Four Australian Gallipoli VC Holders

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    I came across the picture .... thought it maybe of interest !

    Four Australian Gallipoli VC holders in London 20th November 1915.

    Left to right - Lt Symons, Lt Tubb, Lt Throssell, Pvt Hamilton

    Attached Files:

  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Sergeant William John Symons

    7th Battalion, later promoted to Lieutenant, was awarded the Victoria Cross "for most conspicuous bravery on the night of 8th - 9th August, 1915, at Lone Pine Trenches, in the Gallipoli Peninsula". On the afternoon of 8th August 1915, the 7th Battalion, from Victoria, led by their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Harold (Pompeii) Elliot, went into the Lone Pine battle to relieve the exhausted 1st and 2nd Battalions. They took over positions at the southern end of the captured Turkish trenches and here Elliott divided his command between a left and a right section. On the left he placed in charge Lieutenant William Symons. Throughout the evening and night of 8th August, Symons' men fought a duel with groups of Turkish bombers who were able to make their way into the main trench. Eventually, the Turks were beaten back but on the morning of 9th August strong attacks were renewed against all 7th Battalion positions. At one point, it seemed that the enemy might totally engulf the southern part of the position known as Jacob's Trench. Colonel Elliott had been impressed throughout with Symons' leadership and consistent cheerfulness: In this emergency, therefore, he sent for Symons, handed him his own revolver, and ordered him to retake Jacob's Trench. ‘I don't expect to see you again', he said, ‘but we must not lose that post'.

    The young lieutenant now led a charge down Jacob's Trench during which he killed two Turks with Elliott's revolver. He and other troops then rebuilt a barricade but, finding themselves being attacked from three sides, Symons requested permission to withdraw to a more defensible position further back up Jacob's Trench where there was some head cover. A few metres of open trench was thus surrendered to the Turks who now came on and managed, twice, to set fire to the head cover. Both times Symons personally charged out, beat back the attack, and extinguished the flames. Further attacks on Symons' position were driven off by artillery fire. "His coolness and determination finally compelled the enemy to discontinue the attacks".

    For Symons' consistent courageous leadership during this period Colonel Elliott recommended him for the VC. He was evacuated from Gallipoli with enteric fever to London where, on 4th December 1915 the Victoria Cross was pinned on his uniform by King George V at Buckingham Palace. On this occasion the King, so the story goes, said to Symons: I am proud to decorate an Australian with this Cross. You may be interested to know intrinsic worth of this bronze cross is only five and a half pence [a few cents]. I hope you will live long enough to that the wear it. In World War II Symons served as a Lt. Colonel with the Home Guard. He died in London 24/6/48.

    Sgt. W Symons VC military records Page.htm

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  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    In Memory of

    V C

    7th Bn., Australian Infantry, A.I.F.
    who died age 36
    on 20 September 1917
    Son of Harry and Emma E. Tubb, of St. Helena, Longwood East, Victoria, Australia. Of Longwood.

    Remembered with honour

    London Gazette dated 15th Oct 1915

    Frederick Tubb, was born on 28 November 1881 at Longwood, Victoria. He was 5 ft. 5 3/4 ins. (167 cm) tall, an extrovert and a born leader. After volunteer service with the 58th Infantry (Essendon Rifles), CMF; Victorian Mounted Rifles Brigade(1900-02) and the Light Horse Brigade(1902-11), he joined the 6Oth Battalion, Australian Military Forces, and was commissioned second lieutenant in 1912.

    Appointed to the Australian Imperial Force on 24th August 1914 as a second lieutenant in the 7th Battalion, Tubb was promoted lieutenant on 1 February 1915. He reached Gallipoli on 6th July and was gazetted captain on 8 August. On the same day he took over a vital sector of captured trench at Lone Pine, with orders to 'hold it at any cost'. Early on the 9th the Turks launched a furious attack, advancing along a sap which had been barricaded with sandbags. From the parapet, with eight men, Tubb fired at the enemy; two corporals in the trench caught enemy bombs and threw them back or smothered them with greatcoats. Although Tubb was blown from the parapet and the barricade repeatedly wrecked, each time it was rebuilt.

