4240 Private Herbert [William] Lynch [WIA, DOW]
14th Infantry Battalion,
4th Brigade,
4th Division
1st Australian Imperial Force 1914-1919

This file last updated 2 September, 2023 1:03


Image if available

The following information and chronological table are a summary of the entries from the World War One service record of Herbert William Lynch who enlisted as Herbert Lynch.

Herbert Lynch was an unmarried railway employee aged 26 years and four months on enlistment in 1915. His full name was Herbert William Lynch, but he dropped the middle name when he enlisted. Assigned to the 13th Reinforcements to the 14th Battalion AIF, he joining the 14th Battalion in Egypt, and embarked with the unit to France and quickly found himself embroiled in the battles of the Somme.

Sustaining multiple wounds in the battle for Mouquet Farm near Poziers he died of those wounds a few days later.

See Herbert Lynch's Service Record Part 1, and Service Record Part 2 from which documents this web page was derived, his entry in the First World War Nominal Roll, entry in the First World War Embarkation Roll , Commonwealth War Graves Certificate and his entry on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour. This biography was prepared for Bradley Gordon Read, Vietnam veteran and grand nephew of Herbert Lynch by Clive Mitchell-Taylor, 10 May 2019.

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.

Memorial Plaques

Memorial Plaque - Thomas James Shepherd
Image courtesy of Mark Franzi, grand nephew of Thomas

Memorial Plaques were issued after the First World War to the next-of-kin of all British Empire service personnel who were killed as a result of war.

The plaques are 120mm in diameter, were cast in bronze and came to be know as the "Dead Man's Penny" because of the similarity in appearance to the much smaller penny coin.

1,355,00 plaques were issued, which used a total of 450 tons of bronze. 1,500 plaques were issued to commemorate women.

Carter Preston's winning design includes an image of Brittania holding a trident and standing with a lion. The designer's initials, E.CR,P,, appear above the front paw. In her outstretched left hand Britannia holds an olive wreath above the ansate [handled] tablet bearing the deceased's name cast in raised letters. The name does not include rank since there was to be no distiction between sacrifices made by different individuals.

Below the name table, to the right of the lion is an oak spray with acorns. Two dolphins swim around Britannia, symbolizing Britain's sea power, and at the bottom is a second lion tearing apart the German eagle.

The reverse is blank and the plaques were issued in a pack with a commemorative scroll from King George V, although sometimes the letter and scroll arrived first.

Enlistment Details

Service Number



Herbert Lynch

Born at

Trafalgar, VIC

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

Natural Born British Subject


26 years and 4 months at time of enlistment [Birth dates were not recorded until late in the war]

Trade or Calling

Railway employee

Marital Status


Next of Kin

Father - Edward Lynch
Trafalgar, Gippsland, Victoria
[He was later stated to be deceased.]

Herbert's parents, Bridget Lynch [1855-1906] and Edward Lynch [1849-1919] both being deceased, NOK was then established as his sister, Margaret Florence Purcell, n�e Lynch, initially at her father's address, later 251 Ross Street, PORT MELBOURNE, VIC and then at 11 Reynard Street, COBERG, VIC.

Have you ever been convicted by the Civil Power?


Ever discharged from any part of His Majesty's Forces, with Ignomony, or as Incorrigible and Worthless, or on account of Conviction of Felony, or of a Sentence of Penal Servitude, or have you been dismissed with Disgrace by 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 cause of discharge.


Have you stated 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?


[This clause deleted but was answered as indicated]
(For married men, widowers with children and soldiers who are the sole support of widowed mother) -
Do you understand that no separation allowance will be issued in respect of your service beyone an amount which together with pay would reach eight shillings per day?


Are you prepared to undergo innoculation against small pox and enteric fever?


The column for questions is overprinted with a stamp in purple ink
Herbert's married sister was later identified as next of kin (NOK) and her details were overwritten on the records.

