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

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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.  

Members of the Australian Imperial Force who served on Gallipoli will be entitled to wear over the Unit “Colour Patch” on both sleeves of the Service Dress Jacket and Greatcoat the letter “A” an indication that the wearer had taken part in the operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula.  - Military Order 354 of 1917

Members of the Australian Imperial Force who served on Gallipoli or the Islands of Lemnos, Imbros and Tenedos, or who have served on transports or hospital ships at or off Gallipoli or the Islands above-named, or in AIF lines of communication Units in Egypt will be entitled to wear over their Unit “Colour Patches” on both sleeves of their Service Dress Jacket and Greatcoat the letter “A” as an indication that the wearer had taken part in the Gallipoli operations. - Military Order 20 of 1918

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.

Battle/Campaign/ Involvement




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@vwma.org.au (mailto:admin@vwma.org.au)  for details on how to contribute.