9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment

The 9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment (9 RQR) is a Reserve light infantry battalion of the Australian Army, raised and based in the state of Queensland. It is part of the Royal Queensland Regiment and is currently attached to the 11th Brigade of the 2nd Division. 9 RQR can trace its history as far back as 1867 with the establishment Queensland Volunteer Rifle Corps, although it was not until 1911 that it was designated as the "9th Battalion". Over the course of its history, the battalion has served Australia in a number of conflicts including The Boer War, World War I and World War II, while more recently, members of the battalion have been involved in various peacekeeping operations and exercises around the Pacific region.

9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment
Royal Queensland Regiment
Cap badge of the Royal Queensland Regiment
Allegiance Queensland (1867-1901)
 Australia (1901-Present)
BranchQueensland Defence Force
Australian Army
RoleLine infantry (formally)
Light Infantry
Part of11th Brigade
Garrison/HQGallipoli Barracks, Enoggera
Nickname(s)The Guards of Queensland
The Fighting Ninth
Motto(s)Pro Aris et Focis (For God and our Homes)
ColoursBlack over blue
MarchBrass Band – El Abanico
Pipe Band – The Frog Hollow Rangers
EngagementsBoer War

World War I

World War II

LTCOL Andrew Kirby
Ceremonial chiefHM The Queen
9th Battalion AIF Unit Colour Patch


Before World War I

The 9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment can trace its history as far back as 1867 when, in March, the Fortitude Valley and Spring Hill Volunteer Rifle Corps (usually referred to as the "Frog Hollow Rangers") was formed under the command of Charles Lilley, the future Premier of Queensland.[1] The men of the Volunteer Rifle Corps received no remuneration for their service, instead they received land grants, which were made available following five years service.[1]

In 1876, the Queensland Defence Force Infantry was created, in response to a perceived threat against Imperial defence following the buildup of French and Russian naval vessels in Pacific Ocean. This force consisted of two regiments, which were designated as the First and the Second Regiments of Queensland.[1] The First Regiment was based in Brisbane and consisted of four companies, and over time it came to be known as "The First Queenslanders".[1] The Second Regiment had troops in Ipswich, Maryborough, Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Warwick and also fielded artillery and engineering units.[1]

In 1889, many members of the Queensland Defence Force Infantry deployed to South Africa to take part in the Second Boer War. In total nine contingents, totalling 2,888 men[2] left from Queensland to fight alongside other contingents from the British Empire. Following Federation in 1901 all the state defence forces were combined into the Australian Army, and all senior units were numbered 1 to 12.[3] As a result, The First Queenslanders became the "9th Australian Infantry Regiment" (9 AIR), although this would not last long, for the name was changed once more in 1911, with the introduction of the Universal Training Scheme, when the unit was renamed the "9th Battalion, The Moreton Regiment".[4]

World War I

The 9th Battalion was raised as part of the all-volunteer First Australian Imperial Force for service in the First World War. Completely recruited from Queensland, along with 10th, 11th and 12th Battalions, the 9th Battalion formed the 3rd Brigade, of the 1st Division.[5] The battalion was formed shortly after the war broke out and after a short period of training, it departed Brisbane on 24 September 1914[6] on board the transport SS Omrah (HMAT A5). While en route members of the battalion provided a guard for the 44 survivors of the Emden. Initially, they had been bound for the United Kingdom, but concerns about overcrowding in the training camps there meant that the decision was made to land the 1st Division in Egypt, where it would complete its training before being transported to the Western Front.[7]

The 9th Battalion arrived in Egypt on 2 December 1914, after which they undertook a period of intense training before being assigned to the Anglo-French force that was sent to Gallipoli to force a passage through the Dardanelles.[7] Coming ashore early on 25 April 1915 at Anzac Cove, the battalion joined the rest of 3rd Brigade. Lieutenant Duncan Chapman was the first soldier ashore at Gallipoli. The battalion served at Gallipoli until 16 November 1915.[6]

Australian 9th and 10th battalions Egypt December 1914 AWM C02588.jpeg
Lines of the 9th and 10th Battalions at Mena Camp, Egypt, looking towards the Pyramids, December 1914. The soldier in the foreground is playing with a kangaroo, the regimental mascot

