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3rd Bn A.I.F. History and War Diary

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Mal Murray View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 Aug 2010 at 19:14

3rd Battalion

The 3rd Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during the First World War. Like the 1st, 2nd and 4th Battalions it was recruited from New South Wales and, together with these battalions, formed the 1st Brigade.

The battalion was raised within a fortnight of the declaration of war in August 1914 and embarked just two months later. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving on 2 December. The battalion took part in the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915 as part of the second and third waves and served there until the evacuation in December. In August, the battalion took part in the attack on Lone Pine. For his valorous action in defending Sasse's Sap at Lone Pine on 9 August, Private John Hamilton was awarded the Victoria Cross.

After the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the battalion returned to Egypt. In March 1916, it sailed for France and the Western Front. From then until 1918 the battalion took part in operations against the German Army, principally in the Somme Valley in France and around Ypres in Belgium. The battalion’s first major action in France was at Pozières in the Somme valley in July 1916. Later the battalion fought at Ypres, in Flanders, before returning to the Somme for winter.

The battalion participated in a short period of mobile operations following the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in early 1917, but spent much of that year fighting in increasingly difficult conditions around Ypres. In 1918 the battalion returned to the Somme valley and helped to stop the German spring offensive in March and April. The battalion subsequently participated in the Allies’ great offensive of that year, launched east of Amiens on 8 August 1918. The advance on this day 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 to late September 1918. At 11 am on 11 November 1918, the guns fell silent. The November armistice was followed by the peace treaty of Versailles signed on 28 June 1919.

Between November 1918 and May 1919 the men of the 3rd Battalion returned to Australia for demobilisation and discharge.

Colour Patch

Colour patch for 3rd Battalion

War Diary
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Peter Trounson View Drop Down
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Extracts from the Diary of the 3rd Battalion

Report on Operations 6/7 July 1915

7. Jap Mortar returned to our lines 20.00 We have only one bomb.

    Garland Mortar We fired 3 rounds (our daily allowance) with good results. We have trained gun crew of our own & with more ammunition could do good work.


Burial services were held over the dead at LONE PINE by the DEAN of SYDNEY and FATHER McAULIFFE. The Battalion strength before operations on LONE PINE commenced was :- 24 Officers,  856 O.R. The numbers who actually went to LONE PINE & took part in the action were 23 Officers 736 O.R. We mustered the Battalion 3 days later where there were 7 Officers and 295 ranks. Of the Officers who originally landed with the 3rd. Battalion only 2 are left. MAJOR D.M. McCONAGHY and LIEUT O.G. HOWELL PRICE.


General  The last 2 or 3 days have heard what appeared to be a steam engine in direction of 
KOJA DERE. It has blown a whistle several times.

Extracts from the Diary of the 4th Battalion


209 Notices

Lost 1 Kodak camera left near Div Hqrs latrine. Reward. Return to headquarters.


247 Looting   There have been instances of looting certain stores in charge of supply units. This must stop as it tends to create a bad feeling between home units and supply sections where nothing but mutual help and sympathy should exist. Any cases of looting will be very severely dealt with.

Extracts from the Diary of the 5th Battalion


233 Bad Language   The G O C has noticed with regret the widespread use among the troops of bad language which is certainly not Australian in character. Officers and N.C.O's will rigorously put down obscene and blasphemous language, which is becoming an ingrained habit.

246 Punctuality  Guards and fatigue and working parties must report punctually. Decided slackness has been shown in this direction lately.

253 Striking matches at night  Provided every precaution is taken smoking is permitted in the fire trenches, Matches will however not be struck in any portion of the fire trench and in support and communication trenches must be struck in recesses. Any breach of this rule will lead to permission to smoke being withdrawn.

Edited by TROUNSON6280 - 04 Mar 2012 at 20:09
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