P05758.003

Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number P05758.003
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Photographer Unknown
Date made c 1916

Description

Outdoor portrait of unidentified members of C Company, 35th Battalion in training camp. An indigenous serviceman holding a bugle and standing to the right, is likely to be 6440 Private Thomas James Walker. The 35th Battalion was formed in December 1915 in Newcastle, New South Wales. The bulk of the battalion's recruits were drawn from the Newcastle region and thus it was dubbed "Newcastle's Own". The 35th Battalion was a part of the 9th Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division. It left Sydney, bound for the United Kingdom in May 1916. Arriving there in early July, the battalion spent the next four months training. It crossed to France in late November, and moved into the trenches of the Western Front for the first time on 26 November. The battalion had to wait until the emphasis of British and Dominion operations switched to the Ypres Sector of Belgium in mid-1917 to take part in its first major battle; this was the battle of Messines, launched on 7 June. The 35th's next major battle was around Passchendaele on 12 October. Heavy rain, though, had deluged the battlefield, and thick mud tugged at the advancing troops and fouled their weapons. The battle was a disaster for the 35th; 508 men crossed the start line but only 90 remained unwounded at the end.