4th Infantry Battalion (NSW) 1st Brigade, 1st Division, AIF

Normal 4th battalion

About This Unit

Big thumb 4th relawm13307.067

Raised at Liverpool in Sydney's south west, the 4th Battalion was the last of the first - it became the fourth battalion of the 1st Brigade (/explore/units/139) in the 1st Division. Its members were originally drawn from New South Wales.

On August 4 1914 Great Britain declared war on Germany. Australia quickly followed the Mother Land’s call to arms. A rush of volunteers flocked to Victoria Barracks in Paddington and to Liverpool in Sydney's south west to enlist.

From the city and suburbs clerks laid down their pens, shopkeepers and shop assistants walked out of their shops, solicitors paused with their briefs, workmen downed their picks and shovels and from the countryside bushmen, farmers, graziers, shearers, woodchoppers set out on by horse drawn buggy, by train, by horse and on foot starting their journey to join a new type of army - an all volunteer army - the Australian Imperial Force.

On 17th August all those that had volunteered and enlisted in the preceding days were called into Victoria Barracks where they were divided into four Battalions.

Thus 4th Battalion came into being alongside the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions, forming the 1st Australian Infantry Brigade. The Battalion was then marched to Randwick Racecourse where attestations were completed with the recruits signing on for the duration of the war and four months.

It departed Australia in October 1914.

The Battalion arrived in Egypt on 2 December 1914 and landed at Gallipoli on the first day, as part of the second and third waves; its CO was killed on the 26th.

It served on the peninsula until the evacuation in December. In Egypt in March 1916 the AIF was ‘doubled’: the 4th and 5th Divisions were added to the 1st and 2nd Divisions, which already existed. The sixteen battalions which had fought on Gallipoli were each split, with half the personnel in each going to form a ‘pup’ or 'daughter' battalion; the gaps were filled with new recruits from Australia. The 4th Battalion's 'pup' unit was the 56th Battalion, (/explore/units/205) which was part of the 14th Brigade (/explore/units/803) in the 5th Division.

The 4th Battalion moved to France in March 1916, and spent the rest of the war on or behind the Western Front, principally fighting on the Somme and near Ypres. It ceased active operations in September 1918.

  

Unit History

  • Austin, R.J. (2007). The fighting fourth: a history of Sydney's 4th Battalion, 1914-19. McCrae: Slouch Hat.

 

Battle/ Campaign/ Involvement 

 

Reinforcement Groups

  • 4th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement: Left Melbourne on board HMAT A32 Themistocles, 22 December 1914
  • 4th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A48 Seang Bee, 11 February 1915
  • 4th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A49 Seang Choon, 11 February 1915
  • 4th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A9 Shropshire, 17 March 1915
  • 4th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A55 Kyarra, 13 April 1915
  • 4th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A63 Karoola, 16 June 1915
  • 4th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A67 Orsova, 14 July 1915
  • 4th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A54 Runic, 9 August 1915
  • 4th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire, 30 September 1915
  • 4th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A69 Warilda, 8 October 1915
  • 4th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A17 Port Lincoln, 13 October 1915
  • 4th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A7 Medic, 30 December 1915
  • 4th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A60 Aeneas, 20 December 1915
  • 4th Battalion, 14th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A62 Wandilla, 3 February 1916
  • 4th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A67 Orsova, 11 March 1916 and left Sydney on board HMAT A15 Star Of England, 8 March 1916
  • 4th Battalion, 16th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board SS Makarini, 1 April 1916 and left Sydney on board HMAT A71 Nestor, 9 April 1916
  • 4th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A40 Ceramic, 14 April 1916
  • 4th Battalion, 18th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A55 Kyarra, 3 June 1916
  • 4th Battalion, 19th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire, 22 August 1916
  • 4th Battalion, 20th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A14 Euripides, 9 September 1916
  • 4th Battalion, 21st Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A60 Aeneas, 30 September 1916
  • 4th Battalion, 22nd Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board SS Port Nicholson, 8 November 1916
  • 4th Battalion, 23rd Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A29 Suevic, 11 November 1916
  • 4th Battalion, 24th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A23 Suffolk, 24 April 1917
  • 4th Battalion, 25th Reinforcement: Left Sydney on board HMAT A14 Euripides, 31 October 1917
  • 4th Battalion, 26th Reinforcement: Left Melbourne on board HMAT A71 Nestor, 28 February 1918

 

Commanding Officers

 

 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.

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Stories

The 'A' ANZAC motif

'ANZAC' insignia

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

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