The HAC in the Great War - September 1917

In the desert, both A and B Batteries supported aggressive reconnaissance against Turkish lines, A battery with the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade. It was hard work, often under harassing attack from aircraft or the Turkish light guns and made uncomfortable by “blistering heat”, thirst and heavy sand.

In France, all batteries were in action around the Ypres salient, where the Battle of Passchendaele continued: the 2/A Battery history speaks of firing up to 600 rounds each night in harassing fire and complains of the proximity of a large-gun battery making life very noisy! The Siege Battery was committed to counter-battery work, described as necessary “but not picturesque”, with the Germans replying in kind, causing a small but constant stream  of casualties.

Both infantry battalions were out of the line, though the 1st  Battalion was involved in the unpleasant duty of restoring order after riots broke out in Etaples, a major base.  The 1st Battalion also marked the third anniversary of its arrival in France on 20th September; an event enhanced by the music of the recently arrived HAC band.