After the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the battalion returned to Egypt where the AIF underwent a period of reorganisation and expansion.[8] As a part of this process, the 9th Battalion provided a cadre of experienced personnel to the newly formed 49th Battalion. In March 1916, the battalion sailed to France as the AIF's infantry divisions were transferred to the Western Front. On arrival, the 9th Battalion deployed to the Somme, experiencing its first major action at Pozières in July 1916, where Private John Leak earned the Victoria Cross. Following this, the 9th Battalion moved to the Ypres sector, in Belgium, before returning to the Somme where they manned the trenches throughout the winter. Throughout 1917, the 9th Battalion was engaged in operations against the Hindenberg Line.[5]

In early 1918, the capitulation of Tsarist Russia allowed the Germans to concentrate their strength on the Western Front, and they subsequently launched a major offensive in March.[9] As the Allies were forced back, the 9th Battalion undertook a defensive role until the German onslaught was blunted. In August, the Allies launched their own offensive, which ultimately ended the war. In August, the 9th fought around Amiens. It remained in the line until September when the Australian Corps, having suffered heavy casualties throughout 1918, was withdrawn for rest and reorganisation. They took no further part in the fighting before the armistice was signed in November 1918. After the conclusion of hostilities, the demobilisation process began and the battalion's strength slowly fell as its personnel were repatriated back to Australia. On 5 February 1919, the 9th Battalion was amalgamated with the 10th and subsequently disbanded. Throughout the war, the battalion lost 1,094 killed and 2,422 wounded.[5]

Between the wars

Following the end of World War I the 9th Infantry Regiment (Moreton Regiment) was formed as part of the Citizens Forces, of which the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment was formed from the 9th Battalion, AIF, while the 2nd Battalion was formed from the previously existing militia unit known as the 7th Infantry (The Moreton Regiment).[4] In 1919, the Army Council Instruction Number 444 ordered that all Australian Military Forces would in future carry AIF Battle Honours. That same year the Battalion provided a Royal Guard to King George V. In 1921, the 9th Infantry Regiment became the 9th Battalion (Moreton Regiment), following an amalgamation of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment and the 5th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment.[4][10] In 1930, the Battalion linked with the 15th Battalion (Oxley Regiment), becoming the 9th/15th Battalion until 1934 and then linking with the 49th Battalion, becoming the 9th/49th Battalion until the outbreak of the Second World War.[4][10]

World War II

Following Australia's declaration of war on September 1939 the 9th/49th Battalion as it was then known was immediately separated into two independent battalions.[10] The 9th Battalion was placed into the 7th Brigade, as part of the 5th Division. Due to the provisions of the Defence Act, which precluded sending conscripts outside of Australian territory, a Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF) was formed.[11] The battalions of this force were largely drawn out of the militia battalions, and the units of 2nd AIF were distinguished from their militia counterparts by adding a "2/" in front of the numeral that indicated the battalion.[12] The 2/9th Battalion was created from volunteers for overseas service from the 9th Battalion, although the 2/9th was independent from the militia unit, serving as a part of 18th Brigade in North Africa, New Guinea and on Borneo.[13] The 2/9th was disbanded at the end of the war, however, its battle honours live on in 9 RQR.[4]

The 9th Battalion, AMF, as the militia unit became commonly known, performed garrison duty in Australia from 1939 until 1942 when, as part of the 7th Brigade, they moved to the Milne Bay area of New Guinea in response to a perceived threat of a Japanese landing.[10] The battalion was involved in heavy fighting with Japanese forces during the Battle of Milne Bay. From late 1943 to early 1944 the 9th Battalion was in the Donadabu area and later that year moved to Bougainville when the Australians took over from the US garrison there as part of the 3rd Division. After this, it was involved in heavy fighting at Artillery Ridge, Little George Hill, Pearl Ridge, Mosiegetta, and the Hongorai and Puriata Rivers until the Japanese surrender in August 1945. With the end of the war, the 9th Battalion was demobilised on 12 December 1945 having suffered 31 killed and 76 wounded.[10]

After World War II

The 9th Battalion, The Moreton Regiment, was recreated in 1948 under the Voluntary Training Scheme and in 1954 the battalion again provided a Royal Guard, this time for Queen Elizabeth II.[4] In 1960, when the Australian Army adopted the Pentropic divisional structure, the old regional regimental system was changed to a state based regimental system, the result being the creation of the Royal Queensland Regiment.[14] Initially, all existing Queensland battalions were grouped into the 1st Battalion, based in Southern Queensland and the 2nd Battalion, in Northern Queensland.[4] For five years the 9th Battalion was known as 1 RQR, however, this was changed after it was decided to abandon the use of the Pentropic system and the battalions were reinstated with their original numerals.[4][15]

