The 2/8th Australian Infantry Battalion was raised in Melbourne at the outset of the Second World War. They first saw action in North Africa, taking part in the battles at Bardia and Tobruk. At Tobruk, they suffered the highest number of casualties of any Australian battalion during the Siege. From April 1941, they took part in the disastrous Greek and Crete campaigns.
In 1942, the 2/8th withdrew from the Middle East and returned to Australia for re-training. In November 1944 they deployed to New Guinea where they fought the Japanese in the Aitape-Wewak campaign. The final members of the battalion left New Guinea in November 1945 before it was disbanded in December.
During the Second World War, the battalion lost 94 men killed, with a further 272 wounded.
The 2/8th Battalion commemorates the service of its members in November each year with the support of students and staff from Macarthur Street Primary School.
- Shrine Governor Colonel John Coulson OAM RFD ED
Reviewed 18 July 2023