12th Infantry Battalion AIF, (TAS) 3rd Brigade, 1st Division

Normal 12th battalion of australian infantry forces marching through hobart tasmania   ww1 9757832354 o

About This Unit

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The 12th Battalion was raised to become part of the 3rd Brigade in the 1st Division. Its colour patch tells the story;  the rectangle signifies the 1st Division.  The pale blue lower portion signifies the third brigade in the division.  The white upper signifies the fourth battalion of that brigade.  A brass 'A' was sewn on later to signify those units that had served at ANZAC, and was thus worn with great pride.  

The 12th Battalion was drawn largely from Tasmania but about 50% of the unit was comprised of South and Western Australians.  Many of the South Australians were from the Port Pirieregion in that State's mid North.

The Third Brigade comprised Battalions from the smaller States. It was also destined to be the Covering Force (ie first ashore) at Gallipoli.  The Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel L.F. Clark was the first of a significant number of unit COs killed at Gallipoli.  

After withdrawal from Gallipoli in December 1915, the Battalion served on the Western Front and participated in fighting at Pozieres / Mouquet Farm, the follow up of hte German consolidation at the Hindenburg Line, where two Victoria Crosses were won by Captain Newand and Sergean Whittle.  The abattalion then moved with its parent Boirgade to Belgium and Third Ypres including Menin Road, Polygon Wood,  and Passchendaele.

In 1918 the Battalion along with the rest of the 3rd Brigade spent a lot of time in the Flanders area and countered the German April offensive in the Lys, Hazebrouck and Merris sectors.  It took part in the "Last Hundred Days" offensive after being brought south to the Somme.  After fighting near Albert, the Battalion was involved in the final battles of its war around the Hindenburg Line / Epéhy . Operations finished in late September 1918.

In total, the 12th Battalion was awarded 247 honours and rewards for service in the field, incuding 2 Victoria Crosses. During the course of military service, 1,135 men of the Battalion were killed in action and 2,422 wounded.

A link to the AWM history is here  - AWM 12th Battalion History (www.awm.gov.au)

We would particularly like to encourage individual historians researchers or members of unit associations to contribute to the development of a more detailed history and photographs pertaining to this unit and its members.

Please contact admin@rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au for details on how to contribute.

Compiled from a range of sources including the AWM unit history (see link)

Contributed by Steve Larkins August 2015

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Battle Honours of the 12th Battalion

Anzac Landing at Anzac
Defence of Anzac
Suvla Sari Bair-Lone Pine Gallipoli, 1915
Egypt, 1915-16
Somme, 1916, '18
Pozières Bullecourt
Ypres, 1917
Menin Road
Polygon Wood
Broodseinde
Poelcappelle
Passchendaele
Lys Hazebrouck
Amiens
Albert, 1918
Hindenburg Line Epéhy
France and Flanders, 1916-18

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