2633 Private Henry Leo Scroope WIA
38th Infantry Battalion, 6th Infantry Brigade, 4th Division
1st Australian Imperial Force 1914-1919

This file last updated 29 August, 2018 16:26


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The following information and chronological table are a summary of the entries from the service record of 2633 Private Henry Leo Scroope who was gassed and classified as wounded in action (WIA) on 7 Jun 1917, subsequently hospitalised and discharged from the Service on 21 Feb 1918. There is no indication as to whether a pension was payable.

The military record notes that Henry died on the 8th of October 1927.

Note that some of the service record entries may be duplicated, reflecting different reporting streams for various administrative elements. Some pages may also be duplicated, reflecting the amalgamation of unit and hedquarter records on finalisation of his service.

Service Numbers were allocated on a Unit basis and are therefore not unique to an individual.

Prepared for Vietnam veteran and grandson of Henry Scroope by Clive Mitchell-Taylor - 23 June 2018.

View Henry Scroope's Service Record, or his entry on the Embarkation Roll All files are in PDF format.

Enlistment Details

Service Number



Henry Leo Scroope

Born at

Parish of Clarence River, Lawrence, New South Wales


24 years and 10 months (as at 31 Aug 1914 - birth dates not actually recorded)

Trade or Calling




British Subject

Natural born

Marital Status


Next of Kin

Father - Mr Simon Gervase Scroope, Coraki Police Station, Richmond River,NSW

Previous Military Service


Discharged with Ignominy


Attested at

Showground Camp, Sydney, NSW

Date of Enlistment

20 September 1916


5 foot 9 inches [175 cm]


158 pounds [11 stone 4 pounds or 72 Kg]


34.37 [87.3 cm]







Religious Denomination

Roman Catholic

Distinctive Marks

Scar upper lip due to kick from a horse


38th Infantry Battalion (5th Reinforcements)

Chronological Events






Embarked from Sydney, 2nd Military District (NSW) on Transport ship "Benalla" (A24)

9 Nov 1916


Disembarked Devonport

9 Jan 1917



Marched in to 10th Training Battalion, Durrington from overseas

10 Jan 1917


Admitted to Fargo Military Hospital, Salisbury, with Influenza
[also noted as "Sargo" Hospital]

26 Jan 1917


Proceeded overseas from 10th Training Battalion

20 Apr 1917



Arrived France from 5th Reinforcements
Taken on strength of 38th Battalion

24 Apr 1917



To Ambulance Train from Advanced Dressing Station
To Hospital, sick.

28 Apr 1917


Rejoined unit ex Hospital

12 May 1917


Wounded in Action (WIA) (Gassed)

7 Jun 1917

First day of the Battle of Messines


Embarked for England per Hospital Ship "St David" ex Boulogne (Boulogne-sur-mer)

10 Jun 1917


Admitted Horeton Co of London, gassed (severe).

22 Jun



Discharged from Horton Co, to furlough and report to Wymouth (gassed).

1- 15 Aug 1917



Marched in from Army Headquarters to Wymouth

15 Aug 1917



Medical Board recommends Change to Australia, noting that the disability is both permanent and total.
Also classes as permanently unfit for General Service and temporarily unfit for Home Service.

12 Sep 1917

There is some internal inconsistency in the medical assessment, particularly as his record notes that he is to be returned to Australia for discharge.


Returned to Australia per HT Port Littleton (Gassed and chronic Bronchitis)

19 Oct 17



21 Feb 18

Medals and Dress Embellishments

British War Medal 1914-1920, Victory Medal, one Wound Stripe for 7 Jun 1917, one Long Service Stripe and one Overseas Service Chevron. Use the hyperlinks or scroll down to see further information on the badges.

