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Anecdotal History

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Annandale's Great War: A Short Walk | Douglas Grant | The Fitzpatrick Brothers | 36th Battalion | Wireless Miller Brothers | End of the Great War | Trains, Sound, Film and Industry | Beale Pianos | Electricity | 1920s Annandale: A Short Walk

Capt. Carmichael. State Library of NSW, Government Printing Office 1-13534.
Plaque 1A Marion Street Leichhardt

The 36th Battalion

“Carmichael’s Thousand”

In 1915, the New South Wales Minister for Public Information and member for Leichhardt Campbell Carmichael ran a recruiting drive which resulted in the formation of the 9th Brigade comprising the 33rd, 34th, 35th and 36th Battalions.

In October 1917, Carmichael was wounded, for the second time. The fighting on the Western Front took a heavy toll. Without reinforcements from Australia, the 36th battalion was disbanded on 30th April 1918 and the surviving men were assigned to the other three battalions of the 9th Brigade.


Returning to Sydney, the Leichhardt MP raised a second “Carmichael's thousand”.

On the 25th May, the reinforcements were entertained at the Sydney Town Hall at a function organised by the National Rifle Association and 36th Battalion Comforts Committee. Premier Holman presented Carmichael with a Yarran boomerang inscribed with the Brewarrina District's Aboriginal word, Thynulungatha (come back here).

The 36th Battalion was raised at Broadmeadow (Newcastle) in February 1916. Its ranks were filled with men from Rifle clubs who responded to Carmichael's call. Carmichael himself signed up as a Captain in the Battalion.

Private William Lionel "Bunt" Stalker, of Annandale, was a clerk and had served with the Citizens' Military Forces for a year, prior to joining the 36th Battalion in December 1915. On his departure he gave this portrait to his sister Ruby. “Bunt” was killed in action on 22 January 1917 aged 24.

Understating his age by six years, John Dixon Kitchen, of Leichhardt, enlisted in February 1916. When the 36th Battalion was disbanded Kitchen was assigned to the 33rd and killed in action in France, on 30 July 1918 aged 51.

By the time Carmichael arrived in France, with his reinforcements, the war was winding up and he returned to Australia.

Casualties: 452 killed, 1253 wounded
Battle Honours

Messines, 1917; Ypres, 1917; Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Somme, 1918; Avre, France and Flanders,1916-18

36th Battalion Training and Drill Hall, 36th Battalion Park, Corner of Mackenzie and Hill Streets, Leichhardt. Photograph Sam Hood, c1934, State Library of NSW (Hood 00208). In 1918 Premier Holman unveiled an Honour Board to the Annandale-Leichhardt Cadets, in the Drill Hall. The Hall has been demolished.
Heroes Fair, Annandale

Captain Carmichael attended a fund raising Heroes Fair at the corner of Johnston Street and Parramatta Road in 1919.

War Trophy

In the post war allocation of war trophies, the Annandale borough was allocated a heavy machine gun. The gun had been captured by the 36th Battalion at Flanders in 1917.

St  George's English Rifle Regiment

The 36th Battalion was raised again in 1921, as a part-time Citizens Force unit, with its Boer war name of St George's English Rifle Regiment.

Marghanita da Cruz, August 2014
Author of Annandale's Great War: A Short Walk by Marghanita da Cruz with line drawing of Annandale War MemorialAnnandale's  Great War: A Short Walk

Further Reading

This page last update 18 September 2014.