9083 Lieutenant Peter Taylor MM WIA** KIA
7thField Ambulance (Army Medical Corps) & 26th Infantry Battalion
7th Infantry Brigade, 1st Division
1st Australian Imperial Force 1914-1919

WIA** - Twice Wounded in Action   KIA - Killed in Action

This file last updated 15 September, 2018 11:16


Introduction

Photograph, if available

 

The following information and chronological table are a summary of the entries from the service record of Peter Taylor.

Documents are not filed in chronological sequence, and individual entries on forms are not entered in chronological sequence. Each entry generally has a date of occurence and a (later) date the entry was either made or authorised. Some of the service record pages are duplicated - this occurs when the unit and Army records are amalgamated on cessation of service.

Service numbers were allocated by the original unit, and are not unique to the individual. Where an individual is transferred into another unit, duplicating an existing number, the transferee is given an alphabetic suffix, eg 1234A. Officers did not have Army numbers, and if commissioned from the ranks, relinquished their number on commissioning. I have kept his number as a part of the record linking back to his previous service.

When reading this record, please keep in mind that for other than cables there could be a lapse of some four months between the despatch of a letter from Australia to the UK and France, and the receipt of a reply.

View Peter Taylor's Service Record, the Embarkation Roll, his Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour entry, (located on Panel 109 in the Commemorative Area), his Commemorative Certificate, the London Gazette page with his award, or the Australian Gazette which repromulgates the award.

Peter is buried at Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, located Some, France and his Cemetery/Memorial reference is IV.J.4. which can be located on the Cemetery Diagram.

While Peter Taylor's next of kin is recorded as his father, with an address in Perth, Scotland, there is a pencilled addendum which provides an address for his brother, D.R.R. Taylor, 10 Springfield Gardens, "Crossingloof" [sic], Glasgow. Scotland. Crossingmyloof was an area then south of Glasgow which appears be now designated as the suburb of Parkhead, while Springfield Gardens is a street between Gallowgate and Springfield Road, close to the Eastern Necropolis.

This biography was prepared for Peter Taylor, great nephew of LT Peter Taylor by Clive Mitchell-Taylor - 8 September 2018


Enlistment Details

Service Number

9083 [On the first page of his record this appears to be 9013 but magnification reveals the correct number]

Name

Peter Taylor

Born at

Wick, County of Caithness

Age

29 years and 2 months at time of initial enquiry
29 years and 6 months at time of enlistment
[Actual birth dates not used]

Trade or Calling

Commercial Traveller

Apprentice

No

Married

No

Next of Kin

Father - George Taylor, "Glencairne", 63 Craigie Road, Perth, Scotland

Ever convicted by the Civil Power

No

Previous Military Service

No

Attested at

Liverpool, NSW

Date of Enlistment

4 Aug 1915

Height

5 foot 11 inches [180.5cm]

Weight

142 pounds [10 stone 2 pounds or 64.5 Kg]

Chest

32 - 35 inches [81.2 - 88.9cm]

Eyes

Good Brown

Complexion

Fresh

Hair

Grey

Religious Denomination

Presbyterian

Units

Army Medical Corps, 8th Field Ambulance Unit
26th Battalion, 7th Brigade, 1st Division


Chronological Events

Rank Description Date Remarks

Private

Attestation papers have him enlisting on 9 Jun 1915, although he signed the initial document on 4 Aug 1915 and the Attesting Office signed the following day at Liverpool.

4 Aug 1915

 

Private

There is no record in the file concerning initial training, which would have been undertaken at Liverpool. Training must have been completed on or about 5 Jan 1916, as this is the date on which the Commanding Officer assigned him to the 3rd reinforcements of the 8th Field Ambulance Unit. His employment would have been as an orderley and/or stretcher bearer.

5 Jan 1916

 

Private

Embarked on His Majestys Australian Ttransport ship "BALLARAT" (A70) as a member of the 1st to 5th Reinforcements to 8th Field Ambulance.

16 Feb 1916

There is no embarkation detail in the file, but the information was separately available through the Australian War Memorial.

Private

Disembarked Egypt. Initial deployment was to Alexandria, as the AIF was refitting, reinforcing and training in Egypt after the withdrawal from Gallipoli and prior to deployment in France.

