Australian soldiers arriving in France, whether reinforcements or “casuals” (those returning from hospitals), went to Base Depots before deployment to the front. All drafts, although they had already passed in England as fully trained, were subjected to further tests, a strict medical check, and at least ten days of additional training. Originally built in Etaples, France, the Australian Base Depots moved to Harfleur, near Le Havre, in June 1917, in order to save shipping time. Base Depots were built for each Division, and the General Base Depot was used for those not assigned to divisions (excluding infantry and pioneers). During World War I, the Australian Y.M.C.A. ran soldiers’ clubs in Cairo, Alexandria, and elsewhere. They also pooled their resources with the United States, Canada, England, and New Zealand to form the International Hospitality League, which provided social services to all Allied troops. This slide is part of Springfield College’s collection of lantern slides depicting Australian Y.M.C.A. war work during World War I.
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