2nd Battalion (Australia)
The 2nd Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. It was raised for service during the First World War as part the Australian Imperial Force and saw action at Gallipoli before being sent to the Western Front in mid-1916, where it spent the next two-and-a-half years taking part in the fighting in the trenches of France and Belgium. Following the conclusion of hostilities, the battalion was disbanded in early 1919 as part of the demobilisation process. In 1921, the battalion was re-raised as a part-time unit of the Citizens Forces based in Newcastle, New South Wales, drawing lineage from a number of existing infantry units, they remained in existence until 1929 when, due to austerity measures during the Great Depression and manpower shortages, the battalion was amalgamated with two other infantry battalions over the course of a number of re-organisations. It was re-formed in 1939 and undertook garrison duty in Australia during the Second World War until 1943 when it was merged once again.
Following the end of the war, the 2nd Battalion was re-raised as part of the Citizens Military Force in 1948. In 1960, it was reduced to a company-level formation but was re-formed as a battalion of the Royal New South Wales Regiment in 1965, it remained on the Australian order of battle until 1987 when it was amalgamated with the 17th Battalion, to form the 2nd/17th Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment, a unit which remains part of the Australian Army Reserve today. The 2nd Battalion was raised at Randwick, New South Wales, in August 1914 as part of the Australian Imperial Force, formed from volunteers for overseas service shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. Drawing the majority of its personnel from the Maitland and Hunter Valley regions of the state of New South Wales, the battalion formed part of the 1st Brigade and, along with the 1st, 3rd and 4th Battalions, it was one of the first infantry units raised by Australia following its entry into the war. Upon formation, the battalion was established with a complement of over 1,000 men organised into a headquarters, a machine-gun section of two heavy Maxim medium machine-guns, eight rifle companies, each consisting of three officers and 117 other ranks.
The battalion's first commanding officer was Lieutenant Colonel George Braund, a citizen soldier and Member of Parliament in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, who held the seat of Armidale. The physical standards under which the first contingent of the AIF was recruited were strict by the end of August over 20,000 men had been recruited into one infantry division—the 1st Division—and one light horse brigade, the 1st Light Horse Brigade. Following a brief period of training in Australia, the force set sail for the Middle East, assembling off Albany, Western Australia, in early November 1914 before leaving Australian waters, with the 2nd Battalion embarked upon the HMAT Suffolk, it had been planned that the Australians would be sent to the United Kingdom, where they would undertake further training prior to being sent to the Western Front in France and Belgium. However, the Ottoman Empire's entry into the war on Germany's side on 29 October meant that the strategically vital Suez Canal was threatened, as a result of this and overcrowding in training grounds in the United Kingdom, upon the convoy reaching the Suez at the end of November, plans for the use of the Australian force were changed and they were disembarked in Egypt instead.
The 2nd Battalion arrived in Egypt on 2 December. The following month, it undertook further training along with the rest of the 1st Division; the battalion was re-organised into four companies, as the Australian Army converted to the new battalion structure, developed by the British Army. Although the battalion's authorised strength remained the same, the eight companies were merged into four, each consisting of six officers and 221 other ranks. In February 1915, Ottoman Empire forces attacked the Suez Canal, although some units of the 1st Division were put into the line, the 2nd Battalion was not required, in the end the attack was turned back by Indian units. In an effort to open shipping lanes to the Russians and knock the Turks out of the war, the British high command decided to land a force on the Gallipoli peninsula near the Dardanelles using British and Indian troops along with the Australians and New Zealanders. During the Landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915, the 2nd Battalion, under Braund's command, came ashore in the second and third waves, landing a total of 31 officers and 937 other ranks.
Upon landing, the 2nd Battalion dispatched two companies,'A' and'D' to assist the 3rd Brigade who were pushing inland towards a high feature known as "Baby 700", which overlooked the beachhead. One of the 2nd Battalion's platoons, under Lieutenant Leslie Morshead, advanced further than any other Australian unit, making it to the slopes of Baby 700, before a determined counter-attack by Ottoman forces drove them back in the afternoon. Meanwhile, the battalion's other two companies,'B' and'C', had been held back in reserve. In the early afternoon, Braund led them up the steep terrain under fire to the vital junction between two positions known as "Walker's Ridge" and "Russell's Top"; the battalion proceeded to hold this position until reinforcements arrived from the Wellington Battalion two days at which time the 2nd Battalion undertook a bayonet charge which cleared the crest of Russell's Top. A determined enemy counter-attack forced them back to the junction where they remained until 28 April when they were ordered into reserve on the beach.
