Group portrait of Australian servicemen of the 2nd Reinforcements, 57th Battalion, A. I. F., circa 1916. It was taken by Darge Studio, 175 Collins St, Melbourne.
The portrait was acquired with a collection of material associated with the World War I service of Thomas Joseph Hewitt, service #1937, who was born in Ballarat and enlisted in Melbourne on 13 March 1916. He was placed in the 3rd Reinforcements (first recorded on his attestation papers as 2nd Reinforcements) and sailed from Melbourne on the HMAT Ajana (A31) on 8 July 1916.
In December 1916 Thomas was transferred to the 58th Battalion. Although severely wounded in May 1917 he survived the war and lived to the age of 91.
The 57th Battalion was raised in Egypt on 18 February 1916, made up of Gallipoli veterans of the 5th Battalion and fresh reinforcements, mostly from the suburbs of Melbourne. The battalion was part of the 15th Brigade, 5th Australian Division. Its first major engagement was a supporting role at the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916. It went on to defend gains made during the second battle of Bullecourt in May 1917, then fought in Polygon Wood, Belgium, on 26 September. During the German Spring Offensive of 1918 it participated in a counter-attack at Villers-Bretonneux in April, then fought at Amiens in August and St Quentin Canal in September. The battalion was disbanded in March 1919.
'57th Australian Infantry Battalion', Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/unit/U51497/, accessed 28 Aug 2015
58th Battalion Unit Diary, Australian War Memorial
HEWITT Thomas Joseph, barcode 5481826, series B2455, National Archives of Australia