    He inspired his men, joking and shouting encouragement. A huge explosion blew in the barricade and killed or wounded most of the defenders. Wounded in the arm and scalp, Tubb was left with Corporals A. S. Burton and W. Dunstan; he led them into action, shooting three Turks with his revolver and providing covering fire while the barricade was rebuilt; a bomb burst, killing Burton and temporarily blinding Dunstan. Tubb then obtained additional help, but the Turks did not renew the attack. Evacuated that evening, Tubb was taken to England to convalesce. For his gallantry at Lone Pine he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

    He was invalided to Australia; he arrived home in April 1916 to a hero's welcome. Having persuaded an AIF medical board that he was fit, he rejoined his battalion in France in December and was promoted major on 17th February 1917. His company had an important role in the Menin Road attack, 3rd battle of Ypres, on 20th September. Before the battle he was troubled by his hernia, yet refused to be evacuated. With dash and courage he led his company to its objective, but was hit by a sniper; while being taken out on a stretcher, he was mortally wounded by shell-fire. Tubb was buried in the Lijessenthoek military cemetery, Belgium, and is commemorated by Tubb Hill, Longwood, and a memorial tree in the Avenue of Honour, Euroa, Victoria. Page.htm

    Lt. F. Tubb VC military records
  4. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member


    Soldier and farmer, was born on 26 October 1884 at Northam, Western Australia, youngest son of George Throssell [q.v.], storekeeper and later premier, and his wife Anne, nee Morrell. One of fourteen chil dren, Hugo was educated at Prince Alfred College, Adelaide, where he captained the football team and became a champion athlete and boxer. He then worked as a jackeroo on cattle stations in the north of the State. In 1912 he and his brother, Frank Erick (Ric) Cottrell (b. 1881), took upland at Cowcowing in the Western Australian wheat belt. Severe drought during the next two years strengthened the bond between them; they were later described as 'David and Jonathan' in their devotion to one another. Hugo was tall, with a long face and strong features.

    With the outbreak of war Hugo and Ric joined the 10th Light Horse Regiment, formed in October 1914. Hugo was commissioned as second lieutenant and remained in Egypt when the 10th was sent to Gallipoli in May 1915. He landed on Gallipoli on 4 August, three days before the charge at the Nek-'that FOOL charge' as he described it -when 9 officers and 73 men of his regiment were killed within minutes. Throssell was one of the leaders of the fourth and last line of attacking troops which was recalled after having advanced only a few yards. This experience increased his eagerness to prove himself in battle. He wanted to avenge the 10th LH.R. which, like so many of the Anzac troops, was battle-worn, sick and depleted. His chance came later that month at Hill 60 during a postponed attempt by British and Anzac troops to widen the strip of foreshore between the two bridgeheads at Anzac and Suvla by capturing the hills near Anafarta. Hill 60, a low knoll, lay about half a mile (0.8 km) from the beach. Hampered by confusion and lack of communication between the various flanks, the battle had been raging for a week with heavy losses.

    At 1 a.m. by moonlight on 29 August the 10th Light Horse was brought into action to take a long trench, 100 yards (91 m) of which was held by Turkish troops on the summit of Hill 60. As a guard, Throsseil killed five Turks while his men constructed a barricade across their part of the trench. When a fierce bomb fight began, 'a kind of tennis over the traverse and sandbags', Throssell and his soldiers held their bombs on short fuse until the last pos sible moment before hurling them at the enemy on the other side of the barricade. Throughout the remainder of the night both sides threw more than 3000 bombs, the Western Australians picking up the bombs thrown at them by the Turks and hurling them back. Towards dawn the Turks made three rushes at the Australian trench, but were stopped by showers of bombs and heavy rifle-fire. Throssell, who at one stage was in sole command, was wounded twice. His face covered in blood from bomb splinters in his forehead, he repeatedly yelled encouragement to his men. For his part in the battle Hugo Throssell was awarded the Victoria Cross. It was the first V.C. to be won by a Western Australian in the war.

    Evacuated to hospital in England, Throssell was promoted captain and joined his regiment in Egypt. He was wounded in April 1917 at the 2nd battle of Gaza where his brother Ric was killed. On the night that Ric disappeared, Hugo crawled across the battlefield under enemy fire, searching in vain for his brother among the dead and dying, and whistling for him with the same signal as they had used when boys. Hugo returned to his regiment for the final offensives in Palestine and led the 10th Light Horse guard of honour at the fall of Jerusalem.

    On 28 January 1919 in the Collins Street registry office, Melbourne, Throssell married the Australian author Katharine Susannah Prichard [q.v.11] whom he had met in England They settled on a 40 acre (16 ha) mixed farm at Greenmount, near Perth. His wife wrote that those early years of marriage with Hugo, whom she called Jim, were happiest. When she became a foundation member of the Communist Party of Australia in 1920, Hugo joined her as a speaker supporting unemployed and striking workers. He claimed that the war had made him a socialist and a pacifist. The combination of her award-winning novels and Communism, and his Victoria Cross, brought them fame and notoriety. Hugo acted as soldiers' representative on the Returned Soldiers' Land Settlement Board, became a real estate agent and temporarily in the Department of Agriculture in Western Australia.

