36th Battalion History

Carmichaels 1000

36TH BATTALION AIF. "Carmichael's Thousand"

The 36th Battalion was raised at Victoria Barracks, Liverpool, Rutherford and Broadmeadow Army Camps, in New South Wales in February 1916. The bulk of the Battalion's recruits had enlisted as a result of a recruiting drive conducted among'st the RIFLE CLUBS of New South Wales by the Minister of Public Information in the New South Wales Government, Ambrose CARMICHAEL. Thus the Battalion became known as "CARMICHAEL'S THOUSAND". Carmichael led by example and enlisted as well, serving in the Battalion as a Captain.

The 36th Battalion became part of the 9th Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division. It left Sydney, bound for the United Kingdom on the 13th of May 1916. Arriving there in early July, the Battalion spent the next four months in training. It crossed to France in late November, and moved into the trenches of the Western Front for the first time on the 4th December, just in time for the onset of the terrible winter of 1916-17.

The Battalion had to wait until the emphasis of the 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 the 7th of June 1917. With the 9th Brigade held in reserve during the battle of BROODSEINDE RIDGE on the 4th of October, the 36th's next major battle was around PASSCHENDAELE on the 12th of October 1917. Heavy rain, though, had deluged the battlefield, and thick mud tugged at the advancing troops and fouled their weapons. The 36th secured its objective but with open flanks and ineffective artillery support, were forced to withdraw.

For the next five months the 36th alternated between periods of rest, training, labouring, and service in the line. When the German Army launched its last great offensive in the spring of 1918, the battalion was part of the force deployed to defend the approaches to Amiens around Villers-Brentonneux. It took part in a counter-attack at Hangard Wood on the 30th March, and helped to defeat a major drive on Villers-Bretonneux on the 4th April.

The fighting to defend the German offensive had exacted a heavy toll on the 3rd Division, and the 9th Brigade in particular. Reinforcements from Australia were dwindling and thus it was decided to disband one of the 9th Brigade's Battalions to reinforce the other three. The 36th was the Battalion selected. In what one of the Battalion's Officers called an "Unselfish Act" the 36th disbanded on 30th April 1918.

(Extracts from the Australian War Memorial records)

36th Battalion A.I.F, 3rd Australian Infantry Division, 9th Infantry Brigade.


Messiness 1917. Ypres. Polygon Wood. Broodseinde. Poelcappele. Passchendaele. Somme 1918. Ancre 1918. Amiens. Albert 1918. Mont St Quentin. Hindenburg Line. St Quentin Canal. France and Flanders 1916-1918.


Lieutenant Colonel: John Martin HAWKEY. M.C.

Lieutenant Colonel: Marcus William LOGAN.

Lieutenant Colonel: John Alexander MILNE. D.S.O.

Lieutenant Colonel: James William Albert SIMPSON. M.C.


Recommended for Victoria Cross

Lieutenant: Albert Marshall WIDDY. M.C.



Lieutenant Colonel: John Alexander MILNE. D.S.O.


Lieutenant Colonel: John Martin HAWKEY. M.C

Major: Walter WELLS. M.C.

Captain. John Edward Wallace BUSHELLE.M.C.

Captain: Ambrose Campbell CARMICHAEL. M.C.

Captain: William James GORDON. M.C.

Lieutenant: 501499 Albert Bissett AMESS. M.C.

Lieutenant: 731 Gordon Mott COX. M.C.

Lieutenant: Albert Marshall WIDDY. M.C.


Lieutenant: 561 Stanley Arthur SMITH. D.C.M.  M.M.

Lieutenant: 357 John Thomas STAPLETON. D.C.M.

Lance Corporal: 1480 Stanley Herbert BRAZIL. D.C.M. 


Lieutenant: 561 Stanley Arthur SMITH. D.C.M.  M.M.

Lieutenant: Albert Marshall WIDDY. M.C. M.M.

Companty Sergeant Major: 484 Ernest Shadrack KEY. M.M

Sergeant: 1405 George Moffatt CARSON. M.M.

