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Remembered Today:

Submissions For VC inquiry


Fedelmar

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Submissions still open for the Victoria Cross inquiry

The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, today reminded the public that submissions for the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal Victoria Cross Inquiry will close shortly.

The Inquiry will consider unresolved recognition for past acts of naval and military gallantry and valour.

“There has been a good response to date from all areas of the ex-serving community and others,” Senator Feeney said.

“But I want to remind those who have not yet provided a submission to the Tribunal that there is still time.”

The Inquiry will consider the following 13 former naval and military personnel:

• Gunner Albert Neil (Neale) Cleary – Army (East Geelong, VIC)

• Midshipman Robert Ian Davies – Navy (Greenwich, Sydney, NSW)

• Leading Cook Francis Bassett Emms – Navy (Launceston, TAS)

• Lieutenant David John Hamer – Navy (Melbourne, VIC)

• Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick – Army (Shield, County Durham, UK.)

• Lieutenant Commander Robert William Rankin – Navy (Cobar, NSW)

• Able Seaman Dalmorton Joseph Owendale Rudd – Navy (Sydney, NSW)

• Ordinary Seaman Edward Sheean – Navy (Barrington, Devonport, TAS)

• Leading Aircrewman Noel Ervin Shipp – Navy (Julia Creek, North QLD)

• Lieutenant Commander Francis Edward Smith – Navy (Lismore, NSW)

• Lieutenant Commander Henry Hugh Gordon Dacre Stoker – Navy (Dublin, Ireland)

• Leading Seaman Ronald Taylor – Navy (Carlton, VIC)

• Captain Hector Macdonald Laws Waller – Navy (Benalla, VIC)

The Tribunal is also receiving submissions from interested members of the public for other Defence Force members who they consider are worthy of appropriate recognition for an act of gallantry or valour.

“It is important that these submissions are supported by appropriate documentation, not just anecdotal evidence,” Senator Feeney said.

Submissions to the Inquiry close on 30 June 2011.

The terms of reference for the inquiry and a guide about making a submission is at:

www.defence-honours-tribunal.gov.au

The Tribunal can be contacted at:

Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal

CP3-7-067

Locked Bag 7765

CANBERRA BC ACT 2610

or via e-mail to DHA.Tribunal@defence.gov.au

Media Contact:

Lorna Clarke – 0408 345 730

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I suspect there are relatively few witnesses available to supply evidence. Anything else is lost in the fog of time. I really have to question the motives behind this: another bit of Brit-bashing (they didn't give out heroes the recognition they deserved, so we will)?

Edited by Alan Curragh
Political comment removed
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Perhaps we can point them at previous comments on the forum, luckily its not the real VC they are talking about just the Australian version which will be cheapened.

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I would suggest that while we can all have our own thoughts on the wisdom of retrospective VCs, to talk about "the real VC" is an insult to Mark Donaldson and Ben Roberts-Smith (and Willie Apiata for that matter)

Apologies for being a touch off-topic - and to clarify this is a personal, not "modding" comment

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Apologies ... my comment about Major Percy Black got tagged on the end of the Minister's announcment. For those who did not see it I pointed out that Major Percy Black was a noticeable omission from the list.

Alan, I totally agree with you. A VC awarded by either UK or Australia is a REAL VC.

:poppy:

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Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick – Army (Shield, County Durham, UK.)

Write up

Very interesting read here

Following Simpson's death Lt-Col. Sutton wrote of Simpson that "He was a splendid fellow and went up the gullies day and night bringing down the wounded on donkeys. I hope he will be awarded the D.C.M."

On June 1st Sutton wrote "I think we will get a V.C. for poor Simpson."

Then on June 4th he wrote "I have been writing up poor Simpson's case with a view to getting some honour for him. It is difficult to get evidence of any one act to justify the V.C., the fact is he did so many."

Unfortunately, the senior medical officer at Anzac gave faulty instructions to the junior officer preparing Simpson's citation. Jack was recommended under the wrong category of heroism and the V.C. request was denied.

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I would suggest that while we can all have our own thoughts on the wisdom of retrospective VCs, to talk about "the real VC" is an insult to Mark Donaldson and Ben Roberts-Smith (and Willie Apiata for that matter)

Apologies for being a touch off-topic - and to clarify this is a personal, not "modding" comment

Not off topic at all. I'm sure they won't take much notice of my comment, but if I was one of those men I would feel more offended by the consideration being made to add the men mentioned in the first post. In my opinion in the re-writing of history they would have as much merit as the self award by Idi Amin.

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Not off topic at all. I'm sure they won't take much notice of my comment, but if I was one of those men I would feel more offended by the consideration being made to add the men mentioned in the first post. In my opinion in the re-writing of history they would have as much merit as the self award by Idi Amin.

"I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

(attrib. Voltaire)

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The point I am making is that we don't need to do this, the memory of these men and their deeds has been perpetuated, they won't be forgotten and to make this gesture 100 years down the road and long long after they are dead smells of something other than a genuine intent to recognise courage. Where will it end? If it is decided they aren't worthy of a VC will there be appeals, court cases, or will they be awarded the next decoration on the list? This is just a nonsense.

Why not just award them the Medal of the order of Australia? There is a a miltary divison award for 'Exceptional service or performance of duty'.

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So what is the REAL VC you were speaking of?

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Definitely not 'cheapened' then.

