Colour Patch 52nd Infantry Battalion

5071 Private Edward Clifford Currier [WIA]
52nd Infantry Battalion,
13th Brigade,
3rd Division
1 st Australian Imperial Force

This file last updated 29 December, 2023 11:11
Australian Rising Sun Badge


EC Currier
Private Edward Clifford Currier
in hospital uniform
[Photograph courtesy of
Robert Clifford Gibson]

The following information and chronological table are a summary of the entries from the service record of 5071 Private Edward Clifford Currier.

Edward Currier was allocated to the 52nd Battalion, and had several bouts of Bronchitis in the harsh European winter of 1916/1917. He was wounded in action (WIA) on 2 Apr 1917, subsequently hospitalised with a gunshot wound (GSW) to the neck and discharged from the Service with a disability pension after being repatriated to Australia.

The gunshot wound initially described as 'slight' caused him to have difficulty in speaking which was a major contributing factor in his return to Australia and discharge. A copy of the proceedings of the Medical Board are below.

Edward Currier's brothers, Cyril Garnet Currier and Ernest George Currier also served, both in the 40th Battalion.

Prepared for Vietnam veteran, Robert Clifford 'Bomber' Gibson, grandson of Edward Clifford Currier, by Clive Mitchell-Taylor - 26 June 2018.

Edward Currier's documents are:

  1. Service Record;
  2. Medical Board
  3. Embarkation Record*; and
  4. Nominal Roll.

Abbreviations and Acronyms

Abbreviations or acronyms which have a dotted underline can be expanded by moving the cursor over the term - e.g. WIA. The cursor will be replaced by ? and the expanded abbreviation will be displayed. This is gradually being incorporated into the site, replacing the the current expansion of abbreviations. There may be a discernable delay of about a second before the expansion is first provided.

There is also a separate list of abbreviations which is available through the menu at the top of this page or the hyperlink here.  Abbreviations are inconsistent, even within a single occurence where a term is abbreviated.

There are a number of sources for tracing abbreviations used in Australian and New Zealand service records. Those used when operating with the British or US forces can generally be found, especially in World War 1. Abbreviations used solely within Australia in WW2 are most difficult to trace, particularly when they are regional. Sometimes a 'best guess' is the only answer.

Duplicated Pages

Some of the service information may appear to be duplicated although individual occurrences are not in the same order and different abbreviations used. This occurs when the unit and Army records are amalgamated upon discharge or death in Service.

Service Numbers

Service numbers in WW1 were unique to the unit (e.g. Battalion) or Corps (e.g. Artillery). In WW2 Service Numbers were unique to the State in which they were allotted. For further information about identity numbers for Service personnel, see Regimental and Service Numbers

Dates of Occurrence and Reporting

The date of reporting an incident may be hours, days or months after the date on which incident actually occurred.

The original service record is amended only when the incident is reported which means that events are not necessarily recorded in in strict chronological sequence. This is the date shown on the left of the page of the original record, and also on the left in my transcription but readers should note that at times there may be no date of reporting at all, particularly when service personel are repatriated for discharge at the end of hostilities.

To assist the reader, when transcribing the military record I have done my best to record events in their chronological sequence. This is date is on the right of the page of the original record and also on the right in my transcription.

For clarity I have transcribed all dates into the format d MMM yyyy.

Enlistment Details

Service Number



Edward Clifford Currier

Born at

Strahan, Tasmania


18 years and 1 months (as at 31 Jan 1916 - birth dates are not actually recorded)

Trade or Calling




British Subject

Natural born

Marital Status


Next of Kin

Mother Kathleen Currier address later obliterated and replaced with 'address unknown' and with annotation 'Father dead'. NOK later amended to Brother, Clyde H Currier, East Strahan, Tasmania.

Previous Military Service

Note the Annotation 'Evaded Service'. This is most likely referring to the compulsory military training scheme operational in Australia from 1911 to 1929. There were three levels of training. Boys 12-14 years had to enrol in the junior cadets, 14-18 year-olds had to enrol in the senior cadets and 18-26 year-olds had to register with the home defence militia.]

Discharged with Ignominy


Attested at

Claremont, Tasmania

Date of Enlistment

31 Jan 1916


5 foot 5½ inches [166.3 cm]


121 pounds [8 stone 9 pounds or 55 Kg]


30 - 33½ inches [76 - 85 cm]







Religious Denomination

Church of England

Distinctive Marks

Brown mark on back of right arm
Scar on left leg just above ankle.


52nd Infantry Battalion

Chronological Events







31 Jan 1916


Embarked for active Service abroad

29 Mar 1916


Disembarked at Suez

25 Apr 1916


Embarked at Alexandria

7 Jun 1916


Disembarked at Marseilles

14 Jun 1916


Admitted to 26th General Hospital at Etaples with Bronchitis

8 Jul 1916


Embarked for England

14 Jul 1916


Admitted to 3rd West Hospital, Cardiff with Bronchitis

15 July 1916


Initially allocated to 16th Reinforcements to 12th Battalion, then reassigned to Reinforcements to 52nd Battalion

19 Jul 1916


Transferred to Military Convalescent Hospital

28 Jul 1916


Discharged from Hospital to Perham Downs for furlough

22 Aug 1916


Marched in to 13th Training Battalion, Rollestone.

