Australians on the Western Front 1916 to 1918

World War I became known as the 'Great War', the 'war to end all wars'. The most important battleground was the Western Front, in France and Belgium. After Gallipoli, Australian soldiers and airmen fought in each of the major British campaigns on the Western Front. Many battles became household names in Australia: Fromelles, the Somme, Bullecourt, Messines, Passchendaele, Villers-Bretonneux, Hamel, Amiens and Mont St Quentin. Over 295,000 Australians served on the Western Front between March 1916 and November 1918. Of those service men and women, 46,000 lost their lives and over 130,000 were wounded. Battle conditions were so dire that more than 18,000 of the fallen had no known grave.

During the Battle of Messines, in Belgium, an Australian stretcher bearer (wearing glasses) assists a wounded German prisoner towards a field dressing station in the St. Quentin Road, 7 June 1917. AWM E00481

Last updated: 6 October 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Australians on the Western Front 1916 to 1918, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 17 September 2021,
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