Penny – To the Western Front
This special Australia in the Great War antique finish penny commemorates the start of Australia’s campaign on the Western Front. In March 1916, Australian troops departed Alexandria in Egypt and landed in the French port of Marseilles before entraining to Le Havre and on to the front.
The Australian Imperial Force arrived on the Western Front in March 2016. In July our Gallipoli veterans and new troops alike fought at the battles of Fromelles (19-20th July) and Pozieres (23rd July – 7th August). At Pozieres alone Australian losses – around 6,800 men, were comparable to the entire Gallipoli campaign.
In 1916 some 40,000 Australians were killed or wounded on the Western Front in France and Belgium. By wars end in November 1918 approximately 132,000 had been wounded and 46,000 had lost their lives.