In early May, part of the battalion was sent to reinforce the 3rd Battalion. At around midnight on the night of 3/4 May, the 2nd Battalion's c
2nd Division (Australia)
The 2nd Division commands all the Reserve brigades in Australia. These are the 4th in Victoria, the 5th in New South Wales, the 9th in South Australia and Tasmania, the 11th in Queensland, the 13th in Western Australia, the 8th spread across the country; the division is responsible for the security of Australia's northern borders through its Regional Force Surveillance Units. The division was first formed in Egypt in July 1915 during World War I as part of the First Australian Imperial Force; the division took part in the Gallipoli campaign, arriving in the latter stages and traversed to the Western Front in France and Belgium where it had the distinction of taking part in the final ground action fought by Australian troops in the war. After the war ended and the AIF was demobilised, the 2nd Division name was revived and assigned to a Citizens Military Forces unit in 1921. During the inter-war years, the division was based in New South Wales with its headquarters Parramatta. During World War II, the 2nd Division undertook defensive duties on the east coast until mid-1942 when it was sent to Western Australia.
In May 1944, the division was disbanded as the war situation no longer required large numbers of garrison troops to be held back in Australia. Post war, the division was re-raised in 1948, except for a period from 1960 to 1965, the division has existed in one form or another since then; the Australian 2nd Division was formed from reinforcements training in Egypt on 26 July 1915 as part of the Australian Imperial Force, raised to fight in World War I. The division was formed from three brigades – the 5th, 6th and 7th –, raised independently in Australia, sent to Egypt for further training, it was intended that the division's commander would be James McCay, but he was wounded on 11 July, repatriated back to Australia after the death of both his wife and father. As a result, the command of the division went to Lieutenant-General Gordon Legge. Due to the pressing need for more soldiers for the Gallipoli Campaign, parts of the 2nd Division was sent to Anzac Cove in mid-August 1915, despite the fact that the division was only trained.
There, they reinforced the New Zealand and Australian Division. The rest of the division arrived by early September; the 2nd Division held a quiet stretch of the original line, only a part of the division saw serious fighting during around Hill 60 on 22 August. The 2nd Division was evacuated from the peninsula in December, returning to Egypt, where it completed its training and formation while the 1st Division was split and used to raise two new divisions as the AIF was expanded prior to its departure to Europe to fight on the Western Front. A pioneer battalion, designated the 2nd Pioneer Battalion, was added to the division at this time; the 2nd Division started to arrive in France in March 1916. In April, it was sent to a quiet sector south of Armentières to acclimatise to the Western Front conditions. In mid-July, with the British offensive on the Somme dragging on, I Anzac Corps was sent to join the British Reserve Army of Lieutenant General Hubert Gough who intended to use the Australian divisions to take the village of Pozières.
Due to the casualties sustained by the Australian 1st Division's attack at Pozières on 23 July, it was replaced by the 2nd Division on 27 July. Continuing the effort started by the 1st Division, the 2nd Division attacked on 29 July. However, due to the hurried preparation, the troops forming up for the attack were detected and the supporting artillery proved inadequate, leaving large segments of wire in front of the German position intact; the division sustained 3,500 casualties for little gain. After several days of disrupted preparations, the 2nd Division attacked again in the evening of 4 August, capturing the OG2 trench line and part of the crest. Alarmed by the loss of the defences, the Germans initiated a counter-attack the following day, which the Australians repulsed; this was followed by a sustained artillery bombardment that inflicted heavy casualties. The position of the Australian salient meant that the soldiers received artillery fire from the front and rear – including from German batteries near Thiepval.
After 12 days on the front line and sustaining 6,846 casualties, the 2nd Division was relieved by the Australian 4th Division on 6 August. After a brief rest, the 2nd Division again relieved the Australian 1st Division from its position beyond Pozières on 22 August. Attacking on 26 August, the 2nd Division succeeded in penetrating past the fortifications at Mouquet Farm only to be attacked from the rear as troops from the German Guards Reserve Corps emerged from the fortified underground positions at Mouquet Farm; these counterattacks succeeded in forcing the 2nd Division back from Mouquet Farm. After sustaining another 1,268 casualties, the 2nd Division was relieved by the Australian 4th Division on 26 August. On 5 September, I Anzac was sent to Ypres for rest; the division anticipated spending winter in Flanders. Throughout early October, the division undertook a number of minor raids in the sector, but in the middle of the month it was relieved by the British 21st Division and was recalled to the Somme for the final stages of the British offensive.
