Saturday, 9 November 2013

Australian World War One ANMEF Military Book

Australia's Real Baptism Of Fire - WW1 New Book
Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force

 September 2014 will mark the centenary of Australia's first armed conflict of World War One. Britain had declared war with Germany on the 4th August 1914. Australia followed and promised, " to help and defend her to our last man and our last shilling." On the 6th August, Britain asked for Australia to make urgent capture of German Interests to our north in New Guinea and associated islands. During the late 19th Century, Germany had made a colony in New Guinea and several Pacific island groups. Importantly, Australia was to seize and destroy a radio station located at Rabaul. Britain believed that this radio station was being used for relay communication for the German Navy ships namely the Cruisers Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau.

During these early times, Australians displayed much enthusiasm for the war. A 2000 strong Force which was to be called Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (ANMEF) was quickly assembled from the large number of volunteers. In Sydney, 1000 men mostly with prior military service made up the 1st Battalion of the ANMEF. A further 500 naval reservists and 500 militia volunteers from the Kennedy Regiment North Queensland, two machine-gun sections, a signalling section, and a detachment of the Australian Army Medical Corps completed the force. The fledgling Australian Navy supplied a flotilla of ships which included the AE1 and AE2 Submarines.
On the 11th September 1914 the force arrived at Rabual and the Battle of Bita Paka was fought against the defenders. During the Battle six Australians were killed and five wounded, there was some acts of extraordinary heroism. The loss of life was swelled when the AE1 Submarine was mysteriously lost with all hands of 35 sailors.
The Germans at Rabaul surrendered on September 13, Nadang was occupied on September 24, New Ireland on October 17, Nauru on November 6, the Admiralty Islands on November 19, and the German Solomon Islands on December 9.
The ANMEF left New Guinea on January 9,1915, having been relieved by the specially recruited Tropical Force.

Click here see a detailed account of the ANMEF Military Book.  

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Reminder - Fromelles to Nauroy The History of the 31st Battalion

West Australian Author Neville Browning has once again produced a magnificent Battalion History Book. This time it is about the predominately Queensland 31st Battalion AIF. 
When it comes to presentation Neville produces a superb book. Made to last generations. When released last week, Neville made the following comments, ’The book is fantastic quality. All printed in WA. The jacket and cover are based around the Battalion’s colours – brown and gold. The case is brown cloth with gold foiling. It has a gold ribbon bookmarker built in and brown and gold tail bands on the book ends. The jacket photo is sepia with colour patches as well! Book contents are really well produced and the photos have great clarity. Really pleased with this one.’ 

This is the first edition limited to 500 copies. Collectors, investors and researchers know too well that Neville’s books always escalate in value quickly after they are sold out!

So don’t miss this one!

Click to read more about this Battalion History

To buy this from our website

Monday, 5 August 2013

Fromelles to Nauroy – A Military History Book of the 31st Battalion AIF 1915-1919 By Neville Browning

Fromelles to Nauroy – A History of the 31st Battalion AIF 1915 - 1919 By Neville Browning

A dedicated Military History Book has never before been written about the 31st Battalion AIF involvement in WWI. It’s interesting to reflect as to why it has taken near a century before the Story of such a courageous band of men was told.
The Battalion was raised in August 1915 at Enoggera Brisbane with members being recruited from throughout Queensland. Two further Companies were formed at Broadmeadows in Victoria. In October 1915, the Qld and Victorian Contingents were combined at Broadmeadows before the Battalion sailed for Egypt in November.
In the post Gallipoli reconstruction of the AIF the 31st Battalion formed part of the 5th Division AIF.  During July 1916, the 31st Battalion entered the trenches on the Western Front. Being immediately, thrust into readiness for the Battle of Fromelles on the 19th July 1916. 

