1 Battalion Australian Imperial Force – World War 1

The 1st Battalion AIF – The History of the 1st Battalion A.I.F. 1914-19

1 Bn at Steeles Post Gallipoli May 1915

The 1st Battalion was the first infantry unit recruited for the AIF in New South Wales during the First World War.

The battalion was raised within a fortnight of the declaration of war in August 1914 and embarked just two months later. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving on 2 December. The battalion took part in the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915 as part of the second and third waves, and served there until the evacuation in December. Its most notable engagement at Gallipoli was the battle of Lone Pine in August. Two members of the battalion, Captain A. J. Shout and Lieutenant L.M. Keysor were awarded Victoria Crosses for their valour at Lone Pine, Captain Shout posthumously.

After the withdrawal from Gallipoli in December 1915, the battalion returned to Egypt. In March 1916, it sailed for France and the Western Front. From then until 1918 the battalion took part in operations against the German Army, principally in the Somme Valley in France and around Ypres in Belgium. At Bullecourt in May 1917, Corporal G. J. Howell became the third member of the battalion to be awarded the Victoria Cross. The battalion participated in the battle of Amiens on 8 August 1918. This advance by British and empire troops was the greatest success in a single day on the Western Front, one that German General Erich Ludendorff described as “the black day of the German Army in this war”.

The Battalion continued operations until late September 1918. At 11 am on 11 November, 1918, the guns fell silent. The November armistice was followed by the peace treaty of Versailles signed on 28 June 1919. Between November 1918 and May 1919 the men of the 1st Battalion returned to Australia for demobilisation and discharge.

Menin Road Ypres Belgium

Menin Road Ypres Belgium

Battle Honours

ANZAC 1915

Landing at ANZAC
Sari Bair-Lone Pine

France and Flanders 1916-19

Ypres 1917
Menin Road
Polygon Wood
Albert 1918 (Chuignes)
Hindenburg Line

1165 killed, 2363 wounded

In memory of Lcpl R Dendtler 1 Bn AIF died of wounds 16 May 1915 Gallipoli

The Unit History of 1 Bn AIF is available on CDROM here

Preview the book here – selected extracts

No flash – download PDF extract here

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