Other Accoutrements

World War One medal set

L to R - 1914-15 Star, War Medal 1914-1920, Victory Medal

Unit Shoulder Patch
38th Infantry Battalion

38<sup>th</sup> Battalion SHoulder Patch

Rising Sun Badge
1st and 2nd AIF

[Not entitled to wear]
ANZAC 'A' on Shoulder Patch

Some Government Issued Badges

Nearest Female
Relative Badge

War Widows
Guild Brooch

Silver War Badge

Discharged Returned
Soldier Badge

Government issued badge in enamel
and sterling silver issued to the wife,
mother or nearest female relative of
a serving soldier. Additional bars
were suspended below for further

Membership badge of a Kookaburra
in sterling silver, issued by the
Government to the widows of men
who lost their lives due to their
service. Numbered on the reverse.

Awarded to service personnel who
sustained a wound, or contracted
sickness of disability in the course
of the war as a result of which
they were invalided out, or to
soldiers who had retired during
the course of the war.

First issued in 1916. Slight variations are indicative of a number of makers. 267,300 were issued. Numbered on the reverse but the numbers have no link with length of service or Service Number.

[Badge information collated from Australian War Memorial, "Australians Awarded" by Clive Johnson and en.wikipedia.com]

Background - Infantry Battalions

[Based on information at www.aif.adfa.edu.au]

The 1914 infantry battalion was a large unit, composed of eight rifle companies each of 3 officers and 116 other ranks armed with Short Magazine Lee-Enfield .303in rifles, a small headquarters with 4 officers and 21 other ranks and a machine gun section with two .303in Maxim machine guns, one officer and 17 other ranks, a total of 32 officers and 991 other ranks.

In December 1914, battalions were reorganised into four companies each of four platoons, but strength was unchanged.

By mid 1918, the number of officers had increased to 38 but the number of other ranks had declined to 900. At the same time, the firepower of the battalion was greatly augmented with hand and rifle grenades and Lewis Guns, of which there was 34 per battalion.

[Based on information at www.aif.adfa.edu.au and Redcoats to Cams, Ian Kuring]

38th Battalion, 6th Infantry Brigade, 4 Division

[Information from https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au]

The 38th Battalion was formed on 1 March 1916 at a camp established on the Epsom Racecourse at Bendigo in Victoria. Early training was disrupted by a severe outbreak of cerebro-spinal meningitis in the camp, as a result of which the healthy members were transferred to a camp at Campbellfield, where the Battalion had to be rebuilt from fresh reinforcements.

After training in both Australia and Britain, the 38th Battalion crossed to France in late November 1916 and moved into the trenches of the Western Front for the first time on 1 December. During the harsh winter of 1916-17 the 3rd Division was heavily involved in raiding the German trenches. In February 1917 the 38th Battalion provided 400 troops, with a similar party from the 37th Battalion, to form a special raiding "battalion". After several weeks of training this force staged a single 35-minute raid on the night of 27 February and was then disbanded.

The 38th fought in its first major battle at Messines, in Belgium, between 7-9 June 1917. It fought in another two major attacks in this sector - the battle of Broodseinde on 4 October, and the battle of Passchendaele on 12 October. Broodseinde was a success, reflecting careful planning and preparation, but the 38th still suffered 29 per cent casualties. Passchendaele, however, was a disaster, executed in haste amidst horrendous conditions brought on by torrential rain. It was the 38th's most costly operation of the war, resulting in 62 per cent casualties.

Belgium remained the focus of the 38th Battalion's activities for the next five months, until it was rushed south to France in late March 1918 to meet the German Army's Spring Offensive. The Allies launched their own offensive on 8 August 1918, but the 38th was in reserve on this day and did not play an active role. It was involved, however, in an ill-conceived attack that failed to capture the village of Proyart on 10 August. Undaunted, the battalion continued to play an active role throughout August and early September in the 3rd Division's advance along the Somme Valley.

The 38th participated in its last major action of the war between 29 September and 2 October 1918 as part of the Australian-American operation that breached the formidable defences of the Hindenburg Line along the St Quentin Canal. It was disbanded in April 1919.

