Historical information

A large photo of soldiers from the first World War. It is almost identical to one in the AWM. From the AWM record it is the 2nd Pioneer Battalion before they returned to Australia.
From Wikipedia the 2nd Pioneer Battalion was tasked with digging trenches, labouring, constructing strong points and light railways, and undertaking battlefield clearance, the troops assigned to the pioneers required construction and engineering experience in addition to basic soldiering skills. After the Armistice personnel were repatriated to Australia in drafts as part of the gradual demobilisation of the AIF, the battalion's strength dwindled until finally it was disbanded on 18 May 1919 while in the Charleroi area of Belgium.
The men are standing on the steps of the Palais de Justice in Charleroi. The lion is one of a pair made by Antoine-Felix Boure a Belgium sculptor, who was renowned for his portrayal of lions. This pair is called Totor et Tutur. The Palais de Justice was replaced by a new building in the 1960s and the lions now stand in the garden of the Palais de Justice.
The soldiers wear different uniforms depending on their rank. This photo is a good example of some of them.
Legatee Philip E Potts who was president in 1927-28, was a Captain in the 2nd Pioneer Battalion and is likely to be in this photo. Or the photo belonged to him. Another photo of L/ Potts is labelled Charleroi 1919 and mentions a 2nd Division Concert Party and his war record at NAA says he was assigned to the Concert Party at that time.


Legacy was founded by returned soldiers from World War 1, hence some founding legatees may be in this photo.

Physical description

Sepia photo of the 2nd Pioneer Battalion on the steps of a building.