On the weekend just gone (Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th August 2015), myself and John VK5BJE operated as VI5ANZAC to commemorate the 10th Australian Infantry Battalion.
The 10th Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during the First World War. The battalion was recruited in South Australia, and was raised within weeks of the declaration of war in August 1914. The Battalion embarked for overseas just two months later, and after a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving in early December.
The 3rd Brigade was the covering force for the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915 and so was the first ashore at around 4:30 am. Two soldiers of the 10th Battalion, Lance Corporal Philip Robin and Private Arthur Blackburn, are believed to have penetrated further inland than any other Australians at ANZAC. The 10th Battalion was heavily involved in establishing and defending the front line of the ANZAC position, and served there until the evacuation in December.
After the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the 10th Battalion returned to Egypt and, in March 1916, sailed for France and the Western Front. From then until 1918, the battalion took part in bitter trench warfare. The battalion’s first major action in France was at Pozieres in the Somme valley in July. After Pozieres the battalion fought at Ypres in Flanders before returning to the Somme for winter. In 1917, the battalion returned to Belgium to take part in the major British offensive of that year – the Third Battle of Ypres. For his valorous actions at Polygon Wood east of Ypres in September 1917, Private Roy Inwood was awarded the Victoria Cross (we will be commemorating Inwood next month as VK100ANZAC). INWOOD’s brother Robert had been killed at Pozieres and another brother, Harold, had been badly wounded and invalided to Australia in November 1917.
In March and April 1918 the 10th Battalion helped stop the German spring offensive and was then involved in the operations leading up to the Allied counter-stroke. In June, during an attack near Merris in France, Corporal Phillip Davey became the third member of the battalion to be awarded the Victoria Cross. Davey had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery near Messines in January. His brothers Claude and Richard were also members of the battalion and both had been awarded Military Medals in 1917.
The battalion participated in the great allied offensive of 1918, fighting near Amiens on 8 August 1918. This advance by British and empire troops was the greatest success in a single day on the Western Front, one that German General Erich Ludendorff described as “the black day of the German Army in this war”.
The battalion continued operations until late September 1918. At 11 am on 11 November 1918, the guns fell silent. In November 1918, members of the AIF began returning to Australia. At 8 am on 5 September 1919, the final detachment of the 10th Battalion arrived at Adelaide, aboard the transport Takada.
Above:- Lines of the 9th and 10th Battalions at Merna Camp, looking towards the pyramids. Image courtesy of Wikipedia. The kangaroo was the regimental mascot.
Saturday was quite challenging on the 40 m band with ‘close in’ propagation (within about 400 km) coming and going. Conditions on 20m, long path into Europe were quite good.
However, everything fell apart on Sunday. Solar conditions wreaked havoc on the bands. There was absolutely no close in propagation and long path into Europe on 20m was almost non existent. Very disappointing.
Here are some of our stats over the 2 days…..
- total of 281 contacts
- 26 DXCC entities worked
- 11 ITU zones worked
- 23 IOTA references
- 24 x Australian lighthouses
- 1 x Puerto Rican lighthouse
- 1 x USA lighthouse
- 1 x SOTA contact
- 1 x WWFF contact
Australian War Memorial, 2015, <https://www.awm.gov.au/unit/U51450/>, viewed 19th August 2015