1st Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train
From Linking experiences of World War One
|1st Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train|
|Years active:||February 1915–May 1917|
|Disbanded:||May 1917. May 1917|
|For more information on what infobox fields mean, see documentation at military unit, command structure and theatre of war.|
Unit war diaries
The Records of 1st Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train and HMNZT WILLOCHRA, 1914-18 War are held by the Australian War Memorial and have not yet been digitised.
The Australian War Memorial's Series note AWM37 contains a brief history:
- The 1st Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train was formed in Melbourne in 1915 from volunteers from the Royal Australian Naval Brigade. Intended for pontoon bridging to assist mobility on the static Western Front, the unit recruited, camped, equipped and trained on the Melbourne Domain throughout March to May 1915. Training concentrated on horsemanship, leaving bridging training to be done at Chatham in England. Two major changes in plans occurred:
- En route via India, 20% of the horses died. The survivors were disembarked at Bombay to become Indian Army remounts, and the 1st RAN Bridging Train now ceased to be a mounted unit.
- Instead of proceeding to Britain for further training, the unit disembarked at Lemnos, and proceeded to Gallipoli, serving not with the AIF, but with the British Army at Suvla.
- The unit served at Suvla until the December 1915 evacuation, mutinied at Lemnos in January 1916 over pay, and then served for the rest of 1916 and part of 1917 on the Suez Canal, except for a detachment at El Arish from December 1916 onwards. The unit was disbanded in May 1917.