The Fighting Nineteenth - History of the 19th Battalion AIF 1915 - 1918 by Wayne Matthews and David Wilson.
The long awaited history of the 19th Battalion AIF - the very first time the battalion's history has been written and published.
And now available from Regimental Books:
19th Battalion was raised at Liverpool in New South Wales in March 1915
as part of the 5th Brigade. A large number of the 19th’s original
recruits had already served with the Australian Naval and Military
Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) in the operations to capture German New
Guinea in 1914. The 19th left Australia in late June, trained in Egypt
from late July until mid-August, and on 21 August landed at ANZAC Cove.
Gallipoli the Battalion participated in the last action of the August
Offensive – the attack on Hill 60 – before settling into defensive
routine in the trenches. From mid-September, until its withdrawal from
the peninsula on the night of 19 December, the 19th Battalion was
responsible for the defence of Pope’s Hill.
further training in Egypt, the 19th Battalion proceeded to France. It
took part in its first major offensive around Pozières between late July
and the end of August 1916. After a spell in a quieter sector of the
front in Belgium, the 2nd Division, which included the 5th Brigade, came
south again in October. The 19th Battalion attacked near Flers between
14 and 16 November, in conditions that Charles Bean described as the
worst ever encountered by the AIF.
1917, the 19th was involved in the follow-up of German forces after
their retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and was one of four battalions to
defeat a counter-stroke by a German force, almost five times as strong,
at Lagincourt. The Battalion took part in three major battles before the
year was out, second Bullecourt (3-4 May) in France, and Menin Road
(20-22 September) and Poelcappelle (9-10 October) in Belgium.
spring of 1918 brought a major German offensive that the 19th Battalion
helped to stop. For his actions during the fighting around Hangard Wood
on 7 April, Lieutenant Percy Storkey was awarded the Victoria Cross.
With this last desperate offensive defeated, the 19th participated in
the battles that pushed the German Army ever closer to defeat: Amiens on
8 August, the legendary attack on Mont St Quentin on 31 August, and the
forcing of the Beaurevoir Line around Montbrehain on 3 October.
Montbrehain was the battalion’s last battle. The casualties of 1918,
combined with long-term leave for 1914 enlistees, and dwindling new
enlistments had sapped the strength of the AIF. On 10 October 1918 the
19th Battalion was disbanded to reinforce other battalions in the