2317 Warrant Officer Class 2
(Company Sergeant Major)
Arthur James Gardiner [WIA]
35th Infantry Battalion
9th Infantry Brigade
3rd Division

This file last updated 14 September, 2023 17:48


Arthur James Gardiner is born 15 Feb 1891 in Singleton NSW, the third child of John Gardiner and Anna Christina née Haling. Their son Albert William also serves in WW1 as a Gunner with the Australian Heavy Artillery. The youngest son, Harold Thomas, is the maternal grandfather of Paul Mitchell Taylor, for whom this record has been prepared. Arthur and Albert are his great uncles on his mother's side.

Enlisting in 1916 he undergoes initial training in Newcastle and is promoted to temporary Sergeant. This pattern recurs after he joins his Battalion in France and is promoted to Corporal during training but reverts to Private on joining the Battalion.

Five months later he is again promoted to Corporal then Sergeant. In early 1918 he is detached to the Overseas Training Brigade in England as Sergeant.

Rejoining the unit he is promoted to Warrant Officer Class 2 as Company Sergeant Major, retaining that rank and appointment until his return to Australia and discharge. He appears to have had quite a flair for command and as an instructor.

Arthur's military documents are:

Abbreviations and Acronyms

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There is also a separate list of abbreviations which is available through the menu at the top of the page or the hyperlink here.

There are a number of sources for tracing abbreviations used in Australian and New Zealand service records. Those used during World War I are most likely to be identical to British terminology and abbrevations. Those used in World War II are most likely to be similar to US terminology and abbreviations. Those used solely within Australia, especially regional Australia are often unique and can be impossible to find. Sometimes a "best guess" is the only answer.

Duplicated Pages

Some of the service information may be duplicated although individual occurences are not in the same order, use different abbreviations and are in a different hand.

This occurs when unit and headquarters records are amalgamated upon discharge or death. It may be a source for additional information concerning the event.

Service Numbers

Service numbers in Word War I were unique to the unit (e.g. Battalion) or Corps (e.g. Artillery).

If a member changed their unit or corps and the number was already in use, the number of the individual being transferred was given an aphabetic suffix - e.g. 1234A.

In World War II Service Numbers were unique to the State in which they were allotted, each State having an alphabetic prefix unique to the State, eg N12345. If the individual was allotted for overseas service, their Australian Imperial Force number was different, and an X was inserted after the State letter, eg NX 34567.

Individuals alloted for war service did not always serve oveseas, as it was a contingency measure.

For further, much detailed information about identity numbers for Service personnel, see "What's In a Number" by Graham Wilson

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


Australian Coat of Arms



Attestation paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad




   GARDINER, Arthur James   


35th Battalion 4th Reinf


9 May 1916

Questions to be put to the Person Enlisting before Attestation


What is your Name?


Arthur James Gardiner


In or near what Parish or Town were you born?


In the Town of Singleton
In the County of New South Wales


Are you a natural born British Subject or a Naturalised British Subject? (N.B.— If the latter, papers to be shown.)


Yes, Nat Born


What is your age?


25 2/12 yrs years


What is your trade or calling?




Are you, or have you ever been, an Apprentice? If so, where, to whom and for what period?




Are you married?




Who is your next of kin? (Address to be stated)


Father John Gardiner
Springfield, WILLOWTREE, NSW


Have you ever been convicted by the Civil Power?




Have you ever been discharged from any part of His Majesty's forces, with Ignominy, or as Incorrigible and Worthless, or on account of Conviction of Felony, or of a Sentence of Penal Servitude, or have you dismissed with Disgrace from the Navy?




Do you now belong to, or have you ever served in, His Majesty's army, the Marines, the Militia, the Militia Reserve, the Territorial Force, Royal Navy, or Colonial Forces? If so, state which, and if not now serving, state the cause of discharge.


Yes Militia Singleton, 4th Inf, almost 3 years


Have you state the whole, if any, of your previous service?




Have you ever been rejected as unfit for His Majesty's Service? If so, on what grounds?




(For Married Men and Widowers with children)—
Do you understand that no Separation Allowance will be issued to you before or after embarkation during your term of service?



