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Andrew P

Australian Unit Histories

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Andrew P
Hi Andrew,

Do you have any info on where the 54th Infantry Battalion AIF, were in action on 18th October 1917.

I am researching Samuel William Townsend Newman, who appears on the Memorial in Little Cornard, Suffolk, England, (died 4 November 1917.

I know he died in Wimereux Hospital France, but there is no info as to where he might have been at the time of his being wounded.

thanks in advance

Stewart

Hi Stewart

Unfortunately I don't have the 54th Bn history but in early October the 54th Battalion was involved in the battle for Polygon Wood.

For this attack, the battalions of the 14th Brigade were formed up so the 53rd were in the first line of attack with the 55th & 56th behind them. It seems as though the 54th Battalion were in general support for this attack.

The casualties for the 54th during this period were 3 Officers & 179 men.

I believe that during the rest of October the 54th were generally in the front line at Passchendaele, but without the unit history cannot say for sure what happened to them on the 18th.

If I come across anything else I'll let you know.

Cheers

Andrew

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Andrew P
Dear Andrew

I realise you do not mention the 20th Battalion war diary but do you have any idea where they where engaged 9/10/17 that was when my great uncle 5107 William Wheate MM was killed in action.

I have his CWGC details and his MM Citation off the Australian Roll of Honour site.

Many thanks and best regards.

Paul.

Hi Paul

On the 9th of October 1917 the 20th Battalion was involved in an attack in front of Passchendaele.

Part of the aim for the attack was to 'form a flank for the 66th Division'. The 5th Brigade had the main role in the attack as it had been in reserve during the main attack on October 4th.

The 20th Bn went into the attack with the 17th Battalion behind them.

Even though these units did not take part in the attack on October 4th, the strength of the companies was only 50 -60 men each.

The full detail of the attack is in Bean's official history. The chapter you want is entitled 'The Plan breaks down. Passchendaele I - October 9th'.

This history is available on the following link from the Australian War Memorial web site.

http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/ww1/4/index.asp

Unfortunately I don't have the 20th Bn history so can't shed much more light on their role that day.

Cheers

Andrew

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Andrew P
Andrew ,

Do you have by chance the history of 4th Div/13th Bn? between 26Mar - 1 Apr 1918 (I do have the copies from Bean!) ?

Hi Egbert

I do have the 13th Battalion history which is called 'The Fighting Thirteenth' by Capt. TA White.

If you PM or e-mail me your e-mail address I'll scan the pages in and send you a copy of the info with the relevant dates.

Cheers

Andrew

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Andrew P
Andrew,

While you're being inundated - I thought I'd put my 2 cents worth in.

A couple of the soldiers I'm researching were in the 29th Bn - and I was just wondering if you could check the index to see if either of them get a 'special mention' in the unit history [by the way - what's the book called? - there's no mention of it in "Shaping History"]

1. Pte Alfred Oswald BINGER, 1271, D Coy, 16 Platoon, 9/7/15 - KIA 26/9/17

He was known as Os - and was killed by shellfire whilst advancing towards enemy lines at Polygon Wood (and was buried in the vicinity) - comm. Ypres Memorial.

[His brother Maxwell was in the 2nd Tun Coy - I seem to remember you were interested in the Tunnelling Coy's - do you have anything on the 2nd?]

2. Pte Leonard George BERESFORD, 4764, enlisted 27/1/17, sailed with the 13th R 21/6/17 - RTA 23/7/19 - transfered to the Aust Corps School at some stage.

[service Record not on-line, & I've used up my quota yet again!]

I know the chances are slim - and there's no hurry - just when you have time!

Cheers, Frev.

[PS - No one seemed to have the 5th Bn in their lists - if anyone's interested I have that one]

Hi Frev

The 29th Battalion history is quite recent.

'Black and Gold - The History of the 29th Battalion 1915-1918' by Ron Austin Slouch Hat Publications 1997.

Unfortunately neither of those men are mentioned in the text, but Binger is listed in the Honour Roll and Beresford is listed in the Reinforcement list.

Binger's date of death is listed as 26-27/09/1917 & beresford is listed as being in the 13th Reinforcement Group.