Battle of Fromelles and the 31st Battalion
The 31st Battalion’s advance at Fromelles was courageously undertaken by its men – their story is one that all Australians should read and be proud.
The 31st Battalion, CO Lieut.-Col. Fred W. Toll who was from Charters Towers lead from the front in the advance. Toll was a highly experienced leader who had completed two tours during the Boer War. One of which was served with the British Army and the other 2IC 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen. Earlier in WWI, he was the Major to command the 3rd Battalion of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) at Rabaul.
Sadly, the 31st Battalion suffered heavy casualties before leaving their Fromelles trenches due to Australian artillery dropping short – Toll was himself wounded in the head.

Fred Toll wrote of the 31st Battalion advance at the Fromelles:
Many officers were struck down in the early stage together with senior NCOs and in many instances were without leaders. Our wire was well cut and there was no difficulty in getting through. No-man’s land was fairly easy to cross, although badly cut up by large carters and ditches full of water. No Man’s land was swept mostly by MG fire. The enemy’s first line was won and thoroughly cleared, many Germans were killed and prisoners taken…The remainder [of the 31st Battalion] swept on with the intention of capturing the second and third trenches…but we went on but no trace could be found of the same….’
Toll and his staff advanced another 400 yards which was probably the furthest Australians went forward
Fred Toll center pictured with
Officers of 31st Battalion
during the Battle of Fromelles. The Battalion was under fire from the Germans on three sides and was suffering once again from being bombed by their own artillery. Further German trenches could not be located so Toll had to retire to the first German trench. Toll sent a message at 7.14 pm that ammunition was urgently required. The situation never bettered and ammunition could not be brought forward in the quantity required (the Australian ammunition dump had caught fire).   Eventually at great cost, they had to retire back to the original Australian trenches. Toll was awarded the DSO medal for his gallant command of the 31st Battalion at Fromelles. The Battle of Fromelles was a disaster for the 31st Battalion suffering 572 casualties, over half of its strength. Due to the Fromelles loss, the Battalion did not take part in another major battle until September 1917 at Polygon Wood where the 31st Bn soldier Paddy Bugden was awarded posthumously the Victoria Cross medal.

The Battalion participated in the Battle of Ameins on 8 August 1918 and the following attacks on the Hindenburg Line and Villers-Carbonnel. The 31st Bn fought its last major action of the war in September 1918 when the 5th and 3rd Australian Divisions, and two American divisions attacked the Hindenburg Line located on top of the St Quentin Canal tunnel near Nauroy.

The author, Neville Browning is a highly experienced Australian Military Author. He has written a large detailed history. Like all his books,
FROMELLES TO NAUROY is superbly produced to the highest standards - 464 pages printed on higher quality anti-aging paper, case bound, wibelyn (cloth) covered with a dust jacket – a true collector’s volume.
Neville Browning other available military books include:
King and Cobbers: Battalion History Book of the 51st Battalion AIF WWI.
Leane's Battalion: Battalion History Book of the 48th Battalion AIF WW1.
The Blue and White Diamond: Infantry Unit History of the 28th Battalion AIFWWI.
Click to see more details
of the above military book
Fromelles to Nauroy – 31st Battalion AIF 1915 - 1919 By Neville Browning

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Fighting 13th Battalion - The Military History Book of the Boy Colonel Battalion AIF 1914-18

FIGHTING THIRTEENTH The History of the 13th Battalion A.I.F.  by Captain Thomas A.White.
General John Monash wrote of this Battalion, ‘In no other unit in the AIF was the spirit of Unit consciousness stronger than in the 13th Battalion. It is a golden example of patriotic duty. Its record for service, for discipline for distinguished achievement stands second to none other. This book is the story of its birth, its training and its war life. Battle scarred as is its record, it came out of the ordeal with the highest battle honours….
13th Battalion Book
The Author, Captain Thomas Alexander White was married and near 30 years old when he joined the AIF on the 17th June 1916. He had completed a degree at Sydney University and prior to the war was a teacher. During his time at Sydney University he had joined the University Scouts and the 13th Battalion Militia. Men of such academic and military background were keenly sought by the AIF.  Therefore, upon joining he attained an Officer’s commission of a 2nd Lieutenant. He was a Bombing Officer and while out of the line a Billets Officer with the Battalion. At Villers Bretonneax on the 20th May 1918, he was wounded by a bomb dropped from a German aircraft.  He remained with the 13th Battalion throughout WWI.
He returned to Australia in 1919 and continued his teaching career as Headmaster at Gresford Public School. Gresford is a rural town located northwest of Newcastle in NSW. In 1921, he published a military book of his war experiences titled, “Diggers Abroad”. He completed writing this history in 1923. He died in 1962.

