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  • VOLUNTARY GUIDES BACKGROUNDER Number 84 Issue #1 September 2005

    War left its impact on generations of Australians who lived through the twentieth century. These were disruptive and traumatic times. Much of this population experienced either one or both of the world wars. Others would be affected by the Korean and Vietnam Wars or later commitments. Australia s involvement in wars and conflicts became a backdrop to millions of lives and was a part of the communitys collective experience. Fifty Australians provides a cross-section of Australians sometimes a leader, a hero, or even a rogue who saw war and its effects. Some of these men and women gave their lives, others became renowned for their wartime courage or example, while others, affected for better or worse, emerged to face the peace where they would make their own particular mark. Each has a fascinating story.

    Fifty Australians is on display in the AWM's Special Exhibition gallery from 19 August 2005 23 October 2005 {AWM website 04 September 2005}

    PJH

  • ISSUE #1 (September 2005)

    BACKGROUNDER # 84

    50 AUSTRALIANS

    Contents

    1. Charles Anderson - Lieutenant Colonel Charles Groves Wright Anderson, VC, MC (18971988) 2. Bob Badget Bag -Captain Edward Frederick Robert Bage (18881915) 3. Braces Bracegirdle - Commander Warwick Seymour Bracegirdle, DSC (and two Bars) (19111993) 4. Sexton VC- Sergeant Maurice Vincent Buckley, VC, DCM (18911921) 5. Sister Vivian Bullwinkel - Vivian Statham (ne Bullwinkel), AO, MBE, ARRC, ED (19152000) 6. Killer Caldwell - Group Captain Clive Robertson Caldwell, DSO, DFC (and Bar) (19111994) 7. Harry Chauvel - General Sir Henry George Chauvel, GCMG, KCB (18651945) 8. Mother Chisholm - Dame Alice Isabel Chisholm (ne Morphy), DBE (18561954) 9.Sir Albert Coates - Sir Albert Ernest Coates, OBE (18951977) 10.Sir John Collins - Vice Admiral Sir John Augustine Collins, KBE, CB (18991989) 11.General Cosgrove - General Peter John Cosgrove, AC, MC (b. 1947) 12.Tibby Cotter - Trooper Albert Cotter (18831917) 13.Sir Roden Cutler - Sir Arthur Roden Cutler, VC, AK, KCMG, KCVO, CBE (19162002) 14. Diver Derrick - Lieutenant Thomas Currie Derrick, VC, DCM (19141945) 15.Tilly DEVINE- Matilda Parsons (ne Twiss) (19001970) 16. Graham Edwards - The Hon. Graham John Edwards, MP (b. 1946) 17.Sir Hughie Edwards -Air Vice Marshal Sir Hughie Idwal Edwards, VC, KCMG, CB, DSO, OBE, DFC (19141982) 18. Pompey Elliott -Major General Harold Edward Elliott, CB, CMG, DSO, DCM, VD (18781931) 19. Sir Hudson Fysh - Sir Wilmot Hudson Fysh, KBE, DFC (18951974) 20. John Gorton -The Rt Hon. Sir John Grey Gorton, GCMG, AC, CH (19112002) 21 Jo Gullett - Henry Bayton Somer Gullett, AM, MC (19141999) 22. Ned Herring -Lieutenant General the Hon. Sir Edmund Francis Herring, KCMG, KBE, DSO, MC, ED, QC (18921982) 23. Nora Heysen -Nora Heysen, AM (19112003) 24. Barney Hines - Private John Hines (18731958) 25. William Holmes - Major General William Holmes, CMG, DSO, VD (18621917) 26. Bert Jacka - Captain Albert Jacka, VC, MC (and Bar) (18931932) 27. Olive King - Sergeant Olive May King (18851958) 28. Smithy - Air Commodore Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, MC, AFC (18971935) 29 .Hammy Lamb - Lieutenant George Hamilton Lamb, MLA (19001943) 30. The Bull Leane - Brigadier General Sir Raymond Lionel Leane, CB, CMG, DSO (and Bar), MC, VD (18781962) 31. David McNicoll - David Ramsay McNicoll, CBE (19142000) 32. Keith Nugget Miller - Keith Ross Miller, MBE (19192004) 33. Breaker Morant - Lieutenant Harry Harbord Morant (18641902) 34. Biddy Moriarty - Barbara Irene Moriarty (ne Goff) (19021979)

  • ISSUE #1 (September 2005)