2 Mar 1916

 

Private

Proceeded to Miscellaneous Reinforcements from His Majesties Australian Transport (HMAT) "BALLARAT" (A70)

23 Mar 1916

 

Private

Proceeded to join British Expeditionary Force (BEF), embarked Alexandria, disembarked Marseilles.

29 Mar 1916

 

Private

Proceeded to join Base details

20 Apr 1916

 

Private

Joined 1st Australian Division Base Depot (1 ADBD) from Rouen.

21 Apr 1916

 

Private

Transferred to Perth from Etaples

21 Jun 1916

This appears to refer to leave, as his father, the next-of-kin, resides in Perth, Scotland

Private

Returned from leave

29 Jun 1916

 

Private

Marched out to Active Service

8 Aug 1916

 

Private

Attached to Australian Medical corps (AMC) Reinforcements by Officer Commanding (OC) 7th Field Ambulance Unit (7 AFA)

9 Aug 1916

AMC Details is a pool of stretcher bearers and orderlies, allocated as necessary

Private

Taken on Strength of 7 AFA from AMC Details

11 Aug 1916

 

Private

Temporarily attached to 8 AFA

5 Dec 1916

 

Private

Rejoined 7 AFA

13 Dec 1916

 

Private;

Wounded in action (WIA), gunshot wounds (GSW) to wrist and face

4 May 1917

Reporting unit is 6 AFA

Private

Admitted to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station (3 CCS)

4 May 1917

 

Private

Letter from the Public Trustee to Officer in Charge, Base Records, Victoria Barracks, Melbourne

Sir,
Re J.P. TAYLOR no. 9083, 8th Field Ambulance, A.I.F., deceased.

Will you kindly inform me if J.P. Taylor, whose name appears on the 291st Casualty List, New South Wales Section, is identical with No. 9083 Peter Taylor, 8th Field Ambulance

Yours obediently,

8 May 1917

 


Rank Description Date Remarks

Private

Letter from Officer in Command, Base Records to Public Trustee, Sydney

Sir,

I have to acknowledge receipt of your communication GA/BS, dated 8th instant, and to state the soldier whose name appeared in casualty List No. 291 is not identical with No. 9083 Private Peter Taylor, 7th (late 8th) Field Ambulance. No official report of any casualty has been received concerning him.

Yours faithfully,

15 May 1917

 

Private

Discharged from 3 CCS to return to 7 AFA

15 May 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Promoted to Lance Corporal

23 May 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Transferred from 7 AFA to 26th Infantry Battalion and remains Lance Corporal

7 Jun 1917

 

Lance Corporal

To Corps Infantry School

16 Jun 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field.

There are no citations, the many pages of award of the Military Medal are simply headed

His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the undermentioned Ladies, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men :-

17 Jul 1917

Noted by unit as 20 Jul 1918, whilst a Private with 7 AFA.
London Gazette 17 July 1917, page 7289 at position 44 and Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 1917 on page 2943 at position 172 (see above for links to both Gazette entries).

Lance Corporal

Selected to attend No 4 Officer's Cadet Battalion, Oxford, commencing 10 Aug 1917

31 Jul 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Proceeded to join [Officer Cadet] Battalion, England

4 Aug 1917

 

Officer Cadet

Reported to No 4 Officer Cadet Battalion, Oxford

10 Aug 1917

 

2nd Lieutenant

Appointed Second Lieutenant and posted to General Infantry Reinforcements

29 Nov 1917

2nd Lieutenant

Letter from Base Records Officer, Victoria Barracks Melbourne

I have much pleasure in forwarding hereunder copy of extract from Second Supplement No. 30188 to the London Gazette, dated 17th July 1917 relating to the conspicuous services rendered by your son, No. 9083 Lance Corporal P. Taylor, 7th Field Ambulance.

