Returned World War I soldiers disembarking in Melbourne

Soldiers disembarking from ship black and white photograph
Page(s): 1  
Title: Returned World War I soldiers disembarking in Melbourne
Date: Circa 1919

Around 264,000 service personnel were repatriated over the course of World War I. Bringing the Australian troops home, the majority after the Armistice was signed, was an enormous undertaking. Worldwide shipping shortages meant most service personnel had to wait weeks and sometimes months for a sea passage from Australian bases in Great Britain. Vocational schemes were set up in British businesses, educational institutions and farms to prepare veterans for their return to civilian life – and to keep the waiting troops occupied.

Serviceman James Fleming wrote to his brother on the day of the Armistice, 'Just news this morning the Germans have signed the Armistice. No more fighting. Expect to be coming home soon.' James spent part of the wait in the care of the 3rd London General Hospital after being wounded severely in the mouth and buttock on 29 September 1918 in France. He was discharged from hospital in late January 1919, and arrived in Australia on 16 May.

Keywords: World War I, repatriation, World War 1, Anzac,
Record creator: Repatriation Department
Reference: A7342, ALBUM 2

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