31st Infantry Battalion (Qld / Vic) 8th Brigade, 5th Division, AIF

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About This Unit

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The 31st Battalion was raised mainly in Queensland with some company elements in Broadmeadows where they 'married up' prior to emabrkation in November 1915.  Its colour patch indicates that it is part of the 5th Division by the vertical rectangle. The yellow sidebar is unique to the 8th Brigade.  The brown sidebar indicates it is the third battalion of the four that belong to the Brigade.

The 31st was embarked to become the third battalion in the 8th Brigade of the 5th Division when the latter was raised in Egypt during the  the 'doubling of the AIF' in early 1916.   The 8th Brigade was a composite Brigade with a Battalion each from Victoria, New South Wales, and two 'outer States' Battalions, one drawn from Queensland / Victoria and the other from Western and South Australia. Until that point the Brigade composition was numerically sequential but that went somewhat awry with the 8th Brigade.

The 31st and its sister Battalions of the 8th Brigade began embarkation for France from Egypt in May 1916.  They were destined for an area known as "The Nursery" in the Armentieres sector of norther France, near two villages either side of the front line;  Fleurbaix on the Allied side and Fromelles on the German side.

Little did they realise that they were soon to take part in the worst days in Australia's brief military history.

Commanding Officers

Toll, Frederick William (/explore/people/271813)

Davies, Charles Stewart (/explore/people/263126)

McArthur, John (/explore/people/199691)

Freeman, Neil Mackenzie (/explore/people/156001)

Decorations

1 VC; (/explore/people/377934) 1 DSO and 1 bar; 2 OBE; 20 MC and 2 bars; 1 AlbM; 11 DCM; 68 MM, 8 bars and 1 2nd bar; 4 MSM; 6 foreign awards

Battle / Campaign / Involvement

Fromelles (Fleurbaix) (/explore/campaigns/2) 19 July 1916 to 20 July 1916

German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages (/explore/campaigns/21) 15 February 1917 to 3 April 1917

Polygon Wood (/explore/campaigns/19) 26 September 1917 to 3 October 1917

Dernancourt/Ancre (/explore/campaigns/35) 27 March 1918 to 30 April 1918

Villers Bretonneux (/explore/campaigns/23) 5 April 1918 to 25 April 1918

Amiens (/explore/campaigns/14) 8 August 1918 to 11 August 1918

St Quentin Canal/Hindenburg Line (/explore/campaigns/81) 28 September 1918 to 5 October 1918

 

If you have specialised knowledge of the unit and would to contribute more detail to the story on this site we would like to hear from you. We are particularly keen to hear from unit associations and keepers of unit heritage and traditions. Contact admin@vwma.org.au (mailto:admin@vwma.org.au) (mailto:admin@vwma.org.au) to find out how.

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