The HAC in the Great War - January 2018

For the month of January 1918 A Battery remained with the Australian Mounted Division at Dier el Balah, resting and refitting after their exhausting advance at the end of 1917.

B Battery, too, rested and trained near Gaza. In North West Europe, the Siege Battery was in rest after eight months of continuous operations, often around Passchendaele, as were 2/A  and 2/B Batteries.

With the 1st Battalion at HQ, it was in Italy that the HAC engaged the enemy. Here, after three months out of the line, the 2nd Battalion moved into positions on the River Piave, in the Veneto Region, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Richard O’Connor who was, as a Lieutenant General, to lead British forces against the Italians again in the Western Desert in 1940. It was different to the line they had left in France. Fully furnished houses provided shelter from the weather, and shell fire was only intermittent.  Attempts were made by patrols to cross the Piave but the river was in spate and the flood too strong.  Instead the battalion’s Lewis Gunners harassed Austrian working parties by the light of search lights.