ANZACs of Interest: Bernard Flewell-Smith CBE MM

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Bernard, known as Bon, Flewell-Smith was a decorated ANZAC from the Western Front, a pineapple grower, and a visionary who helped found the Golden Circle company.  He was awarded the Military Medal for his gallantry and leadership under fire and appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his leadership in business.  A great Queenslander and Australian.
WikiTree profile: Bon Flewell-Smith
in The Tree House by Kenneth Evans G2G6 Pilot (165k points)
edited by Kenneth Evans

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Hi Ken, did any ANZAC serve on the Western Front?
by Steve Thomas G2G6 Mach 2 (21.9k points)
selected by Kenneth Evans
Steve, I have responded as a separate answer. Regards, Ken
Will, Steve was not asking whether Australians fought on the Western Front but whether they fought there as ANZACs.  The media have confused everyone with their obsession to call every Australian an ANZAC.  Aussie Diggers were / are only ANZACs when they are in a formation that included New Zealanders and is addressed as an Australian & New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC); a Corps comprising two or more Divisions. Regards, Ken
+2 votes
Yes, Steve. ANZAC was subdivided after Gallipoli into I ANZAC and II ANZAC, depending on where the NZ Division was attached; initially with Australia's 1st & 2nd Divisions (I ANZAC) and then with Australia's 3rd & 5th Divisions (II ANZAC). From November 1917 all five Australian divisions came under the Australia Corps and the NZ Division were attached to a British corps, thus ending ANZAC. Both I ANZAC and II ANZAC served on the Western Front.  See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:Anzacs
by Kenneth Evans G2G6 Pilot (165k points)
Thanks Ken. The first paragraph of the link you sent me answered my question. I was aware that ANZAC Corps was dissolved, but I wasn't sure when. I also appreciate the extra information about ANZAC Mounted Division, ANZAC Corps in 1941 and ANZAC Wing in 1944.
To be clear, I was not asking whether Australian diggers fought on the Western Front. They did, but I wasn't sure when ANZAC ended. In hindsight, I could have asked my question with a better selection of words. I should have asked whether ANZAC still existed as a combination of Australian and New Zealand forces.

I note with interest that Bernard Flewell-Smith CBE MM served in the Battle of Hamel, 4th July 1918. I attended the Centenary Commemoration at the Australian Corps Memorial, Le Hamel in 2018. I appreciate why the hill was easy to defend.
From what I can gather the Australian divisiions were called Pioneer Battalions. So the Australians were assigned to the 3rd or 5th or whatever number Pioneer Battalion. Most, if not all, of the records have been digitised and are available through the national archives ( I probably didn't need to tell you that) including letters received from family when their sons or other family members were killed or listed as missing in action.
Nan, thanks for contributing to G2G.  Welcome to the forum and, indeed, to WikiTree.  Pioneer battalions were engineer units as opposed to infantry.  A pioneer battalion was allocated to each division. Divisions were large concerns, some 20,000 soldiers, and comprised three brigades each with three infantry battalions.  In addition, divisions comprised artillery and many other support units. Regards, Ken.
Thanks Ken. I did wonder if I might be displaying my woeful ignorance with that comment. And obviously I was! It would seem that the ancestors whose records I have looked up (who were killed on the Western Front) were allocated to pioneer battalions. Am I right in thinking that the pioneer battalions were responsible for digging trenches amongst other things?

You are correct, Nan. Many pioneers had been tradesmen in civilian life or held construction and engineering skills.  They helped with digging trenches, building strong points and clearing battlefields; and then fought as infantry. Dangerous work.  The pioneer battalions were formed early in 1916 for the Western Front.  They were numbered according to the Division to which they were attached, for instance, 5th Pioneer Division was a unit of the 5th Division.  No ignorance, Nan.  We're all on learning curves. Regards, Ken

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