The 13th Bn first saw active service at Gallipoli where it took part in the famous Landing on 25th April 1915. The Battalion was actively engaged in the defence of Anzac, the Chessboard attack and the August Offensive Battle of Sari Bair. On the Western Front the Fighting 13th Bn suffered heavy losses during theBattle of the Somme 1916 where it fought at Pozieres, Mouguet Farm  and Stormy Trench. It was a
13th Battalion Book
13th Battalion 1917 Article
Sydney Morning Herald
frontline attacking Battalion at 1st Battle of Bullecourt and took part in the Battle of Messines, Polygon Woods and on the 4th July 1918 Monash’s brilliant capture of Hamel and later the outstanding success at the

Battle of Amiens.
The Victoria Cross Medal for supreme gallantry was awarded to two members of the Battalion, Capt. H. W. 'Mad Harry' Murray and Sgt. M. V. Buckley.
' Mad Harry ' Murray VC CMG DSO (Bar) DCM Croix de Guerre was also distinguished as the most decorated soldier in the British Allied infantry in WWI.
At the end of World War One the 13th Battalion had suffered casualties of 1,090
killed and 2,128 wounded.

The 13th Battalion Members dedicated The Fighting 13th Battalion Book to two Commanders of the Battalion. They were Colonel G.J. Burnage CB VD  ‘The Gamest Old Man our First Commander’ and to the ‘Memory of our Gallant Young Colonel the late Douglas Gray Marks DSO MC Serbian Eagle’. Marks was the youngest Colonel to command a Battalion in the AIF. As fate has it, he survived the war only to drown at Palm Beach Sydney while attempting a rescue in 1920 – he was only 24 years old.
His life story is now the subject of a book titled ‘ The Boy Colonel by Will Davies.
click here for details
of the 13th Battalion History
Boy colonel will davies
Click here for details of
The Boy Colonel

Victoria’s Famous 7th Battalion Military History Books

Two Battalion Histories have been written about Victoria’s famous 7th Battalion in World War One.
The first 7th Battalion History book was published in 1933.Titled the
'Resume of Activities of the Seventh Battalion in the Great War 1914-1918 ' by A. Dean & E. Gutteridge.
The second 7th Battalion History Book,‘ Our Dear Old Battalion The story of the 7th Battalion AIF 1914-1919‘ was published in 2004 being written by Victorian Military Book author, Ron Austin.
Recent Reprint
The 1933 7th Battalion
Gutteridge was a Medical Officer with the 7th Battalion during World War One. He served with the 7th Battalion on Gallipoli and the Western Front. Dean joined the 7th Bn in July 1915 later being commissioned as a Lieutenant. He was twice wounded, at the Battle of Broodseinde in 1917 where he suffered a gunshot wound and  was later gassed. After the war he was admitted to the Bar, becoming a High Court Judge in 1949. He was Knighted in 1960 and died in 1970.

