Category: AIF

Troops of the 1st Australian Division cheeri…

Troops of the 1st Australian Division cheering King George V near Contay, 10th August 1916.

Lieutentant-General Harry Chauvel, escorted by…

Lieutentant-General Harry Chauvel, escorted by a squadron of the 2nd Light Horse Regiment, riding through Damascus, followed by units representing the three cavalry divisions oh his Desert Mounted Corps, including men from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, India and France. 2 October 1918.

Great Moustaches of the Australian Imperial Fo…

I’m back again with another bevvy of ‘stachioed servicemen. I’ve been noticing that there is a definite class distinction when it comes to the covering of the upper lip. Officers, especially of the senior variety, tend to have a much more… dignified moustache, almost delicate. They’re longer, carefully shaped and have twirled, curled or waxed tips. The other ranks on the other hand tended to glue a horse brush to their face and call it a day.

At any rate, let’s have a look at some more wonderful facial fungus.

Lieutenant Colonel F W G Annand, 2nd Pioneer Battalion.
Look at those perfect moustache. Look at those immaculate tips.He’d have to put corks on them before he goes to bed so he didn’t wake up with extra holes in his face. Stylish, but hazardous to personal safety, 8/10.

Lieutenant Colonel D. A. Luxton, 5th Battalion.
What is that? Honestly, I’m not even sure if that’s a moustache at all. It looks like he smeared a bit of bootblack under his nose, and given the smell of trench life I can’t say I’d blame him. It’s certainly not reaching over his top lip, but more importantly. Is it a moustache? 2/10 because we just don’t know.

Private Keet MacCallum MM, 56th Battalion.
There we go. That’s the hog bristle brush I’m talkin about. It’s straight, it’s clean and it’s simple. It’s a no nonsense piece of facial roughage. And I know it’s the quality of these old photos but that rough patch looks ridiculous against his baby clear complexion. Simple but a classic, 7.5/10, could use a trim though.

Private Reginald William Stanley Marsh, 22nd Battalion.
Is that a caterpillar? But seriously, that is lush. It’s thick like Haig’s skull and got curves like Mata Hari. Not a moustache you’d see on an officer but it gives Reg here a permanent smirk. A private needs that. 9/10 on Reg, 4/10 on anyone else.

That’s it for today’s collection of unclipped comrades. Stay tuned for part three next week.

Australian, French, British and American off…

Australian, French, British and American officers outside British Town Major’s office at Corbie, 25 May 1918.

William Morris (Billy) Hughes, Prime Minister …

William Morris (Billy) Hughes, Prime Minister of Australia, and Andrew Fisher, Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, being introduced to I ANZAC Corps staff officers and taking part in a march past of Australian soldiers, c1916.

Issuing hot coffee to Australian troops near…

Issuing hot coffee to Australian troops near Becourt Wood, September 1916.

Australian troops from the 2nd Division watchi…

Australian troops from the 2nd Division watching British soldiers marching towards the front lines near Fricourt, October 1916.

Australian Army signalman mending his wirele…

Australian Army signalman mending his wireless set near Becourt Wood, September 1916.

Wireless communication was slow to make its way down the chain of command in the BEF during the war. Even by 1918 radios hadn’t gone further down than brigade formations but were primarily used as a fail-safe method of communication between division and corps.
Where radio communication did make inroads was in vehicles. In tanks and in aircraft radios were used to keep in touch and help in coordinating the forward movement of troops and reporting on German positions. 

Officers of an Australian Heavy Battery (Royal…

Officers of an Australian Heavy Battery (Royal Australian Battery of 9.2" howitzers) resting near Fricourt, August 1916.

King George V, with whom is General Birdwood…

King George V, with whom is General Birdwood, addressing a party of 5th Australian Division Infantrymen who took part in an obstacle race in full kit at an Australian Sports Meeting at Henencourt, 12 July 1917.

Said obstacle race.