Stories, Records, History Of The WW1 A.F.C. (Australian Flying Corps), R.A.N (Royal Australian Navy), 1st A.I.F Divisions and Brigades, Light Horse Regiments & Camel Corps, Cameliers, Infantry Battalions, Medical Corps including Field Ambulance, Hospitals, Army Nursing Service, Doctors, Stretcher Bearers, History of R.A.E. (Royal Australian Engineer) Units - Sappers, Pioneers, WW1 Cyclist Corps, Machine Gun Company, Field Artillery - Batteries......
Most will include details like Nominal Rolls, Decorations, Roll Of Honour, Embarkation Rolls, Casualty Lists, Awards Lists, Battle Honours and more!
Unit books are a great reference and resource item for those conducting research on a family members past Military history in the Great War of 1914-1918.
First - Second -Twenty - Third - Thirty - Fourth - Forty - Fifth - Fifty -
The War to End War. So wrote author H G Wells as the storm clouds of conflict billowed across Western Europe. It became a catch phrase between 1914 and 1918 and helped motivate the hordes of Australians who answered the call to enlist. Regardless, the First World War became the single most costly conflict to which Australians have been committed. More than any other period or conflict it continues to fascinate Australians. Even though the personal records for those who served in The Great War are readily available, there remains an unquenchable thirst for more information on the service of individual Australians in this conflict. A major source for further study is the growing host of regimental histories on Australian units and battalions.
This is not the place for a history lesson. Suffice to say that World War One was the eruption of a series of long running sores in central Europe associated with militarism, alliances, imperialism and nationalism. The major players were Russia, France, Britain and later the USA, facing Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. War came quickly to Melbourne when on the 5th August 1914, only after hours after Britain had declared war on Germany, Australian gunners fired shots across the bow of the German vessel ‘Pfalz’ as she attempted to escape Port Phillip Bay. Australia was committed and soon began to raise an Australian Imperial Force to fight in Europe. At the same time, another force was also raised. This was the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force to fight in German New Guinea. In September 1914 these men and women were the first to see action with Captain Brian Pockley the very first Australian soldier to be killed in the Great War.
With the Royal Australian Navy patrolling the seas and the Australian Flying Corps in the air, it was the AIF which first came to prominence with the landings at Gallipoli. The resultant effort to bring the war to the Turkish homeland failed and after eight months the weary survivors were evacuated back to Egypt. Most of those with the Light Horse stayed on in the Middle East to carry the fight to Beersheba and on to Damascus. But the real killing fields were in France and Flanders.
For over two years the bulk of the AIF waged a bloody war fighting the Germans along a series of trenches on the Western Front. The bitterly cold and muddy conditions were beyond description. Yet the Diggers clung to their ground and pitted themselves against the opposing guns and bayonets time and time again. The first major battle was at Fromelles in July 1916. In 27 hours Australians losses doubled the entire Gallipoli campaign. The carnage continued at Pozieres, Bullecourt, Passchendaele and hundreds of other battle fields. Even towards the end the Germans were able to mount massive attacks and only in the closing stages were the Australians able to take the initiative and move forward to the Hindenburg Line. On 11th November 1918 the guns finally fell silent. During the conflict Australia had committed almost half a million men and women. Over 61,000 failed to return. As the French still teach their youth: N’oublions jamais – let us never forget.