This service commemorates the actions of the 15th Brigade at the Battle of Polygon Wood.
The Battle of Polygon Wood was planned to begin on 26 September 1917. Anticipating the battle, the German Army launched an attack the night before. The 15th Brigade stood fast under intense artillery fire, but suffered heavy losses. When they began the advance at dawn on 26 September, it was with borrowed battalions – unfamiliar with the battle plan – reinforcing their numbers. On their flank, the enemy continued to attack.
Despite this, the 15th Brigade achieved all their objectives, as well as those of the 98th British Brigade. German counter-attacks came and failed, while the Allies consolidated their victory. When the battle ended on 3 October, the 15th Brigade had suffered 1,203 casualties – more than any other Australian brigade involved.
- Shrine Governor Colonel John Coulson OAM RFD ED
Reviewed 19 July 2021