War Medals to Untraceable
Officer i/c Base Records

Attested at

Melbourne, Victoria

Date of Enlistment

14 Jul 1915


5 foot 4½ inches [163.8cm]


10 stone [140lbs or 63.5Kg]


34 - 36 inches [86.4 - 91.4cm]







Religious Denomination

Roman Catholic

Distinctive Marks

Vaccination scar - Right
Mole under left armpit and back
Scar on Left Shin


Allocated to 13th Reinforcements, 14th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 4th Division.
A stamp on the first page of his military record allocating him to the 13th Reinforcements is struck out, and he eventually embarked from Australia with the 13th/14th reinforcements. The delay was possibly the reflection of a period in hospital, badly documented.

Chronological Events





Private (Recruit)


14 Jul 1915


From 72 Depot Company Seymour, assigned to A Company, Ballarat

26 Jul 1915-
10 Aug 1915


Posted to Williamstown as part of 13th Reinforcements to 14th Battalion AIF

10 Aug 1915 -
25 Nov 1915


Posted to Broadmeadows - A three part scan of the document recording hospitalisations and time on a Sick List is annotated "B/Meadows","No admission", "28/10/15" and "4 Marks, Mild" but the record fails to record the actual illness or disease.

25 Nov 1916 -
2 Dec 1915

LT A.L. Hudson in charge of 13/14 Reinforcements
A stamped entry in red 'TAKEN ON STRENGTH' refers to his formal acceptance into the Battalion before embarkation


13th/14th Reinforcements embarked from Melbourne aboard His Majesty's Australian Transport HMAT Demosthenes (A64)

29 Dec 1915

This information from the Australian War Memorial Embarkation Records


Disembarked Tel el Kebir, Egypt and joined unit.

4 Mar 1916


Embarked from Alexandria per "Transylvania" to join British Expeditionary Force in France

1 Jun 1916


Disembarked Marseilles

8 Jun 1916

By 22 Jun 1916 several platoons of the 13th and 14th Battalions were introduced into the [front] line of the 5th Brigade, although the formal relief by the 4th Brigade did not commence until the 27th.

First World Official History Vol III, (12th Ed), Ch X - The Arrival of II ANZAC


Wounded in Action (WIA) in the field, France

10/11 Aug 1916*

On 11 Aug 1916 the 4th Brigade was attacking the enemy's supposed line south-east of Mouquet Farm, and it must have been in this attack that Herbert Lynch was wounded and proceeded through the casualty system.

* The date of wounding is variously reported as either the 10th or 11th and may actually have occured at some time on the night of the 10th/11th, thus the confusion.


Admitted to 13th Field Ambulance, shrapnel wounds to right leg*
Admitted to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station with multiple gunshot wounds

10 Jun 1916

*The wounds are variously described as shrapnel and gunshot wounds, and may in fact have been a combination of both.


Died of wounds (DOW)

17 Aug 1916


  17 Aug 1916

Army Form B 2090A


REPORT of Death of a Soldier to be forwarded to the War Office with the least possible delay after receipt of notification of death on Army Form B.213 or Army Form A.36 or from other official documentary sources.


Regtl No - 4240   Rank - Private
Name - LYNCH.Herbert.

         { Date - 17/8/16
Died  { Place - 3rd Cas/C/Station Field France
         { Cause of Death - DIED OF WOUNDS Received in action

Nature and Date of Report - Hospital Report 18/8/16
By whom made - C/O 3rd Cas/C/Station Field France

Cable from A.I.F. to E. Lynch, Trafalgaar



Letter from General Superintendant of Victorian Railways

Dear Sir,

    Kindly advise name and address of next-of-kin of H. Lynch, soldier, who is reported to have died of wounds on 17-8-16 also state whether your records show him as being employed in this Department at the time of his enlistment.

    Thanking you in anticipation of an early reply.

I remain,
Yours obediently,

Received by Base Records 20 Oct 1916

Letter from Base Records Office to General Superintendant of Railways Dept

20th October, 16

Dear Sir,

      In acknowledging receipt of your communication dated 15th instant, I have to state next-of-kin to No. 4240 Private Herbert Lynch, 14th Battalion, is shown on the records as :-
Father, Exward Lynch,
Gippsland, VIc.

    His occupation is stated to have been a Railway Employee.

