5th Battalion

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5th Battalion
5th Battalion.jpg

Brief History

Raise din Victoria as part of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, it took only two weeks to reach its quota. After two months basic training it joined the 1st convoy of troops to leave Australia for England. Mid-way it was redirected to Egypt due to overcrowding of training areas in England.

Following training in Egypt it participated in the Gallipoli campaign, landing with the second wave ashore in the morning of 25 Apr 1915. Ten days later it landed again, this time at Cape Helles in support of the attack on Krithia. In August they participated in the Battle of Lone Pine, and were still there when the evacuation took place in December.

Back in Egypt, half of its seasoned troops were taken to form the nucleus of the 57th Battalion, with their places being filled by fresh men recently arrived from Australia. In March 1916 they sailed to France and deployed to the Somme valley where their first action was at Poziéres, before moving to Ypres in Belgium. The saw out the coldest winter in 40 years on the Somme.

In 1927 they were involved in operations against the Hindenburg Line before again moving north and participating in the Battle of Passchendaele between June and November 1917.

The battalion participated in the Hundred Days Offensive, launched near Amiens on 8 Aug 1918, after having been a part of the force that stopped the Germans short of Amiens. They were active in the field until mid September 1918 when they were withdrawn for a rest. Demobilisation of the AIF mean that by April 1919 the 5th and 8th Battalions had combined, and the combined battalion was in turn joined to the combined 6th and 7th Battalions to form a 2nd Brigade Battalion. The AIF was finally disbanded in 1921.

During the war, a total of 970 members of the battalion were killed, while a further 2,013 were wounded.

Battle Honours

  • Landing at ANZAC
  • Defence at ANZAC
  • Helles
  • Krithia
  • Suvla
  • Somme 1918
  • Pozieres
  • Bullecourt
  • Ypres 1917
  • Menin Road
  • Polygon Wood
  • Broodseinde
  • Poelcappelle
  • Passchendaele
  • Lys
  • Hazebrouck
  • Amiens
  • Albert 1918
  • Hindenburg Line
  • Epehy
  • France and Flanders 1916–1918

Individual Honours

  • 2 Companions of the Order of St Michael and St George
  • 4 Distinguished Service Orders
  • 1 Officer of the Order of the British Empire
  • 24 Military Crosses and one Bar
  • 23 Distinguished Conduct Medals with one Bar
  • 106 Military Medals with six Bars and one second bar
  • 6 Meritorious Service Medals
  • 48 Mentions in Despatches
  • 3 foreign awards


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

External Links

Pages in category "5th Battalion"

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