Sergeant: 457 Sydney Wakefield GREGG. M.M.

Sergeant: 1142 James Martin JUDD. M.M.

Sergeant: 858 Sydney Horace PETTETT. M.M.

Sergeant: 2374 Alfred Ernest Humphrey ROBERTS. M.M.

Sergeant: 896 Albert Marshall WIDDY. M.M.

Lance Sergeant: 124 Herbert Leslie MARSHALL. M.M

Corporal: 1620 Allan Wentworth BRECHT. M.M.

Corporal: 2932 Ralph Oswald KIRBY. M.M.

Lance Corporal: 1104 Osborne William John DYKES. M.M.

Private: 466 Walter John HAGAN. + M.M.

Private: 542 Andrew PRESCOTT. M.M.




Company Quartermaster Sergeant: 792 Thomas Wiseman HIGGINS. M.S.M.



Captain: Thomas Rodger MacNEE. M.I.D.

Lieutenant: 731 Gordon Mott COX. M.C. M.I.D.

Sergeant: S. LANG 33/36bn

Private: 1671 Thomas LOWREY. M.I.D.





Private: 1671 Thomas LOWREY.




Sergeant: 789 Ernest Percival HAMMOND.




Corporal: 1959 John Joseph CURRAN.




Sergeant: 733 Frederick Joseph CAHILL.




Sergeant: 733 Frederick Joseph CAHILL.


36th Battalion AIF Recruitment Tent, Rutherford Camp 1916


36th Battalion 1916, before leaving Newcastle.


Officers, 36th Battalion. Meteren, France. 24th January 1918.


36th Battalion's last Parade before being disbanded. 30th April 1918.


Presented to The Honorable Joseph Farrier COATES. MLC JP.


4 thoughts on “36th Battalion History

  1. I have been researching records for 1408 Stanley Herbert Brazil who was a signaller in the 36th battalion and served in Belguim and France He was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal in January 1918. His name is not appearing on the list above. He was transferred to the 33rd battalion in April 1918. His name does not appear there either. Possibly this has been overlooked? Please check. Thank you and kind regards

  2. Hi
    I’ve been researching records for 1408 Stanley Herbert Brazil, who enlisted in the 36th battalion and served in France, 1917 and 1918. He was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal on 1/1/1918. His name is missing from the list above. Could this please be amended, or is there a reason why it’s missing? Please contact me if you need more info. I have quite a lot of info on him, mostly sourced from the National Archives records. I’d love to find out more – particularly chasing a photo of him and would be interested to know what became of his medal? He is not a relative, but was a good friend of my Grandfather, and I have letters he wrote to him from France. He never married, and died in 1978. The correct spelling of his surname is Brazel, but he enlisted as Brazil. Thanks!

    • Hello Susan, Thank you for your email and membership, I will compile a profile on Stanley over the next few day’s and add him to my records. I have many more men to research, but as information comes to hand I try to priorities members requests first. I was only aware the other day that a 36th man was recommended for a VC. I will try to find a photo of him for you and add to his profile, give me a few days but if you can sent a copy of his letters I’ll add them to his profile.


      Dave Harrower

  3. Hi Dave
    Thanks so much for adding Stan to the list and for getting back to me. There are about 25 letters, so difficult to send a copy of all to you. I am working on putting them into a booklet form (happy to share that with you when it’s done) and I’ve got a fair bit of info, but anything more would be appreciated! Local paper is putting a story in this week (they are running the Road to Remembrance series) to see if that turns up more info, so hopefully will be able to fill in some gaps. Only photo I have found from Stan’s army time is a group photo of 6 soldiers from 34th and 36th battalion. I don’t know when it was taken, I found it amongst my Grandparent’s things. Looks like a clipping from a magazine – there’s no date. Also have a photo of Stan in later life, but would love one from his army days. Happy to share any with you at any time. How can I get a copy of this photo to you? Thanks again, kind regards, Sue

Leave a comment