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  • 10th Battalion AIF (South Australia) [3rd Infantry Brigade]
    Formed South Australia August 1914. Departed Adelaide Ascanius 20 October 1914. 
    • 1st Reinforcements departed Melbourne Themistocles 22 December 1914, 
    • 2nd Reinforcements departed Melbourne Clan Macgillivray 2 February 1915, 
    • 3rd Reinforcements departed Melbourne Runic 19 February 1915, 
    • 4th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Port Lincoln1 April 1915, 
    • 5th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Hororata 20 April 1915, 
    • 6th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Borda 23 June 1915, 
    • 7th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Kanowna 23 June 1915, 
    • 8th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Morea 26 August 1915, 
    • 9th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Star of England 21 September 1915, 
    • 10th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Ballarat 14 September 1915, 
    • 11th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Benalla 27 October 1915, 
    • 12th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Malwa 2 December 1915, 
    • 13th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Borda 11 January 1916, 
    • 14th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Miltiades 7 February 1916, 
    • 15th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Mongolia 9 March 1916, 
    • 16th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Shropshire 25 March 1916, 
    • 17th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Aeneas 11 April 1916, 
    • 18th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Barambah 27 June 1916, 
    • 19th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Ballarat 12 August 1916, 
    • 20th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Anchises 28 August 1916, 
    • 21st Reinforcements departed Adelaide Port Melbourne 23 October 1916, 
    • 22nd Reinforcements departed Adelaide Afric 7 November 1916, 
    • 23rd Reinforcements departed Adelaide Berrima 16 December 1916, 
    • 24th Reinforcements departed Adelaide Borda 23 June 1917, 
    • 25th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Aeneas 30 October 1917.
  • Battle Honours: Landing at Anzac, Anzac, Defence of Anzac, Suvla, Sari Bair, Gallipoli 1915,  Egypt 1915-16, Somme 1916-18, Pozieres, Bullecourt, Ypres 1917, Menin Road, Broodeseinde, Polygon Wood,  Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Lys, Hazebrouck, Amiens, Albert 1918, Hindenburg Line, Epehy, France and Flanders 1916-18
  • Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front


10th Battalion A.I.F. Official War diary. 25/04/1915 ANZAC

During the afternoon of Saturday 24th April B & C Coys under Major Oldham and Capt Jacob respectively together with Battn Hd Quarter Staff and all Battn Scouts under Lt TALBOT SMITH transferred from the Transport "IONIAN" to H.M.S. "PRINCE OF WALES" and Coys under Major BEEVOR and Capt HERBERT respectively together to Torpedo Destroyers also machine gun section under Sgt Mgr SAWER. At 3 am on Sunday 25th April B+D Coy & HQ=Bn staff, Signallers and scouts left the PRINCE OF WALES to the cutters life boats to being towed to within about 50 yards of the shore by steam boats. 

Absolute silence was maintained by all men and boats & directly the boats were cast off by the steamers and quietly rowed quietly towards the shore dawn was just breaking 04.15 no sound was heard except the splashing of the oars, we thought that our landing was to be affected quite unopposed, but when our boats were within 30 yards of the beach a rifle was fired from the hill in front of us above the beach, right in front where we were heading for, almost immediately heavy rifle and machine gun fire was opened upon us, we had to row another 15 yards or so before we reached water shallow enough to get out of our boats, this was at about 04.15

We got out of our boats into about 3’ of water & landed on a stony bottom the stones were round& slimy &many Officers and men slipped on them & fell into the water, but all bravely &silently made all hast to reach the beach, under a perfect hail of bullets, many men fixed their bayonets before reaching the shore. I ordered men to lie down, fix bayonets & remove packs. This was done in a couple of minutes. The men of the 9th 10th & 11th Bn were all mixed up on the beach, but there was no time to reorganise so ordered all to advance. 

The men sprang to their feet at once & with a cheer charged up the hill held by the Turks and drove them off it. Following up their success by firing on the quickly retreating foe. Shortly after this, the two Companies A & B, off the torpedo Destroyer reached the beach, they were subjected to heavy Shrapnel and Machine Gun fire, these companies pushed on quickly and soon joined us in a general advance.

By about 08.30 we were about a mile inland & were holding by hill and ridge in front of it, we then pushed on to SHRAPNEL HILL & I reported to the Brigadier Col Macfagan, he was anxious for us to push on to the west ridge but as the enemy just then developed a strong counter attack he decided that we should "dig in" on the forward slope of SHRAPNEL RIDGE N/E. Battn Hd Qr did our best to reorganise the Coys in the following order D coy on left, C next, facing same direction and portions of A & B facing NE and other portions of A & B further around to south and in advance of section of Defence held by 1st Brigade. The line held at this time was the forward edge of plateau wheat field now known as the PIMPLE. 

