Henry Dalziel VC

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Henry Dalziel No. 1936 V.C. Henry (Harry) Dalziel was born on the 18-02-1893 at Ragged Camp near Irvinebank, after Harry’s schooling in Irvinebank his parents moved to the Atherton Tableland to take up farming.

    On completing his schooling in Atherton, Harry took on an apprenticeship with the Queensland Railways as a Fireman, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces at the Age of 23 in 1916.

    The lad from Irvinebank found himself in the 15th Battalion six months later. In the spirit of the ANZAC tradition, Henry Dalziel won his Victoria Cross in the Battle of Hamel Wood, France on the 4th July 1918.

    He also had the distinction of becoming the 1000th Commonwealth serviceman to win the Victoria Cross and one of the 96 that have been presented to Australians.

    By May 1918, the five Australian Divisions were for the first time formed into the Australian Corps under the Command of Major-General Sir John Monash. In the coming Hamel attack the five Australian Divisions would fight side by side for the first time.

    The official record of acts for which the Victoria Cross was awarded to Queenslanders, states —

    “No. 1936 Driver, Henry Dalziel V.C. 15th Battalion, for most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in action with a Lewis gun section. His company met with a most determined resistance from a strong point, which was strongly garrisoned, manned by numerous machine guns, and undamaged by our artillery fire, was also protected by strong wire entanglements.

    The heavy concentration of machine gun fire caused many casualties and held up our advance. His Lewis gun having come into action and silenced enemy guns in one direction, enemy gunfire opened from another direction. Private Dalziel dashed at it, and with his revolver killed and captured the entire crew and gun and allowed our advance to continue. He was severely wounded in the hand, but carried on and took part in the capture of the final objective.

    He twice went over open ground under heavy enemy artillery and machine gun fire, to secure ammunition, though suffering from considerable loss of blood. He filled magazines and served his gun until he was severely wounded through the head. His magnificent bravery and devotion to duty was an inspiring example to all his comrades, and his dash and unselfish courage at a most critical time undoubtedly saved many lives and turned what would have been a severe check into a splendid success.”

    Many thought he would not survive his wounds, his skull was smashed and the brain was exposed, after receiving long and skillful treatment in England, Harry arrived back in Brisbane in July 1919.

    Dalziel married and returned to Atherton, he worked a small farm which he called Camelbank. Eventually Harry moved to Sydney, Bathurst and then to Brisbane. In the 1930’s Harry joined the Citizen Military Forces and in 1933, then a sergeant, became the first V.C. to be a member of the Guard of Honour at the opening of the Queensland Parliament.

    During World War 2, Harry served in a limited capacity in Australia, visiting training camps etc. Harry became somewhat famous as a songwriter, having some of his songs published in the U.K. and the U.S. He also tried his hand at drawing, pottery and prose writing and in 1956 he attended the V.C. Centenary and then went to Hamel on the 4th of July to place a wreath on the Cenotaph.

    Henry (Harry) Dalziel died on the 24th July 1965 at the Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital Brisbane and was cremated with full Military Honours. He was 72 years of age.



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  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    I love this first picture .... he's so at ease !! :) .... what a man he was - when you read his story ... a very brave soldier ... in more ways than one !

    Portrait of Driver Henry Dalziel VC, 15th Battalion AIF, and Sister Elizabeth Mosey RRC, possibly after their award ceremony. Dalziel was awarded the VC following his actions attacking and capturing a German machine gun post at Hamel Wood on 4 July 1918, where he continued to fight and supply the Lewis gun team in his company, despite being wounded twice. Dalziel returned to Australia on 5 January 1918 while Sister Mosey returned almost a year later on 14 January 1919

    And the official photo ! :)

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