- A.N. Other and NHSA Webmaster
- RAN operations, History - WW1, WWI operations
- RAN Ships
- HMAS AE2
- March 1990 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The last activity of note for the RANBT occurred on March 25 1917 when the El Arish detachment was sent to assist in what became the first Battle of the Gaza.
Embarked in two ships, they were responsible for unloading stores into small boats which were then rowed ashore to resupply the attacking forces at Gaza. Whilst they were doing this a British aircraft ditched in the water near one of the vessels. The Bridging Train men quickly swung into action rescued the pilot and salvaged the aircraft.
Following their disbandment, some 190 members of the unit returned to Australia for discharge, the remainder enlisting in the AIF and seeing service in Palestine and on the Western Front.
At the end of World War I, the RANBT Association was formed, and they were regular marchers at ANZAC Day in Melbourne, often leading the march. At the completion of the march they would all gather for a short service at a tree dedicated to the RANBT which stands in the grounds of the SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE (Victoria’s War Memorial).
Here they would lay a wreath for their fallen comrades of the Royal Australian Navy Bridging Train, a small but unique unit of Australia’s Navy.