44th Battalion

From Our Contribution

44th Battalion
44th Battalion.jpg
Shoulder patch
44th Bn.jpg
Voting in 1917 Referendum at Neuve Eglise. AWM photo E01605

Brief History

Raised at Claremont, Western Australia, in February 1916, the battalion formed part of the 11th Brigade, which in turn was part of the 3rd Division. Following some initial training in Australia the battalion embarked on 6 Jun 1916 aboard HMAT A29 Suevic for England where the battalion spent a further four months training before moving to France on 27 November 1916.

During the very cold winter of 1916-17 they alternated between manning front line positions and providing men for working details when in the rear. Prior to their first real taste of battle which came at Messines (7-10 Jun 1917), they had been billeted in a rest area at Coulomby. They had previously participated in an unsuccessful, two company raid on enemy positions. They participated in the Battle for Broodseinde Ridge in late October 1917, taking very heavy casualties (only 158 unscathed of the 992 that entered the battle).

44th Bn Coulomby.jpg

AWM ART03540 Major Edwin Summerhayes.

Following the winter of 1917-18 which they spent in Belgium, in March they were moved south to the Somme valley when the German attack in 1918 threatened Amiens. Their defensive positions helped repel a German attack near Morlancourt, and later they participated in the attack on Le Hamel and participated in the Hundred Days Offensive that followed commencing in August 1918. The battalion's final battle came when it, with others, breached the German defences at the St Quentin Canal. Total battalion casualties during the war amounted to 437 killed and 1,346 wounded.

Battalion Personnel










  • John Kiely 10 Dec 1917 - 11 Jan 1918 - 11th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery
  • Charles Kelly 23 Sep 1916 - ?? Apr 1919








Battle Honours

  • Messines 1917
  • Ypres 1917
  • Polygon Wood
  • Broodseinde
  • Poelcappelle
  • Passchendaele
  • Somme 1918
  • Ancre 1918
  • Hamel
  • Amiens
  • Albert 1918
  • Mont St Quentin
  • Hindenburg Line
  • St Quentin Canal
  • France and Flanders 1916–18

Individual Honours


Content for the history and honours sections has come from a combination of Wikipedia and the Australian War Memorial websites.

For further information concerning this battalions role in the war, see:

  • Eggs-a -Cook - The Story of the Forty-Forth by Capt C. Longmore
  • The Westralian Battalion - The Unit History of the 44th Battalion, AIF by Neville Browning OAM

External Links