19th Australian Garrison Battalion

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19th AGB Pippingarra.jpg

Brief History

The 19th Australian Garrison Battalion was formed on a part-time basis in August 1940 with the Battalion HQs at Swanbourne, 'A' Company at Bunbury; 'B' Company at Busselton; 'C' Company at Albany; an 'D' Company at Geraldton. Many of the country recruits were ex WW1 soldiers who came from the VDC Battalions. In December 1941 the battalion was mobilised (full time) and in January 1942 the Battalion HQs moved to Bunbury where it joined 'A' Company and in March, 'B' Company which moved from Busselton. The following month a Battalion HQs Company was formed. In Albany 'C' Company was positioned to defend the harbour, and in Geraldton 'D' Company was tasked with defending the port and the township.

With the return of 2nd AIF units from the Middle East, a reorganisation of available units saw all bar 'C' Company (which remained in Albany) moved to Geraldton in December 1942. In September they undertook three weeks of intensive field training at Moonyoonooka. 'C' Company was transferred to the 5th Australian Garrison Battalion In March 1943 the units role expanded to include defence of the north west of Western Australia, and to allow this they absorbed the companies of the 29th Australian Garrison Battalion. At this time the 19th Australian Garrison Battalion had a platoon in Carnarvon; a detachment in Onslow; a Company in Port Hedland with an out posted platoon at Roebourne; and a company at Broome with an out posted platoon in Derby. In August 1943 the troops in the north west were reduced to a single company given the reduced likelihood of invasion and the units were shorthanded, so much so that during the Japanese Raid Scare in March 1944 the unit struggled to put men into the field. In November 1944 the last members of he unit based in Geraldton were withdrawn to Melville where the unit was disbanded. Surplus men were used to bring the 10th Australian Garrison Battalion up to strength.

This unit was also known as Bunbury/Busselton Covering Force for a time in 1942. During the time it was active , 6 members of this unit died, including five who died with illness.

Unit Personnel


Content has come from The Unit Guide - Volume 4 - The Australian Army 1939-1945, pages 2.402 - 2.403 - Graham R McKenzie-Smith - Big Sky Publishing - 2018

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