Bravest: How Some of Australia's Greatest War Heroes Won Their Medals

Bravest: How Some of Australia's Greatest War Heroes Won Their Medals

Bravest: How Some of Australia's Greatest War Heroes Won Their Medals

Bravest: How Some of Australia's Greatest War Heroes Won Their Medals

Synopsis

The Victoria Cross is the highest award for valor that can be won by an Australian; just 96 Australians have been awarded the VC in conflicts from the Boer War to the Vietnam War. And only 14 Australians have been awarded the George Cross, the ultimate medal for heroism away from active combat, since its inception in 1940. But what is it that makes these remarkable soldiers risk everything in defense of their country and their mates? Noted biographer Robert Macklin tells the inspirational story of 15 Australian recipients of the Victoria and George Crosses, from Neville Howse in South Africa in 1900 to the heroes of the Great War such as Albert Jacka, "Diver" Derrick in World War II, and Keith Payne in Vietnam in 1969.

Excerpt

The battlefield touches the deepest part of us. It is in our bones. For as long as we have had campfires we have been recounting tales of struggle against the odds.

Australia’s most highly decorated soldier of the First World War, Lieutenant Colonel Harry Murray, wrote: ‘Surely there is something about that terrible thing called War which manages to call forth all that is best and most unselfish in men. Is it not a fact that at the bottom of our hearts, we all love it, and love the men who fought and bled with us, and afterwards even the men we have fought against?‘

Murray was writing in the late 1930s, looking back to what had become known as the Great War and looking ahead to what would be a war for civilisation. He knew, because he had seen it, that we are all pacifists until the bugles call. But once that first note signals the coming storm of battle, a new code of . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.