    35. Mad Harry Murray - Lieutenant Colonel Henry William Murray, VC, CMG, DSO (and Bar), DCM (18801966) 36. Damien Parer - Damien Peter Parer (19121944) 37. Frank Partridge - Private Frank John Partridge, VC (19241964) 38. Banjo Paterson - Andrew Barton Paterson, CBE (18641941) 39. Chips Rafferty - John William Goffage, MBE (19091971) 40. Buck Rogers - Chief Petty Officer Jonathan Rogers, GC, DSM (19201964) 41. Normie Rowe - Norman J. Rowe, AM (b. 1947) 42. Bull Ryrie - Major General Sir Granville de Laune Ryrie, KCMG, CB, VD (18651937) 43. Reg Saunders - Reginald Walter Saunders, MBE (19201990) 44. Dave Shannon - Squadron Leader David John Shannon, DSO (and Bar), DFC (and Bar) (19221993) 45. Sir Ross Smith -Sir Ross Macpherson Smith, KBE, DFC (and two Bars), MC (and Bar), AFC (18921922) 46. Harry Thorpe - Corporal Harry Thorpe, MM (18861918) 47. Bluey Truscott - Squadron Leader Keith William Truscott, DFC (and Bar) (19161943) 48. Fighting Hec Waller - Captain Hector Macdonald Laws Waller, DSO (and Bar) (19001942) 49.Gough Whitlam - The Hon. Edward Gough Whitlam, AC, QC (b. 1916) 50. Sir Hubert Wilkins - Sir George Hubert Wilkins, MC (and Bar) (18881958)

  • 1

    ISSUE #1 (September 2005)

    Charles Anderson The highest ranked Australian soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross. Having won the Victoria Cross, Anderson spent the remainder of the Second World War as a prisoner of the Japanese.

    Lieutenant Colonel Charles Groves Wright Anderson, VC, MC (18971988)

    Middle-aged, bespectacled, and a veteran of an earlier war, Anderson did not look like a Hollywood-style war hero. He had been born in South Africa and was awarded the Military Cross in the First World War before coming to Australia in 1934. Already an officer in the militia, he was appointed second-in-command of the 2/19th Battalion on its formation in 1940. The battalion was sent to Malaya; and in August 1941 Anderson was appointed its commanding officer.

    During the Japanese advance in January 1942, the 2/19th was ordered to the Bakri area in a futile attempt to help stop the enemy. Following heavy casualties, Anderson took command of the brigade and led it in a fighting withdrawal towards Parit Sulong village. Cut-off, surrounded, and without air support, Anderson personally led attacks against road-blocks and enemy positions during the ensuing four-day action that became one of the most desperate in Australian military history.

    At Parit Sulong Anderson found his decimated force trapped with no hope of relief. Finally, he ordered that the vehicles and guns be destroyed and surviving troops form groups and try to make their own way southward. He was later distressed to learn that the Japanese had massacred the wounded who had been left behind. For his command and exploits he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

    Anderson was taken into captivity on 15 February 1942, when the British forces in Singapore surrendered. He endured the misery and squalor of being a prisoner of war, commanding Anderson force on the BurmaThailand Railway. Despite a high rate of death and illness, he maintained a high level of morale among his men all of whom would have followed him to hell and back. After the war he returned to farming. In 1949 he was elected to parliament as Country Party member for Hume, New South Wales, and served three terms.

    Lieutenant Colonel Charles Anderson ART31764

  • 2

    ISSUE #1 (September 2005)

    Bob Badget Bage Prize-winning student, athlete, and soldier. Bage was a young adventurous Antarctic explorer before returning to his army appointment. He was killed during the first fortnight on Gallipoli.

    Captain Edward Frederick Robert Bage (18881915)

    After graduating in civil engineering, Bob Bage joined the militia in 1909 and two years later transferred, as an officer, to the Royal Australian Engineers. Not long after that, aged 23, he took leave to accompany Douglas Mawsons Australasian Antarctic Expedition as astronomer, assistant magnetician and recorder of tides.

    Bage led the expeditions southern sledging party on a perilous 1,000-kilometre overland journey towards the magnetic pole region. For weeks on end the group encountered blizzards, freezing temperatures, snow-blindness and frost-bite. Their return, with dwindling rations, became a race for survival. Bages quiet determination, resolution, and foresight carried them through always cheerful, ready with a hand to anybody who needed it he was a born leader of men.

    Elsewhere, Mawsons far eastern party struck disaster, leaving Mawson the sole survivor. Back at base, Bage was one of six volunteers who remained behind to wait for him when he failed to return in time for the expeditions sailing. They endured another winter before the relief ship could come back for them.

    On the outbreak of war, Bage was commissioned in the AIF as second-in-command of the 3rd Field Company, Australian Engineers. He took part in the landing at ANZAC on 25 April 1915. Twelve days later he was sent to an exposed position to peg out a new trench line. He came under intense machine-gun fire and was repeatedly hit. His dead body could not be recovered until dark; he was later buried in the Beach Cemetery at ANZAC.

    Bob Bage, member of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition

    National Library of Australia nla.pic-vn3119664

  • 3

    ISSUE #1 (September 2005)

    Braces Bracegirdle An officer from a distinguished Australian naval family. Warwick Bracegirdle saw extensive service in both the Second World War and the Korean War and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on three occasions.

    Commander Warwick Seymour Bracegirdle, DSC (and two Bars) (19111993)

    Warwick Bracegirdle seemed destined for a naval career. His father, Rear Admiral Sir Leighton Bracegirdle (18811970), had been an officer in the NSW Naval Brigade and later the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). By the time he was 21 he had fought in the Boxer Rebellion and the Boer War; in the First World War he served in the Australian Naval and