11th Battalion

From Our Contribution

11th Bn.jpg
Ome of the 36 11th Bn men killed at Leane's Trench. AWM photoP08678.006
11th Bn 2.jpg
11th Battalion at Alexandria enroute to Lemnos. Credit Army Museum of Western Australia

Brief History

The 11th Battalion was raised shortly after the outbreak of World War I as part of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), an all-volunteer force raised for overseas service. It was the first battalion recruited in Western Australia, and following a brief training period in Perth, the battalion sailed to Egypt where it undertook four months of intensive training. Along with the 9th, 10th, and 12th Battalions it formed the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division. Volunteers included men who had previously served in the part-time forces before the war.

The 3rd Brigade was the covering force for the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915 and so the 11th Battalion was, along with other covering force units, first ashore at around 4:30 am. In August 1915 the battalion was in action in the Battle of Lone Pine. Following the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the battalion returned to Egypt where the AIF was undergoing radical change. This saw the veteran battalions split to provide cadres for new battalions and as a part of this process, the 11th Battalion provided personnel to the 51st Battalion, by transferring the even numbered sections to the new battalion.

In March 1916, the battalion boarded HMT Empress of Britain, for deployment to the Western Front in France and Belgium where it took part in trench warfare until the end of the war in November 1918. Its first major action in France was at Pozieres in the Somme valley in July 1916. After Pozieres, the battalion manned trenches near Ypres in Flanders before returning to the Somme valley for winter.

In 1917 the battalion took part in the brief advance that followed the German Army's retreat to the Hindenburg Line including defending the German counterattack at Louverval, France, in April 1917. The battalion subsequently returned to Belgium to participate in the offensive that became known as the Third Battle of Ypres. The battalion helped to stop the German spring offensive in March and April 1918, and later that year participated in the great Allied offensive launched east of Amiens on 8 August 1918. This advance by British and empire troops was the greatest success in a single day on the Western Front, one that German General Erich Ludendorff described as "the black day of the German Army in this war".

The 11th Battalion continued operations until late September 1918. In November 1918 members of the AIF began to return to Australia. In February 1919, the 11th and 12th Battalions were amalgamated due to steadily declining numbers in both battalions. They remained so linked until their last members returned home for demobilisation and discharge. By the end of the war, a total of over 9,000 men had served in the 11th Battalion, of which 1,115 were killed and 2,424 wounded.[1] The battalion was disbanded in 1919.

Battalion Personnel





















Battle Honours

  • Landing at Anzac
  • Defence of Anzac
  • Suvla
  • Sari Bair
  • Gallipoli
  • Egypt 1915-16
  • Somme 1916-18
  • Poziéres
  • Bullecourt
  • Ypres 1917
  • Menin Road
  • Polygon Wood
  • Broodseinde
  • Poelcapple
  • Passchendaele
  • Lys
  • Hazebrouck
  • Amiens
  • Albert 1918
  • Hindenberg Line
  • Epehy
  • France and Flanders 1916-18.

Individual Honours

  • 1 Victoria Cross (Lt Charles Pope)
  • 1 Companion of the Order of the Bath
  • 2 Companions of the Order of St Michael and St George
  • 7 Distinguished Service Orders
  • 1 Officer of the Order of the British Empire
  • 30 Military Crosses and one Bar
  • 25 Distinguished Conduct Medals with one Bar
  • 96 Military Medals with two Bars - (Leonard Henry (Lennie) Buckingham MM)
  • 3 Meritorious Service Medals
  • 85 Mentions in Despatches and
  • 7 foreign awards

Notes - further reading

Content for the history and honours sections has come from a combination of Wikipedia and the Australian War Memorial websites.

For more detailed description of the 11th Battalion's participation in ww1, see:br>

  • Legs-Eleven by Capt Walter C. Befford;
  • Fremantle to France by Ian Gill 2003 - Advance Press Pty Ltd, and
  • Game to the Last - James Hurst 2005 - Big Sky Publishing.;
  1. "Legs-Eleven": Being the Story of the 11th Battalion (A.I.F.) in the Great War of 1914–1918. Belford 1992 P. 665

External Links