Gutteridge completed the Gallipoli section while Dean wrote the history of the Battalion’s activities on the Western Front. Although, both Authors had served with the Battalion during WWI they were somewhat disadvantaged due to the destruction of Battalion records during a bombing raid in 1918. Remembering, that the book could only be produced to the best standards available in the 1920’s / 1930’s. No doubt the Depression would have had an influence on the production of the book.
Ron Austin in the Preface to his book, ‘ Our Dear Old Battalion ‘ says that his task of writing the expanded history was made so much easier due to the 60 years of devotion to the Battalion by Bill Jamieson and his Seventh Battalion magazine called ‘Despatches’. Despatches was written by
7th Bn Aif Military book Battalion History Our Dear Old Battalion
Ron Austin's Our Dear Old Battalion
Jamieson and other members of the 7th Battalion. Not withstanding, that the magnificent collection of Australian War Memorial is available to todays researchers. Computer printing techniques obviously allow for low cost reproduction of photographs. Not to forget, Ron Austin’s dedication, knowledge and experience as a military book author. Thus the ‘ Our Dear Old Battalion ‘ Battalion History is greatly expanded in detail including numerous photographs, maps, and complete rolls. Appendix include POW Roll, Honour Roll, Medal Awards Roll, Citizen Enlistments Roll, Nominal Roll, and is fully Indexed.

Why compare buy both of these military books ! 

Short 7th Battalion AIF Anzac WWI  History.
Australia declared war with Germany on the 4th August 1914.  A patriotic fever had gripped the nation. The newly formed Australian Imperial Force (AIF) quickly organised the already existing local Militia/Citizen Military Forces, AMF units to join the AIF.
Lieut-Colonel Harold E. Elliott was given command of the 7th Battalion AIF. Elliott from Ballarat, had been awarded for gallantry with a DCM medal during the Boer War.  He was said to be as ‘straight as a rule’, outspoken, intensely headstrong, a dour fighter and was well known for his impulsive nature.
As a Commander he was loved by his men who nicknamed him Pompey Elliott.
The newly formed 7th Battalion was a Victorian Battalion, with members coming from Bendigo, Castlemaine, Kyneton, Echuca, Bacchus Marsh, Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley with several companies coming from the inner suburbs of Melbourne.
Training was carried out at Broadmeadows Camp, on the 20th October 1914 the Battalion set sail for England as part of the 1st Contingent. During the trip over, it was decided for several reasons, that the AIF should be based in Egypt. Further desert training was undertaken for several months.
battalion landing at gallipoli
In preparation for the Gallipoli Landing the 7th Battalion arrived at Lemnos Island on the 11th April 1915. Here the Battalion trained embarking and disembarking from rowboats.  The Battalion’s landing at Gallipoli was made around 5.30am on the 25th April 1915.  About an hour after the 3rd Brigade had landed.
The Battalion was to secure the northern or left flank of Anzac Cove.
A tragedy occurred when B Company rowboats, making for the Fisherman’s Hut, came under heavy fire from rifle and machine gun. In one boat, carrying 140 men only 16 made it ashore. Those 16 then made a gallant bayonet charge against the Turkish trench – they succeeded in taking the trench.
At 8.30 am Pompey Elliott was shot in the ankle and was forced to retire (the very boot that Elliott was wearing that morning is located in the Australian War Memorial). 
On the 8th May 1915 the Battalion took part in the Charge on Krithia. It was 7th Battalion men that  Brigade Commander McCay led forward crying “Come On Australians!”. The machine gun fire was so fierce that 7th Battalion soldiers were seen going forward holding their spade in front as a shield.
The Battalion had sustained heavy losses the strength being only 8 officers and 366 men.
Elliott, recovered from his wounds, returned to Command the 7th Battalion on the 3rd June 1915.

