3rd Reinforcements, 14th Battalion AIF

photo believed to be the 3rd Reinforcements, 14th Battalion AIF c 1914-1915,   photo source: J. Fawcett 2014
A c 1915 photo believed to be a company of the 4th AIF Brigade and made up of the some of the men of the 3rd Reinforcements, 14th Battalion which was primarily raised from Victorian recruits. From the album of Jean Lovel Williams (nee Booley) who had two brothers who served in the 14th.   photo source: J. Fawcett 2014

What started as an attempt to identify my late grandmother’s  World War 1 mystery photo has morphed into a memblog  for the soldiers and officers of the 3rd Reinforcements, 14th Battalion AIF.

The following list of  service men who served in the 3rd Reinforcements has been created from that unit’s official  nominal roll,  and the ongoing process is to allow each man’s experiences be shared via a memory  blog and that has been contributed to by family members.

WW1 MEMBLOG: 3rd Reinforcements- 14th Battalion

 

You can click here for more information on the unit’s formation and history  but briefly, the First World War history of the 3rd Reinforcements  is inherently tied up in with the 14th Battalion’s history, and in turn both their history is enmeshed with the  AIF’s 4th Brigade, especially where the  latter along with a New Zealand Division were subsumed into a new -formed division in Egypt of the British Army’s  ‘Mediterranean Expedition Force’ (M.E.F)  subsequently named the Australian and New Zealand Armed Corps (ANZACS).

During the First World War the 3rd Reinforcements and the 14th Battalion sailed from  Australia in February 1915,  as part of the 2nd Australian contingent bound for Egypt .

The 14th Battalion was originally composed of about 1000 men of whom their commander (then Colonel) Sir John Monash said though  not ‘privileged’ to sail with the first convoy (contingent) of Australia troops, the 14th  certainly aspired to rank as an equal beside its three senior Infantry Brigades.(see Wanliss’s history of the 14th).

The 14th Battalion’s  appointed regimental staff pre Egypt :
Commanding Officer: Lieutenant-Colonel R.E.Courtney VD
Second in Command: Major J. Adams
Quartermaster: Major H.N.Young VD
Adjutant: Captain C.M.M. Dare
Medical Officer: Captain G.H.Loughran

14th Battalion Company Commanders appointed pre Egypt:

A Company- Major R.RANKINE, Lt. J.G.T HANBY, 2nd Lt. K.G.W.CRABBE
B Company – Captain W. R. HOGGART, Lt.H.N.BOYLE, 2nd Lt. H.R.HARRIS
C Company – Captain T.H.STEEL, 2nd lt. W.E.GROOME, 2nd lt. V.C. Cumberland
D Company – Captain C.E. CONNELLY, Lt. W.H.HAMILTON, 2nd Lt. D.L.K. RICHARDSON
E Company – Captain F.H.WRIGHT, 2nd Lt. G.L. GILES, 2nd Lt. A.R.COX
F Company – Captain W.C.N.BALDOCK, Lt. B. COMBES, 2nd Lt. L.E.BALL
G Company – Lt C.R.HUTTON, Lt. A.H.CURWEN-WALKER, 2nd Lt. R.WARREN
H Company – Lt. A HENRY, 2nd Lt. R.W.GRAHAM, 2nd Lt. O.C.W.FUHRMANN

The 14th, along with the 13th, 15th, and 16th went from Australia as the  AIF’s 4th Brigade (commanded by Monash)

The troops disembarked at Alexandria and the 14th Battalion was conveyed by train to a new camping ground named ‘Aerodrome Camp’ situated on the desert fringe of Cairo‘s southern suburb Heliopolis.
In Egypt the 14th (as  other battalions) were  reformed into a four or ‘double-company’ system (as opposed to the 8-company system it was formed as in Australia).

“The double company organisation was adopted to bring the AIF  Units into line with the organisation of the British Army which had adopted this system some time previously. The half-companies were called platoons, four of which went to the company.” (Wanliss, p.)