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Would some kind Aussie Point out to the powers that be,

that John Simpson Kirkpatrick came from SOUTH SHIELDS County Durham.

NOT Shield.

Thanks

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Don't need to be an Aussie to do that :)

The email address is at the bottom of the message from the Minister :)

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Definitely not 'cheapened' then.

Yes I have read all that, despite what some may think I do reseach before I spout. It all depends on the interpretation and if the inteperpretation is from 90 year old information then in my opinion it lacks credibility and to take the evidence without question does cheapen the award.

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"Perhaps we can point them at previous comments on the forum, luckily its not the real VC they are talking about just the Australian version which will be cheapened."

Perhaps I read this wrong then.

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Mainly mine.

I don't for one minute really believe that there is any difference between the 2 awards and the valour, heroism, courage, bravery of those men awarded the VC at the moment. But mucking about with it does, I will repeat, cheapen it and that is why the difference needs to be made bbetween the 2 awards, if you tarnish one ensure that everyone knows which one it is.

No one has addressed my questions in post 10.

By the way I have made my thoughts known I'm sure that no one will take any notice.

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mucking about with it how?

I am only asking because I am having trouble understanding where you are coming from.

As for post 10, if you are referring to the 'Order of Australia' why not tell them yourself. The contact details are at the bottom of my original post.

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  • 1 month later...

Not off topic at all. I'm sure they won't take much notice of my comment, but if I was one of those men I would feel more offended by the consideration being made to add the men mentioned in the first post. In my opinion in the re-writing of history they would have as much merit as the self award by Idi Amin.

Idi Amin? How far off-topic do you want to go?

Re-writing of history? The first post states “It is important that these submissions are supported by appropriate documentation, not just anecdotal evidence,” Senator Feeney said. Therefore the intent is to use historical evidence and not 're-write history' .

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Sorry I thought the topic was the award of the Victoria Cross, I feel quite strongly about the cheapening of the award and to my mind the motives behind this campaign.

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I don't for one minute really believe that there is any difference between the 2 awards and the valour, heroism, courage, bravery of those men awarded the VC at the moment.

"Lucky it's NOT THE REAL VC...?

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I'll declare my interest up front that I'm a current serving member of the Australian Defence Force.

There are 2 seperate issues here which seem to be overlapping:

1. Retrospective awards. We're jumping the gun here. The Tribunal is yet to make any decisions on the matter. Perhaps they'll recommend NOT issuing further awards; VC or otherwise.

From the announcement of the review media release: "...(The Tribunal will) first debate "the eligibility of the 13 to receive the Victoria Cross, the Victoria Cross for Australia or other forms of recognition." They aren't even going to consider the individual cases until that matter is determined. Lets wait and see. That's why we have inquiries of this sort; to ensure that these things don't simply occur willy nilly in response to public sentiment without all the facts. Pressure has come to bear for decades on the cases which may be considered including at least one Private Member's Bill in parliament ten years ago. The issue hasn't just popped up out of the blue. Opinions on the issue vary across the spectrum in Australia. I'll hold off on my personal opinion at this stage as it's not relevant to the matter.

2. The relative merit of the current VC awarded to ADF members. I'm still not sure what point was intended in the comments posted earlier. Implying the VC currently awarded to ADF members within the Australian honours system isn't a "real" VC is insulting to the recent Australian recipients and to the Australian people in general. Splitting hairs on "which" VC it is doesn't take away the offensive implication of the comment. Does this view include the Canadian VC or VC for New Zealand? The implication shows a lack of understanding of the circumstances leading to the VC being re-introduced to the Australian honours system in 1991.

Standing by incoming...

Leigh

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The point I am making is that we don't need to do this, the memory of these men and their deeds has been perpetuated, they won't be forgotten and to make this gesture 100 years down the road and long long after they are dead smells of something other than a genuine intent to recognise courage. Where will it end? If it is decided they aren't worthy of a VC will there be appeals, court cases, or will they be awarded the next decoration on the list? This is just a nonsense.

Why not just award them the Medal of the order of Australia? There is a a miltary divison award for 'Exceptional service or performance of duty'.

The VC has been awarded retrospectively before and I was unaware of any time limit governing it. The 'six VC's before breakfast' would have been the 'three VC's before breakfast' if the others hadn't been awarded retrospectively. (and one of those even had his original DCM cancelled to permit the award of the VC).

Although I might not necessarily agree with you, I understand what you are driving at with regards to your concern about cheapening the award. But what I really don't understand is your statement that the Australian VC is not a 'real one'. For someone who claims to be so concerned about cheapening the VC, you seem to be doing a good job of it yourself with comments like that.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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luckily its not the real VC they are talking about just the Australian version which will be cheapened. and

I'm sure they won't take much notice of my comment, but if I was one of those men I would feel more offended by the consideration being made to add the men mentioned in the first post.

These are a couple of cheap shots in my book.

The first comment speaks for itself really, "real VC, not the Australian Version" :blush:

The second comment, From everything I have read or heard them say, acknowledges that they could not have done what they did without help, support etc from their mates. They are usually the first to say they are underserving of the honour and that others are equally deserving. So there may be disagreements about whether or not retrospective VCs are awarded, but I doubt they would be 'offended' by it.

We can debate and disagree with the principle, but taking it to an 'us and them' debate is a bit much.

cheers

Shirley

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