7th Battalion VC Action At Battle Lone Pine
7th Battalion VC
Action At
Battle Lone Pine
On the 9th August 1915, during the Battle of Lone Pine the Battalion was distinguished when four members, Corporal Alexander Burton, Corporal William Dunstan, Lieutenant Frederick Tubb and Lieutenant William Symons were awarded the Victoria Cross.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Biography Australian 18th Battalion WW1 Hero Joseph Maxwell VC

Biography Australian 18th Battalion WW1 Hero Joseph Maxwell VC

Joseph Maxwell VC Aust WW1 Hero

Venturing into No Man's Land by John Ramsland,

This is the history of Lieut. Joseph "Darkie" Maxwell VC DCM, MC and Bar, who was the second highest decorated Australian soldier of the First World War. Local historian John Ramsland, has retraced Maxwell's life from childhood on the Hunter coalfields until his death at age 71 in a soldier's settlement home in Matraville Sydney.
Around 90% of the book relates to Maxwell’s military life. Maxwell joined the AIF in February 1915 and was immediately allotted to the 18th Battalion, which was being raised in Sydney at the time. He later said his reason for joining was the,“6 shillings a day being paid to a digger compared to the 8 shillings a week he was getting as an apprentice”. He landed with the 18th Battalion on Gallipoli and served until he was evacuated on the 2 December 1915 suffering from jaundice. He fought at the Battle of Pozieres but it was at Westhoek Ridge during the 3rd Battle of Ypres that he distinguished himself earning the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He was commissioned on the 19th September 1917 as a Second Lieutenant. While scouting a patrol east of Ploegsteert near messines he was again recognised for his gallantry, this time being awarded the Military Cross medal. In August 1918, at the Battle of Amiens he earned a bar to his Military Cross.
On 3rd October 1918, he was with the 18th battalion when it was attacking the Hindenburg Line along the Beaurevoir-Fonsomme front. It was here that Maxwell performed the acts for which he was awarded the VC. The citation read:
Picture of J. Maxwell VC Australian WW1 HeroLt. Joseph Maxwell, M.C., D.C.M., 18th Bn., A.I.F. For most conspicuous bravery and leadership in attack on the Beaurevoir-Fonsomme line near Estates, North of St. Quentin, on the 3rd October, 1918. His company commander was severely wounded early in the advance, and Lt. Maxwell at once took charge. The enemy wire when reached under intense fire was found to be exceptionally strong and closely supported by machine guns, whereupon Lt. Maxwell pushed forward single-handed through the wire and captured the most dangerous gun, killing three and capturing four enemy. He thus enabled his company to penetrate the wire and reach the objective. Later, he again dashed forward and silenced, single-handed, a gun which was holding up a flank company. Subsequently, when with two men only he attempted to capture a strong party of the enemy, he handled a most involved situation very skilfully, and it was due to his resource that he and his comrades escaped. Throughout the day Lt. Maxwell set a high example of personal bravery, coupled with excellent judgment and quick decision.

After the war Maxwell wrote of his war experiences in the popular book titled hells bells and mademoiselles he was also a contributor to the diggers newspaper called Revielle.

WW1 German POW Photo Register

AUST NATIONAL ARCHIVES WW1 Photos Prisoners at Liverpool NSW
 WW1 German POW Photo Register 
For those who have a German background. The archives now have an Album of identification photographs of enemy aliens (both Civilian & POW) who were interned at Liverpool Camp Sydney during World War I. These  were mostly Australian Settled Germans who were considered a security risk during the war. Thinking that the Germans who surrendered to the AN&MEF were some of the POWs also interned at the Camp. There are two register/index of names that gives the prisoner number which is shown in front of the person in the album ( 3rd link below). Click Here to see military books on this WW1 topic.
Index of names A to L

Index of names M to Z

Whole Album (652 pages) - prisoner numbers only, no names.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Charles Bean's Great War DVD a Foxtel History Channel Presentation

The video presentation 'Charles Bean's Great War' is a dramatised documentary by 360 Degree Films. It offers an indepth visual record of the life of Charles Bean throughout his civil and military life.
Click here to see more details about Charles Bean Great War Military DVD

Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean was born on the 18th November 1879 at Bathurst, New South Wales.  Bean’s family already had military connections, in that his Grandfather was Surgeon-Major in the army of the East India Company. In 1889, Bean’s family (due to his Father’s ill health) moved back to England, which afforded Charles a great opportunity for education. He was fortunate to gain a scholarship to study the Arts and then Law at Hertford College Oxford. Having completed his education, he returned to Australia in 1904 where he was admitted to the New South Wales Bar.
Bean preferred writing to being a lawyer. In 1907 he wrote a book, ‘Impressions of a New Chum’ it was never published as a single volume but the Sydney Morning Herald published some parts. He found a friend in Banjo Patterson who advised him to go and work at the Herald. So in 1908, Bean joined the Sydney Morning Herald as a junior Journalist.
This change would make a monumental difference to the rest of his life.