Yours faithfully,

Officer I/C Base Records

General Superintendant
General Superintendant's Office
Room 67, Transportation Branch
VIctorian Railways


Undated slip notes the transfer of the effects of the late Private H. Lynch, 14th Bn AIF to the next of kin, Edward Lynch.

The inventory of effects in the Echelon bag were:
Wallet, Scapula, Pipe, Fountain Pen, Prayer Book, Money Belt, Rosaary, Leter, 5 Badges, Photos and a Brooch.


Form letter from Base Records Office to Edward Lynch

25th May, 1917

Dear Sir,

    Forwarded herewith per separate registered post is one package containing personal effects of the late No 4240 Pt. H. Lynch, 14th Battaion, ex "Seang Choon" as per inventory attached.

    I shall be much obliged if you will kindly let me know whether same [has] come safely to hand, by signing and returning the enclosed printed receipt slip.

Yours faithfully,

Officer I/C Base Records

Registered Packet No 4866 G.P.O. Melbourne

26 May 1917

Receipt from E. Lynch to Base Records for the effects of the late 4240 Pte H. Lynch, 14th Battalion consigned ex "Seang Choon"

Letter from Margaret Purcell to Base Records Office

251 Ross Street, Port Melbourne, Victoria 5/4/20

Officer in Charge
Base Records,


I beg to notify you of my change of adddress from Trafalgar, Gippsland to 251 Ross Street, Port Melbourne, Victoria re late No 4240 Pte Herbert Lynch, 14th Btn, 4th Inf Bde.

My brother left father next of kin, but he is now deceasedd.

I always lived with my father till his death, so please enrol me on records as next of kin.

Yours respectfully,

Margaret Purcell
(Nee Lynch)

Margaret Florence Lynch was the ninth child of Edward Lynch (1849-1919) and Bridget Tuite (1855-1906). Margaret (1890-1978) married William Joseph Purcell in 1919.

Letter from Base Records Office to Margaret Purcell


15th April, 1920

Dear Madam,

    I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 5th april, relative to your brother the lae No. 4240 Private H. Lynch, 14th Battalion, and note you state the nominated next-of-kin (father) is deceased. Will you please advise whether your mother is living, if so, she would be the next-of kin. If she is also deceased, kindly let me know whether you have any brothers living, and if so the name and address of the eldest. If there are no brothers, the name and address of the eldest sister should be forwarded.

Yours faithfully,

Officer I/C Base Records

Letter from Margaret Purcell to Base Records Office

251 Ross Street Port Melbourne 20/4/20

Officer in Charge,
Base Records,


    In answer to your letter of 15th instant re:- late No. 4240 Pte Herbert Lynch 14th Battalion, I beg to inform you that my mother is also dead.

    I have an elder brother who has been residing in New Zealand for a number of years, but has no settled address.

Being the one always home and executrix to my father's 'Will', I wish to be recorded as next of kin.

Yours respectfully,
Mrs Margaret Purcell

Letter from Base Records Office to Margaret Purcell


1st May, 1920

Dear Madam,

    I have to acknowledge receipt of your communication of 20th April, and to state your name and address have been provisionally noted on the records of your brother, the late No. 4240 Private H. Lynch, 14th Battalion.

Yours faithfully,

Officer I/C Base Records

Hand written letter from Margaret Purcell to Base Records Office

11 Reynard St, Coburg 6/12/1920

Officer in Charge
Base Records, Melbourne


Re 4240 Pte Herbert Lynch, 14th Bn, I beg to notify you of my change of address from 251 Ross St, Port Melbourne, to 11 Reynard St, Coburg.

Yours faithfully,
Margaret F. Purcell

Two undated slips

Extract from folder covering photgraph of grave -
Buried in Puchevillers Military Cemetery, Plot 2, Row A.

Memorial Cross.

Handwritten letter from M.F. Purcell to Officer in Charge, Base Records

11 Reynard St
10 Sep 1921

Dear Sir,

Re the late No. 4240 Pte H. Lynch, 14th Bn, I would be much obliged if you will kindly forward to the above address:- Memorial Scroll and Memorial Plaque "Where Australians Rest", and any other memento due to me.

