9th Brigade (Australia)

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9th Brigade
AWM E02960 34th Battalion AIF Picardie France 21 August 1918.jpg
Troops from the 34th Battalion—part of the 9th Brigade—at Picardie, 21 August 1918
CountryAustralia Australia
Size1,100 (regular)
1,700 (reserve)
Part ofForces Command
Garrison/HQKeswick, South Australia
Motto(s)Non nobis sed patriae (Not for self but for country)[1]
EngagementsWorld War I
Charles Rosenthal
Unit colour patch9th Brigade HQ Unit Colour Patch.png

The 9th Brigade is a Reserve formation of the Australian Army headquartered at Keswick Barracks in Keswick, South Australia, with elements located in New South Wales and South Australia. The brigade was first raised in 1912 in New South Wales following the introduction of the compulsory training scheme.

During World War I, the brigade was formed as part of the First Australian Imperial Force in 1916, with the majority of its recruits coming from New South Wales. It was assigned to the 3rd Division, and training was carried out in the United Kingdom before the brigade was committed to the fighting on the Western Front in November 1916. It fought in numerous battles in France and Belgium for the next two years.

After the war, the brigade was disbanded, but was re-raised as a part-time formation in the Sydney area. During World War II, the brigade was mobilised for defensive duties, but did not see active service before it was disbanded in June 1944. In the post war period, the 9th Brigade was re-raised once again as a part-time formation, and forms part of the 2nd Division.


The 9th Brigade traces its origins to 1912, when it was formed as a Militia brigade as part of the introduction of the compulsory training scheme, assigned to the 2nd Military District. The brigade's constituent units were spread across various locations in New South Wales including Camperdown, Darlington, Enmore, Newtown, Marrickville, St Peters and Petersham.[2]

During World War I, the 9th Brigade was originally formed as part of the First Australian Imperial Force. Raised from volunteers drawn from New South Wales, the 9th Brigade was formed in 1916 in the period as the AIF was expanded following the failed Gallipoli Campaign. The brigade consisted of four infantry battalions—the 33rd, 34th, 35th and 36th Battalions[3]—as well as the 9th Light Trench Mortar Battery and the 9th Machine Gun Company (which later formed part of the 3rd Machine Gun Battalion). Its first commander was Brigadier General Alexander Jobson.[4]

The brigade was attached to the 3rd Division. After rudimentary training in Australia, the brigade was shipped to England to complete its training before being committed to the fighting on the Western Front in France and Belgium in November 1916. The brigade's first major battle came in mid-1917 when it took part in the Battle of Messines. Later in 1917, it fought during the Battle of Passchendaele before taking part in defensive operations during the German spring offensive in early 1918.[4]

In April 1918 it was involved in the Allied counterattack at the First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux. This was followed by the Second Battle of Morlancourt.[5] The brigade took part in the final offensive of the war, the Hundred Days Offensive. During this time, the 9th Brigade's casualties had been so high, that one of its battalions—the 36th—had to be disbanded in order to reinforce the others.[6] After Jobson, the brigade's other wartime commanders were Charles Rosenthal and Henry Goddard.[4]

The 35th Battalion's position near Lena Wood, 8 August 1918

Following the end of hostilities the brigade was disbanded in 1919. However, while the AIF had been deployed, a separate Citizens Force (later known as the Militia) formation remained in Australia. By 1918, a 9th Brigade had been established within the 2nd Military District, consisting of the 33rd, 34th, 35th and 36th Infantry Battalions.[7]

The AIF was formally disbanded in 1921, at which time it was decided to reorganise the Citizens Force to perpetuate the numerical designations of the AIF.[8] Headquartered in Paddington, in Sydney, the brigade was subsequently reorganised after which it consisted of four infantry battalions—the 1st, 19th, 34th and 45th Battalions.[9][10] It remained part of the 2nd Military District and by 1928 it formed part of the 2nd Infantry Division.[11]

At the outset of World War II, the brigade was tasked with the defence of Sydney, and consisted of the 1st, 4th, 17th and 45th Battalions.[12][13] In April 1941, the brigade was transferred to the 1st Division and later reduced to three infantry battalions: the 1st, 17th and 18th. Following Japan's entry into the war, the brigade was called up for full time service and mobilised at Narellan before moving to Thornleigh, where it covered an area between Manly to Dee Why and Mona Vale. During this time, the brigade's focus was upon construction of defences. Elements of the 8th Brigade relieved them in March 1942, allowing the brigade to commencing training at Wallgrove to adopt a more mobile defensive posture.[12]

In late 1942, the brigade was warned out to deploy to Darwin, Northern Territory, but was instead moved to the Illawarra region. Throughout 1943, the numbers of troops retained in New South Wales was reduced as the garrison was moved north, and elements of the Militia were disbanded to return personnel to war essential war industries. Finally, in June 1944, the 9th Brigade, consisting of the 1st/45th, 17th and 20th/34th Battalions, was disbanded at Narellan.[14]