This time they joined the British Fourth Army, holding a sector south of Pozières near the village of Flers. Despite heavy mud, the Australians were required to mount a number of attacks
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
A regiment is a military unit. Their role and size varies markedly, depending on the arm of service. In Medieval Europe, the term "regiment" denoted any large body of front-line soldiers, recruited or conscripted in one geographical area, by a leader, also the feudal lord of the soldiers. By the end of the 17th century, regiments in most European armies were permanent units, numbering about 1,000 men and under the command of a colonel. During the modern era, the word "regiment" – much like "corps" – may have two somewhat divergent meanings, which refer to two distinct roles: a front-line military formation. In many armies, the first role has been assumed by independent battalions, task forces and other, similarly-sized operational units. However, these non-regimental units tend to be short-lived. A regiment may be a variety of sizes: smaller than a standard battalion, e.g. Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. S. Infantry Regiment and Royal Regiment of Scotland; the French term régiment is considered to have entered military usage in Europe at the end of the 16th century, when armies evolved from collections of retinues who followed knights, to formally organised, permanent military forces.
At that time, regiments were named after their commanding colonels, disbanded at the end of the campaign or war. It was customary to name the regiment by its precedence in the line of battle, to recruit from specific places, called cantons; the oldest regiments which still exist, their dates of establishment, include the Spanish 9th Infantry Regiment “Soria”, Swedish Life Guards, the British Honourable Artillery Company and the King's Own Immemorial Regiment of Spain, first established in 1248 during the conquest of Seville by King Ferdinand the Saint. In the 17th century, brigades were formed as units combining infantry and artillery that were more effective than the older, single-arms regiments. By the beginning of the 18th century, regiments in most European continental armies had evolved into permanent units with distinctive titles and uniforms, each under the command of a colonel; when at full strength, an infantry regiment comprised two field battalions of about 800 men each or 8–10 companies.
In some armies, an independent regiment with fewer companies was labelled a demi-regiment. A cavalry regiment numbered 600 to 900 troopers. On campaign, these numbers were soon reduced by casualties and detachments and it was sometimes necessary to amalgamate regiments or to withdraw them to a depot while recruits were obtained and trained. With the widespread adoption of conscription in European armies during the nineteenth century, the regimental system underwent modification. Prior to World War I, an infantry regiment in the French, German and other smaller armies would comprise four battalions, each with a full strength on mobilization of about 1,000 men; as far as possible, the separate battalions would be garrisoned in the same military district, so that the regiment could be mobilized and campaign as a 4,000 strong linked group of sub-units. A cavalry regiment by contrast made up a single entity of up to 1,000 troopers. A notable exception to this practice was the British line infantry system where the two regular battalions constituting a regiment alternated between "home" and "foreign" service and came together as a single unit.
In the regimental system, each regiment is responsible for recruiting and administration. The regiment is responsible for recruiting and administering all of a soldier's military career. Depending upon the country, regiments can be administrative units or both; this is contrasted to the "continental system" adopted by many armies. In the continental system, the division is the functional army unit, its commander is the administrator of every aspect of the formation: his staff train and administer the soldiers and commanders of the division's subordinate units. Divisions are garrisoned together and share the same installations: thus, in divisional administration, a battalion commanding officer is just another officer in a chain of command. Soldiers and officers are transferred out of divisions as required; some regiments recruited from specific geographical areas, incorporated the place name into the regimental name. In other cases, regiments would recruit from a given age group within a nation, an ethnic group, or foreigners.
In other cases, new regiments were raised for new functions within an army.
35th Battalion (Australia)
The 35th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. Raised in late 1915 for service during the First World War, the battalion saw service on the Western Front in France and Belgium before being disbanded in 1919. In 1921, it was re-raised in the Newcastle region of New South Wales as a unit of the Citizens Force, it was subsequently amalgamated a number of times during the inter-war years following the Great Depression, firstly with the 33rd Battalion and the 2nd Battalion, before being re-raised in its own right upon the outbreak of the Second World War. Following this the battalion undertook garrison duties in Australia before being deployed to New Guinea where they took part in the Huon Peninsula campaign. After the end of the war, the 35th Battalion was disbanded in early 1946; the 35th Battalion was raised during the First World War in December 1915 as part of efforts to expand the size of the Australian Imperial Force from two infantry divisions to five following the Gallipoli campaign.
