From Our Contribution
The Kennedy Regiment (31st Battalion Royal Queensland Regiment) was the first Australian infantry unit mobilised for service during World War I when 500 men enlisted and were sent to garrison Thursday Island after fears of possible German military action in the Pacific.
Later many members of the battalion enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), most joining the 31st Battalion which was raised at Enoggera, Brisbane in August 1915. Initially consisting of two companies from Queensland and two from Victoria, it departed Melbourne in October 1915 for Egypt where it was involved in the defence of the Suez Canal.
In early 1916 as part of the 8th Brigade, the 31st Battalion became part of the 5th Division, and relocated to France in July 1916. Its first involvement was in the Battle of Fromelles where they were badly mauled, suffering more than 500 casualties, and rendering them non operational for the rest of the year.
During 1917 they played a support role during the advance to the Hindenburg Line, and participated in fighting at Polygon Wood and Passchendaele. In 1918 the battalion was involved in fighting that resulted in the capture of Villers-Bretonneux and then Bullecourt, before the attack on German forces in the vicinity of the St Quentin Canal. 3,640 Men enlisted in this unit with 575 killed or dying from wounds and 1,533 wounded.
The 31st Battalion was disbanded in March 1919 in France awaiting repatriation to Australia.
- John Edward Thomson ?? Jul 1915 - 8 Aug 1918 (WIA x 3)
- Egypt 1915–16
- Somme 1916–18
- Bapaume 1917
- Ypres 1917
- Menin Road
- Polygon Wood
- Ancre 1918
- Albert 1918
- Mont St Quentin
- Hindenburg Line
- St Quentin Canal
- France and Flanders 1916–18.
- 1 Victoria Cross - (Pte Patrick Joseph Bugden)
- 1 Distinguished Service Order and bar
- 2 Officers of the Order of the British Empire
- 20 Military Crosses and 2 bars
- 1 Albert Medal
- 11 Distinguished Conduct Medals
- 68 Military Medals, 8 bars and 1 second bar
- 4 Meritorious Service Medals and
- 6 foreign awards
Content for the history and honours sections has come from a combination of Wikipedia and the Australian War Memorial websites.
For further detail on this battalion's activity, see:
- Fromelles to Nauroy - 31st Battalion AIF 1915 - 1919, by Neville Browning
- Crossed Boomerangs - A Hisory fo the 31st Battalion by Bob Burla
- Monuments Australia 31st battalion accessed 31 Dec 2017