The 4th Australian Division in 1914-1918


This Division began to form in Egypt in February 1916, after a decision to essentially duplicate the original AIF which had now withdrawn from Gallipoli. Delays in assembling the artillery meant that the Division could not depart for France before June 1916. It entered the front line near Armentieres late that month and then took part in the following battles and engagements:


  • The Battles of the Somme 1916
    - The Battle of Pozieres including the fighting for Mouquet Farm


  • Operations on the Ancre
  • German retreat to the Hindenburg Line
  • The Arras offensive
    - The First attack on Bullecourt (11 April)
  • The Battle of Messines (7-10 June)
  • The Third Battles of Ypres
    - The Battle of the Menin Road (20 - 25 Sep)
    - The Battle of Polygon Wood (26 Sep - 3 Oct)
    - The First Battle of Passchendaele (12 Oct)


Australian Divisions were not affected by the restructuring that took place in the British Divisions in February 1918 (in which the infantry brigades were reduced from four battalions down to three).

  • The First Battles of the Somme, 1918
    - The First Battle of Arras, 1918 (28 Mar)
    - The Battle of the Ancre (5 Apr; 12 and 13th Australian Brigades only)
    - The actions of Villers-Bretonneux (24-25 Apr)
  • The capture of Hamel (4 July; 4th Australian Brigade only)
  • The Battle of Amiens (8-11 Aug)
  • The Second Battles of the Somme 1918
    - The Battle of Albert (21-23 Aug)

The Division was not selected to advance into Germany.

Order of battle

Divisional headquarters



under whose command came the Infantry Brigades and the other divisional troops listed below

4th Australian Brigade


13th Australian Infantry


14th Australian Infantry


15th Australian Infantry


16th Australian Infantry


4th Australian Machine Gun Company

Left to move into 4th Australian MG Battalion February 1918

4th Australian Trench Mortar Battery

Formed in July 1916

12th Australian Brigade


45th Australian Infantry


46th Australian Infantry


47th Australian Infantry


48th Australian Infantry


12th Australian Machine Gun Company

Left to move into 4th Australian MG Battalion February 1918

12th Australian Trench Mortar Battery

Formed in July 1916

13th Australian Brigade


49th Australian Infantry


50th Australian Infantry


51st Australian Infantry


52nd Australian Infantry


13th Australian Machine Gun Company

Left to move into 4th Australian MG Battalion February 1918

13th Australian Trench Mortar Battery

Formed in July 1916

Divisional Troops


4th Australian Pioneer Bn

Formed in Egypt in March 1916

23rd Australian Machine Gun Company

Joined June 1917. Merged into 4th Australian MG Battalion February 1918

4th Australian Machine Gun Battalion

Formed in February 1918 by merging the 4th, 12th, 13th and 23rd Australian Machine Gun Companies

4th Australian Divisional Train

A unit of the Army Service Corps made up of 753, 754, 755 and 756 Companies ASC

4th Australian Mobile Veterinary Section


4th Australian Divisional Employment Company

Joined January 1917

Divisional Mounted Troops


B Sqn, 13th Australian Light Horse

Joined March 1916, left July 1916

4th Australian Cyclist Company

Left June 1916

Divisional Royal Artillery


10th Australian Brigade RFA


11th Australian Brigade RFA


12th Australian Brigade RFA

Left in January 1917

24th Australian (Howitzer) Brigade RFA

Absorbed into other units in January 1917

4th Australian Divisional Ammunition Column RFA


V.4.A Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA

Formed in July 1916, left February 1918

X.4.A, Y.4.A and Z.4.A Medium Mortar Batteries RFA

Formed in July 1916; in February 1918, Z was broken up and the other batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each

Divisional Royal Engineers


4th Australian Field Company RE


12th Australian Field Company RE


13th Australian Field Company RE


4th Australian Divisional Signal Company RE


Divisional Royal Army Medical Corps


4th Australian Field Ambulance RAMC


12th Australian Field Ambulance RAMC


13th Australian Field Ambulance RAMC


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Related information

Stretcher bearers bringing out wounded of the 4th Australian Division from the front line near Delville Wood, Longueval in December 1916. These journeys, through cold and wet and heavy mud over a distance of two miles (occasionally shortened by use of the Light Railway) were something of a hardship. Identified are: Private Linou, 4th Field Ambulance (third from left with left arm outstretched), and Private Pearce, 4th Field Ambulance (fourth from left). Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Larger copy

The memorial to the 4th Australian Division, which stands just outside Bellenglise. There was some controversy over the placing of this memorial, with many considering Villers-Bretonneux a more fitting location. This photograph is courtesy of the Judith collection at with my thanks.
Larger copy


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