Raised in Newcastle, New South Wales, from volunteers drawn from the local area, the battalion adopted the unofficial title of "Newcastle's Own". Upon formation, the battalion was assigned to the 9th Brigade, 3rd Division, following an initial period of training it proceeded overseas. Sailing from Sydney on 1 May 1916, they arrived in the United Kingdom in early July and undertook further training before being transferred to France in November 1916 along with the rest of the 3rd Division. On 26 November 1916, they took up positions in the trenches along the Western Front for the first time. A harsh winter followed in which the battalion was engaged in a quiet sector. Subsequently, it was not until June 1917. On 7 June 1917, the 35th Battalion took part in the fighting around Messines. During the First Battle of Passchendaele the battalion was committed to the attack on 12 October 1917 and suffered heavy casualties as the attack foundered in the mud of the rain soaked battlefield. Of the 508 men, fit at the start, only 90 remained at the end.
As a result of these losses, the battalion was withdrawn from the front line and placed in reserve for the next five months as they were brought back up to strength. The German Spring Offensive in early 1918 saw them gain a considerable amount of ground as the Allies were forced back. During this time, the 35th Battalion was dispatched to defend the town of Amiens, taking up positions around Villers-Bretonneux; as the German onslaught began to run out of steam, the Australians launched a counter-attack at Hangard Wood on 30 March 1918. On 4 April, the Germans made another attempt at taking Villers-Bretonneux, the 35th Battalion was engaged in turning this back. Casualties during this time were heavy, consisting of an estimated 70 per cent of the battalion's strength. In early May, the battalion took part in the Second Battle of Morlancourt. On 8 August 1918, the Allies launched their own offensive, the Hundred Days Offensive, the 35th was again committed to the fighting around Amiens. Following this they were involved in several engagements as Allied forces advanced towards the defences of the Hindenburg Line.
Their final involvement in the war came in September when the battalion was called upon to provide reinforcements for the joint Australian–American operations to breach the German line. Following this, the battalions of the Australian Corps were removed from the line for rest, they had been depleted and were suffering from acute manpower shortages as a result of the combination of a decrease in the number of volunteers from Australia and the decision to grant home leave to men who had served for over four years. Subsequently, when the armistice was signed on 11 November 1918, the Australian Corps had not returned to the front and was still in the rear reorganising and training. With the end of hostilities the demobilisation process began, men were repatriated back to Australia. In March 1919, the 35th Battalion was disbanded. During the war, the battalion lost 581 men killed or died on active service, while a further 1,637 were wounded. Members of the battalion received the following decorations: one Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, three Distinguished Service Orders, 17 Military Crosses and three Bars, 10 Distinguished Conduct Medals, 72 Military Medals and one Bar, six Meritorious Service Medals, 28 Mentions in Despatches and four foreign awards.
The 35th Battalion was awarded 14 battle honours for its service during the war in 1927. In 1921, the decision was made to reorganise the Australian Army to perpetuate the numerical designations and battle honours of the AIF units that had fought during the First World War; this was done by redesignating the units of the Citizens Force that existed at the time and merging them with their associated AIF units. As a result, the 35th Battalion was reformed at this time, being re-raised in the Newcastle area in order to maintain the regional identity of the predecessor units. In 1927, the units of the Citizens Force adopted territorial designations and the 35th Battalion became "Newcastle's Own Regiment". In 1929, due to the economic downturn of the Great Depression coupled with the manpower shortage that resulted from the discontinuation of the compulsory training scheme, the decision was made to amalgamate a number of infantry battalions at this time; the 35th Battalion was one of those chosen, subsequently it was linked with the 33rd Battalion, to form the 35th/33rd Infantry Battalion.
In 1932, this battalion was split up and the 35t
8th Brigade (Australia)
8th Brigade is an Australian Army Reserve training formation. It is headquartered in Sydney, has subordinate units in various locations around New South Wales and the rest of Australia; these units are tasked with delivering initial employment training to Reserve soldiers. The brigade was first formed in 1912, before being re-raised in Egypt as part of the First Australian Imperial Force in early 1916, for service during World War I; as part of the 5th Division, the brigade subsequently fought in numerous battles on the Western Front in France and Belgium between 1916 and 1918. During the interwar years, the brigade was re-raised within the part-time Militia, headquartered in Sydney. During World War II, the brigade undertook garrison duties in Australia during 1942–1944, before taking part in the Huon Peninsula campaign, during which they helped to capture Madang. In the post-war period, the brigade was re-formed as a combined arms formation as part of the 2nd Division until it was converted into a training brigade in 2017–2018.