A section of Defence from about 100 Yds W of head of shrapnel gully to 50 yds E, thence about 100 yds SE was reorganised – and order issued to "dig in" for all you are worth. At this time – men of all Battn in brigade being mixed up- D Coy was on the left – C Coy centre. A& B on right – out machine gun section was in the firing line in a position, which enfiladed the Gully- Two officers and about 10 men of 11th Battn one officer and about 15 men of Canterbury Rifles NZ now in our lines. The position taken up was consolidated and strengthened as much as possible and was held by us until relieved by marine division on Wednesday day night 28th April. In order to give confidence and support to marines I remained in support just in rear of SHRAPNEL RIDGE at the head of SHRAPNEL GULLY and only withdrew @ 08.30 on Thursday 29th April

On Sunday afternoon 25th Apl we repelled two counter attacks made by the enemy one of these attacks was made at about 4 and the second at about 5, both attacks were made in considerable force, minor attacks were made during Sunday night and on Monday morning following a heavy bombardment by enemies Artillery.

On Tuesday morning 27th Apl an attack was made by a force of dismounted cavalry; on our right front. The cavalry came forward and dismounted, then without any covering fire, charged dismounted. The attack was carried forward to within 500yds of our trenches, when our fire was opened upon them, after a number of casualties on there side they retreat at the double.

At 7.30pm on Tuesday an attack was again made, but the attacking force appeared to loose direction. When the attackers got within 200yds of our position they moved obliquely across our front under our heavy fire, they suffered considerable losses and retired in great disorder.

During the whole of these four anxious days the head quarters of the Battalion was in close touch with all the Companies and kept them well supplied with ammunition, food, and water in this connection the Hd Qr signallers did excellent work. Battn Hd Quarter was dug in – in centre of out section of defence at head of Shrapnel Gully.

10th Battalion

The 10th Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during the First World War. The battalion was recruited in South Australia, and together with the 9th, 11th and 12th Battalions, formed the 3rd Brigade.

The battalion was raised within weeks of the declaration of war in August 1914 and embarked for overseas just two months later. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving in early December.

The 3rd Brigade was the covering force for the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915 and so was the first ashore at around 4:30 am. Two soldiers of the 10th Battalion, Lance Corporal Philip Robin and Private Arthur Blackburn, are believed to have penetrated further inland than any other Australians at ANZAC. Robin was killed later on 25 April and Blackburn soldiered on to be commissioned as an officer and awarded the Victoria Cross at Pozières, the battalion’s first major battle in France. The 10th Battalion was heavily involved in establishing and defending the front line of the ANZAC position, and served there until the evacuation in December.

After the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the 10th Battalion returned to Egypt and, in March 1916, sailed for France and the Western Front. From then until 1918, the battalion took part in bitter trench warfare. The battalion’s first major action in France was at Pozières in the Somme valley in July. After Pozières the battalion fought at Ypres in Flanders before returning to the Somme for winter. In 1917, the battalion returned to Belgium to take part in the major British offensive of that year - the Third Battle of Ypres. For his valorous actions at Polygon Wood east of Ypres in September 1917, Private Roy Inwood was awarded the Victoria Cross. His brother Robert had been killed at Pozières and another brother, Harold, had been badly wounded and invalided to Australia in November 1917.

In March and April 1918 the 10th Battalion helped stop the German spring offensive and was then involved in the operations leading up to the Allied counter-stroke. In June, during an attack near Merris in France, Corporal Phillip Davey became the third member of the battalion to be awarded the Victoria Cross. Davey had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery near Messines in January. His brothers Claude and Richard were also members of the battalion and both had been awarded Military Medals in 1917.

The battalion participated in the great allied offensive of 1918, fighting near Amiens on 8 August 1918. This advance by British and empire troops was the greatest success in a single day on the Western Front, one that German General Erich Ludendorff described as “the black day of the German Army in this war”.

The battalion continued operations until late September 1918. At 11 am on 11 November 1918, the guns fell silent. In November 1918, members of the AIF began returning to Australia. At 8 am on 5 September 1919, the final detachment of the 10th Battalion arrived at Adelaide, aboard the transport Takada. Text from AWM

  • 1015 killed, 2136 wounded (including gassed)
  • Decorations

    • 3 VC
    • 1 CMG
    • 9 DSO, 1 bar
    • 34 MC, 4 bars
    • 16 DCM
    • 149 MM, 11 bars, 1 2nd bar
    • 9 MSM
    • 47 MID
    • 11 foreign awards

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