2nd / 3rd Australian Machine Gun BattalionPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Glen Yeomans

The plaque commemorates those who served in the 2nd / 3rd Australian Machine Gun Battalion during World War Two. The plaque location is indicated by the red poppy in the second image. 

The 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion was formed in June 1940 as part of the 7th Division and served in Egypt, Syria, the Netherlands East Indies and New Guinea during World War Two. Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Blackburn when it was raised, the battalion was primarily a South Australian unit, although it had sub-units formed in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. After completing training in Australia, in April 1941 the battalion embarked for the Middle East. In June/July 1941 it saw action against Vichy French forces during the Syria-Lebanon campaign, during which time the battalion was heavily involved in supporting various elements of the 7th Division.

Following Japan's entry into the war, the decision was made to transfer a large number of Australian troops from the Middle East to the Pacific region. In early 1942, as the Japanese advanced through the Netherlands East Indies, the majority of the battalion was captured during the Battle of Java. A small number of the battalion's personnel returned to Australia and it was subsequently re-raised in mid-1942. It was later attached to the 6th Division as a corps unit and served in Papua New Guinea during the Aitape-Wewak campaign in 1944–1945. The battalion was disbanded in January 1946.



Address:Fairbairn & Limestone Avenues, Captain Reg Saunders Courtyard, Australian War Memorial, Campbell, 2612
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.280363
Long: 149.147738
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 1st October, 2002
Front Inscription


The 2 / 3rd Australian Machine Gun Battalion was formed on 17 June 1940 at Wayville, South Australia.  It embarked for the Middle East on 8 April 1941, trained in Palestine and fought in Lebanon and Syria.

The unit resisted the Japanese invasion of Java but on 8 March 1942, 710 officers and men were taken prisoner of war.  The survivors returned to Australia and the Battalion was reinforced.  The unit then served in New Guinea at Merauke and in the Aitape-Wewak campaign.


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design