The 8th Brigade traces its origins to 1912, when it was formed as a Militia brigade as part of the introduction of the compulsory training scheme, assigned to the 2nd Military District. At this time, the brigade's constituent units were located around Glebe, Forest Lodge, East Balmain, Annandale, Leichhardt and Drummoyne. Just prior to the outbreak of the war, the brigade consisted of the 25th, 26th, 29th and 31st Infantry Battalions. During World War I, the brigade was re-raised as part of the First Australian Imperial Force, being formed in 1916, when the AIF was being expanded in Egypt prior to its deployment to the Western Front. Assigned to the 5th Division, the brigade was formed from unassigned personnel that had arrived in Egypt as reinforcements following the Gallipoli Campaign. During this time, the brigade consisted of four infantry battalions: the 30th, 31st and 32nd, it was an all-states brigade with the 29th being recruited from Victoria, the 30th being drawn from New South Wales, the 31st from Queensland and 32nd from South Australia and Western Australia.
Fire support was provided by the 8th Machine Gun Company, the 8th Light Trench Mortar Battery, the 8th Field Ambulance. Under the command of Brigadier General Edwin Tivey for most of the war, the brigade took part in numerous battles including: the Battle of Fromelles, the First Battle of Bullecourt, the Third Battle of Ypres, the Spring Offensive, the Battle of Amiens and the Hundred Days Offensive. In the final stages of the war, due to heavy casualties, one of the brigade's infantry battalions – the 29th – was disbanded to provide reinforcements for the other three infantry battalions. Following the conclusion of hostilities, the brigade's constituent units were demobilised in early 1919 and the soldiers repatriated to Australia, although the AIF would not be formally disbanded until 1921. During the interwar years, the brigade was re-raised as Militia formation in 1921, headquartered in North Sydney and assigned to the 1st Division; the brigade's role at this time was to defend the Newcastle area.
In 1922, the brigade consisted of five infantry battalions: the 2nd, 17th, 18th, 30th, 51st. By 1928, the 51st Battalion had been removed from the brigade's order of battle; the Sydney Scouts was assigned to the brigade around this time. In World War II, the 8th Brigade was employed in defence of the Australian mainland for the majority of the war. After being called up for full time service in December 1941, the brigade concentrated at Wallgrove and began training. In March 1942, the 8th Brigade relieved the 9th Brigade, defending the northern beaches area around Sydney. In July 1942, the brigade was transferred to Western Australia; the 8th Brigade was based around Gingin, to defend the coastline between Lancelin and Trigg, but they were redeployed to Geraldton. Throughout 1943, the brigade moved several times, firstly to Moora and Dandaragan and to Mingenew. Jungle training was undertaken a Collie, before the brigade returned to Wallgrove in September 1943. In October 1942, the brigade took part in the largest anti-invasion exercise undertaken by the Army during the war, playing the role of a Japanese division that landed around Dongara, in Western Australia.
A period of leave followed, after which the brigade concentrated on the Atherton Tablelands prior to its assignment to the 3rd Division with which it would be committed to the fighting in the New Guinea in January 1944. Under the command of Brigadier Claude Cameron, the brigade landed at Finschhafen and helped to secure the Huon Peninsula, during which time it was involved in the Battle of Sio and the capture Madang in 1944–1945. During this time, the brigade contained three infantry battalions: the 4th, 30th and 35th, all from New South Wales. Following the capture of Madang, the 8th Brigade carried out patrolling operations from there out to Sepik, including the Watam – Hansa Bay – Ramu River area in support of the 6th Division, operating around Aitape–Wewak. In June, the brigade moved to Wewak, the following month relieved the 19th Brigade in the Wirui Creek – Mandi area, they carried out patrols in this area until the end of the war. Throughout the war, the brigade was assigned to a number of different divisions including the 1st, 4th, 2nd, 5th and the 6th.
