Bravest: How Some of Australia's Greatest War Heroes Won Their Medals
The Victoria Cross is the highest award for valor that can be won by an Australian; just 96 Australians have been awarded the VC in conflicts from the Boer War to the Vietnam War. And only 14 Australians have been awarded the George Cross, the ultimate medal for heroism away from active combat, since its inception in 1940. But what is it that makes these remarkable soldiers risk everything in defense of their country and their mates? Noted biographer Robert Macklin tells the inspirational story of 15 Australian recipients of the Victoria and George Crosses, from Neville Howse in South Africa in 1900 to the heroes of the Great War such as Albert Jacka, "Diver" Derrick in World War II, and Keith Payne in Vietnam in 1969.
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6 I managed to get the buggers Sir
7 The bravest man in the Aussie Army
8 Tell Dad Im still fighting
21 Guest of the Emperor
22 That moment of decision
23 Courage beyond compare
24 Thats what Im here for Sir
25 His crew before himself
26 Ones nerves suffer a bit
27 A wall of fire
28 A war of nerves
9 A compelling ubiquitous figure
10 An ideal leader
11 I wasnt mad
12 Hit with a sledge hammer
13 A paradoxical attitude to heroes
14 To live and learn and see much
15 Cross purposes
16 Down to the wire
17 The endless day
18 The larrikin
19 One of our very best
20 One among many
30 We went and had a beer
List of VC winners
13th Battalion action aircraft Albert Jacka Allied Anderson Anzac Army arrived artillery attack Australian awarded AWM neg barrage Battalion France battle began bomb bombers Brigade British bullet Captain captured casualties Charles Bean Chinese Colonel command courage crew decoration defences Derrick Distinguished Conduct Medal Edwards enemy exploded fighting fire flying force Frank McNamara front line fuse Gallipoli George Cross German grenades Harry Murray headquarters heavy honour Howse Ibid infantry Japanese John Mould joined Keith Payne Kenna killed landing later lieutenant Luftwaffe machine-gun Madden mates Maxwell McNamara Medal Melbourne military Military Cross Mould moved Murray Murray’s Neville Howse officer ordered Payne plane platoon position prisoners reached rifle Rommel Second World Second World War sergeant shell ship shot soldiers soon Squadron Sydney Syme tanks Tobruk took trench troops Turkish Turks unit valour VC winners Victoria Cross wounded wrote
Page 162 - In 1893 he was appointed a companion of the Order of St Michael and St. George, and was created a Knight Bachelor in 1896.
Page 16 - The cross is intended primarily for civilians and awards to the fighting services are confined to actions for which purely military honours are not normally granted. It is awarded only for act-s of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger.
Page 7 - Irishman, an Apostate Catholic (but that is neither here nor there), but he has the gift of the gab, uses his pen as well as his tongue, sings a good song, drinks anyone's brandy and water, and smokes as many cigars as foolish young officers will let him, and he is looked upon by most in camp as a Jolly Good Fellow. He is just the sort of chap to get information, particularly out of youngsters. And I assure you, more than one 'Nob...
Page 253 - for most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.
Page 51 - Jacka's counter-attack . . . stands as the most dramatic and effective act of individual audacity in the history of the...
Page 220 - we have just received a dispatch from Seoul, advising that the North Koreans have struck in great strength south across the 38th Parallel at four o'clock this morning.
Page 76 - For most conspicuous bravery when in command of the right flank company in attack. He led his company to the assault with great skill and courage and the position was quickly captured. Fighting of a very severe nature followed and three heavy counter-attacks were beaten back, these successes being due to Captain Murray's wonderful work. Throughout the night his company suffered heavy casualties through concentrated shellfire, and on one occasion gave ground for a short way.
Page 199 - ... sufficient strength to take evasive action. After crossing the Channel there was only sufficient fuel for five minutes' flying. Flight Sergeant Middleton ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft while he flew parallel with the coast for a few miles, after which he intended to head out to sea. Five of the crew left the aircraft safely, while two remained to assist Flight Sergeant Middleton.
Page 163 - Throughout the fighting, which lasted for four days, he set a magnificent example of brave leadership, determination and outstanding courage. He not only showed fighting qualities of a very high order but throughout exposed himself to danger without any regard for his own personal safety.
Page 76 - ... courage, and the position was quickly captured. Fighting of a very severe nature followed, and three heavy counterattacks were beaten back, these successes being due to Captain Murray's wonderful work. Throughout the night his company suffered heavy casualties through concentrated enemy shell fire, and on one occasion gave ground for a short way. This gallant officer rallied his command and saved the situation by sheer valour. He made his presence felt throughout the line, encouraging his men,...