World War I was fought on many fronts, but it was in France and Belgium that the war started and ended – and it was there that the largest number of Australian troops saw action.
Between March 1916 and November 1918 more than 295,000 Australians served on the Western Front.
The fighting had begun when Germany invaded Belgium in August 1914. The British Empire sent an expeditionary force to France and Belgium to help repel the Germans.
The allies adopted the German description, ‘Western Front’, for the battlefields and trenches that soon ran for 700 kilometres from the Belgian coast through France to the Swiss border.
- Year 9 History
- What conditions might Australian soldiers have experienced in the trenches while fighting on the Western Front?
- What type of records were kept that tell us about the experiences of those fighting on the Western Front?
- In human terms, the Western Front was Australia’s most costly campaign. How might the high number of deaths have shaped the way Australians on the home front viewed the war?