In the brigade's final campaign it was commanded by Brigadier Maurice Fergusson, who assumed command in August 1944. Following the war, the wartime military was demobilised and the part-time Citizens Military Force was formed in 1948. Around this time, the brigade was re-raised and assigned to the 2nd Division as part of Eastern Command, consistin
Conscription in Australia
Conscription in Australia, or mandatory military service known as national service, has a controversial history dating back to the first years of nationhood. Australia only has provision for conscription during times of war. In 1909, the federal government of the prime minister, Alfred Deakin, introduced legislation for a form of conscription for boys from 12 to 14 years of age and for youths from 18 to 20 years of age for the purposes of home defence; the legislation did not allow soldiers to be conscripted for overseas service. This legislation was passed through the combined support of the Protectionist Party and the Australian Labor Party. Following a visit and a report on Australia's defence readiness by Field Marshal Kitchener, the Australian Labor Party government instituted a system of compulsory military training for all males aged between 12 and 26 from 1 January 1911. John Barrett, in his study of boyhood conscription, Falling In, noted: In 1911 there were 350,000 boys of an age to register for compulsory training up to the end of 1915.
Since'universal' was a misnomer, about half that number were exempted from training, or never registered, reducing the group to 175,000. There was extensive opposition to boyhood conscription resulting in, by July 1915, some 34,000 prosecutions and 7,000 detentions of trainees, employers or other persons required to register. Under Labor prime minister Billy Hughes, full conscription for overseas service was attempted during WWI through two plebiscites; the first plebiscite was held on 28 October 1916 and narrowly rejected conscription with a margin of 49% for and 51% against. The plebiscite of 28 October 1916 asked Australians: Are you in favour of the Government having, in this grave emergency, the same compulsory powers over citizens in regard to requiring their military service, for the term of this War, outside the Commonwealth, as it now has in regard to military service within the Commonwealth? A second plebiscite was defeated by a greater margin; the question put to Australians was: Are you in favour of the proposal of the Commonwealth Government for reinforcing the Commonwealth Forces overseas?
After the failure of the first plebiscite, Billy Hughes left the Australian Labor Party parliamentary caucus, taking with him most of the parliamentary party's talent. He promptly crossed the floor with about half of the parliamentary party, creating a new National Labor Party and surviving as prime minister by forming a conservative Nationalist government dependent for support on the Commonwealth Liberal Party; the remainder of the Labor Party, under their new leader Frank Tudor expelled Hughes and all who had followed him. Following the split, Labor stayed out of office for ten years. After the first plebiscite the government used the War Precautions Act and the Unlawful Associations Act to arrest and prosecute anti-conscriptionists such as Tom Barker, editor of Direct Action and many other members of the Industrial Workers of the World and E. H. Coombe of the Daily Herald; the young John Curtin, at the time a member of the Victorian Socialist Party, was arrested. Anti-conscriptionist publications, were seized by government censors in police raids.
Other notable opponents to Conscription included the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Daniel Mannix, the Queensland Labor Premier Thomas Ryan, Vida Goldstein and the Women's Peace Army. Most trade unions opposed conscription; the County Cork born Archbishop Mannix stated that Ireland had been more wronged by Great Britain than Belgium had been by Germany. Many people thought positively of conscription as a sign of loyalty to Britain and thought that it would support those men who were fighting. However, trade unions feared that their members might be replaced by cheaper foreign or female labour and opposed conscription; some groups argued that the whole war was immoral, it was unjust to force people to fight. South Africa and India were the only other participating countries not to introduce conscription during the First World War; the conscription issue divided Australia with large meetings held both for and against. The women's vote was seen as important, with large women's meetings and campaign information from both sides aimed at women voters.
The campaigning for the first plebiscite was launched by Hughes at a huge overflow meeting at the Sydney Town Hall where he outlined the Government's proposals. This was followed by a huge pro-conscription meeting at the Melbourne Town Hall on 21 September. Anti-conscriptionists in Melbourne, were able to mobilise large crowds with a meeting filling the Exhibition Building on 20 September 1916. An anti-conscription stop work meeting called by five trade unions held on the Yarra Bank mid-week on 4 October attracted 15,000 people, it was passed on 21 September 1916 and mandatory registration and enrolment commenced while the first plebiscite campaign was underway. By 5 October The Age reported that of 11607 men examined, 4581 were found fit 40 percent; the Age noted, in the article "Influence of the IWW", that "the great bulk of the opposition to conscription is centred in Victoria". Many meetings in inner Melbourne and Sydney were disrupted by anti-conscriptionists with speakers being howled down from the audience in what The Age described as "disgraceful exhibition" and "disorderl