AWARDED THE MILITARY MEDAL "HIS MAJESTY THE KING has been graciously pleased to ward the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the undermentioned soldier:-

No. 9083 Private P. Taylor

The above has been promulgated in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. 189 of 8th November 1917

7 Dec 1917

 

2nd Lieutenant

Proceeded overseas to France from Southampton

14 Dec 1917

 

2nd Lieutenant

Admitted to Reinforcements from England

16 Dec 1917

 


Rank Description Date Remarks

2nd Lieutenant

Proceeded to 1st Anzac Reinforcements Camp

17 Dec 1917

 

2nd Lieutenant

Taken on Strength of 26th Battalion

22 Dec 1917

 

2nd Lieutenant

Detached to Lewis Gun School, Le Tourquet

2 Feb 1918

 

2nd Lieutenant

Rejoined 26th Battalion from Lewis Gun School

22 Feb 1918

 

Lieutenant

Appointed Lieutenant

7 May 1917

 

Lieutenant

Wounded in Action (WIA), 2nd occasion, shrapnel wounds to head and face, admitted to 5th Casualty Clearing Station 95 CCS)

9 Jun 1918

 

Lieutenant

Transferred to 20 CCS

9 Jun 1918

Those not expected to live were generally not moved further through the evacuation process

Lieutenant

To Ambulance Train, HMAT "BARAMBAH" (A37)

22 Jun 1918

 

Lieutenant

Transferred to England

23 Jun 1918

Some waiting time involved

Lieutenant

Embarked for England on Hospital Ship "WARILDA" (A69)

26 Jun 1918

 

Lieutenant

Admitted to 3rd London General Hospiital, GSW severe

27 Jun 1918

Wounds now classified as being caused by gun shot (GSW) rather than shrapnel, but either choice could be correct - or both.

Lieutenant

Medical Board for Officer Convened

1 Jul 1918

See under

Lieutenant

Medical Board for Officer convened

15 Jul 1918

See under - I deliberately included the instructions on the form as an indication of the thinking behind the questions posed.


Medical Board Report On A Disabled Officer

Item 1 Jul 1918 Board 15 Jul 1918 Board

1.    Rank and Name

Lieut P. Taylor

Lieut P. Taylor

2.   Unit

26 Bn

26 Bn

3.   Age

32

32

4.   Total Service

35/12 [35 months]

35/12 [35 months]

5.   Address

 

 


Item 1 Jul 1918 Board 15 Jul 1918 Board

Medical Board [Continued]

Statement of Case

NOTE: In answering the following questions the Board will carefully discriminate between the officer's statements and evidence recorded in his medical documents. When possible, a statement by his medica attendant should be attached.

6.   Disability

GSW head, concussion

GSW Head

7.   Date of origin of disability

9 Jun 1918

9 Jun 1918

8.   Place of origin of disability

On the Somme

France

9.Give concisely the essential facts bearing on the history of the disability (personal and family history etc)

The wound is a GSW to the occipital region from which an [?] has recurred from this occipital tissue. He was unconscious for two hours.

Has done well

Opinion of the Medical Board

NOTES:
(i)    The Board will on no account inform the officer of its opinion on any of the following questions.
(ii)   Clear and decisive answere should be filled in by the Board to enable the Ministry of Pensions to come to a reliable decision on the officer's claim to pensions, etc.
(iii)  Expressions such as "may", "might", "probably" should be avoided if possible.
(iv)   When there is more than one disability the replies will distinguish between them.

10.   Was the disability contracted:
   (a) before entering the Service?
   (b) in the Service?


No
Yes


No
Yes

Was it attributable to Military Service?

Yes

Yes

   

If so, to what military conditions is it attributed?

GSW in Action

GSW in Action

[Enteric Fever, Dysentery, Maria etc contracted on service in countries where there is a special liability to the disease, are to be regarded as attributable to military service.]

12.    If not attributable to, was it aggravated by, military service?

NA

NA

   If so, by what specific military conditions?

 

 

13.   Is it attributable to, or aggravated by, the officer's own negligence or misconduct? If so, in what way and to what extent

No

No

14.   What is the officer's present condition?

Wounds healed. Has headaches, sleeps well,memory good, general condition is good

Has no disabilty

15.   to what degree is the officer disabled at the present time?
(Degrees should be expressed in the following percentages -
100, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, under 20 or nil

 

 

16.   Is the disability permanent?

No

No

17. If not permanent, how soon is re-examination recommended (months)?

In four weeks

 

18.   Is it necessary that the officer should be re-examined by the same Board?

 

— 

19.   What treatment is the officer receiving, and where, and from whom?

2 LGH (London General Hospital)

Nil

20.   Is the Officer in need of special medical treatment of any kind, and if so, of what nature?

None

21.   Does the officer require the constant attention of another person?

 

 


Medical Board Report On A Disabled Officer [Continued]

Item 1 Jul 1918 Board 15 Jul 1918 Board

22.   Officers will be classified by the Medical Board under one of the following categories, the probable period of unfitness for the higher categories being stated. Explanation of these categories is in para 5 of A.C.I. 1158/1918. In case of nurses, omit B and (i) and (ii) of E.