In more recent times, members of the Battalion have deployed to East Timor and Bougainville as UN peacekeepers, the Solomon Islands contributing to the RAMSI mission and to RAAF Butterworth on rotation as Rifle Company Butterworth.[4] The battalion is currently headquartered at Enoggera, with companies spread across south-east Queensland.[16]


9 RQR's lineage can be traced through the following units:[4]
1867–1879: The Spring Hill and Fortitude Valley Rifle Corps
1879–1885: 1st Queensland (Moreton) Regiment
1885–1903: 1st Queenslanders (The Moreton Regiment)
1903–1912: 9th Australian Infantry Regiment (Moreton Regiment)
1912–1918: 7th Infantry (Moreton Regiment)
1918–1921: 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment (The Moreton Regiment)
1921–1930: 9th Battalion (The Moreton Regiment)
1930–1934: 9th/15th Battalion (Moreton and Oxley Regiment)
1934–1940: 9th/49th Battalion (Moreton and Stanley Regiment)
1940–1945: 9th Battalion (The Moreton Regiment)
1948–1960: 9th Battalion (The Moreton Regiment)
1960–1965: 'A' Coy, 1st Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment
1965–present: 9th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment.

Battle honours

The following list is the battle honours carried by the 9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment:[17]

  • The Boer War: South Africa 1899–1902.[18][19]
  • World War I: Somme 1916–18; Pozieres; Baupaume 1917; Bullecourt; Messines 1917; Ypres 1917; Menin Road; Polygon Wood; Broonseinde; Poelcappelle; Passchendaele; Ancre 1918; Villers Bretonneux; Lys; Hazebrouck; Kemmel; Hamel; Amiens; Albert 1918; Mont St Quentin; Hindenburg Line; Epehy; St Quentin Canal; Beaurevoir; France and Flanders 1916–18; Anzac; Landing at Anzac; Defence of Anzac; Suvla; Sari Bair; Gallipoli 1915; Egypt 1915–16.[5]
  • World War II: North Africa 1941; Giarabub; Defence of Tobruk; The Salient 1941; Syria 1941; Syrian Frontier; Merjayun; Jezzine; Chehim and Rharife; Damour; Mazraat Ach Chouf; Hill 1069; Badarene; South West Pacific 1942–45; Kokoda Trail; Ioribaiwa; Eora Creek- Templeton's Crossing II; Oivi-Gorara; Buna–Gona; Gona; Cape Endiaadere-Sinemi Creek; Sanananda-Cape Killerton; Milne Bay; Mount Tembu; Tembu Bay; Komistum; Lae-Nadzab; Lae Road; Liberation of Australian New Guinea; Ramu Valley; Shaggy Ridge; Finisterres; Tsimba Ridge; Bonis-Porton; Artillery Hill; Pearl Ridge; Mawaraka; Mosiegetta; Puriata River; Darara; Slaters Knoll; Hongorai River; Mivo Ford; Borneo; Balikpapan; Milford Highway.[10]

Current structure

The 9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment's current structure is as follows:


  1. ^ a b c d e Johnson 1975.
  2. ^ Grey 2008, p. 58.
  3. ^ Grey 2008, p. 72.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment". Digger History. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d "9th Battalion". First World War 1914–1918 units. Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 25 March 2009.
  6. ^ a b "9th Battalion AIF". First World War 1914–1918 unit war diary. Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b Stevenson 2007, p. 189.
  8. ^ Bean 1941, p. 42.
  9. ^ Baldwin 1962, pp. 127 & 141.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "9th Battalion (Moreton Regiment)". Second World War 1939–1945 units. Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 25 March 2009.
  11. ^ Grey 2008, p. 146.
  12. ^ Dennis et al. 2008, p. 64.
  13. ^ Spencer 1999.
  14. ^ Grey 2008, p. 228.
  15. ^ Grey 2008, p. 239.
  16. ^ "9 RQR: A Short History". 9th Battalion Association. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  17. ^ This list includes the battle honours of 9th Battalion, AIF, the 9th Battalion (Moreton Regiment), AMF, and the 2/9th Battalion, 2nd AIF.
  18. ^ Awarded due to the battalion's link with the 1st Queensland (Moreton) Regiment.
  19. ^ Festberg 1972, p. 68.