I could scan in a copy of the chapter relating to the attack in September 1917. If you are interested can you PM or e-mail me your e-mail address.

Yep, still interested in the tunnelling companies, though my proposed book on the Aussie companies has taken a back seat while I' finish my Fremantle book. I have plenty on the 3rd TC, but not much on the 1st or 2nd at this stage.

Cheers

Andrew

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nzzephyr

Hi Andrew

I have a couple of Grt Uncles you may be able to help me with...

John BRETT - 7451 - 34th Battalion - 24/2/17 - 27/4/19

Robert BRETT - 5299 - 18th Battalion - transf. to 2nd Div Signals - 9/3/16 - 8/3/20

Now, Robert was a bit naughty !

He went AWOL in London for 6 months, ended up being Court Marshalled and sentenced to Detention for a year. I suspect there was a lady involved.

Where can I find details on this ?

I have their Service Records already but am always keen for more info

I'd appreciate any help

Thanks

Lance

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kingsman64

Andrew

Many thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Your a star!

Best regards

Paul.

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Andrew P
Hi Andrew

I have a couple of Grt Uncles you may be able to help me with...

John BRETT - 7451 - 34th Battalion - 24/2/17 - 27/4/19

Robert BRETT - 5299 - 18th Battalion - transf. to 2nd Div Signals - 9/3/16 - 8/3/20

Now, Robert was a bit naughty !

He went AWOL in London for 6 months, ended up being Court Marshalled and sentenced to Detention for a year. I suspect there was a lady involved.

Where can I find details on this ?

I have their Service Records already but am always keen for more info

I'd appreciate any help

Thanks

Lance

Hi Lance

Your best bet would be with the actual war diaries of both battalions, neither of which I have.

Unfortunately the 18th Battalion doesn't have a unit history either. The 34th Bn history is very short, but another one is being produced by a historian in NSW which might expand more on events and people.

Have you checked the embarkation rolls? That should have some basic info.

Most Court Martials are also listed on the National Archives of Australia's Recordsearch database so it might be worth checking if his name in there. If it is there they can digitise for no cost.

http://www.naa.gov.au

Regards

Andrew

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frev
I could scan in a copy of the chapter relating to the attack in September 1917. If you are interested can you PM or e-mail me your e-mail address.

Andrew,

Thanks for taking the time to check those for me - and a copy of the Sept attack would be most appreciated - I'll PM my address.

Cheers, Frev

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frev

Andrew,

Received my copy of the 29th Bn 'chapter' today - thanks heaps for your trouble.

You know I'll probably start annoying you now - for details from all those other unit histories that you have - that I haven't - don't you.

But don't panic - I'll spread them out!

Cheers, Frev.

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egbert
Andrew ,

Do you have by chance the  history of 4th Div/13th Bn? between 26Mar - 1 Apr 1918 (I do have the copies from Bean!) ?

Hi Egbert

I do have the 13th Battalion history which is called 'The Fighting Thirteenth' by Capt. TA White.

If you PM or e-mail me your e-mail address I'll scan the pages in and send you a copy of the info with the relevant dates.

Cheers

Andrew

Thanks again for sending; very interesting account

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Andrew P

No worries. Happy to help.

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frev

Tim

Just about the full set - I bet you'd be almost prepared to kill for the few you haven't got!

I hope you've got them under lock & key.

Frev. (with the slightly green hue)

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Blackblue

Frev,

Yes mate...taken a few years to get this far. A few are Burridge copies. Some quite expensive but some real bargains thrown in. A few weeks ago I picked up an original 27th for $60.00! Now if only we can all induce Neville Browning to write the remainder!!

Rgds

Tim

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Andrew P

It's amazing the steep price some of the Burridge copies are going for.

I'm looking forward to Nev's next one on the 52nd.

Tim, do you know if there ever was a history produced on the 2nd Pioneer Battalion?

There was a soldier Alex Swinton of this unit who was killed in action on October 5th 1918. He was the last Fremantle man to be killed in the war.(though quite a few more succumbed to wounds or disease later on)

I'm interested in the action he was killed in but am thinking I may have to wait till I get to the AWM again to have a look at their unit war diary.