In this early period, he had success in publishing several books, With the Flagship in the South (London, 1909) On the Wool Track (London, 1910) The Dreadnought of the Darling (London, 1911) and Flagships Three (London, 1913). Many of these books had a military theme and he had become very well known for his newspaper articles connected to the escalating conflict in Europe.

At the onset of World War One the British Government asked the dominions to nominate an Official Correspondent to their Contingent.  The selection of Australia’s Correspondent was to be decided by the Australian Journalists Association. They decided to conduct a ballot to select who would become the official correspondent with the AIF. It’s interesting, that Charles Bean narrowly won the position from Keith Murdoch, their paths would cross many times in the coming years.
Bean sailed with the first Australian Contingent to Egypt in 1914.
He was a first day lander at Gallipoli where he took some of the first photographs of the action at Anzac Cove. To Bean’s annoyance and frustration the British authorities held his reports of the landings until
13th May 1915. This allowed the English correspondent,Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett to make the first Australian Newspaper reports of the famous 25th April 1915 landings.
During the 1st week in May, Charles Bean accompanied the Australian 2nd Infantry Brigade and the New Zealand Infantry Brigade south to Helles so that they could take part in the Second Battle of Krithia. He proved himself courageous in the front line at Krithia when he helped wounded infantry off the battlefield. He was actually recommended for the Military Cross medal but was denied the award when it was deemed that he was a civilian.
During the August Offensives, on the 6th August a stray bullet hit him in his right leg. He refused to leave Anzac nor to have the bullet removed so he lay in his dugout for three weeks while his wound healed. The bullet remained in his leg the rest of his life.  He was the only correspondent to remain at Gallipoli for the entire time of the occupation from the landing to the evacuation.
During the Gallipoli Campaign he edited The Anzac Book (London, 1916), which was a collection of Australian digger trench stories and cartoons. It was published in 1916, the proceeds to benefit returned soldiers. The book is very popular to this day and was recently reprinted in its third edition by the Australian War Memorial.

Bean continued his reporting during the period 1916-1918. Throughout the Western Front he made himself present at most of the major Battles undertaken by the AIF. Most importantly, he conceived an idea of a memorial to the Australian fallen and he established his War Records Unit which was to collect battlefield relics and memorabilia from the various Battles. 
He continued to publish, Letters from France (London, 1917) and  In Your Hands, Australians (London, 1918).
After the war his first passion was not to return to Australia but to go back to Gallipoli to make a study of that Battle location. His adventure was latter published in his book Gallipoli Mission (Canberra, 1948).
He returned to Australia where in latter 1919 he took up residence at the homestead at Tuggeranong near Canberra. There he was to create the monumental The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918 from his many hundreds of wartime diaries, notes, memory and soldier related information.
In 1921, he married Ethel Young with whom he had played tennis at Tuggeranong.

At the start of World War 2 he wrote a pamphlet, The Old A.I.F and the New (Sydney, 1940). Bean was instrumental in the development and construction of the Australian War Memorial which opened in 1941.
One of his last major works was the one-volume abridgement of the The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918 which he titled Anzac to Amiens (Canberra, 1946). 
His last book was a dedication to two men that he had admired during his AIF days. He titled the book, Two Men I Knew. William Bridges and Brudenell White Founders of the A.I.F. (Sydney, 1957)
In latter years he held senior positions with the ABC.

