THE SPIRIT OF THE FORTY-SECOND
NARRATIVE OF THE 42ND BATTALION,
11TH INFANTRY BRIGADE, 3RD DIVISION
AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCES,
DURING THE GREAT WAR, 1914-1918

BY VIVIAN BRAHMS

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Around Christmas time in 1915, the 42nd Battalion under Commanding Officer Lt.-Colonel A. R. Woolcock, was allocated a site at Thompson's Paddock, at Enoggera, some few miles distant from Brisbane.

Then ensued the preparation of rolls, attestation-papers, allotments and pay-books. Issues of clothing and equipment followed in due course. Spasmodic training, fatigue duties and the furnishing of picquets, vaccination and innoculations, gradually eliminated the civilian side of life from the embryo soldier.

As the weeks passed by, signallers, transport, bands, and headquarters staff and so forth, were evolved, until at daybreak on June the 3rd, 1916, the 42nd Battalion marched out of Thompson's Paddock to the railway station at Enoggera Rifle Range. Thence it proceeded, in three trains, to Sydney, where it arrived at 5.30 p.m. next day.

Embarkation upon the s.s. "Borda" then took place at Wooloomooloo. The transport drew out and anchored in Rushcutter's Bay. Next day, whilst at anchor, motor launches in dozens surrounded the "Borda," the occupants waving and sending messages and receiving replies. Some of these replies after being written on paper, were placed in -a slit made in a raw potato, to ensure a safer passage when thrown through the air. The "Borda" sailed at 11:10 am that day, and then, as Sydney Heads were passed half an hour later, they said "Goodbye" to Australia.

They travelled through the Suez Canal and arrived at Tel-el-Kebir in Egypt on 7 July 1916. They continued through the Mediterranean via Marseilles, France and arrived at Southampton, England on 22 July 1916.

 

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This page first produced 19 April 2009

This page last updated 21 November 2015