Cheers

Andrew

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Blackblue

Andrew,

I have been pretty lucky. I think there is only one of the whole lot that I paid more than I thought I should. Obviously would pay a great deal for the remainder of the infantry battalion ones.

I am looking forward to the 52nd as well. I had a distant relative with the battalion and I really like the way Neville does them.

I have not heard of one for the 2nd Pioneer Battalion I'm afraid. I think the pioneers are something which has been very much neglected in the history stakes.

Rgds

Tim D

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Geoff S

Nice collection of Unit histories Tim- I am surprised you have not got a 3rd Bn history. I will keep an eye out for you if you want? (It shouldn't be that hard to get.)

Regards

Geoff S

Have also noticed the Burridge books have gone up a lot- I never thought I would see these reprints traded in the $100's.

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Blackblue

Thanks very much Geoff I would very much appreciate that. I think the main reason I haven't got a 3rd Battalion one is that they have been quite expensive for some time and I was more inclined to collect what I thought were bargains. Now you are flat out even locating one!! I tracked one down recently for a bargain but when I ordered it the chap got back to me and told me he couldn't find it and someone must have lifted it out of the shop!! I know where there is a 38th Battalion one but it is pretty bad nick and at the moment I am not inclined to pay in the vicinity of $180.00 for what is little more than a pamphlet.

Rgds

Tim

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Andrew P

No worries Tim. The pioneers, engineers & Machine gunners are definately sadly lacking in unit histories.

Recently saw a Burridge copy of the 44th Battalion 'Eggs A Cook' that was going for over $200. Lukily got mine several years ago.

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nzzephyr
Hi Andrew

I have a couple of Grt Uncles you may be able to help me with...

John BRETT - 7451 - 34th Battalion - 24/2/17 - 27/4/19

Robert BRETT - 5299 - 18th Battalion - transf. to 2nd Div Signals - 9/3/16 - 8/3/20

Now, Robert was a bit naughty !

He went AWOL in London for 6 months, ended up being Court Marshalled and sentenced to Detention for a year. I suspect there was a lady involved.

Where can I find details on this ?

I have their Service Records already but am always keen for more info

I'd appreciate any help

Thanks

Lance

Hi Lance

Your best bet would be with the actual war diaries of both battalions, neither of which I have.

Unfortunately the 18th Battalion doesn't have a unit history either. The 34th Bn history is very short, but another one is being produced by a historian in NSW which might expand more on events and people.

Have you checked the embarkation rolls? That should have some basic info.

Most Court Martials are also listed on the National Archives of Australia's Recordsearch database so it might be worth checking if his name in there. If it is there they can digitise for no cost.

http://www.naa.gov.au

Regards

Andrew

Hi Andrew

Sorry about taking so long to reply but have been away for a few days

Thanks for the suggestions, Iwill check them out

Cheers

Lance

:)

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frev

Hi Andrew,

A few more I was hoping you might check for me:

All three were in the 48th Battalion - once again hoping you can check for any 'special mentions' - and perhaps email me a copy of any info the 'history' has on the battles that 2. & 3. died in - ['pretty please' & only if it's not too much hassle]

1. PERRIN, William Edgar James, Pte 3895, enl. 24/5/17 RTA 31/12/18 (ill in hosp. Aug 1918)

2. SOUTER, James McGurgan, Pte 3221, enl. 11/10/16 in WA - KIA 6/4/18 - seen riddled with MG bullets on Albert Ridge - buried by the Germans beside the main Albert-Amiens Rd (west of Rwly embankment) Comm. V-B Mem, France.

3. WICKER, Arthur, Pte 1391, enl. 28/11/14 KIA 12/10/17 [ ? the advance on Passchendaele ? ], Comm Ypres (M.G.) Mem, Belgium.

A big thanks in anticipation,

Cheers, Frev

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Andrew P

Hi Frev

The 48th Bn history doesn't mention a lot of people by name but I'll scan the relevant pages in and e-mail them to you.

Cheers

Andrew

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frev

Andrew

Another big thanks for the thousands of pages you sent through on the 48th - I almost thought you were sending the whole book (I wish!). I feel a bit guilty about asking for any more (but I'll get over it!) - if it all becomes too much just let me know.

Lots of reading ahead of me.

Thanks again, Frev.

