The Plugstreet Archaeological Project
The 33rd Infantry Battalion.
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The 33rd Battalion, 9th Brigade, 3rd Australian Division, was raised in January 1916 at the Armidale showground, New South Wales. Known as "New England's Own" as many of the recruits were drawn from the New England region. The Battalion's commanding officer was Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Morshead.
The 33rd Battalion left Sydney, aboard the Marathon in May 1916. Arriving in The United Kingdom in early July. After four months training, the 33rd battalion crossed to France and experienced the trenches of the Western Front for the first time on 27th November 1916.
The first major battle was the battle of Messines, launched on 7 June 1917, the Battalion were part of the first wave attacking the German front line near St Yvon.
The battalion later saw action at Passchendaele on 12 October. In the Spring of 1918 the German Army launched its last great offensive and the 33rd Battalion was deployed in a force to defend the approaches to Amiens around Villers-Bretonneux. The saw action during the counter-attack at Hangard Wood on 30 March, and at Villers-Bretonneux on 4 April. The 33rd fought at the battle of Amiens on 8 August 1918, and took part in the rapid advance that followed including the operation that breached the Hindenburg Line at the end of September.
The 33rd Battalion lost 451 men, with a further 2052 being wounded. The 33rd Battalion disbanded in May 1919.
Those who served with The 33rd Btn
at the Battle of Messines.
Francis Arthur Pte. d.31st Aug 1918
William Charles Pte.
R. J. C. Pte.
George Charles Thomas Pte.
C. S. D. 2nd Lt.
Thomas Edward L/Cpl.
John Henry Pte.
Frank William Pte.
Godfrey Hugh Wallis Pte. d.9th Jun 1917
Godfry Hugh Wallis Pte. d.9th Jun 1917
Ivan William Pte. d.8th Jun 1917
Norman John Pte.
Albert Alexander Pte.
Victor Maurice Pte.
Albert John C.Q.M.S. d.4th Apr 1918
Lambert Pearce Pte.
Thomas Acheson Lt. d.12th Oct 1917
William Alexander Pte.
John Arent Pte.
Edward Phillip Cpl. d.13th July 1917
Frederick Clarence Sgt.
Ernest Edmund Pte.
William Henry d.7th Jun 1917
Reginald Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
W. J. Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Donald Edward Pte. d.7th Jul 1917
Richard Thomas Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Robert William Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
James William Pte.
Wilfred John Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Wilfred John d.7th June 1917
W. Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
- Byrne MM.
James Hubert Pte.
Percy Clarence Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
George Albert Lance Sgt. d.7th Jun 1917
Clifford William Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
John Ernest Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Leslie Ernest Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Ernest John Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Francis William Pte. d.11th July 1917
Dennis Bernard Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
George Pte. d.8th Jun 1917
Thomas James Pte. d.9th Jun 1917
P. Sgt. d.23rd July 1917
- Fowler MM.
Christopher Edward L/Cpl.
- Fowler MM.
Christpher Edward Cpl.
Francis Bede Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
William John Pte.
Alfred George Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Aubrey Edward "Grif" Pte. d.1st Sep 1918
H. C. Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Joseph Edwin Pte.
Charles Archibald Pte. d.7th Jul 1917
John Henry Cpl. d.7th Jun 1917
J. E. Pte. d.8th Jun 1917
Abraham Norman Pte. d.7th Jul 1917
Abraham Norman Pte. d.7th June 1917
Thomas William Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
William Young Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
- Howard MM.
Claude Henry Cpl.
D. W. Pte. d.8th Jun 1917
Thomas Evan Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
- Irwin DCM.
William Allan Pte. d.1st Sep 1918
Edward Hector Dvr. d.27th Nov 1918
G. P. Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
John William Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
James Archibald Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Joseph Cyril Cpl. d.7th Jun 1917
Albert James Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
John Stannon d.7th Jun 1917
Joseph Michael Pte
Frederick Singleton Pte. d.30th March 1918
Alan James Pte. d.8th Jun 1917
Alexander Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Joseph Pte. d.7th Jul 1917
William Clifford Pte. d.10th Jun 1917
Harold Allan Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Kenneth Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Andrew Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
William Patrick Pte. d.18th June 1918
George William Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Joseph Cecil Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Robert Pte. d.10th Jun 1917
Neil Pte. d.8th Jun 1917
Samuel Fletcher Pte. d.8th Jun 1917
Henry Thomas Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
George Harold Pte.