11 Sep 191


Proceeded overseas to France via Folkkestone.

2 Nov 1916


Marched in to Australian Divisional Base Depot (ABDB) Etaples, ex England

3 Nov 1916


Taken on Stength (TOS) of 52nd Battalion

16 Nov 1916


Admitted to 5th Field Ambulance, Bronchitis

1 Dec 1916


Transferred to 15th Field Ambulance,Bronchitis

1 Dec 1916


Transferred to 4th Convalescent Depot

9 Dec 1916


Discharged from Hospital to Base Depot, Class A

19 Dec 1916


Rejoined 52nd Battalion

5 Jan 1917


Wounded in Action (WIA)

2 Apr 1917


Admitted to 4th Field Ambulance, gunshot wound (GSW) to neck (slight) [sic]

3 Apr 1917






Transferred to 3rd Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne, GSW to neck

4 Apr 1917


Embarked for England

6 Apr 1917


Admitted to War Hospital, Norfolk, GSW neck.

6 Apr 1917


Transferred to 3rd Auxilliary Hospital

2 Aug 1917


Discharge from Hospital to furlough and to report to No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth on 27 Aug 1917

13 Aug 1917


Left England for return to Australia, per HMAT "SUEVIC" (A29)

27 Sep 1917


Disembarked Melbourne

18 Nov 1917


Discharged from AIF at Melbourne, Medically unfit - Disability GSW Neck, Aphonia [Difficulty or inability to speak]

22 Jan 1918

Medals and Dress Embellishments

British War Medal 1914-1920 and Victory Medal, not entitled to 1914-15 Star as he enlisted after 1915.

Not entitled to wear ANZAC 'A'.

One Wound Stripe for 2 Apr 1917.

Two Long Service Stripe, three Overseas Service Chevrons.

Use the hyperlinks or scroll down to see further information on the badges.

Background - Infantry Battalions

[Based on information in Redcoats to Cams, Ian Kuring.]

In December 1914, battalions of about 1000 men were organised into eight companies each divided into half of 60 men and then into two sections of around 30 men. Command was highly centralised with companies commanded by a Captain, half-companies by Lieutentants and sections by a Sergeant.

In early 1915 Australia reduced the number of Companies to four, but doubled their size to more than 220 men. Each rifle company had a headquarters and four platoons. Each platoon had a headquarters and four rifle sections of 10 men commanded by corporals.

From early 1916 light machineguns replaced medium machine guns and were eventually issued to each rifle platoon.

During 1917 rifle platoons were reorganised to have a light machine gun section, a rifle grenade section, a hand grenade/bombing section and a rifle assault section.

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.

Rifle, Short Magazine Lee-Enfield .303in, Mark III
Rifle, Small Magazine Lee-Enfield .303in, Mark III with sword bayonet

52nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Division

[Information from]
52nd Infantry Battalion AIF Shoulder Patch

The 52nd Battalion was raised in Egypt in 1916 as part of the process that was known as "doubling" of the AIF. Approximately half of its recruits were veterans from the 12th Battalion, and the other half, fresh reinforcements from Australia. Reflecting the composition of the 12th, the 52nd was originally a mix of men from South and Western Australia and Tasmania. From March 1916, the battalion´┐Żs reinforcement groups mainly comprised men from Queensland. The 52nd became part of the 13th Brigade of the 4th Australian Division.

After arriving in France on 11 June 1916, the 52nd fought in its first major battle at Mouquet Farm on 3 September. It had been present during an earlier attack mounted by the 13th Brigade between 13 and 15 August, but had been allocated a support role and missed the fighting. In this second attack the 52nd had a key assaulting role and suffered heavy casualties- 50 per cent of its fighting strength. The battalion saw out the rest of the year alternating between front line duty, and training and labouring behind the line. This routine continued through the bleak winter of 1916-17.

Early in 1917, the battalion participated in the advance that followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and attacked at Noreuil on 2 April. Later that year, the focus of AIF operations moved to the Ypres sector in Belgium. There the battalion was involved in the battle of Messines between 7 and 12 June and the battle of Polygon Wood on 26 September. Another winter of trench routine followed.

Utilising troops freed by the collapse of Russia in October 1917, the German Army launched a major offensive on the Western Front at the end of March 1918. The 4th Division was deployed to defend positions south of the River Ancre in France. At Dernancourt, on 5 April, the 52nd Battalion assisted in the repulse of the largest German attack mounted against Australian troops during the war. The German threat persisted through April, and on ANZAC Day 1918 the 52nd participated in the now-legendary attack to dislodge the enemy from Villers-Bretonneux.