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Blackblue

Thought my Aussie mates would be pleased to hear this one. I just picked up a first edition of the 3rd Battalion History 'Randwick to Hargicourt' by Eric Wren (thanks Geoff but tracked one down myself). It cost me a bit but was one of the few I didn't have. Imagine how pleased I was when it turned up with the original owners name written inside the cover and his name indicated in the Nominal Roll. 165 Pte Alfred Outridge....an A Coy, 3rd Battalion original who served at Gallipoli before later joining the 55th Battalion and ended the war as a Cpl!!

Rgds

Tim D

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Blackblue

Updated list of WW1 AIF histories:

1st Infantry Battalion

Stacy, B. V.; Kindon, F. J.; Chedgey, H. V., The History of the First Battalion A.I.F., 1914-1919 (Sydney, First Battalion : A.I.F. Association, 1931)

2nd Infantry Battalion

F.W. Taylor and T.A. Cusack, Nulli secundus : a history of the Second Battalion, A.I.F., 1914-1919 (Swanbourne, W.A : John Burridge Military Antiques, 1992)

3rd Infantry Battalion

Wren, Eric, Randwick to Hargicourt : History of the 3rd. Battalion, A.I.F (Sydney : McDonald, 1935)

5th Infantry Battalion

Keown, A W. Forward with the Fifth : the story of five years' war service, Fifth Infantry Battalion, A.I.F. (Melbourne : Specialty Press, 1921)

6th Infantry Battalion

Austin, Ronald J. (Ronald James), As rough as bags : the history of the 6th Battalion, 1st AIF, 1914-1919 (McCrae,Vic : R.J. & S.P. Austin, 1992)

7th Infantry Battalion

Austin, R.J. (Ronald James). Our Dear Old Battalion : The Story of the 7th Battalion AIF, 1914-1919. Slouch Hat Publications, Melbourne, 2004).

8th Infantry Battalion

Austin, Ronald J. (Ronald James), Cobbers in khaki : the history of the 8th Battalion, 1914-1919 (McCrae, Vic :Slouch Hat Publications, 1997)

9th Infantry Battalion

Wrench, C. M. (Clarence Meredith), Campaigning with the fighting 9th (in and out of the line with the 9th A.I.F.) 1914-1919 (Brisbane : Boolarong Publications, 1985)

10th Infantry Battalion

Lock, Cecil Bert Lovell. The fighting Tenth : a South Australian centenary souvenir of the 10th Battalion, A.I.F.(Adelaide : Webb, 1936)

11th Infantry battalion

Belford, Walter C. . "Legs-eleven" : being the story of the 11th Battalion (A.I.F.) in the Great War of 1914-1918. (Perth : Imperial Printing, 1940):

12th Infantry Battalion

Newton, L. M. The Story of the Twelfth : a record of the 12th Battalion, A.I.F. during the Great War of 1914-1918. ( ;Hobart : 12th Battalion Association, 1925 ((Hobart : J. Walch & Sons)))

14th Infantry Battalion

Newton, Wanliss. The History of the 14th Battalion A.I.F. Melbourne 1929

Johnson & Barnes. Jacka’s Mob. The History of the 14th Battalion A.I.F.

15th Infantry Battalion

Chataway, T. P. (Thomas Percival); Goldenstedt, Paul. History of the 15th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force : war 1914-1918. Rev. ed. (Brisbane, Qld. : William Brooks, 1948)

17th Infantry Battalion

Mackenzie, Keith Wemyss. The story of the Seventeenth Battalion, A. I. F. in the Great War, 1914-1918. ([sydney],1946)

21st Infantry Battalion

Smith, Neil C., The red and black diamond : the history of the 21st Battalion 1915-18 (Gardenvale, Vic. : Mostly Unsung Military History Research and Publications, 1997)

22nd Infantry Battalion

Gorman, E. (Eugene). With the twenty-second : a history of the twenty-second battalion, A.I.F. (Melbourne : H.H.Champion, 1919)

23rd Infantry Battalion

Austin, R. (Ronald). Forward Undeterred. The History of the 23rd Battalion, A.I.F. (Slouch Hat Publications, Melbourne, 1998).