Yours faithfully,

M.F. Purcell

A page of Herbert Lynch's record has a circular stamp 'MEMORIAL PLAQUE' annotated with hand-written 'Untraceable' and a date which is possibly 20 Jan 1920. The month is illegible.

14 Sep 1921

Receipt from Margaret Purcell to Base Records Office for Memorial Scroll and King's Message in respect of the late 4240 Private H. Lynch, 14th Battalion

Incomplete, undated form letter from Officer in Charge, Base Records

Dear [blank]

As requested in your communication of [blank] I beg to enclose herewith certificate of report of death of the late [blank].

Yours faithfully,

Officer I/C Base Records

Letter from Base Records Office to Margaret Purcell

[Stamp]25 OCT 192[1?]

Dear Madam,

    I shall be much obliged if you will advise of the present address of the eldest surviving brother of the late No. 4240 Private H. Lynch, 14th Battalion, as I desire to dispose of the war medals etac., issuable on account of the deceased's service in accordance with the instructions under the "Deceased Soldiers' Estate Act 1918".

    Thanking you in anticipation of the favour of an early reply.

Yours faithfully,

Officer I/C Base Records

Incomplete, undated form letter from Base Records Office

Dear [blank],

I am in receipt of advice to the effect that [blank] is returning to Australia per transport [blank] which left [blank] on [blank] and will probably arrive in Melbourne about the [blank]. Further information as to the exact date of arrival and time of disembarkation will be published in the press when available.

It should be noted, however, that owing to possible mutilations in the cabled advice, and other causes, this notification may not be correct pending verification from the roll after the arrival of the transport.

Any further inquiries should be made to the Staff Officer Returned Soldiers, Military Head-quarters.

Yours faithfully,

Officer I/C Base Records

It is to be understood that the name will
only appear in the Press of the Military
District in which the above-mentioned enlisted

As the soldier was dead, this form was obviously misfiled.

Letter from Base Records Office to Margaret Purcell


26th Oct, 1921

Dear Madam,

    I am enclosing a form in connection with the inscripton on the permanent headstone of your brother, the late No. 4240 Private H. Lynch, 14th Battalion. I shall be much obliged if you will have this filled in and returned to me in the course of the next few days. The information is urgently needed to enable the work in connection with the Puchevillers British Cemetery to be completed.

The non-receipt of your reply... [illegible see right] ...ays will, it is regretted have to be accepted as indicating that you do not desire any further action taken.

Yours faithfully,

Officer I/C Base Records

The illegible section is overprinted with a stamp
"If not Delivered this Day please return to Officer in Charge, Base Records, Victoria Barracks, Melbourne"

Note from Base Records Office, addressee unknown


Re the Late No. 42440 Pte Herbert LYNCH, 14th Bn

1.    To whom was War Gratuity paid?

2.    Is the name and address of the late soldier's eldest surviving brother available from the W.G. [War Graves] file, if not, is that of the eldest sister?

[Hand written annotation to OC Base Records:
"A claim was received from deceased soldier's sister Mrs Margaret J. Purcell, 11 Reynard St, Coburg and was rejected. No payment has been made in this case" and was signed by H.W. Cooley]

Letter from Base Records Office to Margaret Purcell


23rd May, 1922

Dear Madam,

    Further to my enquiries concerning the next-of-kin of the late No. 4240 Private H. Lynch, 14th Battalion, I shall be much obliged if you will let me know whether there are any brothers older than the one whose whereabouts in New Zealand are unknown, if so, the name and address of the eldest please. If not, are there any sisters older than yourself, and if so, the name and address of the eldest would be appreciated.

    Kindly let me have the information at the earliest possible moment as I desire to be in a position to properly dispose of the late soldier's war medals, etc.

Yours faithfully,

Officer I/C Base Records

Letter from Base Records Office to Margaret Purcell

Dear Madam,

    on the 23rd May last, I wrote you as under but so far have received no reply:-

    "Further to my enquiries concerning the next-of-kin of the late No. 4240 Private H. Lynch, 14th Battalion, I shall be much obliged if you will let me know whether there are any brothers older than the one whose whereabouts in New Zealand are unknown, if so, the name and address of the eldest please. If not, are there any sisters older than yourself, and if so, the name and address of the eldest would be appreciated.

