Skip to main content

Captured German machine gunners bring in their gun, Lieutenant John Warwick Brooke, Arras, 9 April 1917. Image courtesy Imperial War Museum © IWM (Q 5123).

  • Orange butcher, John Daniel (‘Jack’) McLachlan, is killed in action in France
  • Maurice Walter Finch is killed in action in France
  • Arthur Gordon Ash, a carter from Lucknow, is killed in action at Bullecourt in France
  • Orange-born farmhand, Charles Taylor, is killed in action in France
  • The British 3rd Army launches the Arras offensive on the Western Front. Supported by Canadian and Australian troops, the Allies make rapid advances north of the Hindenburg Line and capture the strategic high point of Vimy Ridge. The Arras offensive continues until mid May, however, similar to past offensives, the British are unable to capitalise on initial successes and maintain their momentum. German forces regroup and thwart further Allied gains. The Allies suffer 150,000 casualties during the offensive; the Germans, 100,000.
  • Sergeant John Woods Whittle of the 2nd Battalion wins the Victoria Cross for actions at Boursies and Lagnicourt on 9 and 15 April 1917
  • Private Thomas James Bede Kenny of the 2nd Battalion wins the Victoria Cross at Hermies, France
  • The British government requests urgent assistance from Australia to deal with the increasing threat posed by German U-boats. The Australian government agrees to send six destroyers: HMAS Warrego, HMAS Parramatta, HMAS Yarra, HMAS Swan, HMAS Torrens and HMAS Huon. The vessels were based in Brindisi in Italy as part of the Otranto Barrage, the Allied naval blockade of the Otranto Straits between Brindisi and Corfu on the Greek side of the Adriatic Sea.
  • Brazil severs diplomatic relations with Germany
  • Bolivia severs diplomatic relations with Germany
  • The Russian Provisional Government issues a proclamation to the Allied Governments declaring in favour of self-determination of peoples and a durable peace