The 22nd Infantry Battalion AIF was formed on 26 March 1915 at Broadmeadows Camp in Victoria. The battalion became part of the 6th Brigade of the 2nd Division. The Battalion and its first contingent embarked for Egypt on 8 May 1915. The battalion deployed to Gallipoli in the first week of September 1915 and served on the peninsula until the final evacuation in December 1915, and were then withdrawn to Egypt and brought back to strength with reinforcements.
In March 1916, the battalion embarked for France and experienced their first service on the Western Front in reserve breastwork trenches near Fleurbaix at the end of the first week of April 1916. The battalion’s first major action was at Pozieres, part of the massive British offensive on the Somme. In September/October they were moved to the Ypres sector then back to the Somme for the winter. The battalion spent most of 1917 bogged in bloody trench warfare from Bullecourt to Broodseinde in Flanders. In 1918 the battalion returned to the Somme valley. After helping to stop the German spring offensive in March and April, the 6th Brigade participated in the period of peaceful penetration of the enemy lines. In the last days of August and September the battalion helped capture Mont St Quentin. The 22nd Battalion took part in the last action fought by the AIF on the Western Front, the battle of Montbrehain, in October 1918.
In this section we will be focusing on the men from the Battalion that paid the ultimate sacrifice, and those that were awarded for their bravery. Life as an infantryman during the First World War can be followed in the daily events taken from service, unit and official histories.
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