A.   Fit for general service

No - four weeks

Yes

B.   Fit for service in a garrison or labour unit abroad

 

 

C.   Fit for home service:-
(i)   Active duty with troops
(ii)  Sedendary employment only

No - two weeks
No - 2 weeks

 

D.   For admission to a command depot

No

 

E.   Requiring indoor hospital treatment:-
(i)   in an officer's military or auxiliary convalescent hospital
(ii)  in an officers' hospital


No
No

 

F.   Permanently unfit for any further military service

No

 

23.   in the case of officers suffering from neurasthenia [shell shock] found permanently unfit has A.C.I. 307 of 1918 been complied with?

 

 


Chronological Events [Continued]
Rank Description Date Remarks

Lieutenant

Discharged from 3rd London General Hospital to France as Temporarily below medical standard (T. BGde)

29 Jul 18

No documentation, but the missing two weeks appears to be recuperation leave.

Lieutenant

Memo from Commanding officer of Austtalian Infantry Base Depot to Headquarters Australian Corps attached to Headquarters 5th Army, France

Re 2/Lieut. P. Taylor, 26th Btn. A.I.F.

The abovementioned Officer proceeded to Havre from this Camp on the 7th instant, wihout leave. He reported back at 7.445 a.m. on the 8.8.18, thereby comitting a breach of Base Standing Orders which require :-
(a) Leave to be granted by the Commanding Officer.
(b) All Officers to be in their quarters by 11 p.m.

He was placed under arrest, and the matter referred to higher authority, who has directed that he be censured and the matter reported to his unit.

This Officer was on Conducting Duty from United Kingdom.

8 Aug 1918

 

Lieutenant

Memo from CO Australian Infantry Base Depot to Headquarters A.I.F. Depots in U.K. Tidworth, England

Re 2/Lieut. P. Taylor, 26th Btn. A.I.F.

Reference your CR.AIF.41435(a3) dated 14.8.18. The above-named officer proceeded overseas to his Unit on the 13th inst.

This Officer was severely censured by the Commandant, Australian Base Depots on 12.8.18 for the offence contained in this office NS.1531/151 dated 11.8.18.

13 Aug 1918

 

Lieutenant

Proceeded overseas to France

19 Aug 1918

Via Southampton

Lieutenant

Admitted to France from England

21 Aug 1918

Havre

Lieutenant

Proceeded to join Unit

26 Aug 1918

 

Lieutenant

Killed in Action (KIA)

2 Sep 1918

 


Rank Description Date Remarks

Lieutenant

Copy of D.16. [Notification of death?]

Lieut. P. TAYLOR. "M.M." 26th Bn A.I.F.

In reply to the above memo regarding Lieut. P. Taylor. "M.M." I have to advise that he was Kineed in an attack on the enemy position near MONT. ST QUENTIN. On 2.9.18.

His body was buried near MONT ST QUENTIN at Reference Map Sheet 62c I.16.c.6.9. and a cross has been erected over the grave.

Sg. Lieut, Assistant Adjutant for Commanding Officer

15 Jan 1919

Date pencilled in bottom left corner.

Lieutenant

What appears to be a a letter to the Public Trustee, Sydney from Estate Branch, Headquaraters, London

WILL

My Will is in the keeping of
The Public Trustee, Sydney, N.S.W.

Signature, Peter TAYLOR
Rank and Unit. Pte. 7th A.A.M.C
Date. 4.4.17.

Certified to be a true copy of the Location of Will extracted from Pay Book of No. 9083 (Late) Lieut. TAYLOR Peter. 26th Bn (Decd) Original forward to D.P.M.1 2nd. M.D.2

20 Sep 1918

1. D.P.M. - Deputy Pay Master
2. 2nd M.D. - Second Military District (NSW)

Lieutenant

Undated letter from Public Trustee to Officer Commanding Base Records (Stamped as received 20 Sep 1918)

Sir, Re Lieut P. Taylor, 26th Battalion

I shall be obliged if you will furnish me with, -

1. Certificate in duplicate relating to the death of the abovenamed deceased soldier.
2. The address of the deceased prior to enlistment. 3. The name and adess of the person nominated as his next of kin.

