The Plugstreet Archaeological Project
The 40th Infantry Battalion.
We are currently seeking a sponsor for this website as it follows the progress of the excavations on the battlefield, with contributions from established historians and well known experts, as the team attempt to match the historical evidence and family history to the archaeology on the ground.
Please contact us for more details.
The 40th Battalion, 10th Brigade, 3rd Australian Division, was raised in Tasmania in February 1916.
The 40th Btn departed for England from Hobart on the 1st of July 1916 onboard the Berrima. A further 7 reinforcements would follow, the last leaving Melbourne on the 2 February 1918. Arriving in England on the 40th Battalion spent the next four months training and crossed to France to take up positions on the Western Front in late November 1916.
Their first major action was the Battle of Messines, launched on the 7th of June 1917, when the battalion attacked over ground near Ploegsteert Wood, close to the Ultimo and Factory Farm mines. The faced a 3 mile march from their camp which lead them through the wood under shelling from the enemy and a gas attack which slowed progress and claimed casualties. The battalion reached their jumping off points just in time for the start of the battle, signaled by the explosion of nineteen huge mines laid beneath a nine mile stretch of the enemy front line. The delay in the wood meant that many of the men went straight over the top, without pausing for the refreshments which had been planned.The 40th Battalion went onto the Battle of Passchendaele. In 1918 they saw action in the Spring Offensive at Morlancourt when the enemy pushed through the lines. Their final action of the war helping to drive the Germans back to the Hindenburg Line. The 40th Battalion was gradually disbanded between February and September 1919.
Those who served with The 40th Btn
at the Battle of Messines.
If you know of anyone who served with this unit at the Battle of Messines, please complete the form below so that they can be remembered.
Required fields are marked *
If you have any photographs please scan or digitally photograph your orginials and send a copy by email attachment.
NB. All entries are checked manually before appearing online to prevent spam and inappropriate content. There will be a delay before your submission appears on the website.