1st/15th Royal NSW Lancers Parade

Parramatta to commemorate more than 125 years of military tradition with CBD parade

The nation’s military history will come alive as Parramatta celebrates more than 125 years of the Royal NSW Lancers with a street parade through the CBD featuring cavalry, tanks, armoured vehicles and the modern day Regiment and band.

The Parramatta Lancers Parade, which marks the raising of the 1st Light Horse (Australian Imperial Force) in 1914, now known as the 1st/15th Royal NSW Lancers, pays tribute to Australia’s servicemen and women and commemorates 100 years since the declaration of World War I.

The historic parade will be attended by the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General, The Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (RETD).

The parade will depict an overview of the Lancers history, which began in 1885, and will include Lancers in historic uniforms, alongside modern-day soldiers.

Lancers Parade MapThe parade will commence at Parramatta Park at 1.30pm, proceed along Macquarie St and finish at the Lancer Barracks, in Smith Street. A family fun day will be held at the Lancer Barracks following the parade, from 2pm to 6pm.

Commemorate, Celebrate Parramatta's Grand Tradition of Lancers

What You Will See On The Day

Order of Proceedings:

  • Parade commences at Macquarie St at 1.30pm
  • 1: Section of mounted lancers from the Australian Light Horse Association – representing the Regiment in its earliest days
  • 2: Single rider wearing Boer War Lancer Uniform
  • 3: Section of Light Horse from the Australian Light Horse Association
  • 4: Motorise Machine Gun section truck
  • 5: Bren Gun Carrier
  • 6: Matilda Tank
  • 7: Ferret Scout Car MK2
  • 8: Centurion Tank
  • 9: Fire Support Vehicle
  • 10: Light Cavalry Reconnaissance Land Rover
  • 11: Bushmaster
  • 12: Regimental Band
  • 13: 1st/15th Royal NSW Lancers marching with Guidons
  • Parade concludes at 2pm
  • Open day at Lancer Barracks from 2pm to 6pm

Fun Facts

What is a Lancer?

  • A Lancer is a soldier of a cavalry regiment armed with lances.
  • A lance is a weapon of war used by soldiers on horseback. It has a sharp metal point affixed to the end of a long, wooden (usually bamboo) pole. It is used to spear enemy soldiers.

What is the significance of the Lancers Parade?

  • The Lancer Parade presents an opportunity to celebrate and honour the Lancer Regiment and marks the 125th anniversary of when the Lancers first established their presence at the Lancer Barracks in Parramatta.
  • The timing of the Parade (in August) is designed to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of WW1 in August 1914 and, specifically, the raising of the 1st Light Horse (AIF), substantially from the ranks of the then NSW Lancers.
  • It also takes the opportunity to commemorate the service and sacrifice, in both war and peace, of ALL members of what is one of the oldest and most decorated Regiments in the Australian Army. It will do this by bringing the entire history of the Regiment, from its foundation in 1885 to the modern Regiment today.

What is Parramatta’s connection with the Royal NSW Lancers and WWI?

  • Regimental Headquarters was moved to what is now known as Lancer Barracks by Lt. Col. Sir James Burns, a leading member of the Parramatta community, founder of the Burns Philp Company and Commanding Officer the Regiment in the late 1800s.
  • The Regiment has called Lancer Barracks and Parramatta “home” since that date, giving rise to its nickname, the Parramatta Lancers. The Lancers were therefore based in Parramatta when WW1 was declared in 1914.
  • The Regiment continues today as the 1st / 15th Royal NSW Lancers and is one of the oldest and most decorated Regiments, measured by their battle honours, in the Australian Army.

When was the first Lancer Barrack established in Parramatta?

  • Military presence (soldiers) in Parramatta traces back to 1788, when the first European settlement was established.
  • The Barracks was established in Parramatta in 1820 to house the British troops who garrisoned the then Parramatta area. It wasn’t until 1897 when the Lancer Regiments tie began in Parramatta.
  • Lancer Barracks, as it is now known, was built between 1818 and 1820. It was built to house the Parramatta based contingent of the British troops who garrisoned the then colony of New South Wales. It wasn’t until 1891 that the Regiments ties with Parramatta began

What can you find at the Lancer Barracks today?

  • Lancer Barracks is still an operational military barracks today and remains the home of the Regiment, although one Squadron is based in Canberra.
  • It is one of the oldest military barracks still in operation in Australia, with two original buildings from 1820 – the double story barrack block and a single story building with veranda known as Bob’s Hall (after Field Marshal Lord Roberts who commanded the British Army in the Boer War).
  • There is also the last remaining Federation Drill Hall, built in 1901, still being used for military training. These drill halls used to be found right across the country but, over the years they have either fallen down, been demolished or been converted for a variety of private business uses. Lancer Barracks in its entirety is a Commonwealth Heritage listed precinct.
  • The Regimental Museum is located within the Barracks. It is made up of a static display of guns, uniforms and memorabilia, contained within a sandstone Georgian building dating from 1828, and a collection of historic military vehicles, all of which were used by the Regiment at different periods of its history.
  • The entire Museum collection, now of over 7000 items, was placed on the NSW State Heritage Register in 2010.

Did you know?

  • The term Light Horse describes those Regiments whose soldiers are mounted on horseback to move them to and around the battlefield, but who dismount and fight on foot once the horses have got them as close as possible to the enemy positions. The term came into general use for Australian mounted regiments in 1903.
  • The Lancer Barracks in Parramatta were built by Lt. John Watts, in 1819 under instruction from Governor Lachlan Macquarie, who played an integral role in the establishment of the site.


There are many road closures on the day (see below), so forget the hassle of trying to beat the traffic and take public transport instead!

Parramatta offers transport to and from, via Train, Buss and Ferry. Timetables and information are available at or call 131 500.

  • Bus
    The Parramatta Shuttle Bus is a free transport solution provided by the NSW Government that connects tourists, residents and commuters to the commercial, retail and recreational landmarks of the city. Operating from 8am – 4pm, the free Parramatta Shuttle Bus runs every 10 minutes. You don’t need a ticket or a timetable – just look out for the green bus and jump on board.
  • Train
    The Parramatta Station is less than 5 minutes walk away from Macquarie Street. Exit the station on Darcy Street and walk East to Smith Street, then North to Macquarie Street. Visit the CityRail website.
  • Ferry
    Parramatta is a 50 minute ride by Rivercat Ferry from Circular Quay. The Parramatta ferry terminal is a 5 minute walk to Macquarie Street. Walk South, along Charles Street from the terminal. Visit the SydneyFerries website.
  • Car
    Due to road closures on the day (see below), we strongly encourage you organise parking before the event or for peace of mind commute by public transport. For details of extra public transport, or to plan a trip, visit, call 131 500 or download the Transport Info app.
  • Car Pooling
    Register with the new Western Sydney Car Pool Initiative to come along to the event with new friends from your area!
Road Closures
  • Special event clearways will be in place on sections of Macquarie Street, Pitt Street, Little Street and Charles Street from 8am to 3.30pm. Check signs carefully before parking as vehicles parked in special event clearways will be towed and a towing fee applies.
  • For a full list of road closures and clearways as well as information on current traffic conditions, visit


Visitor InformationVisitor Information

Event start:
30th Aug 2014 1:30pm
Host Venue: Macquarie Street, Parramatta
Cost: Free for spectators
Contact name: Parramatta City Council
Contact phone: 9806 5050


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