    Kindly let me have the information at the earliest possible moment as I desire to be in a position to properly dispose of the late soldier's war medals, etc."

I am holding the matter open for 14 days from this date, when if no reply is to hand, these war mementos will be placed on the Untraceables List.

Thanking you in anticipation,

Officer I/C Base Records

Margaret, having taken up the responsibility for this matter, is highly likely to have been offended by this letter, which may explain why she did not immediately respond.

Form Letter to families of the dead

Imperial War Graves Commission,
82, Baker Street,
27th November 1922


C  E  M  E  T  E  R  Y    R  E  G  I  S  T  E  R  S

The Register recording the names and particulars of those members of the British Expeditionary Force who died in His Majesty's service during the Great War and are buried in PUCHEVILLERS BRITISH CEMETERY, BAINCHEVAL COMMUNAL CEMETERY, TOUTENCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY, HERISSART COMMUNAL CEMETERY, RUBEMPRE COMMUNAL CEMETERY, MOLLIENS-AU-BOIS COMMUNAL CEMETERY (France 74 to 79 inclusive) has been prepared for publication. It will be the final offial ercord of the War Graves in these Cemeteries and copies will be deposited in all the Statutory Libraries of the British Empire for permanent custody.

The register contaians a short history of the Cemeteries and directions for reaching them. A Map shows the position of the Cemeteries in relation to the surrounding country and plans show the location of the graves. Specimen pages, from another Cemetery Register, are enclosed to show the style in which they are printed.

The names, ranks and other particulars of the Dead have been compiled from information furnished by the Miliary Record Offices and the next-of-kin. In all cases the relatives have been asked to supply the personal information they wish to appear in the Register and where possible this has been given in their actual words.

While it is felt that the relatives of the fallen would not wish that these records should be offered for open sale, it is thought that some may be glad to purchase, at the cost price, a copy (or copies) of Registers in which they have a special interest. The number to be printed will depend upon the demand and there will be very few copies reserved to meet future calls. If, however, you wish to purchase this Register, will you kindly complete the form below and forward it as soon as possible with a remittance by British Postal Order of three shillings for each copy you require: these copies will then be ordered from the printer and forwarded to you POST FREE on publication.



LYNCH, Pte. Herbert 4240. 14th Bn. Australian
Inf. Died of wounds 17th Aug., 1916. Age 27.
Son of the late Edward and Bridget Lynch.
II. A. 72


   The Secretary,
   (Cemetery Register Branch)
   Imperial War Graves Commission,
   82, Baker Street, London, W.1.

   On publication please forward to me at the address given below
. . . . . .  cop(y)ies of the Register of PUCHEVILLERS GROUP OF CEMETERIES
(FRANCE 74-79) containing the above entry, for which I enclose a
remittance of . . . . . . . . . . . .

Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

which should be made payable to
and should be crossed.

2nd last page of the record is endorsed to the following effect.

WAR GRATUITY SCHEDULE with handwritten annotation "D3 £ 26/2"

No 4240
Rank "Pte"    Name "Lynch H"
Unit     14(sup>th Battn
Casualty "Wounded"  :  "dd London 2/9/16
"17/8/16 Died of Wounds C [illegible] 388/7006E dd9/9/16"

[Stamp] A.F. B103 Received

[Stamp] 10 Sep 1916 [Stamp] NOK Advised Wounded

[Stamp] 18 Sep 1916 [Stamp] M.C. [Hand-written]"3" ADVISED DIED OF WOUNDS [Hand-written date] "17.8.16"


13/10/16 "GSupt Vic Rlwy asking for name of name rgstd[?] of NOK and if above was employed in Dept"

Cable No [Handwritten but indecypherable]

[Stamp] PERSONAL EFFECTS EXT [Handwritten] "Seang Choon"

[Stamp] Circuclar B.R.M. 46/1368 & Booklet re Graves despatched 26.10.21 (originally "2/1/20 by printed mail" but struck through)

