5th Reinforcements: 1915

22nd-battalionEnd of the month summary for 5th/22nd: 147 men at camp; six men in hospital; one transferred to another Unit

31st December 1915: 2397 Pte Samways discharged from hospital to Zeitoun Base duties; 2442 Pte Vance discharged from Anzac Convalescent hospital to Zeitoun Base duties.

30th December 1915: 2377 Pte Smith discharged from hospital to Zeitoun Base duties.

29th December 1915: 2474 Pte Martin discharged from hospital to Zeitoun Base duties.

28th December 1915: 2506 Pte Jones admitted to 3rd Auxiliary hospital, Cairo  sick – eyesight and bladder.

27th December 1915: 2390 Pte Silver admitted to 1st Auxiliary Hospital in Abbassia sick.

24th December 1915: 2499 Pte Phillips admitted 3rd Auxiliary Hospital Heliopolis with rheumatism.

23rd December 1915: 2347 Pte MacFarlane discharged from hospital to base duties.

17th December 1915: 2418 Pte Skeehan discharged from hospital to Unit; 2377 Pte Smith admitted to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital with diarrhoea.

15th December 1915: 2347 Pte MacFarlane admitted to 1st Auxiliary Hospital Abbassia sick with dysentery; 2397 Pte Samways admitted 1st Auxiliary Hospital Abbassia with dysentery (2nd admission since arriving in Egypt).

8th December 1915: 2442 Pte Vance transferred to Anzac Convalescent Hospital Helouan; 2474 Pte Martin admitted to 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital Luna Park with diarrhoea.

7th December: 2438 Pte Tripp discharged from Heliopolis Hospital to duty.

4th December 1915: 2486 Pte Barton charged with drunkenness and absent from parade. Award 168 hours detention.

3rd December 1915: 2418 Pte Skeehan admitted to Cairo hospital sick

2nd December 1915: 2397 Pte Samways discharged from hospital and returned to Unit.

30th November 1915: 2340 Pte Hosking transferred to A&NZ Convalescent Depot at Helouan.

27th November 1915: 2473 Pte MacDonald and 2435 Pte Turner discharged from hospital and returned to Unit.

23rd November 1915: 2340 Pte Hosking admitted to 1st Auxiliary Hospital Heliopolis with rheumatism; 2438 Pte Tripp admitted to Heliopolis Hospital sick.

20th November 1915: 2394 Pte Stephens discharged from hospital and returned to Unit

15th November 1915: 2338 Pte Hoobin absent from parades – awarded 168 hours duty

12th November 1915: 2502 Pte Sharples discharged from hospital and returned to Unit

11th November 1915: 2397 Pte Samways admitted to Heliopolis Hospital with enteritis; 2442 Pte Vance admitted to 2nd AGH Ghezireh with pneumonia

8th November 1915: 2434 Pte Taylor admitted to 1st AGH Heliopolis with gastro-enteritis

7th November 1915: 2473 Pte MacDonald admitted to Abbassia hospital with measles

Heliopolis - H18510.JPG25th October 1915: After three weeks at sea the ‘Osterley’ with the 5th Reinforcements of the 6th Brigade on board arrives at the Egyptian port of Alexandria, and the troops
. Within days a number of the new arrivals were being admitted into hospitals in Cairo, many having contracted gastro and bowel illnesses which were common at this time, both in the camps as well as in the trenches at Gallipoli. For the 5th/22nd Privates Sharples, Wakley, Turner, Phillips and the 17 year-old Stephens, being admitted to one of the Cairo hospitals within a week of landing, full with the sick and wounded from Gallipoli, this would have a been a rude awakening to the realities of war and what would be facing them in the months ahead.

13th October 1915: Having missed the sailing of the ‘Osterley’, Privates Phillips, Rowan and Shaw embark upon the ‘Themistocles’ bound for Egypt and to rejoin the rest of the 5th/22nd. Private Carmody misses this sailing too – he is subsequently transferred to the 12th Battalion with the service number 4215 and departs for Egypt in January 1916 on the ‘Runic’. Private Hayes, having been struck off as a deserter, arrives in Egypt (undated) and rejoins the 22nd Battalion.

5th October 1915: The ‘Osterley’ with the 6th Brigade 5th reinforcements on board puts in to Fremantle ahead of the long sea voyage across the Indian Ocean to Egypt. Privates Carmody, Hayes, Phillips, Rowan and Shaw of the 5th/22nd miss the re-embarkation, and have to wait in Fremantle for another transport.

29th September 1915: The 152 men and two officers of the 5th Reinforcements 22nd Battalion Australian Imperial Force embarked from Melbourne on the RMS Osterley, destination Egypt and the Great War. Also on board the Osterley with the 5th/22nd were the 5th Reinforcements from the three other Battalions of the AIF 6th Brigade – the 21st, 23rd and 24th (photograph below showing Officers on board the ‘Osterley’).

osterley-pb0793So begins the next chapter in ‘Following the Twenty-Second’ telling the story of an Australian Infantry battalion in the First World War through their service records, unit diaries and personal letters. Using the 5th/22nd as our focus group we will follow the recruits from Egypt to the battlefields of France and Belgium, the hospitals and training camps in England, and for many of the men to their final resting place.

By the time the war is over 41 men from the 5th/22nd will have died, at over one in four a rate more than any country that participated in WW1 and double that of the AIF as a whole; over half of the men would be wounded, many on multiple occasions; only three of the 152 men would avoid being hospitalised as a result of their injuries or sickness. By the end of the war only three in ten would still be with the unit, with four in ten having returned to Australia early for discharge as a result of their injuries.

Osterley - P06566.003.JPGAs the war progressed from their first major battle at Pozieres, through Bullecourt, Broodseinde, and to the Somme of 1918, twenty men of the 5th/22nd would be awarded medals for their bravery and gallantry, and with one in four being promoted. This group of 154 men would also result in thirty Court Martials between them, and by the time they return to Australia marry six English brides.

3rd August 1915: Comprised of men that marched into Broadmeadows Camp on 19th July, the 5th Reinforcements 22nd Battalion is formed.

19th July 1915: Throughout July 1915 men were enlisting in their thousands across the country to join the Australian Imperial Force, no more so than in the State of Victoria when 21,500 enlisted in this one month alone. By mid-July close to 90% of the men that would be assigned to the 5th reinforcements of 22nd Battalion had signed up in recruiting halls, and on the 19th July 1915 the majority of these men marched into Broadmeadows Camp on the outskirts of Melbourne to begin their training and service within the AIF.

3rd July 1915: Edward Savage, Herbert Hosking and Robert Yule walked into a recruiting hall and enlisted into the AIF. By the end of the month all but three of the 154 men assigned to the 5th/22nd had signed up. As well as being one of the first to enlist, Private Hosking was the first of the 5th/22nd to be killed in action. Private Yule was also killed later in 1918. Despite being wounded twice at Pozieres and Bullecourt, Private Savage survived and remained with the Battalion until the end of the war.


Published as ‘news’ 100 years on to the day, follow the 22nd Battalion on the project website and via Facebook and Twitter

poppy-2       FIRST WORLD WAR TIMELINE       poppy-2

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