Panoramic photograph of large group in uniform: Australian servicemen of the 7/37 Batt (7th Reinforcements, 37th Battalion), Australian Imperial Force. The battalion was torpedoed on 25 April 1917, and received praise for its actions under fire. The photograph was taken by British and Colonial Photo Co., 34-36 Castle St., Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, and is numbered 116.
Amongst those pictured may be brothers Leslie William Ward (service no. 3154) and Frederick John Ward (service no. 3190), both of the 7/37 Battalion. Leslie was killed in action at Passchendaele on 4 October 1917; Frederick died of wounds near Amiens, France on 13 June 1918.
The 7/37 Batt. left Melbourne on 19 February 1917 on board the HMAT Ballarat (A70). Some of those on board had enlisted only 14 weeks earlier, so had received relatively brief training.
The 37th Battalion was raised in Seymour in early 1916, part of the 10th Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division. The Battalion was sent to the trenches of France in late November 1916 and endured the terrible winter of 1916-1917. It went on to fight at Messines, in Belgium, in June 1917, then the battles of Broodseinde and Passchendaele in October. In March 1918 it fought aginst the German Army's Spring Offensive, and took an active role during August and early September in the 3rd Division's advance along the Somme Valley. On 23 September the battalion fought its last battle, 'St Quentin Canal', and on 12 October 1918 the depleted 37th Battalion was disbanded and its members absorbed into other units.
Description of Content
Five rows of uniformed soldiers in group portrait.
Black and white photograph.
Donation & Subsequent Transfer from Victorian Branch, Returned & Services League of Australia Limited (RSL), A Frost, 1982
25 April 1917
Date of battle remembered.
Panel under group bears ‘Reinfs 7/37 Batt. A. I. F. torpedoed on H. M. A. T. Ballarat on Anzac Day, 25th. April 1917. These troops when torpedoed upheld the best traditions of the race and their conduct was beyond praise. They were the recipients of the warmest praise from his Majesty the King; General Birdwood, K. C. S. I., K. C. M. G., C. B. C. I. E. D. S. O, and the Commonwealth High Commissioner, the Hon. Andrew Fisher’. Photographer, ‘British and Colonial Photo co. 34- 36 Castle St., Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, no. 116.’.
Type of item
758 mm (Width), 202 mm (Height)
'37th Australian Infantry Battalion', Australian War Memorial [Link 1] accessed 28 Aug 2015 Studio portrait of 3154 Private (Pte) Leslie William Ward, H06253, Australian War Memorial [Link 2] accessed 28 Aug 2015