3367 Private William Samuel Outlaw [KIA]
53rd Infantry Battalion,
14th Infantry Brigade,
5th Division
1st Australian Imperial Force 1914-1919

This file last updated 2 September, 2023 1:29


3367 Private William (Will) Samuel Outlaw

The following information and chronological table are a summary of the entries from the World War One service record of William Samuel Outlaw, unit embarkation records and the Red Cross record of his wounding and subsequent death.

William Outlaw's previous service under this scheme included 1 year of Senior Cadets and 3 years in the Militia Force with the 39th Battalion where he was a Signaller. The 2nd Military District (NSW) was planned to raise the 13th to 44th Infantry Battalions as a part of the Compulsory Training Scheme, 1912. These units are distinct from the units (including a 39th infantry Battalion) of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).

Originally intended to be a reinforcement to the 2nd Battalion, he was reassigned to the 53rd Battalion in Egypt, and deployed to France with that unit. The Battalion's first action was as a part of the initial assault of the Battle of Fromelles on 19 Jul 1916 and the unit suffered 625 casualties - more than three quarters of its strength. Will Outlaw was one of those casualties, initially reported as badly wounded, he was then posted as missing in action. A later enquiry determined that he was killed in action and his body was unable to be recovered.

The pages within the Service record are more than usually out of sequence and I have recorded the folio number(s) against events to ensure that none have been missed.

Prepared for Dian Bone, grand-niece of William Outlaw by Clive Mitchell-Taylor - 8 Dec 2018.

View William Outlaw's Enlistment and Service record, his Embarkation Roll, WW1 Nominal Roll or his Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour entry. Other documents include his Commonwealth War Graves entry, which has a link to download a commemorative certificate, his RSL Virtual War Memorial entry, with a link to his memorial in VC Corner and Memorial, Fromelles, and finally, the Red Cross record of his death. See also the booklet Where Australians Rest which was issued by the Australian Government to the next-of-kin of those who died in the service of their country.

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



William Samuel Outlaw

Born at

Parish of Newtown, Sydney, NSW


21 years 8 months as at time of enlistment (Birth dates not recorded, only age on enlistment)

Trade or Calling


Marital Status


Next of Kin

Father, William Outlaw, Bedford Street, Canterbury. A later entry (1922, see Service record folios 8 & 16) records his father as being deceased and alters his NOK to:
Mother, Mrs B. [Blanche] Outlaw, "Betrithlan", Tincombe Street, Canterbury.

Previous Military Service

1 Year Senior Cadets, 3 Years Militia Force - 39th Battalion, Signaller

Attested at

Liverpool, NSW

Date of Enlistment

15 Aug 1915 (although much of his administrative processing occurred later in August)


5 foot 6½ inches [169 cm]


134 pounds [9 stone 8 pounds or 60.9 Kg]


37 inches [94 cm]







Religious Denomination



Originally assigned to 11th Reinforcements of the 2nd Infantry Battalion but with the doubling of the AIF in Egypt prior to deployment of the force to France, he was reassigned to the 53rd Battalion, 14thth Infantry Brigade.

Chronological Events







15 Aug 1915

Service record folios 1,6 & 8


There is no record of his training in Australia, or in Egypt


Assigned to 11th Reinforcements of 2nd Battalion.

19 Oct 1915

Service record folios 6 & 11.


Embarked from Sydney on His Majesty's Australian Transport (HMAT) "EURIPIDES" for the Middle East.

2 Nov 1915

There is no record of embarkation in his Service Record, however I was able to locate his name and embarkation details from the Embarkation Roll of Reinforcements to the 2nd Infantry Battalion. "EURIPIDES" was requisitioned in 1914 and refitted as a troop ship in Brisbane.


Disembarked at Zeitoun in the Middle East

15 Aug 1916

Service record, folio 12. The evacuation from Gallipoli Peninsular being complete, the AIF was undergoing reorganisation and doubling of its strength in Egypt.


Reassigned to 53rd Infantry Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir and taken on strength

16 Feb 1916

Service record, folios 3, 7, 8, 11 & 12


Embarked from Alexandria aboard His Majesty's Transport "ROYAL GEORGE" to join British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France

19 Jun 1916

Service record folios 3, 12 & 14.