24th Infantry Battalion

Harvey, W. J. The Red and White Diamond : authorised history of the Twenty-Fourth Battalion A.I.F. (Melbourne : A.McCubbin for the 24th Battalion Association, [1920])

25th Infantry Battalion

Doneley, Robert James Tyson, Black over blue : the 25th Battalion, AIF at war, 1915-1918 (Darling Heights, Qld :USQ Press, 1997)

27th Infantry Battalion

Dollman, W; Skinner, H. M. The Blue and Brown Diamond : a history of the 27th Battalion Australian Imperial Force, 1915-1919. (Adelaide : Lonnen & Cope, 1921)

28th Infantry Battalion

Browning, N (Neville)., The Blue & White Diamond 28th Battalion. (Advance Press, Perth, 2004).

29th Infantry Battalion

Austin, Ronald J. (Ronald James), Black and gold : the history of the 29th Battalion, 1915-1918 (McCrae, Vic, Slouch Hat Publications, 1997)

30th Infantry Battalion

Sloan, H. The purple and gold : a history of the 30th Battalion. (Sydney : Halstead Press, 1938)

33rd Infantry Battalion

Edwards, John, Never a Backward Step : a history of the First 33rd Battalion, AIF. (South Grafton, N.S.W : Beetong Books, 1996)

39th Infantry Battalion

Paterson, Alexander Thomas, The Thirty-Ninth : the history of the 39th battalion, Australian Imperial Force. (Melbourne : G. W. Green & sons pty. ltd., 1934)

40th Infantry Battalion

Green, F. C. (Frank Clifton). The Fortieth : a record of the Fortieth Battalion, A.I.F. (Hobart : Printed for the 40th Battalion Association by J. Vail, Government Printer, 1922)

41st Infantry Battalion

MacGibbon, Frederick William. The Forty-First. ([France? : Australian Commonwealth Military Forces, 1920?])

42nd Infantry Battalion

Brahms, Vivian. The Spirit of the Forty-Second. (W.R. Smith & Patterson Pty Ltd, Brisbane, 1938).

44th Infantry Battalion

Longmore, C (Cyril). Eggs-a-cook! the story of the Forty-Fourth : war as the digger saw it. (Perth, W.A : Colortype Press, 1921)

Browning, N (Neville). The Westralian Battalion. The Unit History of the 44th Battalion A.I.F. (Advance Press, Perth, 2004).

45th Infantry Battalion

Lee, J. E. (Joseph Edward), A brief history of the 45th Battalion, A.I.F., 1916-1919 ([sydney] : 45th Battalion Reunion Association, 1962)

46th Infantry Battalion

Polanski, I. We were the 46th. (Jenkin Buxtopn Printers, Victoria, 1999)

48th Infantry Battalion

Devine, W. The Story of a Battalion. (Melbourne : Melville & Mullen, 1919)

49th Infantry Battalion

Cranston, F (Frederick), Always Faithful : a history of the 49th Australian Infantry Battalion, 1916-1982 (Brisbane :Boolarong Publications, 1983)

50th Infantry Battalion

Freeman, R. R. (Roger R.), Hurcombe's Hungry Half Hundred : a memorial history of the 50th Battalion A.I.F., 1916-1919 . (Norwood, S. Aust. : Peacock Publications, 1991)

51st Infantry Battalion

Browning, N. Fix Bayonets. A History of the 51st Battalion A.I.F. (Success Print, Perth, 2000).

57th Infantry Battalion

Corfield, Robin S., Hold hard, cobbers : the story of the 57th and 60th and 57/60th Australian Infantry Battalions, 1912-1990 (Glenhuntly [Vic.] : 57/60th Battalion (AIF) Association, 1991)

60th Infantry Battalion

Corfield, Robin S., Hold hard, cobbers : the story of the 57th and 60th and 57/60th Australian Infantry Battalions, 1912-1990 (Glenhuntly [Vic.] : 57/60th Battalion (AIF) Association, 1991)

Rgds

Tim D

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Geoff S

Tim well done!

OK so I guess I should be keeping a look out for the book by T A White now.

I seem to remember the book by White being considerably less pages than many of the other Infantry unit histories. I also thought the original version was published by Tyrells in Sydney? (perhaps I am wrong about the publisher)

Cheers

Geoff S

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