This Company of Brave Men: The Gallipoli VCs

This special touring exhibition from the Australian War Memorial, marking the 95th anniversary of that historic campaign, displays all nine of the Gallipoli VCs. Join us for this rare opportunity to see these important symbols of the ANZAC experience and learn the stories of the men who earned them.
This exhibition is made possible through the support of Kerry Stokes AC and Seven Network Limited.

The RecipientsGallipoli Victoria Cross medal

On 25 April 1915 Australians and New Zealanders – the ANZACs – were part of the historic landings on the Turkish Gallipoli peninsula. During the ill-fated eight-month-long campaign that followed, these men displayed courage, endurance, initiative, discipline, and mate ship. Such qualities came to be called “the ANZAC spirit”.

Nine Australians were awarded the Victoria Cross, with most of the awards made for actions performed during the battle of Lone Pine. The first of these men, Lance Corporal Albert Jacka, immediately became a national hero.

On 19–20 May 1915, in an almost superhuman effort, Jacka successfully attacked the enemy soldiers who had occupied his trench. He did so single-handedly as those around him had already been killed or wounded. Later in the war this extraordinary soldier performed more brave deeds, two of which are often described as being as important as that for which he received his Victoria Cross.

Second Lieutenant Hugo Throssell won his award for bravery at Hill 60 in late August, thereby becoming the only light horseman to be so honoured. In heavy action, he fought on despite receiving numerous wounds, inspiring all those around him. Even after his wounds were dressed, he continued to fight.

The Battle of Lone Pine

Seven Australians won the Victoria Cross on a small stretch of ground on the Turkish Gallipoli ridge – with four going to a single battalion in just 24 hours. It was here on 6 August that a bayonet assault was launched against the enemy lines.

Reaching the trenches, the Australians found them covered with stout logs and had to fight their way in. The Australians then had to hold on for four days against heavy counter-attacks. Losses were heavy.

Captain Alfred Shout had been one of the heroes of the original landing at ANZAC in April. Now at Lone Pine he personally led attacks until a grenade exploded in his hand, mortally wounding him. At one point Lieutenant Frederick Tubb and Corporals Alexander Burton and William Dunstan fought side-by-side. Tubb was wounded, and Burton was killed in the savage fighting. All three got the Victoria Cross. Other awards went to Private John Hamilton, Lance Corporal Leonard Keysor, and Lieutenant William Symons. Hamilton was just 19.

Learn more about the Gallipoli VCs at the Australian War Memorial website.

Curator Floor Talk

Thursday 11 November.

11.30 am

Level 2, This Company of Brave Men: The Gallipoli VCs exhibition.

Mark Remembrance Day with a special floor talk in the exhibition by Queensland Museum Honorary Historian Jeff Hopkins-Weise.

Join Jeff for a deeper insight into the history and significance of the VC medals.

Event Details

01 October 2010 - 14 November 2010
Level 2, Queensland Museum South Bank

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