Disembarked at Marseilles

27 May 1916

Service record folios 3, 12 & 14.


53rd Battalion arrives in the front lines on the Western Front

10 Jul 1916

Unit history


53rd Battalion a part of the initial assault in the battle of Fromelles and suffers 625 casualties, killed, wounded or missing in action (KIA, WIA, MIA)
William Outlaw is reported wounded in action (WIA) and missing in action (MIA).

19 Jul 1916

Unit History


Reported wounded in action (WIA) and missing (MIA)

19 Jul 1916

Service record folios 3, 7, 12, 14


Officer Commanding (OC) Base Records to Mr William Outlaw, Richmond Street, Canterbury, NSW
Dear Sir,
I regret to advise you that No. 3367 Private W.S. Outlaw, 53rd Battalion, has been reported wounded.
It is not stated as being serious and in the absence of further reports it is assumed that all wounded are progressing satisfactorily.
In the event of further information coming to hand you will be promptly notified.
It should be clearly understood that if no further advice is received this Department has no later information to give.
Yours faithfully,

28 Aug 1916

Service Record folio 24.


Mrs Outlaw - Telegram to OC Base Records, Melbourne
What hospital my son no 3367 W Outlaw 53rd battn [sic] in and progress is he making.

19 Sep 1916

Service record folio 25.

Chronological Events (continued)






Letter from OC Base Records, Melbourne to Mrs Outlaw, Richmond Street, Canterbury, NSW
Dear Madam,
In acknowledging receipt of your telegram date 19th instant, concerning your son No. 3367 Private W.S. Outlaw, 53rd Battaion, I have to inform you the only advice received here was contained in a brief cable message reporting this soldier as having been wounded. He is not reported as seriously wounded however, and in the absence of further particulars favorable progress may be assumed, it being the practice of the overseas Authorities to notify this Department of any material change in condition.

it is regretted that the name of the hospital in which he was admitted is not at present known here, but when communicating with him it is suggested that you address his letters as under:-

WOUNDED - No. 3367 Private W.S. Outlaw,
53rd Australian Infantry
C/o A.I.F. Headquarters,
130 Horseferry Road,
London, S.W.

Next-of-kin will be promptly advised upon receipt of any later information.
Yours faithfully,

23 Sep 1916

Service record folio 23.


Telegram from Mrs Outlaw to Secretary of Defence Department, Melbourne
3367 W S Outlaw 53 batt [sic] reported wounded cannot get satisfaction from base records or london wire urgent reply paid

2 Nov 1916

Service Record folio 26.


Typed slip [To]
[Annotated "Noted for Cable 21-11-1916"]

3 Nov 1916

Service record folio 22. Obviously action in response to the foregoing telegram, undated other than the annotation


Letter from Miss Elsie Walshaw,"Evanville", Smidmore Street, Marrickville to MAjor Lean, OC Base Records, Melbourne
Dear Sir,
Could you inform me of the wherabouts of No 3367 Private W.S. Outlaw, D Coy 53rd Battalion, 14th Brigade, Australian Imperial Forces. He has been reported wounded nearly three months and no more can be heard.
I am
Yours Sincerely

6 Nov 1916

Service record folio 21. Letter undated, received by Defence 6 Nov 1916


Letter from Officer In Charge (OIC) Base Records to Miss Walshaw
Dear Madam,
In acknowledging receipt of your communication which is undated, concerning No 3367 Private W.W. Outlaw, 53rd Battalion, reported as having been wounded I have to inform you that no further particular are yet available regarding this soldier.
his postal address is :- WOUNDED - No. 3367 Private W.S. Outlaw,
53rd Australian Infantry
C/o A.I.F. Headquarters,
130 Horseferry Road,
London, S.W.

Mrs Outlaw has been notified to the effect that should no information be forthcoming before the 21st November, a cable message will be despatched enquiring as to this soldier's whereabouts and condition; and upon receipt of reply, the information contained therein will be promptly transmitted to next-of-kin, shown as father.
Yours faithfully,

8 Nov 1916

Service record folio 20


Telegram from Mrs Outlaw to Base Records, Melbourne
Have heard nothing re my son number 3367 Pte W Outlaw information as per request of november [sic] 7th.

