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37th - The Battalion Whose Lines Were Never Pierced

The war had been in progress more than two years when the Thirty-Seventh Battalion A.I.F, and it's sister battalions of the Third Division set foot in France on November 23, 1916.
The men of the other four divisions of infantry of the A.I.F, variously nicknamed them "The Neutrals", "Monash's Darlings" , "The Larkhill Lancers", and "Eggs-a-cook", because of their late arrival at the front. But the battalion has a place of honour in 14 major battles, as well as in many other tactically lesser, but equally valiant fights.
In common with the other units of the Third Division, the original battalion went straight from Australia to England and had a long, thorough and intensive training on Salisbury Plain under the personal, exacting and relentless control of Major-General Monash.
2700 officers and  men served in the Thirty-Seventh, with 63% of them under the age of 25 yrs.The 37th's  battle casualties through out the war amounted to 19 officers and 442 men killed, 52 officers and 1220 men wounded, seven officers and 206 men gassed, and two officers and eight men taken prisoner, wounded in the enemy lines.
Never once in all the fighting of 1917-18 did the enemy pierce the Thirty-Seventh's lines, although at times the battalion was below one-third strength. The few prisoners who were lost were taken in attacks upon the enemy, not in German attacks upon the Australians.
One officer of the battalion - Captain R.C.Grieve was awarded the Victoria Cross, two the Distinguished Service Order, 18 the Military Cross, eight men won the Distinguished Conduct Medal, 68 the Mlitary Medal, (one with bar), and one gained both the D.C.M and the M.M.
Nearly all the information about the 37th Battalion - Nominal Roll ect - is taken from "The History of the 37th Battalion. A.I.F wriiten by N.G.McNicol. The owner of this  site acknowledges that without McNicol's tremendous work compiling the History it would be impossible to have such  an insight into the comradeship and pride of the 37th men.

I would also like to acknowledge the following  people for their ongoing support and assistance in researching the men of the 37th

Frank Gundrill and Family - Children of Alfred Gundrill -
Bert Sutton - Son of Christopher Sutton M.M -
great people who encourage and inspire me to keep going
The Family of Norman McNichol for letting me use information from The Battalion History on
this site and so generously allowing me to see their Fathers wealth of information
Yves Fohlen - My Froggy Cobber - who's assistance from France has been invaluable and
so greatly appreciated
Peter Mayberry and Danny Dedobbelaere for the photographs of Tyne Cot  and
Menin Gate.
Wendy Tucknott - Grandaughter of Cornelius Tucknott who has  supported this site from it's very
 humble beginnings

THANKYOU
Do you have any photos or letters pertaining to the 37th. If so please contact me. I am currently working on a book about the 37th and am searching for any information about the men who served in it. Also if you would like to add your email address online next to family members name  or join the Association of Friends and Family of the 37th  please email me.


        ~ Battle Honours ~  

The following are the 37th Battalion Battle Honours as approved by His Majesty King George V in March, 1927. Aust. Army Order 112/1927

   THE GREAT WAR

  *Messines                       1917
  *Ypres                            1917
                                Polygon Wood
                              *Broodseinde
                                Poelcappelle
                              *Passchendaele
  *Somme                        1918
   Ancre                          1918
                              *Amiens
                                Albert                          
                              *Mont. St Quentin
                              *Hindenburg Line
                              *St. Quentin Canal
      *France and Flanders   1916-18

*Unit entitled to emblazon on their Regimental Colours these ten selected honours.

Motto - " Indivisible"
" This motto takes it rise from the occasion when the original 37th strove hard to avert oblivion, and then went valiantly forward to battle, as determined as ever to give a good  account of itself."   
The Commanding Officers
               
       Lieut-Col E.K.Knox-Knight                   Major W.F.H Robertson                            Lieut-Col F.G.Woods
           Killed In Action

                 

               Lieut- Col C .B. Story                                     Lieut- Col  W. J. Smith



37th Battalion
HMAT  A.34  "Persic"
3rd June 1916
1st Reinforcements
HMAT   A.11   "Ascanius"
27th May 1916
2nd Reinforcements
 *R.M.S.    "Orontes"
16th Aug 1916
3rd Reinforcements
HMAT  A.9  "Shropshire"
25th Sept 1916
4th Reinforcements
HMAT  A.17  "Port Lincoln"
20th Oct 1916
5th Reinforcements
HMAT  A.24   "Benalla"
9th November 1916
6th Reinforcements
HMAT  A.7   "Medic"
16th Dec 1916
7th Reinforcements
HMAT  A.70  "Ballarat"
19th Feb 1917
8th Reinforcements
HMAT  A.38  "Ulysses"
22nd Dec 1917

  *note - R.M.S Orontes - Royal Mail Steamer - These ships carried mail between Australia and the United Kingdom.
 Occasionly  they carried small numbers of passengers as well, including, on occasion, troops.
 This information from Ross Malletts Order of Battle website.(see links page)

      "Men of the 37th, may the declining days of your lives be as free from weariness and pain as it is possible for human lives to be, and may you retain the joyous spirit that animated you when you were comrades true and indivisible"
N.G. McNicol
The History of the 37th Battalion
SPECIAL OFFER
Available Now $15.00 (Aus)
Mary Reddrop tells, partially in diary format, the story of  her father James Henry Roberts,  WW1 experience as a 1916-17 soldier in the 37th Battalion, AIF. This book gives an  excellent  insight into life in the trenches and as a scout on partrol.

Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of this book  can forward payment of $15.00(Aus)inc p&p
to :
B& M Reddrop
P.O.BOX 174
Surrey Hills
Victoria
3121
Australia
or contact site owner for details