1015 Corporal Michael Joseph Nolan
9th Light Horse Regiment,
3rd Brigade,
2nd Cavalry Division
& AIF Canteens Organisation
1st Australian Imperial Force 1914-1919

This file last updated 2 September, 2023 1:26->


Image if available

The following information and chronological table are a summary of the entries from the World War One service record of Michael Joseph Nolan.

Prepared for Robert 'Bob' Nolan by Clive Mitchell-Taylor - 28 Jul 2018.

Michael Joseph Nolan enlisted early in 1915 and was allocated to the Light Horse, serving on Gallipoli where he was evacuated suffering enteritis and diarrhea. He returned to Gallipoli and his unit was withdrawn on 20 Dec 1915. Shortly afterwards he was again hospitalised, this time with a severe hernia, from which he never fully recovered, together with intermittent bouts of malaria.

Medically downgraded due to his service, he was transferred to the AIF Canteens unit and was later promoted to Corporal. He saw out the war in this role and returned to Australia in 1920.

Original Records

View Michael Joseph Nolan's Service record Part 1, Service record part 2, Embarkation Roll entry and World War 1 Nominal Roll entry.

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



Michael Joseph Nolan

Born at

Adelaide, South Australia


24 years 3 months as at 11 Jan 1915 (Birth dates not recorded, only age on enlistment)

Trade or Calling


Marital Status


Next of Kin

Father - Thomas Nolan
Lyrup, River Murray, SA

Previous Military Service


Attested at

Adelaide, SA

Date of Enlistment

11 Jan 1915


5 foot 9 inches [175 cm]


143 pounds [60.5 Kg]


31 - 34 inches [78.8 - 86.3 cm]







Religious Denomination

Roman Catholic


9th Light Horse Regiment, 3rd Cavalry Brigade
AIF Canteens

Chronological Events







1 Jan 1915


Assigned to 3 LHTR for training.

11 Jan 1915 - 31 Mar 1915


Assigned to 6th Reinforcement, 9th Light Horse

25 Mar 1916


Embarked Adelaide for Middle East per HMAT “AFRIC” (A19)

25 May 1915


Taken on strength 9th Light Horse

5 Aug 1915



Arrived Alexandria per HMAT “GASCON”, Enteritis

28 Aug 1915


Admitted 1 AGH, Heliopolis

27 Sep 1915

Enteritis, diarrhea


Discharged from 2 CD to duty

21 Sep 1915


Admitted to 1 AGH, Heliopolis with severe hernia

29 Dec 1915


NOK advised that he is progressing favourable

8 Jan 1916


Base Records Office advises NOK that Private M J Nolan progressing favourably and will furnish further progress report when received

1 Feb 1916


Inflamed glands of groin, transferred to 1 AH

29 Feb 1916


Returned from Hospital and TOS 3 LHTR

12 Apr 1916




18 Apr 1916

Inguinal (hernia) scars, mild


NOK advised that Private M J Nolan has been admitted to hospital

20 May 1916


Returned to duty, 3 LHTR

25 Apr 1916


Base Records Office Melbourne advises NOKthat Private M.J. Nolan, 9th Light Horse Regiment has been admitted to 3rd Auxilliary Hospital on 20 Apr 1916 suffering from mild inguinal scars.

27 Apr 1916


Detached to HQ ATC & DC 3 ALHTR

17 Jun 1916


Attached to Australian Training Depot Tel-El-Kebir

1 Jul 1916


Medical Board held at Moascar – Fever and Dysentery on Gallipoli, classified class RB2


Detached to AIF Canteens
Attached to ARD Moascar from AIF Canteens (for rations only)

28 Jun 1917

This is the usual practice whereby smaller units co-located with a larger unit are attached in order to be catered for rations and (often) accommodation.


Marched out to Kaulara and struck off ration strength of ARD

24 Aug 1917

ER Corporal

Promoted to ER Corporal

1 Jul 1918


Admitted to 32 Stationary Hospital, Malaria

31 Jul 1918


To Hospital, sick

24 Sep 1918


Rejoined Unit

24 Nov 1918


To Hospital, sick

17 Feb 1919


Rejoined Unit

10 Mar 1919


To Hospital, sick

14 Apr 1919


Rejoined Unit

25 Apr 1919


Embarked at Alexandria for UK per “MAGDALENA”, 10% leave

14 Jul 1919


Reported to Headquarters ex Egypt, granted leave, to report to Sutton Vesey

1-8 Aug 1919


Discharged to Doctor's care

9 Aug 1919


Taken on strength of AIF Headquarters London for non-military employment in UK from AIF Canteens, Egypt

24 Sep 1919


Granted leave

24 Sep 1919 -
31 Oct 1919


Returns to AIF Canteens on expiration of leave and march out to Deputy Assistant Adjutant General. Taken on Strength Sutton Vesey.