He died in 1968 at Concord Repatriation General Hospital aged 88.

Monday, 1 July 2013

AE1 Submarine Mystery Continues

AE1 Pictured in Sydney Harbour in 1914
The British Telegraph reported in early 2012 that two Anzac Vessels where searching for unexploded WW2 munitions on the sea floor in Simpson Harbour New Guinea not far from where the AE1 was last sighted in 1914. The scanning showed a wreck similar size to the ae1 submarine. But it would seem a more precise search of the 'wreck' was not undertaken.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Did a Group of ANZAC Diggers advance across Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915 ?

Found this clipping when writing the 3rd Battalion Blog.
Rewrite Anzac history ?? may be able to be researched further.
Silly thing is it's kind of possible.
Piece comes from Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954), Monday 27 August 1934, page 3.
Anzacs Crossed the Gallipoli Peninsula to Maidos

Randwick to Hargicourt Military History Book of the 3rd Battalion AIF 1914-18

reprint now available.
Lt Colonel Owen Howell-Price MC
commander 3rd Battalion AIF
On the 17th August 1914, only days after the outbreak of World War One the author enlisted for service with the 3rd Battalion AIF.  He quickly rose through the ranks and was present with the Battalion at its Gallipoli Landing on the 25th April 1915.  
The next day on the 26th April, the 3rd Battalion was heavily involved in the defense of Anzac against Turkish attacks. Eric Wren was wounded when a bullet passed through his neck exiting very close to his spine. After Hospital treatment, he returned to the trenches in time for the 3rd Battalion’s famous charge at Lone Pine on the 6th August 1915. The 3rd Battalion was the second unit to charge at Lone Pine after the initial attack carried out by the 4th Battalion. A 3rd Battalion Hero of that charge was Captain Howell-Price who was awarded the Military Cross Medal for conspicuous gallantry at the Battle of Lone Pine. Howell-Price had shown the greatest bravery in leading the attack. Frequently rallying the men while under heavy fire… he had killed three Turks with his own hands. Captain Owen Howell-Price, survived the Battle of Lone Pine, he was latter to become one the youngest Lieutenant Colonels in the British/Allied Army. He went on to command the 3rd Battalion AIF before succumbing to wounds received on 4th November 1916 while visiting the front line near Flers France. He was only 26 years of age and is buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe, France. His family had suffered during the war with 3 sons being killed in action. 

The Battalion had lost 75% of its members during the three days' fighting at Lone Pine. Only six officers out of 27 were not casualties, and 277 other ranks out of 856. After Gallipoli the Battalion’s next major Battle was at Pozieres France in late July 1916. The Battalion took part in the first attack on the town of Pozieres. The author Eric Wren, then a Captain commanding “C” Company was wounded in the right arm.
Newspaper clipping
Captain Eric Wren 3rd Battalion

The next day on the 24th July 1916, his wound turned gangrene necessitating the amputation of his arm. He had shown conspicuous bravery on the Pozieres Battlefield being awarded the French Croix-de-Guerre and had been wounded on 3 occasions. In a letter to his parents he said,”his one regret now is that he will not be able to return to the front”. After an appointment to a training Battalion in England, he was deemed unfit for duty and returned to Australia in late 1917. After the war, he resumed his clerical duties with the NSW Railways, he remained a stalwart of the 3rd Battalion and Limbless Soldiers Associations, being appointed the 3rd Battalion AIF Association Honorary Historian during the early 1930’s. He died at Melbourne's Caulfield Military Hospital in June 1941 aged 52.

