Introduction to Victoria Cross Recipients by Electorate

Link to Index

Marty Harris
with assistance from Nicholas Fuller, Laura Rayner and Brooke McDonagh
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security Section

Purpose of publication

The intent of this website is to allow Members and Senators to identify Victoria Cross (VC) winners with ties to particular electorates.  A Victoria Cross winner is defined as ‘connected’ with a specific federal House of Representatives electorate if the recipient::

  • was born in the electorate
  • resided in the electorate when he enlisted
  • died in the electorate or
  • is buried or was cremated in the electorate.

The Victoria Cross

… is the pre-eminent award for acts of bravery in wartime and Australia’s highest military honour.

It is awarded to persons who, in the presence of the enemy, display the most conspicuous gallantry; a daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice; or extreme devotion to duty.1

History

The (Imperial) Victoria Cross was created in 1856, and retrospectively covered the Crimean War beginning in 1854.2   It was first awarded to 62 sailors and soldiers following the Indian Mutiny in 1857.

The Victoria Cross for Australia was inaugurated in 1991, and is the highest Australian award in the Australian system of Honours and Awards.  It was first awarded in January 2009 to Trooper Mark Gregor Donaldson, forty years after the award to the last Australian recipient of the (Imperial) Victoria Cross, Warrant Officer Keith Payne in 1969.3

The first Australian to receive a Victoria Cross was Captain (later Sir) Neville Howse during the Boer War in 1900.  Since then, 97 Australians have been awarded the Victoria Cross, all but six while serving with Australian forces.4   The conflicts for which the VCs to Australians have been awarded are:

  • Boer War (1899–1902):
6
  • World War I (1914–18):
64
  • North Russia (1919):
2
  • World War II (1939–45):
20
  • Vietnam (1962–72):
4
  • Afghanistan (2001–present):
1

Description

Victoria Cross

Source information: Australian Government, ‘Victoria Cross for Australia’, It’s an Honour: Australia celebrating Australians website, viewed 22 April 2010, http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/awards/medals/victoria_cross.cfm

The VC is made by Messrs. Hancock, jewellers of London, from metal taken from Russian guns captured at Sebastopol.5   It is in the form of:

… a Maltese Cross in bronze adorned by a crown surmounted by a crowned lion, the emblem of the British royal family, in the centre, with a scroll bearing the inscription, ‘For Valour’.  On the reverse is inscribed the date of the action.  The name and regiment of the holder are inscribed on the back of the suspension bar.  The ribbon is red for all Services, although until July 1918, the Royal Navy used the blue ribbon.6

More information

The original warrant for the Victoria Cross, issued by Queen Victoria under her Royal Sign Manual, is available in the London Gazette.7

Abbreviations

AAMC

Australian Army Medical Corps

AATTV

Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

AIF

Australian Imperial Force

AMF

Australian Military Forces

ARVN

Army of the Republic of Vietnam

Bn

Battalion

CB

Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath

CO

Commanding Officer

Col.

Colonel

Comd.

Command

Coy.

Company

Cpl

Corporal

Cpt.

Captain

DGMS

Director General Medical Services

DSO

Distinguished Service Order

Inf.

Infantry

KCB

Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

KCMG

Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George

LHR

Light Horse Regiment

Lieut.

Lieutenant

LMG

Light machine gun

Lt.

Lieutenant

MG

Machine gun

MM

Military Medal

NAA

National Archives of Australia

NCO

Non-Commissioned Officer

OBE

Order of the British Empire

Pl.

Platoon

Posn.

Position

Pte

Private

QOCG

Queen’s Own Corps of Guides

RAAF

Royal Australian Air Force

RAF

Royal Air Force

RAR

Royal Australian Regiment

Sjt.

Sergeant

Sgt

Sergeant

T/Corporal

Temporary Corporal

TSMG

Thompson sub-machine gun

VMR

Victoria Mounted Rifles

Electorates

New South Wales

Banks  

Bennelong        

Bradfield          

Calare  

Chifley

Charlton           

Cowper

Farrer   

Grayndler         

Hughes

Hume  

Hunter 

Kingsford Smith

Newcastle        

New England    

North Sydney   

Page    

Parkes

Parramatta       

Reid

Riverina           

Sydney

Warringah         

Watson

Wentworth        

Werriwa           

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Victoria

Ballarat

Batman

Bendigo           

Bruce   

Corangamite     

Corio

Dunkley                       

Flinders

Goldstein         

Higgins

Indi      

Jagajaga          

Kooyong          

Mallee

McEwen          

McMillan          

Melbourne        

Melbourne Ports           

Murray 

Wannon           

Wills    

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Queensland

Bonner

Brisbane          

Capricornia       

  • John Leak (1892?–1972; WWI) resided on enlistment

Dawson                       

Griffith 

Herbert

Hinkler 

Kennedy          

  • Henry Dalziel (1893–1965; WWI) born, and resided on enlistment
  • Keith Payne (born 1933; Vietnam) born, and resided on enlistment

Maranoa           

Petrie   

  • Keith Payne (born 1933; Vietnam) resided on enlistment

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Western Australia

Brand   

Curtin  

Durack

Forrest

Fremantle         

Hasluck                       

O’Connor         

Pearce 

Perth   

Swan   

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South Australia

Adelaide

Barker

Boothby

Grey

Hindmarsh

Makin

Mayo

Port Adelaide

Wakefield         

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Tasmania

Bass    

Denison           

Franklin            

Lyons  

Northern Territory

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Australian Capital Territory

Canberra          

Fraser  


1 . Australian Government, ‘Victoria Cross for Australia’, It’s an Honour: Australia celebrating Australians website, viewed 23 March 2010, http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/awards/medals/victoria_cross.cfm

2 . Anzac Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland, ‘The Victoria Cross’,  Anzac Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland website, viewed 1 March 2010, http://www.anzacday.org.au/education/medals/vc/default.html

3 . Australian Government, ‘Australian Army: Awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia: Trooper Mark Gregor Donaldson’, Department of Defence website, viewed 23 March 2010, http://www.defence.gov.au/special_events/TPR_markDonaldson.htm

4 . Australian Government, ‘Victoria Cross for Australia’, op. cit.

5 . Anzac Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland, ‘The Victoria Cross,’ op. cit.

6 . Ibid.

7 . ‘Supplement to the London Gazette,’ London Gazette, no. 21846, 5 February 1856, p. 410, viewed 23 March 2010, http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/21846/pages/410

For copyright reasons some linked items are only available to members of Parliament.


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