Further reading

  • Anderson, Peter D. (1987). Moreton Regiment, 1886: First Regiment of Queensland. Peter D. Anderson. ISBN 1-86252-648-6.
  • Dickens, Gordon (2006). Never Late: The 2/9th Australian Infantry Battalion 1939–1945. Loftus, New South Wales: Australian Military History Publications. ISBN 1-876439-47-5.
  • Harvey, Norman K. (1941). From Anzac to the Hindenburg Line: The History of the 9th Battalion, A.I.F. Brisbane, Queensland: 9th Battalion A.I.F. Association.
  • Lowndes, Chris (2011). Ordinary Men, Extraordinary Service: The World War 1 Experience of the 9th Battalion (Queensland) AIF & reflections on the Gallipoli campaign. Moorooka, Queensland: Boolarong Publications. ISBN 978-1-921555-86-2.
  • Wrench, Clarence M. (1985). Campaigning with the Fighting 9th: In and Out of the Line with the 9BN A.I.F., 1914–1919. Brisbane, Queensland: Boolarong Publications. ISBN 0-9589855-0-2.

External links

11th Brigade (Australia)

The 11th Brigade is an Australian Army brigade which currently comprises most Australian Army Reserve units located in Queensland. The brigade was first formed in early 1912 following the introduction of the compulsory training scheme. Later, as part of the 3rd Division and saw action during World War I on the Western Front as part of the First Australian Imperial Force. In the interwar years, the brigade was re-raised with its headquarters in Brisbane. During World War II, it undertook garrison and defensive duties in north Queensland before deploying to Dutch New Guinea in 1943. In 1944–1945, the brigade took part in the fighting against the Japanese on Bougainville. In the postwar era, the 11th Brigade was raised and disbanded several times, before being raised in Townsville in 1987, where its headquarters is currently located. It forms part of the 2nd Division, and consists of units based across Queensland and New South Wales.

2/9th Battalion (Australia)

The 2/9th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army during World War II. Raised in Queensland as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF) shortly after the outbreak of the war, it formed part of the 18th Brigade and over the course of the war it was attached to the 6th, 9th and 7th Divisions due to several re-organisations. It served in the United Kingdom in 1940, forming part of a small Australian garrison sent there to help defend against a possible German invasion, before being transferred to North Africa where it took part in the Siege of Tobruk and then undertook garrison duties in Syria following the Syria–Lebanon campaign in 1941.

In early 1942, the 2/9th was brought back to Australia where it was re-organised for jungle warfare and took part in the New Guinea campaign. Throughout 1942–1944, the battalion was committed twice to the fighting against the Japanese in New Guinea. In 1942–1943, the 2/9th fought actions at Milne Bay and Buna–Gona before being withdrawn to Australia for rest prior to returning to New Guinea to take part in the advance through the Finisterre Range where the battalion took part in the Battle of Shaggy Ridge in 1943–1944. The battalion's final involvement in the war came during the Borneo campaign in mid-1945, when it took part in the landing at Balikpapan. It was disbanded shortly after the war in early 1946.

25th/49th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment

The 25th/49th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment (25/49 RQR) is a Reserve light infantry battalion in the Australian Army, based in the state of Queensland. Although it was officially formed in 1997, the unit can trace its lineage back to units that were formed in 1875 as part of the colonial defence force of the state of Queensland. Additionally, in order to preserve the honours and traditions of the Australian Imperial Force, the battalion is the custodian of the battle honours awarded to two battalions that were formed for service during World War I. Following the end of the war, these units were raised again as militia units. During World War II, these battalions were called upon to participate in the fighting in the Pacific. Following the end of the war, these units were disbanded although they were later re-raised as part of the Citizen Military Forces, which was the forerunner to the Australian Army Reserve that exists today.

In 1960, the Pentropic division was introduced into the Australian Army and many of the old CMF units were disbanded or subsumed into the newly raised state-based regiments. As a result, the previously existing 25th Battalion became part of the 1st Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment while the 49th Battalion became a special conditions unit responsible for training national servicemen who were unable to meet their training obligations due to their location. In 1965, however, the Pentropic division was discontinued and it was decided to reintroduce the regional numerical designations of many of the CMF battalions. In 1997, with the cessation of the Ready Reserve scheme the 25th and 49th Battalions were amalgamated to form the 25th/49th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment.

Up until 2007 the battalion was part of the 7th Brigade, headquartered at Enoggera Barracks in Brisbane; however, on 8 July 2007 the battalion was transferred to the 11th Brigade. It currently contains a mix of Reserve and Regular Army soldiers and has companies based across Southeast Queensland. In 2006, the Battalion provided the nucleus of a composite company of Reserve soldiers that deployed to the Solomon Islands as part of the United Nations Regional Assistance Mission. Individual members of the unit have also deployed to East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the round-out and reinforcement program with the Regular Army.