1 Nov 1919


Offence, Sutton Vesey 28 Nov 1919
Absent Without Leave (AWL)
from 2359 hrs 28 Nov 1919 to 2100 hrs 30 Nov 1919 (2 days) Award: Admonished by Lieutenant Colonel Rankine,
total forfeiture of 2 days pay

6 Dec 1919


Embarked London for Australia on HMAT “KONIGIN LUISE”

18 Dec 1919


Disembarked Australia

2 Feb 1919


Discharged in 4th Military District (4 MD) South Australia

4 Mar 1919

Advice of despatch of Victory Medal


Mrs M Campbell, daughter of Michael Joseph Nolan requests Gallipoli Medal [sic] for her father, who believes he is entitled.

30 Oct 1967

Gallipoli (commemorative) Medallion,

Medals and Dress Embellishments

1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-1920and Victory Medal.

No Wound Stripes

Four Long Service Stripes and fiveOverseas Service Chevrons.

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

9th Light Horse Regiment

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

9th Light Horse Hat Badge

Following the outbreak of WW1, the 9th Light Horse Regiment was formed in Adelaide and trained in Melbourne between October 1914 and February 1915. Approximately three-quarters of the regiment hailed from South Australia and the other quarter from Victoria. As part of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, it sailed from Melbourne on 11 February and arrived in Egypt on 14 March 1915.

Light Horse were considered unsuitable for the initial operations at Gallipoli, but were subsequently deployed without their horses. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade landed in late May 1915 and was attached to the New Zealand and Australian Division. The 9th was fortunate to be the reserve regiment for the Brigade’s disastrous attack on the Nek on 7 August, but the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Albet Miel and several soldiers were killed in their reserve position. The Regiment was committed to the last phase of the August offensive battles (its sister Regiments the 8th and 10th having been decimated at the Nek), The 9th Light Horse subsequently suffered 50 per cent casualties, including its new Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Carew Reynell, attacking Hill 60 on 27 August. Exhausted and under-strength, the 9th then played a defensive role until it finally left the peninsula on 20 December 1915.

Back in Egypt, the 3rd Light Horse Brigade became part of the ANZAC Mounted Division and, in March 1916, joined the forces defending the Suez Canal from a Turkish drive across the Sinai Desert. The Turks were turned at Romani. Although it didn’t take part in the actual battle, the 9th Light Horse was involved in the advance that followed the Turks’ retreat back across the desert.

By December 1916, this advance had reached the Palestine frontier and the 9th was involved in the fighting to secure the Turkish outposts of Maghdaba (23 December) and Rafa (9 January 1917), both of which were captured at bayonet point. The next Turkish stronghold to be encountered was Gaza. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade, now part of the Imperial Mounted Division (later re-named the Australian Mounted Division), was involved in the two abortive battles to capture Gaza directly (27 March and 19 April 1917) and then the operation that ultimately led to its fall - the wide outflanking move via Beersheba that began on 31 October.

With the fall of Gaza on 7 November 1917, the Turkish position in southern Palestine collapsed. The 9th participated in the pursuit that followed and led to the capture of Jerusalem in December. The focus of British operations then moved to the Jordan Valley. In early May 1918 the 9th was involved in the Es Salt raid. It was a tactical failure but did help to convince the Turks that the next offensive would be launched across the Jordan.

Instead, the offensive was launched along the coast on 19 September 1918. The mounted forces penetrated deep into the Turkish rear areas severing roads, railways and communications links. The 9th Light Horse took part in the capture of Jenin on 20-21 September and Sasa on 29 September. It entered Damascus on 1 October, and was on the road to Homs when the Turks surrendered on 31 October. While awaiting to embark for home, the 9th Light Horse were called back to operational duty to quell the Egyptian revolt that erupted in March 1919; order was restored in little over a month. The regiment sailed for home on 10 July 1919.

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

Battle Honours:

Anzac, Defence of Anzac, Suvla, Sari Bair, Gallipoli 1915, Rumani, Magdhaba-Rafah, Egypt 19115-1917, Gaza-Beersheba, El Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Jerusalem, Jordan (El Salt), Meggido, Sharon, Damascus, Palestine 1917-18



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

The size of the letter 'A', introduced as one inch in height (AIF Order 994 of 30 Nov 17), was reduced to three-quarters of an inch by AIF Order 1012 of 11 Dec 17. Provision for wearing the brass letter 'A' was also included in General Routine Order 0.815 of 17 Dec 43 and GRO 310 of 7 Dec 45.

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 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

[Badge information collated from Australian War Memorial, "Australians Awarded" by Clive Johnson and en.wikipedia.com]
Nearest Female
Relative Badge
War Widows
Guild Brooch
Silver War Badge
Discharged Returned
Soldier Badge

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

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

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

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