The Mice of Moresby


This site does not have the full history of the battalions. Each summary article on this page will open a longer story when you click on it. There are references for those who want to go further.

53rd Battalion – 14th Brigade 5th – Division | WWI

The Battalion was formed in Egypt in February 1916, under the command of Col. Norris, personnel being 1st Battalion men newly arrived from Gallipoli and reinforcements and details then stationed in Egypt.

55th Battalion – 14th Brigade – 5th Division | WWI

The 55th Battalion was formed at TEL-EL-KEBIR, EGYPT, in February 1916 under command of L/Colonel McConaghy. Fifty per cent of its initial recruits were N.S.W. veterans of the 1st Australian Division which was reforming after the GALLIPOLI Campaign, the remainder being newly arrived reinforcements from the base camp at CAIRO.

55|53 Battalion | Between the Wars

After the First World War the defence of the Australian mainland lay with the part time soldiers of the Citizens Military Force (CMF), also known as the Militia. The Militia was organized to maintain the structure of the First AIF and kept the same numerical designations. The Militia units were distributed in the same areas in which the original AIF units were raised. The Sydney's 53rd Infantry Battalion was the "West Sydney Regiment".

53rd Battalion | WW2

In January 1942 the 53rd Battalion became known as DARWIN FORCE and six weeks later embarked - not for DARWIN, but to PORT MORESBY, arriving on the 3rd January 1942.

55 Battalion | WWII

The 55th Battalion resumed individual unit identity on 26th October 1941, (as did the 53rd Battalion), and during the early months of 1942 mobilised on a full-time basis. While encamped at Greta it was brought up to strength by an intake of 18-year-old National Call Ups, together with approximately one company strength of A.I.F. reinforcements consisting of Officers and non-commissioned officers and other ranks, who were to have reinforced A.I.F. Battalions and were somewhat bitter at the prospect of serving with a MILITIA Battalion.             The Battalion now consisted of MILITIA volunteers, (some who had enlisted as early as 1935...

55|53 Battalion |WWII

By December '42 the Japanese had been driven back from the mountains into their garrisons at BUNA, GONA and SANANANDA. The linked 55th/53rd, now 527 strong, was airlifted from PORT MORESBY and went into action at SANANANDA alongside the 49th (Queensland) Battalion and the U.S. 126th Regiment. The 55/53 Bn were to relive that much reduced 2/3 Battalion. The 7th DIVISION Headquarters situation report on 7th December praised the efforts of the 49th and 55/53rd Battalions - to quote: -"Elements of the US troops under command are performing a block on the track between companies of the 55/53rd Bn, 49th...