23 Nov 1916

Service record folio 36.

Chronological Events (continued)






Letter from OIC Base Records, Melbourne to Mrs Outlaw
Dear Madam,
I have to acknowledge receipt of your telegram dated 23rd instant, and to inform you a cable, enquiring the present condition and whereabouts of your son, No.3367 Private W.S. Outlaw, 53rd Battalion, who was reported wounded, was despatched to London on 21st instant. The reply, when to hand will be promptly transmitted to his father.
Yours faithfully,

24 Nov 1916

Service record folio 35


Letter and address slip from Base Records Office Melbourne to Mr William Outlaw
Dear Sir,
Forwarded herewith, per separate registered posts, is one package containing personal effecrs of No 3367 Pte Outlaw W.S., 53rd Battalion, received ex "MILITADES" as per inventory attached.
I shall be much obliged if you will kindly let me know whether it comes safely to hand,by signing and returning the enclosed printed receipt slip.
Yours faithfully

25 Jul 1917

Service record folios 32 & 33.


Form letter from Australian Imperial Force Kit Store, Inventory of Property of 336 Pte W.S. Outlaw, 53rd Battalion (Reported Missing)
Records that a Wallet was despatched to Mr William Outlaw.


Service record folios 17 and 34.


Letter from father, William Outlaw to Officer in Charge, Base Records
I would be very much obliged to you if you would Kindley let me know where the Wallet which has been forwarded to me was found, and under what conditions it came into your possession [has?] my Son has been reported missing since July 19th 1916 for any news concerning him I would be very much obliged.
I am yours


Service record folio 31


Mr William Outlaw signs receipt for one package ex "Militades".

28 Jul 1917

Service record folio 38 (which tends to indicate that the undated items above were processed on or about 25 Jul 1917).


Letter from Officer in Charge, Base Records to Mr William Outlaw
Dear Sir,
In reply to your letter, concerning your son, No. 3367 Private W.S. Outlaw, 53rd Battalion, I have to state the wallet for which you enclose receipt, was forwarded to this office from the A.I.F. Kit Store, London, where personal effects are left by members of the Force peior to their going into action.
No further news has come to hand respecting your son since he was reported missing, 19/7/16, but it is now understood Courts of Inquiry are now being held abroad to collect all available evidence regarding those posted missing about that time, and to record an opinion as to what may reasonably be supposed has been theier fate.
Immediately any cable message is received in connection with Private Outlaw you will be communicated with.
Yours faithfully,

7 Aug 1917

Service record folio 30.


Commanding Officer (CO) 53rd Battalion convenes Court of Enquiry and determines that Private William Samuel Outlaw was killed in action (KIA) on 19 Jul 1916 and his body unable to be recovered.

2 Sep 1917

The date of this Court of Enquiry may not be accurate as there are conflicting dates in subsequent records.


Report of Court of Enquiry convened by CO 53rd Battalion A.I.F. "in the field" on 2 Sep 1917

13 Sep 1917

Service record folios 5, 29


Copies of Commanding Officer's Court of Enquiry recorded, with copies to Defence Melbourne Headquarters and Chief Paymaster

13 Sep 1917

Service record folios 13 & 15.

Chronological Events (continued)






War Pension Statement No 572 dated 6 Mar 1918 in respect of 3367 Pte Wm Samuel Outlaw, to mother, Mrs Blanche Sophia Easter Outlaw "Thiness" Richmond Street, Canterbury, pension of £1-10-0 (One pound ten shillings) from 27 Feb 1918

6 Mar 1918

Service record folio 28.


Form letter from Base Records Office, Melbourne to Commanding Offic er 39th Infantry, Drill Hall, ASHFIELD, NSW
Forward under separate cover Record Book (A.M. Form M 7 & 8) with A.I.F. Service entered, relating to No. 3367, Private William Samuel OUTLAW, 53rd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, formerly of your Command, reported as Killed in Action, 19th July 1916.
Please acknowledge receipt hereon.

18 Nov 1918

Service record folio 27.


