Stan McDougall VC A05155.jpg On 28 March 1918 at Dernancourt, France, when an enemy attack succeeded in securing a foothold in the Allied line, McDougall charged the second wave single-handed, killing seven and capturing a machinegun, which he turned on the attackers, routing them and causing many casualties. He continued his attack until his ammunition ran out, when he seized a bayonet and charged again, killing three men and an officer.

Stan McDougall VC A05155.jpg On 28 March 1918 at Dernancourt, France, when an enemy attack succeeded in securing a foothold in the Allied line, McDougall charged the second wave single-handed, killing seven and capturing a machinegun, which he turned on the attackers, routing them and causing many casualties. He continued his attack until his ammunition ran out, when he seized a bayonet and charged again, killing three men and an officer.

Corbie, France, August 1918. " Dernancourt became a rest camp for the troops. The Australian military authorities offered their help to the farmers who had so little manpower, and the unforgettable spectacle was seen of soldiers, yesterday in the trenches, helping in the work in the fields, as if these soldiers were working for themselves." Mayor of Dernancourt, quoted in Geoffrey H. Manning, ‘Alms Across the Sea – A Tale of Two Towns’

Corbie, France, August 1918. " Dernancourt became a rest camp for the troops. The Australian military authorities offered their help to the farmers who had so little manpower, and the unforgettable spectacle was seen of soldiers, yesterday in the trenches, helping in the work in the fields, as if these soldiers were working for themselves." Mayor of Dernancourt, quoted in Geoffrey H. Manning, ‘Alms Across the Sea – A Tale of Two Towns’

June 2013 - One of the shortest lived and most battle hardened of the 1st Australian Imperial Force's battalions, the 47th was formed in Egypt in 1916 and disbanded two years later having suffered one of the highest casualty rates of any Australian unit. Their story is remarkable for many reasons.

June 2013 - One of the shortest lived and most battle hardened of the 1st Australian Imperial Force's battalions, the 47th was formed in Egypt in 1916 and disbanded two years later having suffered one of the highest casualty rates of any Australian unit. Their story is remarkable for many reasons.

Frank Nicklin, WWI, Corporal in Australian Imperial Forces. At Dernancourt, France, he took charge when his platoon commander was killed, and was awarded the Military Medal. He was later promoted lieutenant. After the war Nicklin started a pineapple farm in Queensland, and took a leading part in the organisation of the Queensland fruit industry. He became involved in politics, climbing the ranks & becoming the 'Premier' of Queensland in 1957. How great to have all this info abt a soldier!

Frank Nicklin, WWI, Corporal in Australian Imperial Forces. At Dernancourt, France, he took charge when his platoon commander was killed, and was awarded the Military Medal. He was later promoted lieutenant. After the war Nicklin started a pineapple farm in Queensland, and took a leading part in the organisation of the Queensland fruit industry. He became involved in politics, climbing the ranks & becoming the 'Premier' of Queensland in 1957. How great to have all this info abt a soldier!

The Dernancourt 1918 diorama at the Australian War Memorial.

The Dernancourt 1918 diorama at the Australian War Memorial.

52nd position near cemetery. This road leading past the cemetery and quarry is still walkable today.

52nd position near cemetery. This road leading past the cemetery and quarry is still walkable today.

When the German offensive of March 1918 had been checked before Amiens, the enemy, with four divisions, on 5 April, made a strenuous effort to smash a way through at Dernancourt.


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The original Australian War Memorial caption for this photograph reads - 'An unidentified battlefield cemetery outside Dernancourt, France, July 1919'. However, given the location it is almost certainly Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension as it looked before the original wooden crosses were replaced by permanent headstones.

The original Australian War Memorial caption for this photograph reads - 'An unidentified battlefield cemetery outside Dernancourt, France, July 1919'. However, given the location it is almost certainly Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension as it looked before the original wooden crosses were replaced by permanent headstones.

Dernancourt after the battle

Dernancourt after the battle

When the German offensive of March 1918 had been checked before Amiens, the enemy, with four divisions, on 5 April, made a strenuous effort to smash a way through at Dernancourt.

Dernancourt pre-5th April 1918

Dernancourt pre-5th April 1918

Dernancourt May 2016 taken from the old 52nd battalion position.

Dernancourt May 2016 taken from the old 52nd battalion position.

From the service record of L/CPL Willie Mayfield Dilger, A Company 47th btn. It would be good to see any primary source material from the time, fro relatives of 47th btn soldiers or from the German 50th Reserve Division on the other side of the railway embankment. There is not much information about the battle from a German perspective.

From the service record of L/CPL Willie Mayfield Dilger, A Company 47th btn. It would be good to see any primary source material from the time, fro relatives of 47th btn soldiers or from the German 50th Reserve Division on the other side of the railway embankment. There is not much information about the battle from a German perspective.

The 52nd Battalion position near the cemetery just short of the quarry to the left. Dernancourt diorama in the Australian War Memorial.

The 52nd Battalion position near the cemetery just short of the quarry to the left. Dernancourt diorama in the Australian War Memorial.

The fields of Dernancourt, view from the Quarry. Village and overpass ahead. 47th Batt' on the left, 52nd Batt' on the right.

The fields of Dernancourt, view from the Quarry. Village and overpass ahead. 47th Batt' on the left, 52nd Batt' on the right.

Old Dernancourt Church. The new one was built by donations from Adelaide, Australia and has a steeple.

Old Dernancourt Church. The new one was built by donations from Adelaide, Australia and has a steeple.

The rail overpass, 47th on the left, 52nd on the right, where the breakthrough happened.

The rail overpass, 47th on the left, 52nd on the right, where the breakthrough happened.

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