Welcome to ‘Following the Twenty-Second’, a First World War commemorative project following the Great War through the lives and experiences of the AIF 22nd Battalion, with a detailed focus on the 154 infantrymen of the 5th Reinforcements. Through their individual service records, plus unit diaries, personal letters, and official histories, a picture of how men lived, died and fought together will evolve and be published as ‘real-time news’, one hundred years on to the day.
Who are these 154 men? They are Victorians, all of whom volunteered and signed up in July 1915 into the 5th Reinforcements of the 22nd Battalion within the 2nd Division of the Australian Imperial Force. Although the 5th/22nd missed Gallipoli, their story is representative of Australian infantrymen on the Western Front. Being a part of one of the first battalions into France, they fought in major engagements throughout the war including on the Somme, Ypres and the last action seen by the AIF in France. By the end of the war one in four of them would not be returning home.
Although focusing on the 22nd Battalion, we will also be able to follow the other Australian Infantry Divisions, including major battles and events throughout the war. We will learn about the camps where they trained, the hospitals where they were treated, the transport ships in which the men sailed, and for the battalion within the 2nd Division the officers in command.
In addition to the ‘day+100’ news being published via this website, we will be using social media to broadcast ‘live’ these events so you can ‘Follow the 22nd’ via Facebook and Twitter. To follow please click the appropriate link. There is also a family section where relatives of the 22nd Battalion can share their story as well as provide photographs and memorabilia from the war.
The banner photograph used throughout the website, as well as on the project Facebook and Twitter pages, is ‘C’ Company of the 22nd Battalion taken at Franvillers, France on 30th May 1918. The photograph is used with courtesy to the Australian War Memorial.