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Category:1st AIF/2nd Div/6th Bde

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  • 24th Battalion AIF (Victoria) [6th Infantry Brigade]
    Formed Victoria February 1915. Departed Melbourne Euripides 8 May 1915. 
    • 1st Reinforcement departed Sydney Ceramic 26 June 1915, 
    • 2nd Reinforcements departed Melbourne Demosthenes 16 July 1915, 
    • 3rd Reinforcements departed Melbourne Anchises 26 August 1915, 
    • 4th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Hororata 27 September 1915, 
    • 5th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Osterley 29 September 1915, 
    • 6th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Ulysses 27 October 1915, 
    • 7th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Commonwealth 26 November 1915, 
    • 8th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Afric 5 January 1916,
    • 9th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Warilda 8 February 1916, 
    • 10th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Wiltshire 7 March 1916, 
    • 11th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Malwa 21 March 1916, 
    • 12th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Euripides 4 April 1916, 
    • 13th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Themistocles 28 July 1916, 
    • 14th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Miltiades 1 August 1916, 
    • 15th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Shropshire 25 September 1916, 
    • 16th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Nestor 2 October 1916, 
    • 17th Reinforcements departed Sydney Argyllshire 31 October 1916, 
    • 18th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Hororata 23 November 1916, 
    • 19th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Ascanius 11 May 1917, 
    • 20th Reinforcements departed Melbourne Nestor 21 November 1917.

  • Battle Honours: Suvla, Gallipoli 1915,  Egypt 1915-16, Somme 1916-18, Pozieres, Bapaume 1917, Bullecourt, Ypres 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood,  Broodeseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Ancre 1918, Hamel, Amiens, Albert 1918, Mont St Quentin, Hindenburg Line, Beaurevoir, France and Flanders 1916-18

  • Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

by Ross Mallett (ADFA)

24th Battalion

The 24th Battalion was raised in a hurry. The original intent was to raise the fourth battalion of the 6th Brigade from the “outer states”, but a surplus of recruits at Broadmeadows Camp in Victoria lead to a decision being made to raise it there. The battalion was formed during the first week of May 1915, and sailed from Melbourne at the end of that week.

Training shortfalls were made up in Egypt in July and August, and on 4 September 1915 the Battalion went ashore at Gallipoli. It spent the next 16 weeks sharing duty in the Lone Pine trenches with the 23rd Battalion. The fighting at Lone Pine was so dangerous and exhausting that battalions rotated every day. While the bulk of the battalion was at Gallipoli, a small party of 52, trained as packhorse handlers, served with the British force in Salonika.

The Battalion was reunited in Egypt in early 1916 and proceeded to France in March. It took part in its first major offensive around Pozières and Mouquet Farm in July and August 1917. The Battalion got little rest during the bleak winter of 1916–17 alternating between the front and labouring tasks. When patrolling no-man’s land the men of the 24th adopted a unique form of snow camouflage – large white nighties bought in Amiens.

In May 1917 the battalion participated in the successful, but costly, second battle of Bullecourt. It was involved for only a single day – 3 May – but suffered almost 80 per cent casualties. The AIF’s focus for the rest of the year was the Ypres sector in Belgium, and the 24th’s major engagement there was the seizure of Broodseinde Ridge.

Like many AIF battalions, the 24th was very weak at the beginning of 1918, but still played its part in turning back the German offensive in April. When the Allies took to the offensive, the 24th fulfilled supporting roles during the battles of Hamel and Amiens. At Mont St Quentin, however, it played a major role by recapturing the main German strong point atop the summit on 1 September. A diorama at the Australian War Memorial depicts this attack.

The battalion’s last battles of the war were at Beaurevoir on 3 October and Montbrehain on 5 October. It left the front line for the last time on 6 October 1918 and disbanded in May 1919.

  • 909 killed, 2494 wounded (including gassed)
  • Decorations

    • 1 VC
    • 1 CB
    • 6 DSO, 1 bar
    • 1 OBE
    • 1 MBE
    • 29 MC, 3 bars
    • 23 DCM, 1 bar
    • 127 MM, 12 bars
    • 7 MSM
    • 31 MID
    • 7 foreign awards


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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces