Skip to content

October 1, 2013

Mining, Mud & Medals

by vipsinc

Mining, Mud & Medals:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Members of the Australian Mining Corps were commonly known as ‘tunnellers’. They worked continuously in wet and muddy conditions, under constant enemy threat. Pneumonia and bronchial illnesses, as well as wear and tear injuries from hard, physical work in close conditions also took their toll. They fought on many battle fronts – from Gallipoli, to France and Belgium – even Mexico.

During WW1 mining engineers, miners, electricians, carpenters and soldier miners, tried to drive their, often narrow tunnels, under no man’s land. A silent and savage war; silent [as] because of the vital need to ensure the enemy couldn’t hear where ANZACs were tunnelling. Savage, because discovery close to enemy lines often meant death by mustard gas, close combat fighting or simply being blown up by enemy mines. The hostilities weren’t just above ground; fighting also took place in closed and cramped spaces underground where the hunters were also being hunted.

Members of the Mining Corps belonged to specialist units: for example, of the Corps of Royal Engineers within the British Army provided skilled men who dug attacking tunnels under enemy lines during the First World War. They worked in guarded silence, with the constant threat of being found and killed by the enemy, in extremely claustrophobic conditions. Both sides had embarked on mining operations, with a determined struggle for tactical superiority.

The Ballarat Electorate enjoys a long history connected with mining and its Schools of Mines at Ballarat, Clunes, Creswick & Daylesford. Many talented members of their alumni enlisted during WWI, and history proves these men came with significant levels of experience which then enabled them to deliver vital expertise to the Australian Mining Corps.

Members of the Victorian Interpretive Projects Inc (VIPs) have created a facebook site  and a WIKI designed to highlight the role of the ANZAC tunnellers in WW1 – especially those who haled from the Ballarat Electorate.

Mining Mud & medals has started work on a book about the Members of the Mining Corps from the Ballarat Electorate. If you are related to a Tunneller, perhaps you have a photo, please contact us via:

miningmudandmedals@gmail.com.au

 

WIKI:

http://www.miningmudmedals.org/Main_Page

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MiningMudMedals?bookmark_t=page

‘Lest We Forget’.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

%d bloggers like this: