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World War 1 - 28 Battalion AIF

 

"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

1922

28th Battalion

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 September.

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 Valley.

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.

CHAPTER I.
The Genesis.
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.


CHAPTER II.
En Route.
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 Egyptians.


CHAPTER III.
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 Police—Chaplains.


CHAPTER IV.
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. .

CHAPTER V.
Gallipoli.
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.


CHAPTER VI.
Gallipoli (continued).
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 —Salvage—Patrols—Our guns—Propaganda—Espionage.


CHAPTER VII.
Gallipoli (continued).
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."


CHAPTER VIII.
Gallipoli (continued).
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.


CHAPTER IX.
Gallipoli (continued).
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.

CHAPTER X.
Lemnos Island.
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.


CHAPTER XI.
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.


CHAPTER XII.
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 many maps.

Above illustrations reduced in size from those in the eBook


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