Battle Honours

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


The brass letter 'A' to represent service related to Gallipoli (ANZAC) was authorised to be worn 'over unit colour patches on both sleeves of the service dress jacket and greatcoat" by Military Order 354 of 18 Aug 17 and AIF Order 937 of 6 Nov 17, as amended in terms of qualification by Military Order 20 of 19 Jan 18 and by AIF Order 1084 of 25 Jan 18.

The size of the letter 'A', introduced as one inch in height (AIF Order 994 of 30 Nov 17), was reduced to three-quarters of an inch by AIF Order 1012 of 11 Dec 17.

Provision for wearing the brass letter 'A' was also included in General Routine Order 0.815 of 17 Dec 43 and GRO 310 of 7 Dec 45.


Wound Stripe

Army Order No.204 Headquarters, 1st A.N.Z.A.C., 9th August, 1916. (slightly amended for layout)

Wound Stripes

The following distinction in dress will be worn on the service dress jacket by all officers and soldiers who have been wounded in any of the campaigns since 4th August 1914 :

  • Stripes of gold Russia braid No.1, two inches [2.5cm] in length sewn perpendicularly on the left forearm sleeve of the jacket to mark each occasion on which wounded.

  • In the case of officers, the lower end of the first strip of gold braid will be immediately above the upper point of the flap on the cuff.

  • Warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men will wear the gold braid on the left forearm sleeve, the lower edge of the braid to be three inches from the bottom of the sleeve.

  • Subsequent occasions on which wounded, will be placed on either side of the original one at half inch interval.

  • Gold braid and sews will be obtained free on indent from the Army Ordnance Department; the sewing on will be carried out regimentally without expense to the public.

Long Service Badges

A.I.F. ORDER No.470, 24 January 1917 (slightly amended for layout)

The question of the issue of a badge to members of the AIF who have completed a certain period of service has received consideration, and approval has been given for the issue of a badge for long service combined with good conduct, subject to the following conditions.

  • The badge will consist of an inverted single chevron of service braid to be worn on the left forearm - the point of the chevron to be 3 inches [7.6cm] above the edge of the cuff.

  • Warrant and non-commissioned officers and men, will be eligible for the badge, which will not carry an increased pay or allowance.

  • One chevron will be worn for each complete year's service in the Australian Imperial Force from the date of embarkation in Australia.

  • No badge will be issued to any man who, during the 12 months, has incurred a regimental entry (i.e. an entry involving forfeiture of pay) in his sheet.

  • Time absent from the unit in hospital or elsewhere on account of wounds or sickness, not the result of misconduct, will count as service towards earning the badge.

  • A man in possession of a badge will forfeit same on being convicted of any offence involving a forfeiture of pay , but will be eligible to regain the badge after 6 months good conduct, from the date of forfeiture.

  • The illegal wearing of this badge will be a crime under A.A. Section 40.

Overseas Service Chevrons

[Image from http://www.diggerhistory.info]

Australian Imperial Force Order No.1053, January 1918 (Slightly amended for layout)

His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of chevrons to denote service overseas since the 4th August 1914.

  • Chevrons of two colours have been approved.

    • The first chevron if earned on or before 31st December 1914, will be red.

    • If earned on or after 1st January 1915, it will be blue.

    • All additional chevrons after the first will be blue.

  • The chevrons will be worsted embroidery, 1/4 inch [0.63cm] in width, the arms 4 inches [10.2cm] long. They will be worn inverted on the right forearm:

  • In the case of officers, the apex of the lowest chevron will be 1 inch [2.5cm] above the upper point of the flap on the cuff.

  • In the case of warrant-officers, non-commissioned officers and men, the apex of the lowest chevron will be midway between the seams and four inches [10.2cm] above the bottom edge of the sleeve.

  • The red chevron will be worn below the blue one. They will not be worn on greatcoats.

  • In the case of Australians, the first chevron was earned the date the individual left Australia. Additional chevrons were awarded for each successive aggregate period of 12 months service outside Australia.