 

14 Battalion’s new ‘Four-Company System’ commanders,  post- Egypt arrival:

A Company (formed from co A & co E): Officer-in-command Major Rankine, 2IC – Captain F.H.Wright.
B Company (originally Co B & Co F): OC – Captain Baldock, 2IC – Captain W.R.Hoggart
C Company (originally Co C & Co G): OC – Major Steel, 2IC – Captain Hutton
D Company (originally Co D & Co H): OC – Captain Connelly, 2IC – Captain A Henry.

Under the command of Sir Alexander Godley,  the 4th Brigade itself next became a portion of the newly-formed New Zealand and Australian Division  of the M.E.F, which formed up in the desert on March 23rd 1915 for inspection by the High Commissioner of Egypt.

The 4th Brigade  was among the first to land at Anzac Cove on the 25th of April 1915,  and despite heavy losses continued to  serve at Anzac (from April) until the official December evacuation that was Australia’s formal withdrawal from the Turkish-held peninsula commonly referred to as Gallipoli.

So when you are reading official documents or the service record of your 3rd Reinforcement soldier,  especially  at Gallipoli between April and December 1915 it will be either documented from the parent control body (the M.E.F), its subsidiaries (ANZAC Force, the AIF or the 4th Brigade)  or his managing body (the 14th Battalion).

Newspaper stories, diaries, letters and other non-official documents may be talking from his ‘Company’ perspective (A,B,C, or D) or from his Unit (3rd Reinforcements) or from the perspective of the 14th Battalion, the unit that was his team when he signed up, and may still have been with after the reshuffle in Egypt.

According to the 13th Reinforcements Nominal Roll (Australian War Memorial)   dated 19th February 1915, there were 156 men of the 3rd Reinforcements who sailed for Egypt aboard HMAT A54 Runic  with the   14th Battalion as part of the AIF 4th Brigade:

WARRANT OFFICERS 3rd Reinforcements 14th Battalion 
Rank         Name            Age             Regiment Number
1st Lieutenant Thomas Ninian HILL : 19 years
2nd Lieutenant Norman Kingsley STRACK:  25 years
Sergeant Daniel Edward DOEWRA:  39 years, #1532
Sergeant Leslie Raymond Talbot GILBERT:  19 years  #1554
L/Sergeant Jack ALLEN:  39 years, #1690
Corporal James Frederick MAHER: 23  years, #1583
Corporal John ROLPH:  20 years,  #1609
Corporal John VERTIGAN:  20 years,   #1633
Corporal Edwin Lewis PURBRICK:  40 years,  #1658
Corporal George Bowdres WEBB:  32 years,   #1691
Signaller Gilbert Beresford DYER: 26  years, #1649

 

CLICK LINK to visit the WW1 MEMBLOG: 3rd Reinforcements-14th Battalion

 

These following portraits of soldiers are from my grandmother’s mystery war photo, probably “D” company of the 14th Battalion formed after March 1915 at Egypt,and served in the formative action on the Dardenelles’ pensinsula after the landing at Gallipolli in April 1915.

 

A1 Lieutenant? (Hill or Strack?)
A1

 

A2. Lieutenant/2nd? (Strack, or Hill?)
A2. Lieutenant/2nd? (Strack, or Hill?)

 

A3
A3

 

A4
A4

 

1.posed lying down behind bugle
1.posed left behind bugle

 

2. posed lying behind bugle
2. posed right behing bugle

 

 

F1
F1

 

F2
F2

 

F3

 

F4
F4
F5
F5

 

 

F6
F6

 

F7
F7

 

F8
F8

 

F9
F9

 

F10
F10

 

F11
F11

 

F12
F12

 

F13
F13

 

F14
F14

 

F15
F15

 

F16
F16

 

F17
F17

 

F18
F18

 

F19
F19

 

F20
F20

 

2a
2a

 

2b
2b

 

2c
2c

 

2d
2d
2e
2e
2f
2f
2g
2g. This soldier as been identified by family as private Leslie Raymond Talbot Gilbert, #1560, of 3rd Reinforcements 14th Battalion. Died from wounds received 21st August 2015 at the Dardenelles in charge upon Hill 60
2h
2h

 

