february memories / 14


14th February, 1916 : Military pickets shot dead one soldier and wounded a number of others, eight seriously, when Australian troops in training rioted through central Sydney tonight. The men went on strike over an extra one-and-a half hours daily training and walked out of camp. They marched in a mass of khaki, smashing shops and hotels, looting, and ridiculing civil police. They carelessly said to “put the bill down to Kitchener”. The military pickets were ordered to open fire when the men turned a fire hose on them after a meeting at Central Station.

[Just a month later the Australian 1st and 2nd Division arrived in Marseilles and then moved by rail north to the battlefields of Somme and Verdun.]

About Avadoro Worden

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