Ar you prepared to undergo innoculation against smallpox and enteric fever?



I,     Arthur James Gardiner    do solemnly declare that the above answers made by me to the above questions are true, and I am will and hereby voluntarily agree to serve in the Military Forces of the Commonwealth of Australia within or beyond the limits of the Commonwealth.

* And I further agree to allot not less than two fifths / three fifths of the pay payable to me from time to time during my service for the support of my wife / wife and children.

Date    25 / 4 / 1916    

   Signature of person enlisted   

* This clause should be struck out in the case of unmarried men or widowers without children under 18 years of age

†Two-fifths must be allotted to the wife, and if there are children three-fifths must be allotted.


The foregoing questions were read to the person enlisted in my presence.

I have taken care that he understands each question, and his answer to each question has been duly entered as replied to by him.

I have examined his naturalisation papers and am of opinion that they are correct.

Date    3 / 4 / 15 [sic]    

   Signature of Attesting Officer   


I,     Arthur James Gardiner    swear that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lord the King in the Australian Imperial Force from 25 / 4/ 1916 [sic] until the end of the War, and a further period of four months thereafter unless sooner lawfully discharged, dismissed or removed therefrom; and that I will resist His Majesty's enemies and cause His Majesty's peaceto be kept and maintained; and that I will in all matters appertaining to my service, faithfully discharge my duty according to law.


   Signature of Person Enlisted      

Taken and subscribed at     West Maitland     in the State of     New South Wales     this     25th     day of     April    1915 before me :—

   Signature of Attesting Officer      

* A person enlisting who objects to taking an oath may make an afformation in accordance with the Third Schedule of the Act, and the above form must be amended accordingly. All amendments must be initialed by the Attesting Officer.

Description of     DOWNES, Stephen     on Enlistment

Age   25   years    2    months

Distinctive Marks

Small scar on left shoulder

Height   5   feet     10    inches


Weight      12 st   5lbs


Chest    33 — 37   inches

[84 — 94cm]

Complexion   Fair

Eyes   Blue

Hair   Fair

Religious Denomination   C of E

[Church of England]


I CERTIFY that this attestation of the above-named person is correct and that the required forms have been complied with. I according approve and appoint him to B Coy Newcastle Depot Battalion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Date   4th May 1916    

Place   Newcastle    

    Signature of Officer Commanding    

Chronological Events






Enlisted, appointed to B Company, Newcastle Depot Battalion for initial training at

9 May 1916

Passed for Sergeant, Bombing School on 4 Jul 1916

Acting Sgt

Promoted to Acting Sergeant

4 July 1916

Appears to be for the period up to disembarkation. There is no end date given

Acting Sergeant

Embarked on HMAT "BORDA" (A430) for England

17 Oct 1916

Intermediate stop in Melbourne.

Acting Sergeant

Disembarks Plymouth

9 Jan 1917

For further training in UK


Marches in to 9th Training Battalion from ParkHouse

5 Feb 1917


Marched in to 9th Trg

9 Jan 1917

England - This entry actually made well out of chronological sequence.

Acting Corporal

Appointed Acting Corporal with EDP at 3rd ADBD

21 Mar 1917

This appears to be the cessation date, but no commencement date given.


Reverts to Private on joining 3rd ABDB

22 Mar 1917


Proceeds overseas to France from Folkstone to reinforce 35th Battalion

20 Mar 1917


TOS 35th Bn from 4th Rfts 35th Bn x Base Depot

9 Apr 1917



Promoted Corporal vice Cpl Johnson Killed in Action

11 Sep 1917



Promoted Sergeant vice Sgt Wood, wounded 8 Jun 1917


21 Sep 1917


Wounded in Action

3 Oct 1917



Rejoined Battalion from Wounded

13 Dec 1917



Proceeded to join 9 Training Bn from Supery to Estabt of 35th Bn AIF

31 Jan 1918

[Each unit has an Establishment which lays down the number of personnel within various ranks and appointments, as well as the number and type of weapons. Current establishments also include vehicles and controlled equipments.]


