Title: Black over Blue – The 25th Battalion at War 1914 – 1919
Author: Doneley, Robert James Tyson
Condition: Near Mint
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication Date: 2008
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 240 pages
Comments: The comprehensive history of the 25th Battalion AIF during World War 1.
The 25th Battalion was raised at Enoggera in Queensland in March 1915 as part of the 7th Brigade. Although predominantly composed of men recruited in Queensland, the battalion also included a small contingent of men from Darwin. The battalion left Australia in early July, trained in Egypt during August, and by early September was manning trenches at Gallipoli.
At Gallipoli the 7th Brigade reinforced the depleted New Zealand and Australian Division. The 25th Battalion, however, had a relatively quiet time because the last major Allied offensive had been launched, and turned back, in the previous month. It left the peninsular on 18 December 1915.
After further training in Egypt, the 25th Battalion proceeded to France. Landing on 19 March 1916, it was the first AIF battalion to arrive there. Now fighting as part of the 2nd Division, it took part in its first major battle at Pozières between 25 July and 7 August in the course of which it suffered 785 casualties. After a spell in a quieter sector of the front in Belgium, the 2nd Division came south in October to attack again in the Somme Valley. The 25th Battalion took part in two attacks to the east of Flers, both of which floundered in the mud.
Although it acted in a supporting role at the second battle of Bullecourt, the 25th Battalion did not carry out a major offensive role again until 20 September 1917, when it was part of the 2nd Division’s first wave at the battle of Menin Road in Belgium. Victory here was followed up with the capture of Broodseinde Ridge on 4 October. The 25th reprised its role from Menin Road, in what was its last large-scale offensive action for the year.
1918 was an exhausting year for the 25th Battalion. It fought to turn back the German spring offensive in April, and then participated in battles at Morlancourt, Hamel, Amiens and along the Somme Valley as the German Army was pushed ever closer to defeat. These actions sapped the strength of the AIF, already terribly weak due to earlier casualties and lack of reinforcements. In September, the 25th was one of several battalions ordered to disband to reinforce others. Its troops mutinied, winning the Battalion a temporary reprieve.
The battalion went into the line one last time on 3 October 1918 and took part in a successful attack to break through the German defences around Beaurevoir. It was disbanded nine days later.
Includes Nominal Roll