18 October 2009

Victoria Cross: J. Maxwell


Lieutenant, 18th (New South Wales) Battalion, Australian Imperial Force

Born: 10 February 1896, Forest Lodge, New South Wales, Australia
Died: 6 July 1967, Matraville, New South Wales, Australia

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and leadership in attack on the Beaurevoir-Fonsomme line near Estrees, North of St. Quentin, on the 3rd October, 1918.
His company commander was severely wounded early in the advance, and Lt. Maxwell at once took charge. The enemy wire when reached under intense fire was found to be exceptionally strong and closely supported by machine guns, whereupon Lt. Maxwell pushed forward single-handed through the wire and captured the most dangerous gun, killing three and capturing four enemy. He thus enabled his company to penetrate the wire and reach the objective. Later, he again dashed forward and silenced, single-handed, a gun which was holding up a flank company. Subsequently, when with two men only he attempted to capture a strong party of the enemy, he handled a most involved situation very skilfully, and it was due to his resource that he and his comrades escaped.
Throughout the day Lt. Maxwell set a high example of personal bravery, coupled with excellent judgment and quick decision.

[London Gazette issue 31108 dated 6 January 1919, published 3 January 1919.]

Note: Maxwell was subsequently awarded a Bar to his Military Cross for his actions near Rainecourt, France, on 9 August 1918.

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