"The 28th: A Record of War Service in the
Australian Imperial Force, 1915-19, Vol. I Egypt, Gallipoli, Lemnos
Island, Sinai Peninsula"
By COLONEL H. B. COLLETT
The 28th Battalion was raised at Blackboy Camp in Western Australia
on 16 April 1915. The battalion left Australia in June, and, after
two months spent training in Egypt, landed at Gallipoli on 10
At Gallipoli, the 7th Brigade, which included the 28th Battalion,
reinforced the weary New Zealand and Australian Division. The 28th
had a relatively quiet time at Gallipoli and the battalion departed
the peninsula in December, having suffered only light casualties.
After another stint in Egypt, the 7th Brigade proceeded to France
and the Western Front, as part of the 2nd Australian Division. The
28th Battalion took part in its first major battle at Pozières
between 28 July and 6 August 1916. The 28th Battalion took part in
confused and costly fighting to the east of Flers, in the Somme
The 28th went on to attack as part of the third phase at the battle
of Menin Road, capturing its objectives in seven minutes, and was in
reserve during the capture of Broodseinde Ridge.
In April 1918, the 28th was prominent in the fighting to
secure crossing points over the Somme River around Peronne, and in
the advance beyond Mont St Quentin.
This eBook is a digital facsimile in PDF
format of Volume 1 of the Unit history which covers the Unit
formation, transport to Egypt, action in Gallipoli and the Sinai
from 1915-1916. Volume 2 was never produced.
W.A. in the South African War—The outbreak in 1914—Karrakatta and
Blackboy Hill—The first units to embark—Scheme for raising new
brigades—The 28th Battalion authorised—Enrolment of
personnel—Selection and appointment of Officers and N.C.Os.—Specialists
wanted—Equipping—Hard training—An accident—Hours off duty—Visit from
H.E. the Governor—Medical precautions—The March through Perth—Final
preparations for departure for the Front.
Embarkation 9th June, 1915—The crowds along the route and at
Fremantle—Farewell to Australia—The "Ascanius"—Quarters and
messing—Other troops on board—Statistics—Training at Sea—
Lectures—Stowaways—Competitions in tidiness—Entering the
Tropics—Amusements—The Canteen—The Master—The East African Coast—The
Red Sea—Strange rumours—Arrival at Suez—First contact with the
First Stay in Egypt.
Disembarkation and train journey to Abbasia—The Land of Goshen
—Description of the Camp—Early difficulties—Institutes—The
newsvendors—Tidings from Gallipoli—Unrest in Egypt—The local command
and garrison—Inspection by Sir John Maxwell— Mobilisation of the 7th
Brigade—Training in the Desert—Night marches—The Zeitun
School—Formation of the 2nd Australian Division—Difficulties in
feeding the troops—Clothing for the Tropics—In quarantine—Sickness
—Pay and currency—Mails and the Censor—Amusements—Riots—The military
First Stay in Egypt (continued).
Distractions—A march through Cairo—Leave—In the bazaars—Gharri and
donkey rides—Esbekieh Gardens—The Kursaal and the Casino—Shepheard's
Hotel—Guides—Sightseeing—The Pyramids and Sphinx—Memphis—Sakkara—
The Tombs of the Sacred Bulls—The Cairo Museum—The Citadel and other
Saracenic remains—Some beautiful mosques—Old Cairo—The Nile—The
Egyptian aristocracy—Garrisoning Saladin's Citadel—A nephew of the
Senussi—The trials of a soldier—Souvenir hunting—Visitors from Home
—News of the August advance—Warned to proceed overseas—Entraining. .
Some account of the Gallipoli Peninsula—The naval and military
operations—Anzac Day—Arrival at Alexandria—Embarking on the "Ivernia"—Prejudices—Through
the Grecian Archipelago—The "Southland"—In Mudros Bay—Closing the
mail—In touch with the "Aragon"—Transhipping to the "Sarnia"—The
last stage—The first glimpse of battle—Impressions—Landing in the
"beetles"— Waterfall Gully—The first casualty—Contact with the 4th
Brigade—Move to the Apex—Description of the position—Holding the
salient—Condition of the trenches—Artillery support—
Telephones—Dugouts—The New Zealanders —Attitude of the enemy—Sniping
with field guns—Bombs, mortars, and catapults—Broomstick bombs.
First night in the trenches—Cleaning up—Shell fire—Generals Birdwood
and Godley—No Man's Land—View from the Apex—Casualties—Pick and
shovel—Sleep—Turkish demonstration—Divine service—Visit of Sir Ian
Hamilton—Private Owen's escape—Company reliefs—Mining and tunnelling
Poison gas—Targets for the guns—A general—A false alarm—"The one
shall be taken—"—Relieved by the 25th Battalion—The fly pest—
Sickness—Bully beef and biscuits—Rum—Scarcity of water— Cooking—
Gathering fuel—Supply and transport—"Dunks."
Lower Cheshire Ridge—Description of new position—A break in the
weather—Trenches—Tunnels—Timber and iron—Sniping—Ruses —The
Mohammedan festival—Arrival of reinforcements—Promotion from the
ranks—Formation of bombing section—Change in command of Brigade
—Canteen stores—Pay—A miss—Aeroplanes— Relieved by the 4th
Brigade—Taylor's Hollow—Beach fatigues —Soldiers as sailors—News
—Mails from Australia—Diversions— The naturalist—The beauties of
land, sea, and sky.
Move to Happy Valley—Visit of Lord Kitchener—Unsettled weather
—Humanity—A proposed stunt—The "close season for Turkey"—The
blizzard and its dire consequences—Increased enemy gun fire—The
arrival of the German heavies—Russell's Top—Three tiers of tunnels
—Death of the three majors—News of the evacuation—The main body
leaves the Peninsula—The Die-hards—Work of the Machine Gun Section
—The last man.
Landing in the Bay—A sick battalion—Sarpi camp—The arrival of the
beer—Resting, recuperating, and refitting—Z Valley camp— Members
selected for distinction—Touring Lemnos—General description of the
island—The inhabitants—Kastro—Primitive agriculture—Mt. Therma—
Crowded shipping—The arrival of the billies—Christmas Day—A
conspiracy—The concert—The New Year—Leaving for Egypt.
Back to Egypt.
Alexandria—Arrival at Tel-el-Kebir—The transport rejoins—A deal in
tents—Kitchen trouble—A camp for two divisions—The battle of
1882—Short rations—Inspection by Sir Archibald Murray—Leave to
Cairo—The postal service—Training for savage warfare— Reinforcements
—General Paton—Transfers to the Camel Corps —Rumours of a Turkish
advance—Move to the Sinai Peninsula—The desert—Road and pipe line
—Camels—Ferry Post—The defences of the Suez Canal—Passing shipping
—Lumping and navvying—Secret service agents—Dangers to shipping in
the Canal—Ismailia— Gambling—Cerebro-spinal meningitis—A visit from
the High Commissioner in Egypt.
Preparing for France.
Three new divisions—Another 60,000 Australians—Transfers to new
units—Changes in establishments—Promotions—Talk of the Western
Front—Undesirables—Unfits—The khamsin—Assembling at Moascar— Final
preparations—Train to Alexandria—The "Themistocles"—The menace of
submarines—Through the Mediterranean—Malta—Approaching
Marseilles—Entering the harbour—The end of the first phase.
A fabulous well illustrated unit history with
Above illustrations reduced in size from those in
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