Lt. Wilbur Taylor Dartnell, V.C.

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    In Memory of
    V C
    25th Bn., Royal Fusiliers
    who died age 30
    on 03 September 1915
    (Also known as William Thomas DARTNELL). Son of Henry and Rose Ann Dartnell; husband of Elizabeth Edith Dartnell (nee Smyth), of "Maktau," Phillips Avenue, Murrumbeena, Victoria, Australia. Born at Melbourne.

    Remembered with honour

    An extract from "The London Gazette," dated 23rd Dec., 1915, records the following.- "For most conspicuous bravery near Maktau (East Africa) on 3rd September, 1915. During a mounted infantry engagement the enemy got within a few yards of our men, and it was found impossible to get the more severely wounded away. Lieutenant Dartnell, who was himself being carried away wounded in the leg, seeing the situation, and knowing that the enemy''s black troops murdered the wounded, insisted on being left behind in the hopes of being able to save the lives of the other wounded men. He gave his own life in the gallant attempt to save others."

    Lt. Wilbur Dartnell, V.C. is an Australian hero who gave up his life for others. Even heroes have their little failings. When Dartnell was killed he left a "Testamentory Document", willing his few valuables to his fiancee in Durban, South Africa. The usual practice was followed of auctioning his belongings among his fellow officers. As one or two of them were reasonably well off, the sum of £50 was raised and forwarded to the young lady. The problem was that he also had a wife and daughters in Australia! This caused a problem and much correspondence with the War Office. Even years later his "fiancee" turned up in London trying to claim his V.C. There were some exceptionally brave men in the 25th Fusiliers (Frontiersmen), but quite a number had very much an eye for the ladies.

Share This Page