Category: military history

Exhausted stretcher bearers from the 3rd Aus…

Exhausted stretcher bearers from the 3rd Australian Division rest in the mud and drizzle of Broodseinde Ridge, during the Third Battle of Ypres, 11 October 1917.

Australian soldiers having their feet inspec…

Australian soldiers having their feet inspected for trench foot at Zonnebeke, September 1917.

Australian tunnelers pumping water from dugo…

Australian tunnelers pumping water from dugouts, Hooge, Belgium. 18 September 1917.

A monkey acquired by Australian troops in Egyp…

A monkey acquired by Australian troops in Egypt as a mascot, 1915.

Australian Light Horsemen, Australian and Ne…

Australian Light Horsemen, Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division, watering their horses at Ain es Sultan (Elisha’s Well), 1917.

The 2nd Australian Tunnelling Company at wor…

The 2nd Australian Tunnelling Company at work underground. 14 November 1917 at Nieuport Bains, Belgium.

Officers and other ranks attend a training s…

Officers and other ranks attend a training session on an aero-engine at the Australian Flying Corps training depot at Halton Camp, Wendover, Buckinghamshire, 1918.

A high view of the camp and horse lines of A…

A high view of the camp and horse lines of A Squadron, 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, in a valley near Jericho in Palestine, 17 August 1918.

Building a Cross Channel Ferry – Muirhead Bone…

Building a Cross Channel Ferry – Muirhead Bone, c1917

Regular

On theft by soldiers during the war.

“The Royal Army Medical Corps was commonly derided as Rob All My Comrades.”

Australian officer Norman Nicolson accepted that it was “quite a legitimate thing to steal from Tommy [British] outfits provided it can be got away with”.

But in 1918 the a new group became the favoured targets.
“In 1918, when the AIF encountered the novice Americans, they had a field day. After the attack on Bellicourt an enterprising Australian told advancing Americans to ‘pile your packs here, lads’, and then ratted the lot and sold the haul”.
Bad Characters by Peter Stanley, pp113-114

Another, possibly apocryphal, story tells of a group of Geman prisoners heading back through Australian lines. They were shocked to see a group of Australian soldiers come charging out of a trench at them, brandishing knives. The Australians turned out to be a unit of cooks who wanted to souvenir the German troops and they immediately started about cutting off buttons, badges and epaulets while taking anything else of value. In return they stuffed German pockets full of cigarettes and chocolates.
Apparently anyway.