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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Australian Divisional Troops

Ivor Lee

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:unsure: In F W Perry's Order of Battle (Part 5A) he says that the Australian Divisons had DivisionaL Employment Companies. These Companies coming on stream between January and August 1917.

Having spent the last week at the PRO I have been unable to find any reference to these Companies. They do not appear in the Orbats and I was unable to find a rference to them in four Australian Division War Diaries.

To cap it all there are no references in Bean to these Companies.

So does anyone know where Perry got his information from or can throw any light on this conundrom?

Many thanks

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Hi Ivor

I had a look at the National Archives of Australia's 'Recordsearch' database


and for the period 1914-1918 the Australian Employment Companies only came up with 4 mentions which were to do with field returns from 1917-1918.

Plus the AWM site has only one mention of this unit and that was only regarding the abbreviations for Australian units in WW1.

If I find any material as to what the actual role of these units were I'll let you know, though hopefully someone else might come up with something.



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Hi Andrew

Many thanks for the advice.

I had looked at the Australian War Memorial site but not the National Archives.

So will look for the 4 references. Am particularly interested as they are field returns. There is no mention of the Australian Employment Companies in the War Office Orbats for France & Flanders.

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  • 19 years later...

A quick search produced the below info from the following site: AIF OrBat

1st Employment Company
Formed 1 November 1917. This unit, composed of Class B personnel, was part of the Australian Corps troops. It had an establishment strength of 517, provided additional services and was composed as follows:

  Officers Other Ranks   Officers Other Ranks
Corps Detachment     Divisional Detachments
(one per division)
Sergeant   1 Sergeant   1
Orderly Room Clerk   1 Attached to DADOS   3
Baths and Laundries 5 120 Sanitary Squad   3
Sanitary Squad   5 Batmen, cooks, orderlies   10
Batmen, cooks, Orderlies   35 YMCA   5
Bootmaker   1 TOTAL (each)   22
Barber   1 TOTAL   110
Reinforcement Camp Sanitary Squad   2 Traffic Control Detachments (one per division)    
Field Punishment Compound cook   1 sergeants   1
General duty   5 Corporals   3
YMCA and Church Army   15 Lance Corporals   6
Theatre and Cinema   5 Privates   32
TOTAL 5 192 TOTAL (each)   42
      TOTAL   210

Western Front



I'm sure I've read further info from somewhere, but will have to search about for it


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Your right I can find little on them, while I show a number served in this unit, mostley after illness or wounds.

I found that there appears only one company used in the records and called the AEC, so were there one raised per Div?

If more companies formed they don't appear in the personal records?

All dates appear in 1918 not 1917?

Like these few men

BELL    William    622    Pte    6 LHR    B Sqn (228) evac to hosp Malta (dysentry) 9-15 to (3 London GH) hosp Wandsworth UK 10-15 (G) to AB Abbey Wood UK 1-16 to LH Dtls UK 6-16 to 1 trg Bn (2Bn) UK 9-16 FGCM 3-1-17 AWol sentenced 6 months detn to DCo/2Bn 7-17 WIA 1-10-17 face shot reported unit at the Buff at Hill 60 after Polygon Wood rtn 12-17 to Aust Emp Co (AEC) 3-18 F&B RTA 1914 leave Ex D Troop BSqn/6 LHR (228) to 2Bn (856) to 3R/1Bn (1422) DNE married Nora Strudwick at Weybridge UK 4-2-16

BURNLEY    Benjamin    1146    Pte    03 LHR    7R to Dtls Egypt 10-15 to hosp sprainned ankle) 12-15 to 1 LHTR 3-16 tos Gnr 1 sect/4 DAC 4-16 to 39Bty/10 FAB 3-17 MM - for his actions when ammo dump caught fire on Wytschaete ridge Messines 11-8-17 to hosp (deafness) 5-18 to AGBD Harve 6-18 to Aust Emp Co (AEC) 6-18 to AGBD Harve 12-18 F&B RTA 1915 leave

BARKER    Albert Stirling    1212    Pte    13 LHR    6R Tos 5 Div Cav 3-16 to CSqn/1 Anzac LHR 7-16 to Dvr 6-17 to Gnr 49Bty/13 FAB 11-17 to WIA 9-8-18 R/foot shrapnel reported 49Bty lost 1 killed and 7 wounded by shells from 4.2" German guns on the Green line near Framerville at Amiens to Aust Emp Co (AEC) 9-18 att 1 Div AAOC Ordnance 10-18 F&B

COLES    William Christopher    1337    Pte    8 LHR    11R tos B Sqn 12-15 RTA MU varicose veins relist 15R/13 LHR (R1337) to Gnr 47Bty/12 FAB 3-18 WIA 16-8-18 gas near Proyart to Aust Emp Co (AEC) 9-18 F&B (British 1/8 Bn The Middlesex Regt TF)

JOLLEY    Peter McCulloch    1370    Pte    13 LHR    7R Tos ASqn/1 Anzac LHR 11-16 to 13 LHR 1-18 to Aust Emp Co (AEC) 4-18 rtn 13 LHR 5-18 F&B AKA Peter Jolly

BETTS    Ralph    1699    Pte    7 LHR    13R Tos 1-16 to Gnr 39Bty/10 FAB 3-16 to 37Bty 12-16 WIA 16-9-17 shoulder shrapnel reported shelled during move from Dickebushe to front at Ypres to Aust Emp Co (AEC) 4-18 F&B (BCo/42 IR CMF 4 months)




Edited by stevebecker
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