The defeat of the German offensive had come at a cost though. Due to heavy casualties and a lack of reinforcements from Australia, three brigades were directed to disband one of their battalions to reinforce the other three. The 13th Brigade was one of these, and on 16 May 1918 the 52nd Battalion was disbanded.

Battle Honours

Somme 1916-18, Pozieres, Bullecourt, Messines 1917, Ypres 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Passchendaele, Ancre 1918, Villers Bretonneux, France and Flaanders, 1916-1918, Egypt, 1916.

1914-15 Star

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
1914-15 Star

The decoration consists of a four-pointed star in bright bronze as shown, with the date 1914-15 on the central scroll. The reverse is plain, and is stamped with the name and unit of the recipient. The ribbon is red, white and blue, shaded and watered, worn with the red nearest the centre of the breast. It is atached to the medal through a ring.

It is similar in shape and description to the 1914 Star, to which few, if any, Australians were entitled. Those entitled were those who had already served with the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) in the operations to capture German New Guinea in 1914.

The decoration, sanctioned in 1918, was issued "to all officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the British, Dominion, Colonial and Indian Forces, including civilian medical practitioners, nursing sisters, nurses and others eployed with military hospitals, who actually served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war as defined in Appendix 'A'. Individuals in possession of the 1914 Star will not be eligible for the award of this decoration."

Appendix 'A' included the Western, Eastern, Egyptian, African, Asiatic and Australasian Theatres of war, with commencement dates individual to countries and campaigns.

British War Medal 1914-20

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
British War Medal

This medal was approved by King George V in 1919 to record the bringing of the war to a successful conclusion and the arduous services rendered by His Majesty's Forces.

The medal, which is supended from its ribbon by means of a straight clasp, without swivel, bears on the obverse the effigy of His Majesty - exactly similar to that on a half-crown - with the legend 'Georgivus V : Omn : Rex et Ind : Imp'.

The reverse bears a design which represents St George on horseback, trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the central powers and a skull and crossbones, the emblems of death. Overhead is the risen sun of victory. The male figure, rather than a symbolical female one, was chosen because man had borne the brunt of the fighting. The figure was mounted on horseback as symbolical of man's mind controlling force (represented by the horse) of far greater strength than his own. The design is thus also symbolical of the mechanical and scientific appliances which helped so largely to win the war.

The ribbon has a orange watered centre with stripes of white and black at each side and with borders of royal blue. It is stated that the colours have no particular signification.

Victory Medal

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]

This medal, of bronze, bears on the obverse a winged figure of Victory, full length in the middle of the medal and full face; the borders and the backgound plain, without either incription or date. On the reverse is an inscription. "The Great War for Civilization." and either the names of the different Allied and Associated Powers, or their coats of arms.

The rim is plain, and the medal hangs from a ring. The ribbon is red in the centre, with green and violet on either side shaded to form the colours of two rainbows.

It has also been approved that any officer or man who has been "mentioned in despatches" shall wear a small bronze oak leaf on the ribbon of this medal. Only one oak leaf is so worn, no matter how many "mentions" the wearer may have received.

The medal is designed to obviate the exchange of Allied Commemorative war medals, and is issued only to those who actually served on the establishment of a unit or ship in a theatre of war. [This is an important distinction, as those Australians who served only in Australia, or only in Australia and England, were not entitled to the award.]

The Rising Sun Badge

This version of the Rising Sun Badge was worn by soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Australian Imperial Forces, and the badge has become an integral part of the Digger tradition.

Worn on the the upturned brim of the slouch hat, it is readily identified with the spirit of ANZAC.

There are a number of versions of the genesis of the badge, the most widely accepted being that it derived from a Trophy of Arms - various swords and bayonets mounted on  a semi-circular display in Victoria Barracks, Melbourne.

The original version worn in South Africa was modified in 1904 and worn by Australian soldiers through two World Wars.

Later changes were made to the style of the crown and the wording on the scroll. The "King's Crown" is the one shown to the left, while arches of the "Queen's Crown" rise at the same angle as the base of the crown, curve at their highest point to a level mid-way on the orb below the cross and then down to below the orb.

In 1949 the scroll was changed to read "Australian Military Forces".

In 1969 the badge was modified to incorporate the 7-pointed Federation Star with a central Queen's crown over the Torse Wreath (a twisted roll of fabric) from the original 1902 version, and the scroll wording changed to "Australia".

In the 75th anniversary year of the the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, there was a drive to return to traditional accoutrements worn by Australian soldiers during the World Wars, which clearly identify the Australian Army. The Queen's crown returned to its central position and the scroll now reads "The Australian Army'.



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 :

Long Service Badges

[Image from]
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.

Overseas Service Chevrons

[Image from]

Overseas Service Chevrons

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.

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 withlength of service or Service Number.

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