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Far East 1930 - 1947:

Australian Formations

The 8 Australian Infantry Division was formed in Australia on 4 July 1940 as part of the 2 Australian Imperial Force. It comprised originally the 22, 23 and 24 Australian Infantry Brigades.


The 22 Brigade, which had been formed in New South Wales, was deployed to Malaya on 2 February 1941. The 23 Brigade was sent to the Northern Territories where its battalions were distributed across the islands bordering the north coast of Australia. The 24 Brigade was sent to the Middle East in January 1941, its place in the division being filled by the 27 Brigade, which arrived in Malaya in August 1941. The 27 Brigade was originally formed as part of the 9 Australian Infantry Division between May and October 1941, with battalions formed in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales respectively.

The division was engaged in southern Malaya in the battle at Gemas against the 5 Division and Imperial Guards Division between 15 and 19 January 1941. Elements also fought the Imperial Guards Division at Bakri and Parit Sulong at the Muar River between 13 and 23 January 1941. The division fell back into Singapore and was captured with the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942.

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