2i
2i
2j
2j
2k
2k
2l
2l

 

2m
2m
2n
2n
2o
2o
2p
2p
2q
2q
2r
2r

 

2s
2s
2t
2t
2u
2u
2v
2v

 

3a
3a
3b
3b
3c
3c
3d
3d
3e
3e
3f
3f
3g
3g

 

3h
3h
3i
3i
3j
3j
3k
3k
3l
3l
3m
3m
3n
3n
3o
3o
3p
3p
3q
3q
3r
3r

 

4a
4a
4b
4b
4c
4c
4d
4d
4e
4e
4f
4f

 

4g
4g
4h
4h

 

4i
4i
4j
4j

 

4k
4k
4l
4l
4m
4m
4n
4n
4o
4o
4p
4p

 

4q
4q
4r
4r
4s
4s
4t
4t
4u
4u

 

b1
b1
b2
b2
b3
b3
b4
b4
b5
b5
b6
b6
b8
b7
b8
b8
b9
b9
b10
b10
b11
b11

5 thoughts on “3rd Reinforcements, 14th Battalion AIF

  1. Hi, My pop is John Gilbert Bond. My mum’s dad who is 90 and still alive. I would like to know more about the 14th battalion if you have any more information. Regards, Judi – Bendigo Victoria

  2. Hi Jenny,
    I am a member of Shirley Local History Group in Southampton in Hampshire, England. We are all volunteers who try to find historical information to be shared with the community members interested in the local history of the district we live in.
    I realise that my inquiry may be a bit odd but I was wondering if you would be able to put me in the right direction. This inquiry is related to the 14th Battalion AIF in WWI.
    While researching history of an old farm estate in Southampton we have come across some private photos of Australian soldiers visiting a family in Southampton or the family members visiting a training camp and a hospital with Australian soldiers.
    Why 14th Battalion ? Well, one of the photographs is of a sign saying 14th Battalion AIF Training Camp and in the background there are some barracks or temporary buildings. I have found some information about training camps and rehabilitation centre for injured soldiers in Wiltshire in England and also there was a big hospital outside Southampton in Netley for soldiers during WWI.
    We have no names of the soldiers but we know that they were visiting or being visited by members of the Harris family from Shirley in Southampton and probably by the family friends or relatives as well.
    I have been searching the internet and cannot find the information I am looking for. I am wondering if there are any surviving diaries in Australia, which would mention Australian soldiers during WWI in England visiting or being visited by English families.
    Thank you for your very interesting website.
    Kind regards
    Maria Maund

  3. David Purdie Clement is somewhere in that photo
    I am trying to source another photo to cross reference .
    Enlisted – 21st October 1914 at Melbourne
    Medical – 20th October 1915 at Melbourne
    Signed by Commanding Officer 12th January 1915 at Broadmeadows
    Passed fit for active service 15th January 1915
    3rd Reinforcements
    Age – 21 years and 9 months
    Height – 5 Feet 6 and half inches
    Weight 11stone 6 lb’s
    Chest measurements – 36 and half inches – 39 inches
    Vaccination mark Left arm
    Presbyterian
    Eyes – Dark Grey
    Hair – Dark Brown
    Killed in Action 19th May 1915
    Buried in Shrapnel Gully, Gallipoli – Grave No1
    Chaplain Report signed – “about 400 yards South East of ANZAC Cove
    Official report states Mil (Military) burial ground, Monash Valley
    Attestation paper gives next of kin and address as – Father – James Clement, Redkiln, Mauchline, Ayrshire, Scotland. Corrected on the 6th March 19120 to Ailsa View, Hollybush, Ayrshire, Scotland
    Embarked at Melbourne aboard the H.M.A.T. A54, Runic on the 19th February, 1915 as the 14th Battalion 3rd reinforcements

    Brilliant photo and a great project keep up the great work.
    Do you have a Facebook page?
    You can find me at https://www.facebook.com/WW1ayrshiresharvest/
    I would also like to ask permision to use the photograph on my page for the Rankinston men from Ayrshire who died in the Great War
    Kind Regards
    James Brown
    Ayrshires Harvest in the Great War

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