Australian Events

Posted in 1916

  • Troops embarking for Egypt, November An estimated 23,000 Australian troops die on the Somme in seven weeks of heavy fighting.
  • The nation-wide referendum to conscript men for overseas service is defeated by a narrow margin. Men already called up would be released.
  • Labor Party split: Pro-conscriptionist Prime Minister Billy Hughes¬†(see Australian Prime Ministers) decides to abandon the anti-conscriptionists in the Labor Party and try to govern with opposition support. He tells the house: "Enough of this. Let those who think with me follow me." He walks from the chamber followed by 23 of the 65 members of his party. Hughes resigns, but upon being re-commissioned by the Governor-General, forms a new Ministry from among his followers. When parliament resumes in 1917, it is governed by a coalition of National, Labor and Liberal.
  • Hotels close at 6 o'clock starting the "six o'clock swill".