Harold Henry L/Cpl.
Samuel Taylor Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Frederick Arthur Pte. d.7th June 1917
I. W. Pte. d.7th June 1916
Thomas John Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
- Shalders MM.
Victor Reginald Pte.
Clifton Cpl. d.9th Jun 1917
James William Capt.
Patrick Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Wilfred James Pte. d.30th Mar 1918
James Aloysuis Pte. d.8th Jun 1917
Robert Henry Pte. d.12th Oct 1917
O. I. Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
G. T. Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
W. T. Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Alfred Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
W. P. Cpl. d.7th Jun 1917
Thomas Moses Pte. d.9th June 1917
Edwin Charles Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
John Robert Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
Robert Norman Lance Sgt. d.7th Jun 1917
DVD Now Available
On the 22nd of July 2010 Pte. Alan James Mather of the 33rd Battlion was laid to rest with full military honours in the presence of members of his family, almost two years after his remains were recovered from the battlefield at St Yvon by members of the Plugstreet Archeological Project.
The film of the burial service and wreathlaying at the Menin Gate is now available to purchase on DVD.
This broadcast quality video runs for 60mins and is region free.
The footage was taken by the Team's own film crew, who had priority positions at both the funeral service at Prowse Point and at the Menin Gate on the previous evening when members of Alan Mather's family and representatives from the Australian Military laid wreaths. An emotional time as it was the final ceremony at which Pte. Mather could be counted amongst the missing, as the following day he was laid to rest in a marked grave.
All profits from sales of this film will be used towards the post-production costs of a documentary detailing the archaeological process of his discovery and identification which will be available to pre-order soon.
Digging Up Plugstreet
Richard Osgood and Martin Brown
The compelling story of the Australian soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division who journeyed to England in 1914, and who fought and died on the Western Front during the First World War. Using archaeology as the vehicle for their story, Martin Brown and Richard Osgood follow in the footsteps of the 'Aussies', from their training on windswept Salisbury Plain to the cheerless trenches of Belgium, where they 'dug-in' north-east of Ploegsteert to face the Germans. It presents a unique window into the world of the men who marched away to fight the so-called 'war to end warsMore information on:
Pillars of Fire: The Battle of Messines Ridge, June 1917
Gentlemen, we may not make history tomorrow, but we shall certainly change the geography.' So said General Plumer the day before 600 tons of explosives were detonated under the German positions on Messines Ridge. The explosion was heard by Lloyd George in Downing Street, and as far away as Dublin. Until 1918, Messines was the only clear cut Allied victory on the Western Front, coming at a time when Britain and her allies needed it most: boosting Allied morale and shattering that of the Germans. Precisely orchestrated, Messines was the first true all-arms modern battle which brought together artillery, engineers, infantry, tanks, aircraft and administrative units from a commonwealth of nations to defeat the common enemy. So why is its name not as familiar as the Somme, Passchendaele or Verdun? General Sir Herbert Plumer, perhaps the most meticulous, resourceful and respected British general of WW1, is also unfamiliar to many. This book examines the battle for the Messines-Wytschaete RidMore information on:
Bullecourt 1917: Breaching the Hindenburg Line
The assault upon the formidable Hindenburg Line at Bullecourt in April and May 1917 by three British Divisions - the 7th, 58th and 62nd - and three Australian Divisions was initially designed to assist Allenby's Third Army break out from Arras. This book tells the full story of a battle that can be seen as an archetype of the horrors of trench warfare. The controversial first Bullecourt battle of 11th April came to be regarded as the worst Australian defeat of the War, when Australian infantry assaulted without artillery and tank support. They were badly let down by the British tanks - but the British tank crews were let down in their turn by their own commanders, who put them in the forefront of the attack in Mark II training tanks, prone to malfunction and not armour-plated. Significant numbers fought their way into the German lines at Bullecourt against all odds, including legendary ANZAC soldiers Major Percy Black, Captain Albert Jacka and Captain Harry Murray. The Australians achiMore information on:
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