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Remembered Today:

AIF 1st ADBD at Etaples - June-August 1916


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Hi All,


Two brothers arrived at Étaples early June 1916 (Rob Roy McGregor - 2413, and William Alexander McGregor - 5175). Their service records indicate that that they joined their respective units in August 1916 (1st Dac for Rob Roy, 16/8th for William Alexander).


I'm trying to track down the time in-between.  Not finding anything in the digitized collections of AWM.  Any good sources that would show names, dates, locations for 1st ADBD?



Wim Decorte

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From what I can gather, we had a number of bases around that area., likewise the British had a large number of units.


The ADBD was just one of the holding bases for troops coming from the UK, before being sen to there units in  France.


The other bases are the 2 ADBD and so on for each Aust Div's


There was also the AGDB for the Artillery


Other units I have on record are the Vet Hosp, Dental, AASC and others.


We should not for get that many aussies died in this area with a number of British Hospitals and a Canadian.


So the area must be a big one.


The Germans bombed the area a number of times, but sorry I have seen no maps of the camps at Etaples.


Surely there must be one, so maybe our British mates should have one.


I do remember seeing one but check old discussions on this subject, like Etaples may find it?


Bon chance




Edited by stevebecker
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Hi Wim,


The following link is from Ross Mallett's fantastic First AIF Order of Battle 1914-1918 - AIF OrBat


It contains the following on BASE DEPOTS -


Men arriving in France, whether reinforcements or "casuals" - men returning from hospital - proceeded to Base Depots and thence to their units. All drafts - although they had already been passed in England as fully trained - were subjected to further tests laid down by GHQ, comprising, in 1916, at least ten days additional training. A strict medical check was also carried out. Originally at Etaples, the Australian base depots moved to Harfleur, near Le Havre in June 1917, to save shipping time.


1st Division Base Depot
For First Division. Formed at Etaples March 1916. Moved to Harfleur, near Le Havre June 1917. Disbanded 15 December 1917.


General Base Depot
For other than Infantry and Pioneers. Formed at Etaples 3 September 1916. Moved to Harfleur, near Le Havre June 1917.





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