The 1st Battalion was the first infantry unit recruited for the AIF in New South Wales during the First World War.

The battalion was raised within a fortnight of the declaration of war in August 1914 and embarked just two months later. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving on 2 December. The battalion took part in the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915 as part of the second and third waves, and served there until the evacuation in December. Its most notable engagement at Gallipoli was the battle of Lone Pine in August. Two members of the battalion, Captain A. J. Shout and Lieutenant L.M. Keysor were awarded Victoria Crosses for their valour at Lone Pine, Captain Shout posthumously.

After the withdrawal from Gallipoli in December 1915, the battalion returned to Egypt. In March 1916, it sailed for France and the Western Front. From then until 1918 the battalion took part in operations against the German Army, principally in the Somme Valley in France and around Ypres in Belgium. At Bullecourt in May 1917, Corporal G. J. Howell became the third member of the battalion to be awarded the Victoria Cross. The battalion participated in the battle of Amiens on 8 August 1918. This advance by British and empire troops was the greatest success in a single day on the Western Front, one that German General Erich Ludendorff described as 'the black day of the German Army in this war'.

The battalion continued operations until late September 1918. At 11 am on 11 November, 1918, the guns fell silent. The November armistice was followed by the peace treaty of Versailles signed on 28 June 1919. Between November 1918 and May 1919 the men of the 1st Battalion returned to Australia for demobilisation and discharge.

References
  • 1st Battalion AIF Historical Committee, the history of the First Battalion AIF 1914-1919 (Sydney: James J. Lee 1931).; D.J. Blair, Dinkum diggers: an Australian battalion at war (Carlton; Melbourne University Press, 2001).
  • AWM4/23/18/1-23/18/42
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Significant people
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Battle honours
Commanding officers
Decorations
  • 3 VC; 2 CMG; 7 DSO, 1 bar; 40 MC, 1 bar; 29 DCM; 131 MM; 9 MSM; 57 MID
Alternative names
  • 1 Battalion
  • 1 Bn
  • 1 Infantry Battalion
  • 1st Anzac Entrenching Battalion 1st Battalion 1st Infantry Brigade
  • 1st Battalion
  • 1st Battalion (Infantry)
  • 1st Battalion Attached 1st Australian Divisional Headquarters
  • 1st Battalion Attached 1st Australian Divisional Salvage Company
  • 1st Battalion Attached 1st Brigade Headquarters
  • 1st Battalion Attached 1st Divisional Salvage Company
  • 1st Battalion Attached 1st Field Company Engineers
  • 1st Battalion Attached 1st Infantry Brigade Headquarters. 1st Australian Division
  • 1st Battalion Attached 1st Light Trench Mortar Battery
  • 1st Battalion Attached No 2 Section 1st Division Signal Company
  • 1st Bn
  • 1st DS Co (1st Bn)
  • 1st LTM Bty (1st Bn)
  • Australian Army Medical Corps Attached 1st Battalion
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