Tag - France

A Declaration of War

3 SEP 1939: World War II and Britain, France, Australia, and New Zealand declare war on Germany. The German invasion of Poland led to the declaration of war against Germany by the United Kingdom and France and began the Second World War. Approaching defeat in the First World War, Germany signed the First Armistice at Compiègne on 11 November 1918 as a practical end to hostilities with France, the British Empire (including Australia and New Zealand), and the United...

Arthur Hall, VC

1–2 SEP 1918: World War I and Corporal (later Lieutenant) Arthur Charles Hall, 54th Battalion, originally from Nyngan, New South Wales, earns the Victoria Cross at Péronne. Arthur Hall was born on 11 August 1896 in Granville, Sydney to a livestock farmer and his wife. After attending school in Bathurst, he worked with his father on properties near Nyngan in New South Wales. In April 1916, at the age of 19, Hall enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). After...

Bob Mactier, VC

1 SEP 1918: World War I and Private Robert (Bob) Mactier, 23rd Battalion, originally from Tatura, Victoria, earns the Victoria Cross at Mont St Quentin. Robert Mactier was born at Tatura on 17 May 1890, the seventh of ten children of Robert and Christina Mactier of "Reitcam" ("Mactier" spelt backwards), a nearby property. In his formative years, he was a keen sportsman. He went to school locally, and later worked on his father's properties until he enlisted in the Australian...

Edgar Towner, VC

1 SEP 1918: World War I and Lieutenant (later Major) Edgar Thomas Towner MC, 2nd Machine Gun Battalion, Blackall, Queensland, earns the Victoria Cross at Mont St Quentin. Edgar Towner was born on 19 April 1890 at Glencoe station, near Blackall, Queensland, son of Tasmanian-born Edgar Thomas Towner, grazier, and his second wife Greta, née Herley, from Ireland. His parents were among the first settlers on the Barcoo River. Edgar was educated at home, at Blackall State School and...

Wiliam Currey, VC

1 SEP 1918: World War I and Private William Matthew Currey, 53rd Battalion, originally from Wallsend, New South Wales, earns the Victoria Cross at Péronne. Born at Wallsend, New South Wales, on 19 September 1895 Currey was the son of a miner, William Robert Currey and Mary Ellen Lang. After attending Dudley and Plattsburg public schools, he was employed as a wireworker in Leichhardt. In October 1916, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force, volunteering for service overseas during the...

Battle of Mont St Quentin

31 AUG 1918: World War I and the Battle of Mont St Quentin begins. Mont St Quentin, overlooking the town of Péronne, was the scene of a famous Australian action under the leadership of Lieutenant General Sir John Monash. The depleted Australian divisions won an impressive victory against the German defenders, capturing some 2,600 prisoners. This battle is considered by many to have been the crowning achievement of the AIF in the First World War. The end of August found...

Charles Bean Dies

30 AUG 1968: Death of Captain Charles Edwin Woodrow (C E W) Bean. Charles Bean did more than any other individual to establish the Australian War Memorial. Australia's official war correspondent during the First World War, Bean wrote six volumes of the Official History of Australia in the war of 1914–1918 and edited the remaining volumes. Charles Bean is perhaps best remembered for the official histories of Australia in the First World War, of which he wrote six volumes...

Bernard Gordon, VC

27 AUG 1918: World War I and Lance Corporal Bernard Sidney Gordon, MM, 41st Battalion, originally from Launceston, Tasmania, earns the Victoria Cross near Bray, France. Bernard Sidney (Bernie) Gordon (1891-1963), soldier and dairy farmer, was born on 16 August 1891 at Launceston, Tasmania, son of Charles Gordon, cabman and later hotel proprietor, and his wife Mary, née Rowlands. After schooling at Deloraine and Devonport he worked as a cooper's machinist at Beaconsfield. He later went to Townsville, Queensland, where...

Mouquet Farm Attack

26 AUG 1916: World War I and the 6th Australian Brigade attacks Mouquet Farm on the Somme. Mouquet Farm, near Pozières, was the focus of nine separate attacks by Australian troops between 8 August and 3 September 1916. Some 11,000 Australians were killed or wounded in the fighting around Mouquet Farm. The Somme offensive, also known as the battle of the Somme, which included the actions at Mouquet Farm, is the term given to series of battles fought between 1...

5th Division in France

21 OCT 1916: World War I and the 5th Australian Division is on the Western Front. The 5th Australian Division entered the front line near Flers on the Somme. By October the Somme battlefield was a waste of mud-bound craters. From March 1916 Australian divisions began arriving in France. Initially the troops found a pleasant land and a welcome change from sea voyages, the cliffs of Gallipoli, and the training camps of Egypt. There were four divisions, each...

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