11th Battalion AIF
Officially raised on 17th August 1914 the 11th was the first unit in Western Australia trained at Helena Vale camp, popularly known as Blackboy Hill Camp, embarking for Egypt on 31st October 1914 and landing there on 5th December.
On 25th April 1915, 11th Battalion were the first to hit the beaches of Aru Burni, later to be known for all time as Anzac Cove, storming the cliffs and pushing the Turkish defenders back in a brilliantly executed operation (a surprisingly unpopular view but one which without acknowledging takes so much away from the Australian Imperial Force).
Gaba Tepe lay at the southern end of Anzac Cove. It was there that 100 men of the 11th Battalion launched what was the first raid in the history of the AIF on May 4th. It was also perhaps the first failure with 30 casualties and an intact Turkish position remaining.
On 31st July 11th Battalion launched an assault on the Turkish Despair Works, soon to be called Leane's Trench after the commander of the attack and they remained in that position largely until evacuation with Company's and part Company's being deployed elsewhere as operations dictated.
Back in Egypt the 11th were then split to form the 51st Battalion, a contraversial decision that initially caused resentment among other Battalions so affected by a reorganisation in the AIF, but after a spell around the Suez, 11th were then deployed to France where, with the other Australian Battalions, they made history and always lived up to their motto:
DEEDS NOT WORDS
Legs Eleven prided itself on being one of the finest units of the AIF, but it was largely destroyed at Pozieres in 1916 and never fully recovered with a huge percentage of its original Battalion killed or invalided out of the war. It did however continue on and carve a name for itself across France and Belgium fighting its last battle at Villeret in France on September 18th, 1918.
We are concentrating on Gallipoli to start with, but as the 100th anniversary progresses we will be exploring the Western Front too. Our uniforms are largely represented as issued, with a mixture of leather and woven webbing, woollen tunics and slouch hats. Our secondary uniform is representative of Gallipoli's adapted kit and is much appreciated in the Western Australian climate!
See our kit guide if you are interested in joining. The reality is, it doesn't come cheap. We are a young group but hopefully as we progress we will be in a position to help new recruits out with uniform. Our suggestion would be to buy a basic 'Gallipoli' uniform if you want to 'man the trench', and we will sort out tunics etc for ceremonies if you are not in a position to purchase the whole lot straight away.
See the RECRUITMENT page for contact details if you wish to make an enquiry about how you can help or if you would like to take part in raising WA's premier Unit.