Yours obediently

20 Sep 1918

Stamped and annotated as being formally acknowledged on 25 Sep 1918.

Lieutenant

Letter from Public Trustee to Base Records, Victoria Barracks, Melbourne

Sir, Re Lieut P. Taylor, 26th Battalion

I shall be obliged if you will furnish me with, -

1. Certificate in duplicate relating to the death of the abovenamed deceased soldier.
[inserted in pencil] if yet available
2. The address of the deceased prior to enlistment.
3. The name and address of the person nominated as his next of kin.

Yours obediently

29 Nov 1918

Stamped as received by Base Records on 3 Dec 1918

Lieutenant

Cable from Commandant, A.I.F. Headquarters to Base Records

Lieutenant Peter Taylor, M.M.
26th Battalion,
Australian Imperial Force
was killed in action (No record available) 2nd September, 18.
Cable No. C.I.B.L. 2823, from the Commandant, A.I.F. Headquarters, dated London, 10th September, 1918, confirmed by Mail from the Commandant, A.I.F. Headquarters, dated London, 16th September, 1918,

9 Dec 1918

 

Lieutenant

Cable from Commandant, A.I.F. Headquarters to The Commercial Travellers Association of Victoria

Lieutenant Peter Taylor, M.M.
26th Battalion,
Australian Imperial Force
was killed in action (No record available) 2nd September, 18.
Cable No. C.I.B.L. 2823, from the Commandant, A.I.F. Headquarters, dated London, 10th September, 1918, confirmed by Mail from the Commandant, A.I.F. Headquarters, dated London, 16th September, 1918
9th December 1918    Capt

27 Jan 1919

A copy of the 9 Dec 1918 notification signed by a Captain, and sent as a letter to the Commercial Travellers Association


Rank Description Date Remarks

Lieutenant

Letter from The Commercial Travellers Asociation of Victoria to OC Base Records

Dear Sir,

I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 27th inst., enclosing certificates of report of death of the late Lieut. P. Taylor & Gunner A.P. Stott, for which we thank you.

Your faithfully,

29 Jan 1919

 

Lieutenant

Letter from Deputy Commissioner for Taxation, Estate Duty to Officer in Charge, Base Records, Victoria Barracks, Melbourne

Dear Sir
re Estate late Peter Taylor

With reference to the above Estate, claim is made for exemption from duty under Section 9 of the estate Duty Assessment Act 1914 on the ground that the deceased died on Active Service and in view thereof, I have to request that you will be good enough to verify such assertion, also please state the date and place of death.

It is understood deceased was -
Lieutenant Peter Taylor,
26th Battalion A.I.F.
and is stated to have died on the 2nd September, 1918

Your faithfully,

6 Feb 1919

 

Lieutenant

Letter from Officer in Charge, Base Records to Deputy Commissioner of Taxation

Dear Sir,

I have to acknowledge receipt of your communication of the 6th instant, and to state the late Lieutenant P. Taylor, M. M., 26th Battalion is reported as have been killed in action in France on 2nd September, 1918.

The above report has been duly confirmed.

Yours faithfully,

11 Feb 1919

 

Lieutenant

Copy of cable from Commandant, A.I.F. Headquarters per Officer in Charge, Base Records, to Public Trustee

Lieutenant Peter Taylor, M.M.
26th Battalion,
Australian Imperial Force

was killed in action (No record available) 2nd September, 18.

Cable No. C.I.B.L. 2823, from the Commandant, A.I.F. Headquarters, dated London, 10th September, 1918, confirmed by Mail from the Commandant, A.I.F. Headquarters, dated London, 16th September, 1918,

5 Mar 1919    Capt

5 Mar 1919

Annotated in pencil as being for the Public Trustee, Sydney

Lieutenant

Letter from Public Trustee to Base Records, Victoria Barracks, Melbourne

[Annotated in pencil 'For favour as urgent matter.']

