Tag - WW1

The Siege of Kut

3 DEC 1915: World War I and the Siege of Kut begins in Mesopotamia. Nine members of the Australian Flying Corps serving with 30 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, became trapped in Kut with the forces of Major General Charles Townsend when the town was besieged by the Turks. The Kut garrison surrendered in April 1916. Following the signal (and, to the British at least, unexpected) failure of the Anglo-Indian attack upon Ctesiphon in November 1915 Sir Charles Townshend led his...

Leslie Cecil Maygar, VC, DSO, VD

23 NOV 1901: The Boer War and Lieutenant Edgar Leslie Cecil Willis Walker Maygar, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles, originally from Kilmore, Victoria, is awarded the Victoria Cross at Geelhoutboom, Natal. Maygar was born on 27 May 1868, at Dean Station, near Kilmore, Victoria. The seventh child of Edwin Willis and Helen Maygar (née Grimshaw). Both of his parents were originally from Bristol, England, although his father's family were originally political refugees from Hungary. Educated at state schools in Kilmore and Alexandria,...

Somme Campaign Ends

18 NOV 1918: Today, as World War 1 victory seems in sight, and after four months and more than 1,200,000 casualties on both sides, Douglas Haig calls off the Somme offensive. British Field Marshal Douglas Haig refused demands from Supreme Allied Commander Marshal Ferdinand Foch to continue the Amiens offensive during World War 1, as that attack was faltering as the troops outran their supplies and artillery, and German reserves were being moved to the sector. Instead, Haig began to plan...

Battle of Ypres Ends

14 NOV 1917: World War I and today sees the end of the third battle of Ypres, on the Western Front. Australian troops had been involved in the third battle of Ypres for three and a half months and suffered heavy losses at such places as Menin Road, Glencorse Wood, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde Ridge and Passchendaele. The Third Battle of Ypres was the major British offensive in Flanders in 1917. It was planned to break through the strongly fortified and...

The Armistice of Compiègne

11 NOV 1918: World War I and Germany signs an armistice also known as the Armistice of Compiègne after the location in which it was signed – and the agreement that ended the fighting on the Western Front. The First World War ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. When the German peace delegation arrived at a railway siding in Compiegne Forest to negotiate the terms for an armistice on November 8th, they found...

Battle of Cocos

9 NOV 1914: World War I and HMAS Sydney [I] destroys SMS Emden at the Battle of Cocos, a single-ship action that occurred after the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney (under the command of John Glossop) responded to an attack on a communications station at Direction Island by the German light cruiser SMS Emden (commanded by Karl von Müller). After the retreat of the German East Asia Squadron from south-east Asia, Emden remained behind to function as a commerce raider. During...

Third Battle of Gaza

7 NOV 1917: World War I and the Third battle of Gaza. After the outflanking advance at Beersheba, British empire forces, including the Australian Light Horse, rapidly advanced northwards toward Jerusalem. The coastal city of Gaza was the heart of the main Turkish defensive position in southern Palestine. Three major battles were launched in 1917 by British and dominion forces to capture Gaza - only the third succeeded in this object. The first battle of Gaza took place on 26 March...

AIF Sails for Egypt

1 NOV 1914: World War I and the First AIF sails. The first Australian and New Zealand contingent sails from Albany, Western Australia, bound for Egypt. Only one in three of those who sailed in the first convoy would return physically unscathed at the end of the First World War. "The arrival of the Australian Warships at Albany signalises the veritable gathering of an Australian Armada. Never in the history of the Southern Seas has such a fleet mobilised together...

Gongs and Cartoons

With Remembrance Day just days away and a burgeoning interest in all things 'Great War’, it's worth spending a minute on nicknames that are given to campaign medals. During and after World War 1, the commonly-awarded medals didn't escape the typical Commonwealth military sense of amusement, with popular cartoon characters of the day manifesting themselves in honours and awards. From the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh, comes this timely explanation: "PIP, SQEAK and WILFRED’ are the nicknames given to the...