The 51st Battalion, Australian Imperial Force was raised at Tel-El-Kabir, Egypt, on 1 March 1916 from half of the 11th Battalion (veterans of the Gallipoli landing) and reinforcements of the 11th and 28th Battalions, all personnel being Western Australian volunteers. The Battalion was granted the colour patch chocolate brown over saxe blue.
The new Battalion was allotted to the 13th Infantry Brigade, 4th Australian Division with the 49th, 50th and 52nd Battalions, disembarked at Marseilles, France on 11 June 1916 and moved into the front line at Fleurbaix three days later.
The 51st Battalion's first major engagements with the enemy occurred at the ruins of Pozieres and Mouquet Farm during the period August - September 1916. During these engagements, the Battalion reached its objectives but was unable to hold the captured positions. In less than three weeks the Battalion had suffered in excess of 650 casualties. The Battalion then shifted to the quieter section of the battlefield in Belgium. There its major battle was with the rain and the mud and at one stage the Battalion was down to approximately 300 men due to the shocking conditions they fought in.
On the morning of 2nd April,1917, the Battalion along with the 50th Battalion attacked Noreuil, an outpost village near the Hindenberg Line. The attack was a success, but the Battalion suffered 239 casualties during the assault and subsequent defence of the village. The next major engagement of the 51st Battalion was the counter-attack at Villers Bretonneux on 24/25 April 1918, during which action the Battalion lost 389 men in just two days. Lieutenant C.W.K. Sadlier won the Victoria Cross for his valour during the engagement. For the action, the Battalion was awarded a total of 4l decorations. The depleted 52nd Battalion was incorporated into the 51st Battalion to make up the numbers for the rest of the war.
- Egypt 1915-1916
- Somme 1916
- Somme 1918
- Messines 1917
- Ypres 1917
- Menin Road
- Polygon Wood
- Ancre 1918
- Albert 1918
- Hindenburg Line 1
- Hindenburg Line 2
- France and Flanders 1916-1918
- 1 Victoria Cross (Lt Clifford Sadlier)
- 2 Distinguished Service Orders, and one bar
- 1 Officer of the Order of the British Empire
- 15 Military Crosses and two bars
- 14 Distinguished Conduct Medals
- 110 Military Medals and three bars - (Hubert Maitland Armstrong MM);(William Edward Butcher MM RMG MID);(Victor Norman Chandler MM);(Gordon Devereux MM);(John Francis Grabham MM)
- 9 Meritorious Service Medals
- 30 Mentioned in Despatches, and - (William Edward Butcher MM RMG MID);(Albert John Egan MID);(Ernest Selkirk MID)
- 7 foreign awards - (William Edward Butcher MM RMG MID)
Information obtained from 51st Battalion Association
- http://51fnqra.businesscatalyst.com/worldwar1.html accessed 3 jan 2018
Pages in category "51st Battalion"
The following 77 pages are in this category, out of 77 total.