Sir, Re Lieut P. Taylor, 26th Battalion

I shall be obliged if you will furnish me with, -

1. Certificate in duplicate relating to the death of the abovenamed deceased soldier.
2. The address of the deceased prior to enlistment.
3. The name and adress of the person nominated as his next of kin.
[paras two and three are struck out in pencil]

Yours obediently

27 Feb 1919

Stamped as received on 8 Mar 1919

Lieutenant

Letter from OC Base Records to Next of Kin (Father)

Dear Sir,

With reference to the report of the regrettable loss of your son, the late Lieutenant P. Taylor, M.M., 26th Battalion, I am now in receipt of advice which shows that he was killed on 2.9.18 during an attack on the enemy position near Mont St. Quentin, France, and was buried at that place. A cross has been erected over the grave.

The utmost are and attention is being devoted, where possible, to the graves of our fallen Officers and Man [sic]. It is undersood photographs are being taken as soon as practicable for transmission to next-of-kin.

These additional details are furnished by direction, it being the policy of the Department to forward all information received in connection with the deaths of members of the Australian Imperial Force.

Yours faithfully,

2 Apr 1919

 

Lieutenant

Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll sent to father.

18 Dec 1922

 

Lieutenant

Undated report from Graves Registration (Exhumation) appears to advise of the exhumation and reinterment of the remains in the Peronne Cemetery

Undated

 


Medals and Dress Embellishments Awarded

Military Medal (below, left) British War Medal 1914-1920 (below, centre) Victory Medal (below, right),
two Wound Stripe for 4 May 1917 and 9 Jun 1918, three Long Service Stripes, and two Overseas Service Chevrons.
Use the hyperlinks or scroll down to see further information on the badges.


Other Accoutrements

Military Medal British War Medal Victory Medal

Unit Shoulder Patches
Australian Medical Corps
Aust Medical Corps
26th Battalion

Rising Sun Badge - 1st and 2nd AIF

Not entitled to wear
ANZAC 'A' on Shoulder Patches
ANZAC A


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
individuals.

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]


7th Field Ambulance, 7th Brigade, 1st Division

Information from RSL Virtual War Memorial

The 7th Field Ambulance was the Field Ambulance Company that served the 7th Brigade of the 2nd Division which comprised the 25th (Qld) 26th (Qld / Tas) 27th (SA) and 28th (WA) Battalions. The Battalions' reinforcement drafts often provided personnel for the Field Ambulance so numbers of South Australians from the 27th Battalion served in the 7th Field Ambulance.

The 2nd Division was formed in Egypt and deployed to Gallipoli late in the campaign (Aug - Sept 1915).

The 7th Brigade landed at Gallipoli on in August 1915 and the 7th Field Ambulance served throughout the rest of that campaign and followed its parent Brigade to France and Belgium from 1916.

The Field Ambulance Company was responsible for 'Second Line' casualty evacuation from 'First Line' Regimental Aid Posts (RAP) in each battalion.

The RAP belonged to the Battalion (or other units) and was manned by the Regimental Medial Officer (RMO), a qualified doctor generally of Captain rank supported by several non-commissioned officers (NCO) of Sergeant and Corporal rank, with a number of medical orderlies at the rank of Private.

They in turn were supported by unit stretcher bearers, generally drawn from the Battalion's Band. These men would be trained to administer First Aid sufficient to clear airways, staunch bleeding and perhaps splint fractures so that casualties could be evacuated to the Battalion RAP. Casualties would be hand carried - requiring at least four men but more like eight over any distance for each casualty. Hand carts were also used but rough ground generally meant stretchers, When mass casualties occurred, such as through major shelling or an enemy attack, decisions would have to be made about the priority of evacuation. The RMO would assess the casualty and decide whether they were to be evacuated and with what priority. Grievous wounds with little chance of survival would generally not be evacuated.

When an attack or advance was undertaken, the RAP would follow up the units' forward elements and were thus exposed to enemy direct fire (rifles and machine guns) and indirect fire (artillery mortar fire and even gas).

The Field Ambulance would have personnel deployed forward to retrieve casualties from the RAP to the Field Ambulance Advanced Dressing Station and then to a Casualty Clearing Station (CCS).

They would have to deploy forward to reach the RAP, and thus come under the same risks as the front line combat troops.