47th Battalion (Australia)

The 47th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. It was originally raised in 1916 for service during the First World War and took part in the fighting in the trenches of the Western Front in France and Belgium before being disbanded in early 1918 to provide reinforcements for other Australian units that were suffering from a manpower shortage following the German Spring Offensive. In 1921, it was re-raised as a part-time unit of the Citizens Force, which later became the Militia. During this time it was based in south-east Queensland and in 1927 it became known as the "Wide Bay Regiment". During the Second World War the 47th Battalion took part in fighting in New Guinea and Bougainville, before being disbanded again in January 1946. Later, the battalion was re-raised before eventually being subsumed into the Royal Queensland Regiment in 1960.

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The Australian Army Reserve is a collective name given to the reserve units of the Australian Army. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, the reserve military force has been known by many names, including the Citizens Forces, the Citizen Military Forces, the Militia and, unofficially, the Australian Military Forces. In 1980, however, the current name—Australian Army Reserve—was officially adopted, and it now consists of a number of components based around the level of commitment and training obligation that its members are required to meet.

Enoggera Barracks

Enoggera Barracks (also known as Gallipoli Barracks) is an Australian Army base in the northwestern Brisbane suburb of Enoggera in Queensland. It was officially established in the early 20th century when the area was used for field training, although the area was used by military units as far back as the mid-19th century. Since then it has been developed into a modern military base, which is now home to units of the 7th and 11th Brigades as well as the headquarters of the 1st Division and the 16th Aviation Brigade.

Forces Command (Australia)

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Gona Barracks

Gona Barracks is a heritage-listed barracks at 3, 7,12, 25 & 26 Gona Parade, Kelvin Grove, City of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It was built from c. 1914 to 1960s. It is also known as Kelvin Grove Military Reserve and Kelvin Grove Training Area. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 7 February 2005.

HMS Beagle (1909)

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Following his retirement from the army, Molan was appointed by the Abbott Government as a special envoy for Operation Sovereign Borders and was subsequently credited with being an architect of the coalition's Stop the Boats Australian border protection and asylum-seeker policies. In 2016, Molan unsuccessfully stood as a Liberal Party candidate for the Senate in New South Wales at the 2016 federal election. In December 2017, during the parliamentary eligibility crisis, the High Court declared him elected in place of Fiona Nash, who was ineligible to stand.

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Ned Hanlon (politician)

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Hanlon was born in Brisbane, where he lived throughout his life. After leaving school, he worked in the railways, and soon became a union official. In the 1912 Brisbane General Strike he played a prominent part as a militant. Between 1915 and 1919 Hanlon served in the 9th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Division of the Australian Imperial Force, whose traditions and battle honours are proudly carried by the modern 9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment. He served under Captain Cec Carroll during the war, who in 1934 Hanlon (then Minister for Home Affairs) would appoint as the Queensland Police Commissioner.He entered parliament in 1926, representing the Labor Party as member for Ithaca. After two decades and several cabinet portfolios (notably the Health Ministry, where he worked in tandem with doctor and administrator Sir Raphael Cilento), he became Queensland's Premier, once the septuagenarian Frank Cooper had retired. Over the years Hanlon's outlook mellowed, and he shifted to the political right. Having begun as a union militant, he ended up, as Premier, sending the police to suppress union demonstrations during the 1948 Queensland Railway strike.

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Royal Australian Infantry Corps

The Royal Australian Infantry Corps (RA Inf) is the parent corps for all infantry regiments of the Australian Army. It was established on 14 December 1948, with its Royal Corps status being conferred by His Majesty King George VI. At her coronation in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II became Colonel-in-Chief of the corps. Major components of the RA Inf include the various battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment and the six state-based Reserve infantry regiments, such as the Royal New South Wales Regiment. The various Regional Force Surveillance and Special Forces units of the Army are also part of the corps. The Infantry School is located at Singleton, New South Wales, and forms part of the Combined Arms Training Centre.

The "Head of Corps – Infantry" is usually a Brigadier and is the Honorary Colonel of the Royal Australian Regiment.

Structure of the Australian Army

This article describes the current structure of the Australian Army. It includes the army's order of battle and the headquarters locations of major units.

Unit Colour Patch

Unit Colour Patches (or simply known as Colour Patches) are currently worn on the slouch hat in the Australian Army to identify the wearer's unit. Unit colour patches are approximately 40 millimetres (1.6 in) x 40 millimetres (1.6 in) in size and have a large variety of colours and shapes to distinguish them.

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