guys to come through to maintain the veteran's place.

"I take my hat off to them. And wear these medals in honour."

What did the Light Horse Infantry do in the First World War?

  • Similar to mounted infantry, the light horse servicemen usually fought dismounted, using their horses as transport to the battlefield and as a means of swift disengagement.
  • Some light horse regiments were equipped with sabres, enabling to fight in conventional cavalry roles.
  • The regiments contained 25 officers and 400 men, opposed to infantry battalions that consisted of around 1000.
  • A quarter of the command were charged to mind the horse during combat.