Major battles Australians were involved in during World War One Dates

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Major battles Australians were involved in during World War One




4 August

10 August

13 August

August – September

11 September

29 October

1 November

9 November

21 November

21 December

First World War commences with Britain declaring war on Germany and its allies

Commencement of voluntary recruitment for Australian Imperial Forces (AIF)

Red Cross established to raise funds to purchase comfort supplies for the troops

‘Patriotic Funds’ were formed to raise money to send extra food at clothing to service personnel overseas

Australian navy and Military Expedition Force seized German New Guinea and nearby German-ruled island territories

The Ottoman Empire (Turkey) enters the war on the side of the Germans

First Division AIF sailed from Albany, Western Australia, for Egypt

HMAS Sydney (1) sank SMS Emden in Battle of Cocos Islands

The first Australian nurses leave on the ship Kyarra

Major-General Birdwood takes command of the Australian and New Zealand forces (ANZACS) in Egypt


25 January

4 March

25 April

29 April

5 May

24 May

26 May

29 May

7 June

19 June

1 July

6 August

7 August

8 August

9 August

15 August

19 August

21 August

22 August

27 August

7 September

25 October

7 November

22 November

24 November

27 November

9 December

18 – 20 December

Australian General Hospital opens in Cairo

ANZACS set up bases on Lemnos in anticipation of the Gallipoli campaign

First landings at Gallipoli

First evacuation of the wounded from Gallipoli

Turk began shelling Anzac Cove. The campaign became known as ‘Beachy Bill’.

Cease fire called at Gallipoli so that both sides could bury their dead that were lying in no-man’s-land between the trenches

Periscope rifles began to be manufactured at Gallipoli

The Turks capture Quinn’s Post after exploding a mine close to the Australian Front. They were eventually driven back.

First Australian Hospital ship, the Kyarra, left Suez, Egypt, carrying wounded back to Australia

The 2nd Australian Field Company built a pier at Anzac Cove for landing of equipment and stores.

Children in Victoria collect old sheets, pillow cases, towels, tablecloths, white shirts, white cotton frocks, white blouses to be used as bandages in the Australian hospitals in Egypt

Battle of Lone Pine at Gallipoli

Battle of the Nek at Gallipoli

The 4th Australian Brigade failed to make any progress towards Hill 971 at Gallipoli

Royal Australian Navy Bridging Train landed at Sulva Bay to assist the British force with the construction of piers, the control of water supplies and other similar tasks

Private John Hamilton and Captain Alfred Shout, both from NSWS received the Victoria Cross for bravery at Lone Pine. Shout was killed in the action

The 10th Battalion (SA) estimated that 45% of their soldiers had been evacuated from Gallipoli suffering from acute diarrhoea

First units of the Australian 2nd Division arrive at Gallipoli. These are the 17th and 18th Battalions from NSW

A mixed force of Australians, British and New Zealanders attacked the flank of Hill 60 – gained some ground

Newly arrived 18th Battalion (NSW) failed to break into the Turkish positions and ½ their men were killed or wounded

Renewed attempt to take Hill 60. Once more the Turkish positions held

Unveiling in an Adelaide park of the ‘first official monument to the fallen heroes’.

Private James Martin (Vic) died on the hospital ship Glenart Castle. He was 14 years old and is thought to have been the youngest Australian soldier to die at Gallipoli

A meeting of the Anzac Medical Society occurred to discuss the problem of lice among the troops

Preliminary plans drawn up for the evacuation from Gallipoli

‘Silent Stunt’ commenced at Anzac. That is the troops were instructed not to fire on the Turks unless they came under

Light snowfall at Gallipoli followed by two days and nights of freezing wind. Waterproof clothing and rim was issued to the troops

Men began moving off the Gallipoli Peninsula at night time

The last of the 20, 000 Australia and New Zealand troops were evacuated from Gallipoli- the Turks were unaware that all the troops had been withdrawn


1 April

6 June

1 July – 18 November

19-20 July

23 July – 5 August

8 August – 3 September

28 August

20 September

Victorian Department of Education advised the first anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli would take place on the 20 April

Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia was formed. This later became the RSL