He had written his history of the battalion under the title of "From Randwick to Hargicourt". The title referenced from the 3rd Battalion’s first assembly at Randwick racecourse in Sydney NSW 1914 to its final retirement, from the fighting after the Battle at Hargicourt. In between, Wren covers all the 3rd Battalion battles, Gallipoli, 2nd Bullecourt, Ypres, Passchendaele, and the Hindenburg Line but also has collected digger stories of battalion life. Maps complement the text, and the pictures are clearly annotated. Appendices, unit nominal roll (with details of fatal casualties), Honours and awards(with many entries accompanied by a photograph of the recipient), and notes on Battle Honours complete this valuable history.
Captain Eric Wren had first released his Battalion History for the 1935 Anzac Day likewise this reprint is released for the 2013 Anzac Day. Click to see details 3rd Battalion Military History Book.


Friday, 25 January 2013

History Australian 6th Battalion AIF.
Click to see the book As Rough as Bags: The History of the 6th Battalion
Little History of the 6th Battalion AIF
The 6th Battalion was recruited solely from Victoria, with Melbourne and towns to the inner north being well represented. Recruitment was completed within 2 weeks of the  commencement of WWI in August 1914. The 6th Battalion sailed with the 1st Division less than 2 months later.
The 6th Battalion landed at Gallipoli as part of the 2nd wave on the 25th April 1915. Later they transferred to Cape Helles to take part in the charge on Krithia ( click here if you would like to see the Ron Austin’s book White Ghurkhas written on this attack). Although the boys made a brave advance the ground was flat without feature which offered no protection. Sergeant Neville Rollason of the 6th Bne wrote of the attack, “We attacked the enemy, advancing under a terrible fire from rifles, machine guns and shrapnel for a distance of 800 yards. When I say ‘we’ I mean the others for I only got 600 yards when I got in the way of a machine gun.” The Battalion suffered heavy casualties within an hour 133 members lay dead.

They returned to Anzac, during the August Offensives, the 6th Battalion made an attack on the German Officers trench opposite Steele’s Post. Although a daring attack from tunnels in no man’s land the advance failed. It was estimated that 63 men actually made it into the enemy's German Trench as their bodies were never recovered. The attack was reminiscent of The Nek Light Horse Charge. As the Officers of the Battalion wished to call off the attack but were urged by superiors to once again attack.
6th Battalion Heroes at Anzac A 6th Battlion hero of the 2nd attack was Captain Alf Jackson his CO recommended Jackson for a posthumous bravery award which was never awarded the citation read,”He worked well in a dark underground tunnel organizing and when the advance commenced by his fearless bravery helped the men forward under heavy fire. Even after he was hit,he continued his work until his leg was very badly smashed"

Their first major action in France was at Pozières in July 1916, during which they lost 102 men killed. The 6th Battalion suffered horrific causalities. 6th Battalion member Corporal Thomas later wrote,” Pozieres will never be forgotten – a Valley of Death….it was awful, dozens being killed, blown to bits.”
The 6th Battalion then fought the Second Battle of Bullecourt, before taking part in the Battle of Menin Road in September 1917, where Lieutenant Frederick Birks earned the 6th Battalion's only Victoria Cross.
During the latter part of 1918 the 6th Battalion made an important successful advance on Lihons.
During the war the 6th Battalion lost 1,066 killed and 2,017 wounded

About the Ron Austin 6th Battalion book Rough As Bags
When the 6th Battalion men sailed from Australia in October 1914, little did they realize, that for the next four years they would travel on a sacrificial journey to Turkey, France and Belgium - that is if they survived the journey many did not.
The performance of our enthusiastic citizen soldiers at Gallipoli, mesmerized the British Command. However by 1918, the AIF had become a professional battle hardened army.
The 6th Battalion was typical of the Australian infantry battalions, and it could be argued that it was one of the best. The 6th Battalion's maturity as a fighting battalion, was sometimes described as being 'as rough as bags'. 
The history of the 6th Battalion is vividly described as the author Mr Ron Austin, research included extensive use of diaries, letters, interviews with veterans, and member photographs, many of which have never been published before. The inclusion of many appendices makes this history a notable addition to Australian military Book Histories.
Several member rolls complete this 6th Battalion History including Nominal Roll Gallantry Award Roll Officers Roll to name a few.