The 5th Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during the First World War. Like the 6th, 7th and 8th Battalions it was recruited from Victoria and, together with these battalions, formed the 2nd Brigade.

When at full strength, there were around 1,000 members in an Australian infantry battalion and during the four years of conflict, the 5th Battalion lost nearly three times its authorised full strength, with 2,983 casualties including 9971 who lost their lives. It later took part in the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915, as part of the second wave.

After the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the battalion returned to Egypt and, in March 1916, sailed for France and the Western Front. From then until 1918 the battalion was heavily involved in operations against the German Army.

(For more on the History of the 5th Battalions, go to History/history of the 5th battalions on this website).

Photographs and captions courtesy Australian War Memorial

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