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Stefan Petrow - ‘Blooded as Citizen Soldiers’: Tasmanians in the 15th Battalion at Gallipoli April-May 1915

Published: Tuesday, 13 December 2022

When the AIF began fighting at Gallipoli in April 1915, two battalions containing a sizable number of Tasmanians were in the thick of the action. The least remembered of the two battalions was the 15th Battalion, which was comprised of three quarters Queenslanders and one quarter Tasmanians, who played a noteworthy role in the fighting that occurred in April and May. Why did these Tasmanian volunteers enlist, how were they trained, what happened to these inexperienced soldiers at Gallipoli and how did their families react to their death and missing in action are some of the questions I will attempt to answer. The 15th Battalion endured more casualties at Gallipoli than any other battalion, especially in defending Quinn's Post in May, Sixty Tasmanians lost their lives in April and May alone in what military historian Robin Prior called 'a bloody episode in a bloody war'. Lest we forget.

Emeritus Professor Stefan Petrow taught Tasmanian, Australian, European and family history at the University of Tasmania until his retirement in June 2020. He has been researching Tasmanian soldiers in World War One for a decade. His latest book is Look After the Missus and Kids: A History of Hobart Legacy 1923 to 2023, which will be published in March next year.

To view Stefan's slide presentation while listening to his talk click here.