26 April 2011

More Australian VCs to be awarded?

ZUI this article from the Sydney Morning Herald:

John Simpson is among 13 servicemen in contention for a Victoria Cross, write Mike Carlton and Dylan Welch.

HE IS a legendary Australian figure - a man who dodged shrapnel and snipers' bullets to ferry casualties of the Gallipoli campaign on the back of his donkey to the safety of Anzac Cove.

Now John Simpson Kirkpatrick, who enlisted as John Simpson to avoid being revealed as a deserter, is finally to receive the official recognition he deserves.


Today, the government will name him as one of 13 long-dead members of the navy and army to be considered for Victoria Crosses.

Australians have won 98 VCs since 1899, two since 1969. The most recent recipient was the SAS Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith this year.

Those being considered served in both World Wars and in Vietnam. Ten are from the navy and two, including Kirkpatrick, from the army.

No sailor of the Royal Australian Navy has been awarded the VC.


The standout navy candidate for a posthumous medal is Hector "Hardover Hec" Waller, a seaman born in rural Victoria and generally recognised to have been our finest fighting captain.

He led the five Australian destroyers of the Scrap Iron Flotilla in the Mediterranean in 1940-41, in the thick of the naval war against the Italians and Germans. Twice he won the Distinguished Service Order there, the second time for extraordinary seamanship in the Royal Navy's last great fleet action, the Battle of Matapan in March 1941.

ZUI also this announcement from the Australian Department of Defence.

The complete list is as follows:

Gunner Albert Neil Cleary - Royal Australian Artillery, 1945
Midshipman Robert Ian Davies - HMS Repulse, 1942
Leading Cook Francis Bassett Emms - HMAS Kara Kara, 1942
Lieutenant David John Hamer - HMAS Australia, 1945
Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick - Australian Imperial Force, 1915
Lt Cdr Robert William Rankin - HMAS Yarra, 1942
Able Seaman Dalmorton Joseph Owendale Rudd - HMAS Australia (attached HMS Vindictive), 1918
Ordinary Seaman Edward Sheean - HMAS Armidale, 1942
Leading Aircrewman Noel Ervin Shipp - Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnam, 1969
Lieutenant Commander Francis Edward Smith - HMAS Yarra, 1942
Lieutenant Commander Henry Hugh Gordon Dacre Stoker - HMAS AE2, 1915
Leading Seaman Ronald Taylor - HMAS Yarra, 1942
Captain Hector Macdonald Laws Waller - HMAS Perth, 1942

Update 1148 24 Jan 12: The Canberra Times have announced the addition of Warrant Officer Jack Kirby (Viet Nam, 1966) to this list.

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