Letter from Headquarters 39th Infantry, Drill Hall, Ashfield to OC Base Records, Melbourne
Your No 60284 is hereby acknowledged, forwarding CE [Commonwealth?] Forms M708 of No 3367 Private William Samuel Outlaw, 53 Battalion, reported as Killed in Action on 19 Jul 1918 [sic]

30 Nov 1918

Service record folios 18 (original) and 19 (duplicate).


Mr William Outlaw signs Receipt Slip for Memorial Scroll

19 Oct 1921

Service record folio 37.


Letter from mother, Mrs Blanche Outlaw to the O/C A.I.F. Branch, 2nd District Base [sic]
In connection with Memorial Plaque No 330243 issued in respect of my son the late No 3367 Pte SW.S.Outlaw 53rd Btn, I beg to state that my husband Mr W. Outlaw the father of the soldier died on the 16th May 1922. The late soldier was not married.
Yours faithfully,

Receipt for Memorial Plaque signed by Blanche Outlaw, with details of William Outlaw on reverse

23 Oct 1922

Service record folios 16 and 39/40.


Summary pages note significant events and entitlement to the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal with the serial numbers of the medals and their dates of issue.


Service record folios 41 and 42.

Medals and Dress Embellishments

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

Not entitled to wear the ANZAC 'A'.

No Wound Stripes.

One Long Service Stripes and two 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

53rd Battalion, 14th Infantry Brigade, 5th Division

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


The 53rd Battalion was raised in Egypt on 14 February 1916 as part of the "doubling" of the AIF.   Half of its recruits were Gallipoli veterans from the 1st Battalion, and the other half, fresh reinforcements from Australia.   Reflecting the composition of the 1st, the 53rd was predominantly composed of men from the suburbs of Sydney.   The battalion became part of the 14th Brigade of the 5th Australian Division.

The battalion arrived in France on 27 June 1916, entered the front line for the first time on 10 July, and became embroiled in its first major battle on the Western Front, at Fromelles, on 19 July.   The battle of Fromelles was a disaster.   The 53rd was part of the initial assault and suffered grievously, incurring 625 casualties, including its commanding officer, amounting to over three-quarters of its attacking strength.   Casualty rates among the rest of the 5th Division were similarly high, but despite these losses it continued to man the front in the Fromelles sector for a further two months.

The 53rd spent the freezing winter of 1916-17 rotating in and out of trenches in the Somme Valley.   During this period the battalion earned the nickname "the Whale Oil Guards" after the CO, Lieutenant Colonel Oswald Croshaw, ordered the troops to polish their helmets with whale oil (issued to rub into feet as a trench foot preventative) for a smart turn out on parade.    In March 1917, the 53rd participated in the advance that followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line.   It was spared the assault but did, however, defend gains made during the econd battle of Bullecourt.   Later in the year, the AIF's focus of operations switched to the Ypres sector in Belgium. vThe 53rd's major battle here was at Polygon Wood on 26 September.

With the collapse of Russia in October 1917, a major German offensive on the Western Front was expected in early 1918.   This came in late March and the 5th Division moved to defend the sector around Corbie.   The 14th Brigade took up positions to the north of Villers- Bretonneux and held these even when the village fell, threatening their flanks.

Once the German offensive had been defeated, the Allies launched their own offensive in August 1918.   The 14th Brigade did not play a major role in these operations until late in the month, but its actions, including those of the 53rd Battalion at Anvil Wood, were critical to the capture of Peronne, which fell on 2 September.   For a succession of courageous actions during the Peronne fighting, Private William Currey was awarded the Victoria Cross.

The 53rd Battalion entered its last major battle of the war on 29 September 1918.   This operation was mounted by the 5th and 3rd Australian Divisions, in co-operation with American forces, to break through the formidable German defences along the St Quentin Canal.   The battalion withdrew to rest on 2 October and was still doing so when the war ended.   The progressive return of troops to Australia for discharge resulted in the 53rd merging with the 55th Battalion on 10 March 1919.   The combined 53/55th Battalion, in turn, disbanded on 11 April.

Battle Honours

Somme 1916-18, Bullecourt, Ypres 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Ancre 1918, Villers Bretonneux, Amiens, Albert 1918, Mont St Quentin, Hindenburg Line, St Quentin Canal, 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 :

  • 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]