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Remembered Today:

40th Bn 1st AIF


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As a project with a group of students we plan to setup a a database-driven website on Tassie's 40th Bn.

The data will be publically viewable and unlike other databases the public will be able to add to it in the way of adding to the information held on individuals...

It will be possible to "claim" soldiers and link up with other relatives and or researchers.

A couple of quick questions, did the battalion have a nickname other than being referred to as "Tassie's Own"

From Tasmania's War Record (L. Broinowski, 1921) he states that there were around 2,300 soldiers enlisted in the battalion as at October 1917, anyone got any idea what the total figure would be for the entire period 1916-1918?

Assuming a few hundred more than 2,300 brings horrendous casualty statistics of around 20% killed, and 70% wounded (given as 475 killed & 1714 wounded) can this be true?

If anyone has any images of members of the battalion they'd like to see on the website please contact me.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Jim,

If you are not aware of it already, there is a history of the 40th Battalion, namely The Fortieth ; A record of the 40th Batt. AIF by F.C. Green. Published by John Vail, Government Printer, Hobart 1922.

Re nickname P2 " We were also under a cloud from the circumstances that despite our protests and consciousnes of the absurdity of it, we were christened "The Fighting Fortieth" before leaving Tasmania. His Majesty's Fortith Regiment which had garrisoned Van Dieman's Land between the years 1824 and 1830 had been known as the Fighting Fortieth and the historical coincidence, with the lure of alliteration, was too much for the good sense of our countrymen"

It would appear that the Battalion disowned this nickname.


Appendix A has the casulaties and other statistics

The Battalion was part of the 3rd Division which was raised in late 1915, trained in England in 1916 and went to France in November 1916. The casulaties for the Battalion up to 30th June 1919 (p 214) are:

Killed in Action 9 Officers and 319 Other Ranks

Died Of Wounds 6 Officers and 99 Other Ranks

Died of Disease in France 14 Other Ranks

Died of Other Causes 1 Other Rank

Total Deaths 15 Officers and 433 Other Ranks

Wounded in Action 54 Officers and 1539 Other Ranks

Gassed 121 Other Ranks

Prisoners of War 5 Other Ranks

Total Casualties 69 Officers and 2098 Other Ranks Total 2167

p 213 For a comparison, of the 60 Australian Battalions that served in the 1st AIF 36 had heavier casualties than the 40th (25th Battalion had the heaviest with 3472) and 23 had fewer (43rd had the fewest with 1711)

Number Who served

Appendix C has the complete roll of the men who served in the 40th including their fate(eg KIA, Wounded, etc) Doesn't have a total. Send me a PM with an address and I will post a photocopy of the relevant pages.

Hope this helps



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Hi Jim

Being in WA I don't have a lot of info on the 40th Battalion but you may be interested in the following.

In the late 1990's I was doing some volunteer work at the Army Museum of WA when a chap came in with a whole bunch of letters that he found on the tip.

The letters belonged to Lt Thurston George Cranswick MC DCM 40th Battalion AIF.

Cranswick was badly wounded in August 1918 and unfortunately he died from complicatiosn to these wounds in 1920.

How his letters ended up in WA is a mystery, perhaps a relative moved to WA after Cranswicks death, but they are now being kept in the Museum archive.



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