AIF (Middle East) Reinforcement Depot

From Our Contribution


Brief History

In May 1940 the AIF expanded into a corps of two divisions, and the AIF (ME) General Base Depot was raised in Puckapunyal before moving to Broadmeadows in suburban Melbourne in June. Organised with an instructional element and a base depot component, they arrived in the Middle East in July and moved to Kilo 89 in Palestine. Moving to Beit Jirja in September, they underwent a number of changes to their structure and size before the Base Depot element was re-organised as the HQ AIF (Middle East) Reinforcement Depot in December.

Separate Infantry Training Brigades were established along with specialist units for Engineers, medical Corps, Service and Ordnance Corps, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Signals and provost. In July 1941 the HQ element moved to Deir Suneid.

With the recall to Australia of 1 Australia Corps, most of the training organisation returned with them, while a nucleus, including members of all the different training units remained, to later be reconstituted under the same name at Nuseirat in March 1942 to look after the needs of the 9th Australian Infantry Division which had remained behind. As the number of reinforcements from Australia decreased, and with the 9th Division back in the front line the training function was substantially reduced until a large draft of reinforcements arrived in October 1942. Following the 9th Division playing a key role in the El Alamein battle, their units were brough up to strength and the traiing units were disbanded in January 1943.



Content has come from The Unit Guide - Volume 6 - The Australian Army 1939-1945, page 6.224 & 6.225 - Graham R McKenzie-Smith - Big Sky Publishing - 2018

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