The Youngest Battalion Commander in the AIF
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During this period he married Shoko Sakai, a Japanese citizen, on 5 March He was posted to the 2nd Battalion in January and he served in Malaya with this unit for two years from October During this second tour he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions when a patrol was ambushed at Tako on 16 September. Simpson, although severely wounded in the leg, held off the enemy while he called for assistance by radio. He and his men repelled several enemy assaults until help arrived, and none too soon as the ammunition had almost gone and Simpson was weak from loss of blood.
He was evacuated by helicopter to the 6th Field Hospital at Nha Trang and he later convalesced in Tokyo. Simpson had been promoted to Sergeant on 1 July and to temporary Warrant Officer Class II in July , the latter promotion being confirmed on 1 October the same year. On 6 and 11 May , when he performed the actions for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross, he was serving in Kontum Province, near the Laotian border, as commander of a mobile strike force.
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Warrant Officer Simpson enlisted initially in He saw active service in the Pacific, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam. When one of his platoons became heavily engaged with the enemy, he led the remainder of his company to its assistance. Disregarding the dangers involved, he placed himself at the front of his troops, thus becoming a focal point of enemy fire, and personally led the assault on the left flank of the enemy position.
Always foremost in volunteering for any dangerous mission, it was during the execution of one of these missions that this gallant soldier was killed.
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Died: 28 September , Polygon Wood, Belgium. He was educated at home by his parents and later farmed with his father on Homebush, a property near Gulargambone. After passing the first objective his half-company and part of the company on the flank were held up by an enemy machinegun nest.
With one man he rushed the post, shooting four of the occupants and taking 22 prisoners. Later on, reaching a moat, it was found that another machine-gun nest commanded the only available foot-bridge. Whilst this was being engaged from a flank Corporal Buckley endeavoured to cross the bridge and rush the post, but was killed in the attempt.
Throughout the advance he had displayed great initiative, resource and courage, and by his effort to save his comrades from casualties, he set a fine example of self-sacrificing devotion to duty. For most conspicuous bravery, brilliant leadership, and devotion to duty during the operations at Peronne on 1st and 2nd September, During the attack on the 1st September a machine gun post was checking the advance.
Single handed [Corporal Hall] rushed the position, shot four of the occupants, and captured nine others, and two machine guns. Then crossing the objective with a small party, he afforded excellent covering support to the remainder of the company. Continuously in advance of the main party, he located enemy posts of resistance and personally led parties to the assault.
In this way he captured many small parties of prisoners and machine guns. On the morning of the 2nd September, during a heavy barrage, he carried to safety a comrade who had been dangerously wounded and was urgently in need of medical attention, and immediately returned to his post. The energy and personal courage of this gallant non-commissioned officer contributed largely to the success of the operations, throughout which he showed utter disregard of danger and inspired confidence in all.
On 11 October he was transferred to the 56th Battalion and on 6 March was promoted temporary sergeant a rank he retained until his discharge from the AIF on 3 August in Sydney. After demobilization Hall returned to the Nyngan district where he bought a pastoral property, Gundooee station, near Coolabah. In he served as a lieutenant in the 7th Garrison Battalion and on returning to Gundooee carried on his pastoral activities, running sheep and building up a fine herd of Poll Devon cattle.
Survived by his wife, a daughter and three sons, Hall died in Nyngan District Hospital on 25 February Soon after, he enlisted in the Royal Navy and served for five years as a stoker before joining the Permanent Military Forces. Place of residence at time of enlistment: Claremont, Tasmania [electorate of Denison].
For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on two occasions. When in command of a platoon, the enemy, under cover of an intense artillery barrage, attacked the small trench he was holding. Owing to weight of numbers the enemy succeeded in entering the trench, and it was owing to Sjt. Whittle personally collecting all available men and charging the enemy that the position was regained. On the second occasion when the enemy broke through the left of our line, Sjt.
His platoon were suffering heavy casualties and the enemy endeavoured to bring up a machine gun to enfilade the position. Grasping the situation, he rushed alone across the fire swept ground and attacked the hostile gun crew with bombs before the gun could be got into action. He succeeded in killing the whole crew and in bringing back the machine gun to our position.
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Wounded again during the German offensive of March , and once more in late July, Whittle returned to Australia with other VC winners in October to take part in a planned recruiting drive. Following the Armistice, he was discharged on 15 December and lived in Sydney. Within a month he was employed by the Western Assurance Co. On 7 February he saved a small boy from drowning in an ornamental pool in University Park; though Whittle departed without giving his name, the deed became widely known.
Survived by his wife, three daughters and a son, he died of a cerebral haemorrhage on 2 March at Glebe and was buried in Rookwood cemetery. The family moved to a farm near Liverpool when Jack was a child.
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Educated at Hurlstone Agricultural High School, he worked with his father and became a champion rifle-shooter. He was a council-member of the Liverpool Agricultural Society and acted as a steward at its shows. Later that month he was promoted acting corporal substantive in November. Well built and about 5 ft 9 ins cm tall, Edmondson settled easily into army life and was known as a quiet but efficient soldier.
On the night of the th April, , a party of German infantry broke through the wire defences at Tobruk and established themselves with at least six machine guns, mortars and two small field pieces. It was decided to attack them with bayonets, and a party consisting of one officer, Corporal Edmondson and five privates, took part in the charge. During the counter-attack Corporal Edmondson was wounded in the neck and stomach but continued to advance under heavy fire and killed one enemy with his bayonet.
Later, his officer had his bayonet in one of the enemy and was grasped about the legs by him, when another attacked him from behind. He called for help, and Corporal Edmondson, who was some yards away, immediately came to his assistance and in spite of his wounds, killed both of the enemy.
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Shortly after returning from this successful counter-attack, Corporal Edmondson died of his wounds. His actions throughout the operations were outstanding for resolution, leadership and conspicuous bravery. For most conspicuous bravery. Jackson got back safely and, after handing over a prisoner whom he had brought in, immediately went out again under very heavy shell fire and assisted in bringing in a wounded man.
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He then went out again, and with a sergeant was bringing another wounded man when his arm was blown off by a shell and the sergeant was rendered unconscious. He then returned to our trenches, obtained assistance, and went out again to look for his two wounded comrades. He set a splendid example of pluck and determination. His work has always been marked by the greatest coolness and bravery. Jackson was evacuated and his arm was amputated. He embarked for Australia on 4 May and was discharged on 15 September.
Returning to Merriwa, he began dealing in horses and animal skins but in became licensee of the Figtree hotel in Wollongong. Jackson then moved to Sydney in for employment. He had several jobs, including clerical work with the Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board.
In he moved to Melbourne and became commissionaire and inquiry attendant at the Melbourne Town Hall. In Jackson visited England to attend Victoria Cross centenary celebrations. Survived by his daughter, he died of arteriosclerotic heart disease on 4 August at the Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, Melbourne, and was cremated. Died: 4 August , Heidelberg, Victoria [electorate of Jagajaga].
After school and at weekends he helped with the work on the family farm and for recreation regularly played tennis. During the depression it became necessary for Reg and his elder brothers to find work away from the family property. The attack was met by extremely heavy fire and all forward movement was stopped with casualties mounting. Corporal Rattey quickly appreciated the serious situation delaying the advance could only be averted by silencing enemy fire from automatic weapons in bunkers, which dominated all the lines of approach.
He determined that a bold push by himself alone would surprise the enemy and offered the best chance of success. With amazing courage he rushed forward firing his Bren gun and hurling grenades. This completely neutralised enemy fire.