    Hard times came in the Depression. Katharine believed that her political activities lost Hugo his job with the settlement board, and that his passion to own land led him to borrow recklessly from the banks. He joined the search for gold at Larkinville in the early 1930s. When that proved unsuccessful, he devised a scheme which he hoped would prove a money-spinner. While Katharine was on a six-month visit to Russia, he organized a rodeo on his Greenmount property on a Sunday, not knowing that it was illegal to charge entry fees on the sabbath. The only money Hugo raised from the 2000 people who attended was a meagre silver collection for charity. The episode plunged him further into debt and shattered his optimism.

    Imagining that he could better provide for his wife and their 11-year-old son if he left them a war service pension, he shot himself on 19 November 1933 at Greenmount. Friends blamed his melancholy on an attack of meningitis at Gallipoli and saw it as the cause of his suicide. He was buried with full military honours in the Anglican section of Karrakatta cemetery, Perth.

    In 1954 a memorial to him was unveiled at Greenmount, opposite his home. In 1983 his son Ric presented Hugo's Victoria Cross to the People for Nuclear Disarmament. The Returned Services League of Australia bought the medal and presented it to the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. A pencil portrait of Hugo Throssell by the Australian war artist, George Lambert [q.v.9], is also held there.

    Australian Dictionary of Biography - Online Edition, Throssell, Hugo Vivian Hope

    This article was typed from the original interview by the Northam Advertiser, of Hugo Throssell VC, at his Northam home, before his return to Palestine. The original article was sent by Mrs Throssell, to her sister, Mrs Thomas Hardie, of Warralong Station, near Marble Bar, in 1918. The article details the action in which he won the Victoria Cross, Hill 60, Gallipoli, 29-30 August 1915.
  5. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    John 'Jack' Patrick Hamilton

    Was born on 24 January 1896 to William and Catherine (nee Fox) Hamilton of Orange, New South Wales. He was schooled at Oakey Park, a small mining village near Lithgow where his father owned a butcher shop. Although he noted his trade as a butcher at the time of his enlistment, Hamilton was an active member of the Waterside Workers' Union, an affiliation that he maintained for the remainder of his life.

    On 15 September 1914, 18 year old Hamilton enlisted at Penshurst, Sydney and was posted as private 943 of 3 Battalion (3Bn) A.I.F, part of 1 Infantry Brigade (1Bde). On 19 October Hamilton embarked on HMAT Euripides, bound for Egypt, arriving in early December. Following training in Egypt, 1Bde sailed for Lemnos, arriving at 9.25am on 8 April 1915, as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. On the morning of 25 April, 1Bde moved ashore as part of the second and third wave at Ari Burnu, Gallipoli Peninsula. For his actions during the Battle of Lone Pine on 9 August 1915, Hamilton was awarded the Victoria Cross. He was evacuated to England on 21 October, suffering from dysentery, where he stayed until April 1916.

    While visiting England in March of 1916, Prime Minister William Morris Hughes expressed a desire to meet Hamilton as the Melbourne Argus reported from London: '[Hughes] was anxious to meet Private Hamilton, V.C., who is a fellow member of the Waterside Workers' Federation of which Mr Hughes is President.'

    Though not always a model soldier when off the line, he was promoted to corporal on 3 May 1916. After a period of illness, where he returned to England, Hamilton rejoined 3Bn in France on 4 December 1916. He was promoted to sergeant on 13 May 1917. Following a series of training courses through the latter half of 1917 and early 1918, Hamilton joined the No. 5 Officer Cadet Battalion in Cambridge. He graduated a second lieutenant on 2 January 1919, and posted to general infantry reinforcements. On 4 April he was promoted to lieutenant before being reunited with 3 Bn. Hamilton returned to Australia on 26 August and his service was terminated on 12 September.

    After the war, he resumed his affiliation with the waterfront, working as a labourer and, by the outbreak of the Second World War, a shipping clerk in Sydney. On 3 June 1940, Hamilton was seconded from the retired list to the second AIF as a lieutenant, service number NX150350. He was appointed to 16 Garrison Battalion situated at an internment camp outside of Hay, NSW. On 4 October 1942, Hamilton was transferred to the Australian Army Employment Service (redesignated later to Australian Works Companies) serving overseas in New Guinea and Bougainville. He was promoted to Captain on 21 October 1944. His service was terminated on 19 August 1946.

    John Patrick Hamilton, the last survivor of the seven Victoria Cross recipients from the Battle of Lone Pine, died on 27 February 1961. On 9 August 1985, the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Lone Pine, Hamilton's son, Alwyn, donated his father's medals to the Australian War Memorial.

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