The 39th Battalion AIF

Over 2000 ordinary men left their families and communities in Victoria in 1916 and 1917, as members of the
39th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Forces.

400 did not return.
Of those that did return, wounded and scarred forever, few told what they had seen.
What they experienced in WW1 was remarkable. What many of them did after the War was equally remarkable.
Yet, the 39th Battalion AIF has been lost among the horrifying numbers of the First World War and the passing of time.

   The Battalion      The story and images of the 39th from formation; to training in England; through the battles on the Western Front; to disbandment in France in 1918.

The Men           A growing collection of biographies and images of the members of the 39th.

    Memorials       Images of places in Australia and Europe where the 39th or its members are recognised.

    Research         Tips and links to help you research a member of the 39th Battalion

"It doesn't matter what they believed, or why they believed it.
What matters is that each one volunteered.
What matters is that each one was prepared to sacrifice his future
for the future of his family and community."


This photo of members of the 39th Battalion was taken "behind the lines somewhere in France" at some stage in 1917.
Identified is John Kipping of Casterton (top left).
The postcard was sent to John's brother William
Kipping of Hamilton, who had enlisted and trained with the 39th in Ballarat
but had been medically discharged before the battalion left Australia.

Image kindly provided by Lynette McSweeney