Battle of the Somme in France

Battle of Fromelles, France

Battle of Pozieres, France

Battle of Mouquet Farm, France

First Australian conscription held

A Dance and Card Party was held at Paddington Town Hall, Sydney, to raise funds for the widow of Captain Shout, VC awardee who died from wounds received at the Battle of Lone Pine


20 March

11 April

21 April

3-17 May

7 June

22 July

31 July- 10 November

26 September

31 October

20 December

Lt F H McNamara , No.1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, awarded the Victoria Cross following his action in the raid on Tel el Hasi, Palestine

First Battle of Bullecourt, France

Foundation of the Imperial War Graves Commission. Their purpose was to erect and maintain war memorials and cemeteries

Second Battle of Bullecourt

Battle of Messines Ridge, Belgium

First bravery awards to Australian nurses in action, Sisters Cawood, Deacon and Ross-King and Staff Nurse Derrer. They rescued patients in a burning casualty clearing station at Trois Arbres, France

Third Battle of Ypres, Belgium – ‘Passchendaele’

Battle of Polygon Wood, Belgium

Battle of Beersheba, Palestine – Australian Light Horse charged Turkish positions

Second Australian conscription held


4 April

24-25 April

1 June

2 July

4 July

31 August – 2 September

1 October

11 November

First Battle of Villers- Bretonneux, France

Second Battle of Villers – Bretonneux, France

Lt-General Sir John Monash appointed General Officer Commanding the Australian Corps, France

Prime Minister William Morris Hughes addresses Australian troops on the Western Front before the battle of Hamel

Battle of Hamel, France

Battle of Mont St Quentin and Battle of Peronne, France

Australian Light Horse took Damascus, Syria

Armistice signed by Germany, ending First World War

These are the most important aspects of the fighting and events that Australians were involved in.

Other battles Australians were involved in during World War One




19 August

1 September

14 September

24 September

Expeditionary force departed Australia to capture German possessions in the Pacific

Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force landed at Rabaul, New Guinea

HMAS AE1 lost off New Guinea

Completion of the seizure of German New Guinea


19 February

18 March

29 April

8 May

19 May

19-20 May

10 October – 12 November

Allied warships bombard Turkish defences of the Dardanelles

Final day of bombardment of Turkish forces

HMAS AE2 scuttled in Sea of Marmara

Battle of Krithia, Gallipoli campaign

Turkish counter-attack on Anzac forces, Gallipoli

Lance Corporal Albert Jacka wins VC

Coo-ee March from Gilgandra to Sydney



6 June

3-5 August

24 August

23 December

First AIF units arrive in France

Formation of Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia (RSSILA)

Battle of Romani, Egypt

Beginning of the Australian Comfort Fund (ACF)

Battle of Magdhaba, Sinai Desert


9 January

20 March

9-15 April

15 April

4 October

9 October

12 October

Battle of Rafa

Lt FH McNamara wins VC in Palestine

Battle of Arras

Battle of Lagincourt, France

Battle of Broodseinde

First Battle of Passchendaele, Belgium

Battle of Poelcappelle, Belgium

Second Battle of Passchendaele


21March – 5 April

27 March

28 March and 4-5 April

28-30 March and 4-9 May

8 April

9 April – 8 May

12 April

8 August – 4 September

8-11 August

18 September – 17 October

29 September – 1 October

5 October

30 October

German Somme offensive

First trans-Jordan operation, Amman

Battle of Dernancourt, France

Battle of Morlancourt, France

Repatriation Department established

German Lys offensive

Battle of Hazebrouck, France

Allied Somme offensive; Battle of Amiens

Battle of Amiens

Hindenburg Line offensive

Battle of Quentin Canal

Battle of Montbrehain – AIF withdrawn from action

Armistice with Turkey signed

Key commemorative dates – 2014 to 2018



14 February

National Servicemen’s Day

24 April

Kapyong Day (Korean War)

25 April

Anzac Day

Late May

Reconciliation Week (Indigenous veterans)

1 July

Reserve Forces Day

27 July

Korea Veterans Day

15 August

Sandakan Day (Word War II)

15 August

Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day (First World WarI)

18 August

Vietnam Veterans Day (Vietnam War)

First Wednesday in September

Battle for Australia Day (First World WarI)

3 September

Merchant Navy Day

14 September

National Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Day

24 October

United Nations Day (Peace Operations)

11 November

Remembrance Day

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