6th Australian Division

From Our Contribution

6th Div.jpg
Stringing lines in NG - use of coconut palms. AWM photo 083552
6th Div a.jpg
Unopposed entry into Benghazi by 19th Brigade - AWM photo 005848/26

Brief History

The 6th Division was raised on 28 Sep 1939 and comprised the 16th, 17th and 18th Brigades. However, with the 18th Brigade in England, it was substituted by the 19th Brigade. The relevant Battalions were: 2/1st, 2/2nd, 2/3rd, 2/5th,2/6th, 2/7th, 2/4th, 2/8th, and 2/11th. At other times for brief periods, the 14th, 21st, 25th and 30th Brigades were under its control.

During 1940-41 it served in the North African campaign, the Greek campaign, as well as on Crete and in Syria, fighting Italian, Vichy French and German forces. Recalled to Australia in 1942, a part of the division garrisoned Ceylon for a brief time before being committed to the New Guinea campaign, beginning with the counter attack up the Kokoda Track, then around the Buna- Gona and Salamaua-Lae areas in 1942 - 43. Returned to Australia to re-organise during late 1943, early 1944 it the returned to New Guinea and spent the rest of 1944 and 1945 around the Aitape - Wewak area. Four men died while members of the Division's headquarter unit.

Division HQ Personnel

Battle Honours

  • Operation Compass
  • Battle of Vevi
  • Greek campaign
  • Battle of Crete
  • Syria–Lebanon campaign
  • Kokoda Track campaign
  • Battle of Buna–Gona
  • Salamaua–Lae campaign
  • Aitape–Wewak campaign

Individual Honours

  • 1 x Companion of the Order of the Bath
  • 1 x Commander of the Order of the British Empire
  • 1 x Military Cross
  • 7 x Officer of the Order of the British Empire
  • 3 x Distinguished Service Order
  • 2 x Military Medal
  • 1 x Member of the Order of the British Empire
  • 36 x Mentioned in Despatches
  • 1 Greek War Cross, First Class


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