Attached for duty with Perm Cadre of O'seas Trg Bde (C Coy, 2nd Bn) AIF depots unit Tidworth)

2 Feb 1918

Cadre noun, a small group of people specially trained for a particular purpose or profession.
Also within military a small group of specialists whose task is to raise or disestablish a unit.


Taken on Strength (Under Paraa 1072) Perm Cadre O'seas Trg Bde from 35th Bn

2 Feb 1918


Marched in from France to Daily State Overseas Trg Bde

3 Feb 1918

Daily State is the record of attendance for the purpose of rations. Also known as Daily Ration State.


Re-trans to 35th Bn from Perm Cadre of O/Seas Trg Bde On proc o/seas

31 Aug 1918

See note to the following transaction


Proc O'seas, France ex O'sseas Trg Bde, [Illegible] via Folkstone

1 Sep 1918

On 8 Aug 1918 the 35th took part in the Hundred Days Offensive, fighting around Amiens. The losses incurred there and plans for Joint Australian/American operations created the need for all possible personnel to be available.


Marched in B.D. from U.K. ex: reinfts: from duty in UK

3 Sep 1918



Rejoined unit.

11 Sep 1918



Promoted Temporary Warrant Officer Classs 2, Company Sergeant Major

21 Sep 1918


Promoted [substantive] WO2, CSM

21 Dec 1918


M/Out with No 51 Quota [ie group identified for return to Australia]

12 May 1919



Proceeded to England

19 May 1919


Marched in ex France

20 May 1919



Embarked for return to Australia aboard "PRINZ HUBERTUS"

3 Jul 1919



Disembarked from "PRINZ HUBERTUS"

26 Aug 1919




11 Oct 1919

Medals and Dress Embellishments

British War Medal 1914-1920, and Victory Medal.

One Wound Stripe for 9 Feb 1917.

Not entitled to wear ANZAC 'A'.

Two Long Service Stripes, two blue 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

35th Battalion, 9th Brigade, 3rd Division

[Information from Australian War Memorial site]


The 35th Battalion was formed in December 1915 in Newcastle, New South Wales. The bulk of the battalion's recruits were drawn from the Newcastle region and thus it was dubbed "Newcastle's Own". Reflecting the demographics of the area, there were a high proportion of miners among the battalion's original members.

The 35th Battalion became part of the 9th Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division. It left Sydney, bound for the United Kingdom in May 1916. Arriving there in early July, the battalion spent the next four months training. It crossed to France in late November, and moved into the trenches of the Western Front for the first time on 26 November, just in time for the onset of the terrible winter of 1916-17.

The battalion had to wait until the emphasis of British and Dominion operations switched to the Ypres Sector of Belgium in mid-1917 to take part in its first major battle; this was the battle of Messines, launched on 7 June. The 35th's next major battle was around Passchendaele on 12 October. Heavy rain, though, had deluged the battlefield, and thick mud tugged at the advancing troops and fouled their weapons. The battle was a disaster for the 35th; 508 men crossed the start line but only 90 remained unwounded at the end.

For the next five months the 35th alternated between periods of rest, training, labouring, and service in the line. When the German Army launched its last great offensive in the spring of 1918, the battalion was part of the force deployed to defend the approaches to Amiens around Villers-Bretonneux. It took part in a counter-attack at Hangard Wood on 30 March, and helped to defeat a major drive on Villers- Bretonneux on 4 April. The desperate nature of the fighting at this time is revealed by the fact that the 35th Battalion suffered nearly 70 per cent casualties during these operations.

Later in 1918, the 35th also played a role in the Allies' own offensive. It took part in the battle of Amiens on 8 August; fought several small battles during the rapid advance that followed; and at the end of September provided reserves for the joint Australian-American operation that breached the Hindenburg Line, thus sealing Germany's defeat. The 35th Battalion disbanded in March 1919.

Battle Honours:

Albert 1918, Amiens, Avre, Broodenseinde, Ffrance and Flanders 1916-18, Hindenburg line, Messines 1917, Mont St WQuentin, Passchendaele, Poelcappelle, Polygon Wood, Somme 1918, St Quentin Canal, Ypres 1917.

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.

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 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.

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'.

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

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

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.

    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.

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]