Following the end of the war, the Citizens Military Force was not re-established until 1948, when it was re-raised on a reduced establishment.[15] Post war the brigade was part of the 3rd Division, and consisted of the 10th and 27th Battalions.[16] By 1953, the 9th Brigade had been formed within Central Command.[17]

Since then the brigade has been a Reserve formation, although at times its designation has been changed. From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s it adopted the title of the 9th Task Force. The current 9th Brigade was raised on 1 February 1988 in Land Command. Around this time, the brigade was tasked with vital asset protection in northern Australia, in the event of war.[18] On 1 September 1994, the brigade moved from under command of Land Headquarters to form part of the 2nd Division, based in South Australia.[19] By 2000, the brigade's area of responsibility included both the Northern Territory and South Australia.[20]

21st century[edit]

In November 2008, the 9th Brigade mounted Rotation 17 to the Solomon Islands under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Russ Lowes, in support of Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).[21][22] Rotation 17 completed their deployment and returned to Adelaide on 5 April 2009.[23] Personnel from the 9th Brigade have also recently taken part in operational deployments to Afghanistan and Timor, and border security operations in the waters to Australia's north.[1] Under Plan Beersheba, the brigade is tasked with generating a battlegroup in support of the 1st Brigade, one year in every three.[24]

In late October 2022, the 1st Armoured Regiment and the 7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment were transferred to the 9th Brigade. This Brigade was also transferred from the 2nd Division to Forces Command.[25]

Current structure[edit]

The 9th Brigade is currently located across South Australia and New South Wales, and consists of the following units:[1]


  1. ^ a b c "9th Brigade". Our people. Australian Army. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  2. ^ Australian Military Forces 1912, pp. 18–19.
  3. ^ "Australian Military Units, First World War". Australian War Memorial. Archived from the original on 24 January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Harris, Ted. "9th Brigade". Digger History. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  5. ^ Coulthard-Clark (1998), p. 146.
  6. ^ "36th Battalion, AIF, World War I". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  7. ^ Australian Military Forces (1918), pp. 8–31.
  8. ^ Grey (2008), p. 125.
  9. ^ Palazzo (2001), pp. 91 & 102.
  10. ^ Harris, Ted. "Australian Infantry Colour Patches 1921–1949". Digger History. Archived from the original on 12 July 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  11. ^ Kuring (2004), p. 107.
  12. ^ a b McKenzie-Smith (2018), p. 2070.
  13. ^ "9th Brigade: Subordinates". Orders of Battle. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  14. ^ McKenzie-Smith (2018), p. 2071.
  15. ^ Grey (2008), p. 200.
  16. ^ Palazzo (2002), p. 163.
  17. ^ Palazzo (2001), p. 238.
  18. ^ Kuring (2004), p. 392.
  19. ^ "9 Brigade". diggerhistory.info. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  20. ^ Kuring (2004), p. 436.
  21. ^ "Operation ANODE". Department of Defence. Archived from the original on 12 October 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  22. ^ "Army Reservists Preparing to Deploy to Solomon Islands" (Press release). Department of Defence. 25 October 2008. Archived from the original on 29 October 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  23. ^ "Adelaide, Perth RAMSI troops arrive home". abc.net.au. 5 April 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  24. ^ Clay, Peter (June 2014). "The Australian Army's 2nd Division: An Update" (PDF). United Service. Royal United Services Institute of New South Wales. 65 (2): 29.
  25. ^ Hartigan, Brian (28 October 2022). "9th becomes Army's newest combat brigade". CONTACT magazine. Retrieved 8 November 2022.
  26. ^ "Seventh Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment". Australian Army. Retrieved 5 February 2012.


  • Australian Military Forces (1912). The Military Forces List of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1 January 1912. Melbourne, Victoria: Government Printer. OCLC 221429471.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: ref duplicates default (link)
  • Australian Military Forces (1918). Officers' List of the Australian Military Forces, 1st August 1918. Melbourne, Victoria: Government Printer. OCLC 48935638.
  • Coulthard-Clark, Chris (1998). Where Australians Fought: The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles (1st ed.). St Leonards, New South Wales: Allen and Unwin. ISBN 978-1-86448-611-7.
  • Grey, Jeffrey (2008). A Military History of Australia (3rd ed.). Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-69791-0.
  • Kuring, Ian (2004). Redcoats to Cams: A History of Australian Infantry 1788–2001. Loftus, New South Wales: Australian Military History Publications. ISBN 1-876439-99-8.
  • McKenzie-Smith, Graham (2018). The Unit Guide: The Australian Army 1939–1945, Volume 2. Warriewood, New South Wales: Big Sky Publishing. ISBN 978-1-925675-146.
  • Palazzo, Albert (2001). The Australian Army: A History of its Organisation 1901–2001. Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-551506-0.
  • Palazzo, Albert (2002). Defenders of Australia: The 3rd Australian Division 1916–1991. Loftus, New South Wales: Australian Military Historical Publications. ISBN 1-876439-03-3.

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