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26th and 2/26th Australian Infantry Battalion Memorial

Description
Bronze and brass Honour Board dedicated to the memory of the Officers and Men of the 26th Battalion during the First and later, the 2/26th Battalion, during the Second World Wars. The Memorial displays commemorative elements of wreath, enamelled unit badges and numbers of Enlistments, Wounded and Killed.
Location
Shrine of Memories, ANZAC Square, Brisbane Qld 4000

Location of 26th and 2/26th Australian Infantry Battalion Memorial

Inscription
Refer to additonal images.
Conflicts commemorated
First World War, 1914-1918
Second World War, 1939-1945
Unit Memorials
Memorial type
Honour Board
Commemorative services held

The Shrine of Memories is utilised for ANZAC Day Services.

Additional information

The 26th Battalion was raised at Enoggera, Queensland, in April 1915 from recruits enlisted in Queensland and Tasmania, and formed part of the 7th Brigade. It left Australia in July, and, after training in Egypt, landed at Gallipoli on 12 September. At Gallipoli, the 26th played a purely defensive role and at various times was responsible for the defence of Courtney's and Steele's Posts, and Russell's Top. It withdrew from the peninsula on 12 December.

Following Gallipoli, the Battalion were awarded the following Battle Honours:

Somme 1916, Pozieres, Bapaume 1917, Bullecourt, Ypres 1917,
Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Hame|Amiens, Albert 1918, Mont St Quentin,
Hindenburg Line, Beaurevoir, France and Flanders 1916-1918.

The 26th Battalion was disbanded in May 1919.

The formation of the 2/26th Infantry Battalion began with the appointment of its first commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Boyes, on 1 November 1940. The 2/26th drew its recruits from Queensland and northern New South Wales and trained at Grovely until the battalion relocated to Redbank Camp on 29 January 1941.

On 24 February the 2/26th began moving to Bathurst and joined the other battalions of the 27th Brigade - the 2/29th and 2/30th - as part of the 8th Division. The 27th Brigade was the last AIF infantry brigade raised for service during the Second World War. The battalion left Bathurst on 29 July bound for Singapore, via Melbourne, arriving on 15 August.

When the Japanese attacked Singapore on 8 February the brigade defended the Causeway sector. They could not stop the Japanese, however, and on 15 February the British commander on Singapore surrendered. The 2/26th spent the next three-and-a-half years as prisoners of war. After the surrender the battalion was concentrated in Changi goa|where they were used as labour for work parties, first in Singapore and then in other parts of Japan's Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere. Men were sent to Burma and Thailand to work on the railway, while others were sent to Borneo and Japan.

After the war's end, the battalion's return to Australia was a "fragmented event", as troops came home from a variety of locations and by a variety of methods. The main body of the 2/26th - 470 men - returned to Australia aboard the ship Largs Bay, berthing at Pinkenba Wharf in Brisbane on 8 August 1945.

(SOurce: Australian War Memorial - www.awm.gov.au)

Recorded by
QLD War Memorial Register
Date recorded
8 April 2009

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