[Stamp] PHOTOGRAPH OF GRAVE [Handwritten insert "in triplicate"] TRANSMITTED TO NEXT OF KIN B.R.M [BY REGISTERED MAIL?] [Handwritten] 51/1129

[Stamp of 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, endorsed respectively]
N.E. [Not Entitled], "D/30 29441", "D30 29259"

Pamphlet sent to [Handwritten insert] "Mrs M Purcell" on "12.9.21"

[Stamp] MEMORIAL SCROLL To [Handwritten insert] Sister, Mrs M Purcell, 308615, 12.9.21

Last page shows the MEMORIAL SCROLL Stamp endorsed "Untraceable" (but ultimately delivered) as previously described.

Medals and Dress Embellishments

Not entitled to 1914-15 Star, but entitled to British War Medal 1914-1920 and Victory Medal.

Not entitled to wear the ANZAC 'A'.

Entitled to one Wound Stripe.

Three Long Service Stripes and four 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

14thth Battalion, 4th Brigade, 4th Divison

[Information from http://www.vwma.org.au and http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/U51111454]
14th Battalion AIF Colour Patch

The Headquarters of the 14th Battalion opened at an office at 178 Collins Street, Melbourne in the last week of September 1914. On 1 October it relocated to Broadmeadows Camp where the battalion's recruits, principally from Melbourne and its suburbs, were taken on strength and trained. With the 13th, 15th and 16th Battalions, the 14th formed the 4th Brigade commanded by Colonel John Monash. It embarked for overseas on 22 December and, after a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, arrived in Egypt on 31 January 1915. In Egypt, the 4th Brigade became part of the New Zealand and Australian Division with which it would serve at Gallipoli.

The 4th Brigade landed at ANZAC Cove on the afternoon of 25 April 1915. On 19 May the Turks launched a massive counter-attack. During this fighting Lance Corporal Albert Jacka of the 14th was awarded the AIF's first Victoria Cross. Jacka's leadership and courage became legendary within the AIF and he was eventually commissioned in the 14th Battalion, which came to be widely known as "Jacka's Mob". From May to August 1915 the battalion was heavily involved in establishing and defending the ANZAC front line. In August, the 4th Brigade attacked Hill 971. The hill was taken at great cost, although Turkish reinforcements forced the Australians to withdraw. At the end of the month, the 14th Battalion suffered further heavy casualties when it was committed to the unsuccessful attack on Hill 60. The battalion served at ANZAC until the evacuation in December.

After the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the battalion returned to Egypt. While there, the AIF expanded and was reorganised. The 14th Battalion was split and provided experienced soldiers for the 46th Battalion. The 4th Brigade was combined with the 12th and 13th Brigades to form the 4th Australian Division.

In June 1916 they sailed for France and the Western Front. From then until 1918, the battalion took part in bloody trench warfare. Its first major action in France was at Pozieres in August 1916. Along with most of the 4th Brigade, the battalion suffered heavy losses at Bullecourt in April 1917 when the brigade attacked strong German positions without the promised tank support. It spent much of the remainder of 1917 in Belgium, advancing to the Hindenburg Line.

In March and April 1918, the battalion helped stop the German spring offensive. It subsequently participated in the great allied offensive of 1918, fighting near Amiens on 8 August 1918. This advance by British and empire troops was the greatest success in a single day on the Western Front, one that German General Erich Ludendorff described as "..the black day of the German Army in this war...".

The battalion continued operations until late September 1918. At 11 am on 11 November 1918, the guns fell silent. In November 1918, members of the AIF began to return Australia for demobilisation and discharge.

Battle Honours:

Albert 1918, Amiens, Ancre 1918, Anzac, Arris 1918, Bullecourt, Defence of Anzac, Egypt 1915-16, France and Flanders 1916-18, Gallipoli 1915, Hamel, Hindenburg Line, Landing at Anzac, Menin Road, Messines 1917, Passchendaele, Polygon Wood, Pozieres, Sari Bair, Somme 1916-1918, Suvla, 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. 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 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.

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.

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]