They may have had a number of means to assist in casualty evacuation from light rail, horse drawn vehicles and even motor vehicles. Or they could indeed also be stretcher borne.

Soldiers with serious wounds who needed surgery have what is called "The Golden Hour" to receive the treatment they need. After that time their chance of survival diminishes rapidly. Conditions were such that evacuation times were extended considerably by poor weather, the predominance of water, mud, the detritus of battle, shell torn ground and enemy action. At the time infection was also a great risk as it was prior to the discovery of penicillin and other antibiotics.

Once at the CCS, additional Medical Officers and supporting personnel were available to carry out life saving surgery. Some casualties might be retained in a limited number of beds - generally to allow more seriously wounded to be evacuated further to rear. The tragic fact was many men would have died here from serious wounds and indeed many of the cemeteries scattered through Northern France and Belgium originally began alongside a CCS.

From a CCS casualties might be taken to a Field Hospital or straight to a General Hospital.

In France, the evacuation chain would eventually see serious casualties sent quickly to the United Kingdom. In some circumstances an Australian casualty may have been sent home. Then they would undergo rehabilitation, either in the UK or back to Australia. Many of the wounded succumbed to their wounds in transit. They would be buried at sea in the traditional naval fashion.

It is quite remarkable that some men who were wounded multiple times, kept returning to the Front despite what in contemporary times might have been classified as a 'homer' - in other words they would have been deemed to have done their duty. However many men felt compelled to return to support their mates, particularly as the war drew on and reinforcements began to slow.


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]


26th Battalion, 7th Brigade, 1st Division

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

The 26th Battalion was raised at Enoggera, Queensland, in April 1915 from recruits enlisted in Queensland and Tasmania, and formed part of the 7th Brigade. It left Australia in July, and, after training in Egypt, landed at Gallipoli on 12 September. At Gallipoli, the 26th played a purely defensive role and at various times was responsible for the defence of Courtney's and Steele's Posts, and Russell's Top. It withdrew from the peninsula on 12 December.

After another stint in Egypt, the 7th Brigade proceeded to France as part of the 2nd Australian Division in March 1916 In concert with the 28th Battalion, the 26th mounted the first trench raid undertaken by Australian troops on the Western Front on 6 June. The Battalion fought in its first major battle around Pozieres between 28 July and 7 August. After a short spell in Belgium, the 2nd Division came south in October to attack again in the Somme Valley. The 26th Battalion took part in two attacks to the east of Flers, both of which floundered in mud and slush.

In early 1917, the 26th Battalion joined the follow-up of the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line and attacked at Warlencourt (1-2 March) and Lagincourt (26 March). For his valorous actions at Lagincourt, Captain Percy Cherry was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. On 3 May, the Battalion was also involved in the second attempt to breach the Hindenburg Line defences around Bullecourt. Later that year the focus of the AIF's operations switched to Belgium. There, the 26th battalion fought in the battle of Menin Road on 20 September, and participated in the capture of Broodseinde Ridge on 4 October.

Like most AIF battalions, the 26th fought to turn back the German spring offensive in April 1918, and in the lull that followed mounted "peaceful penetration" operations to snatch portions of the German front line. In one such operation in Monument Wood on 14 July the 26th Battalion captured the first German tank to fall into Allied hands - No. 506 "Mephisto". In another, on 17 July, Lieutenant Albert Borrella was awarded the Victoria Cross. Later in the year the 26th participated in the great offensive that began on 8 August, its most notable engagement being an attack east of Mont St Quentin on 2 September. The Battalion's last action of the war was the capture of Lormisset, part of the operation to breach the Beaurevoir Line, on 3 October 1918. The 26th Battalion was disbanded in May 1919.


Battle Honours:

Somme 1916-18, Pozieres, Bullecourt, Ypres 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodeseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Amiens, Albert 1918, Mont St Quentin, Hindenburg Line, Beaurevoir, France and Flanders 1916-18, Gallipoli 1915, Egypt 1915-16


The ANZAC 'A'

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.

ANZAC 'A'


Wound Stripe

Army Order No.204 Headquarters, 1st A.N.Z.A.C., 9th August, 1916. (slightly amended for layout)
DISTINCTIONS FOR OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS WHO HAVE BEEN WOUNDED

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

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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.

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