War Memorial to get the Dalziel VC

johnboy 16 December 2010 16

(Note to newsreaders, it’s pronounced “Daleel”)

The War Memorial has announced that they’re taking receipt today of Private Harry Dalziel’s Victoria Cross, thanks to media magnate Kerry Stokes.

The citation for the VC went thusly:

“For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in action with a Lewis gun section. His company met with determined resistance from a strong point which was strongly garrisoned, manned by numerous machine-guns and, undamaged by our artillery fire, was also protected by strong wire entanglements. A heavy concentration of machine-gun fire caused many casualties, and held up our advance. His Lewis gun having come into action and silenced enemy guns in one direction, an enemy gun opened fire from another direction. Private Dalziel dashed at it and with his revolver, killed or captured the entire crew and gun, and allowed our advance to continue. He was severely wounded in the hand, but carried on and took part in the capture of the final objective. He twice went over open ground under heavy enemy artillery and machine-gun fire to secure ammunition, and though suffering from considerable loss of blood, he filled magazines and served his gun until severely wounded through the head. His magnificent bravery and devotion to duty was an inspiring example to all his comrades and his dash and unselfish courage at a critical time undoubtedly saved many lives and turned what would have been a serious check into a splendid success.”

Despite getting his brains blown out in the process he returned to Australia and lived to the age of 72 expiring in 1965.


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16 Responses to War Memorial to get the Dalziel VC
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WalkTheTalk WalkTheTalk 6:19 pm 17 Dec 10

That’s a fair call Jethro and God knows a public display in a small/home town beats the hell of a private collection!

From memory one of the one’s that Stokes bought was on display in SA somewhere. I think money for the family of the VC recipient has (understandably) been the big factor in recent VC acquisitions and the preferred option from there has been the AWM – in the case of philanthropists like Stokes.

Jethro Jethro 4:15 pm 17 Dec 10

At the risk of being unpopular….. I’m not a huge fan of the idea of amassing all the VCs at the AWM. For most Australians their only chance of seeing a VC is when/if they make a visit to Canberra.

VCs should be distributed throughout the country, preferably near the home towns of those who were awarded them.

bethdalziel bethdalziel 10:31 pm 16 Dec 10

P.S JOHNBOY, perhaps there could have been a less violent manner in which to describe the injuries that severly affected not only my Grandfather but also the entire family. Just saying.

bethdalziel bethdalziel 10:18 pm 16 Dec 10

Hi all, Let me clear this up for everyone. I am Henrys grandaughter and for as far back along the tree that I’m aware of, we have always pronounced it Dal-zeel. The Scottish say Dee-el but there are many other variations like Dalz-el and so on.

As you can guess my family and I are extremely greatful that Kerry is such a proud Aussie and works hard in keeping our history available for all to share.

There are many buildings dedicated to Grandad such as the Enoggera barracks, the Henry Dalziel VC Dialysis Centre in Greenslopes hospital, The Harry Dalziel VC Centre at the Sherwood/Indropilly sub-branch of the QLD branch of The Returned and Services League of Australia and many more.

I encourage anyone who is interested to delve a little further into Henrys story by using the below link. He led a truly amazing life and achieved so much before WWI even began.

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-vc/dalziel-vc.htm

Kindest regards

WalkTheTalk WalkTheTalk 9:20 pm 16 Dec 10

BerraBoy68, sorry – I didn’t mention in my earlier post/s my exact inference. I mentioned the omission of (now Corporal?) Donaldson’s VC because the article states the new exhibit will feature the stories of all 97 VC recipients.

I stand to be corrected, but I thought the VC for Australia still counts as a VC, making it 98 stories to tell. I remember also seeing an article in the AWM magazine “Wartime” where (then) Trooper Donaldson presented the AWM with a ‘mud map’ of the action which lead to him earning the VC for Australia.

According to the article, whether or not the VCs are displayed is irrelevant because as far as I’m aware the War Memorial has roughly two thirds of the Australian VCs in their collection. The remainder being in the possession of the recipient, his family, other private collection/s, or other public collection/s – thus there would be stories without medal displays – like for Donaldson VC.

From memory when I worked there, the only stories told in the Hall of Valour were of the recipients of the VCs the AWM had on display (though it’s been a while, there could have been a couple of exceptions). There were also displays of George Cross recipients and other highly decorated Australian service persons such as Nancy wake.

Who knows whether it was just a typo or was intentionally left out of the article?

LSWCHP LSWCHP 9:14 pm 16 Dec 10

Hats off to Private Dalziel, however his name is pronounced. I’ve been involved in peacetime live fire attacks involving lots of machine guns. It was bloody frightening stuff, and all I could think at the time was “Bugger me, I dunno if I could do this for real”.

All those who’ve gritted their teeth and walked towards the guns in defence of our country have my eternal admiration and gratitude.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 3:40 pm 16 Dec 10

Holden Caulfield said :

(Note to newsreaders, it’s pronounced “Daleel”

On the ABC cop show they pronounce it Dee-yell, or something like that.

It should be “Dee-ell”

Do we know this? I went to school with a Dalziel and he and all his family pronounced it Dal-zeel

I know plenty of people who pronounce Launceston Street in Lyons “Lawn cest Ton”, when it should be “Lan-Son”. Don’t get me started on the way you buggers pronounce things here.

jadie360 jadie360 3:06 pm 16 Dec 10

Holden Caulfield said :

(Note to newsreaders, it’s pronounced “Daleel”

On the ABC cop show they pronounce it Dee-yell, or something like that.

Aside from that, good on Stokes for coughing up the beans and sending the medal to the AWM.

Do we know this? I went to school with a Dalziel and he and all his family pronounced it Dal-zeel

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 2:04 pm 16 Dec 10

In any event, I would have thought it would have been mentioned in the original article.

Why? I can’t see the relationship between an article stating the AWM now owns the VC of a WWI digger and a VC won more recently by someone that still regularly wears it (as an official award, and with Trooper Donaldson still very much in service, he’d need the original to wear when in his Dress uniform).

Back on topic, excellent work by Stokes on this and the other VCs he’s selflessly acquired and given to the AWM. With so many Defence staff now working at Brindabella, it’d be nice to see Mr Snow put his hand in his pocket for such things occasionally.

WalkTheTalk WalkTheTalk 12:29 pm 16 Dec 10

Actually, wouldn’t he have got it back for the presentation of his Young Australian of the Year award this year?

In any event, I would have thought it would have been mentioned in the original article.

WalkTheTalk WalkTheTalk 12:23 pm 16 Dec 10

Is he? Or is it still on loan to the AWM from Jan last year?

johnboy johnboy 12:00 pm 16 Dec 10

Well Donaldson’s still using his VC.

WalkTheTalk WalkTheTalk 11:50 am 16 Dec 10

This is outstanding philanthropy, good on Kerry! I think this is the fourth medal set Kerry has bought for the AWM (3 VC sets and one George Cross set).

One website (http://wapedia.mobi/en/Kerry_Stokes) listed the total cost of these at somewhere around $2.5 million Australian. Major Badcoe VC’s medals were bought with assistance of the SA gov’t apparently.

How good would it be to have all 97 there some day?

One point though – why isn’t Trooper Mark Donaldson’s VC for Australia mentioned in the release? Isn’t his story told there too? I realise it’s a separate honour to the VC, but that shouldn’t matter. Poorly written I think as it also doesn’t mention the George Cross’s and other bravery medals held in the Hall of Valour.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:17 am 16 Dec 10

(Note to newsreaders, it’s pronounced “Daleel”

On the ABC cop show they pronounce it Dee-yell, or something like that.

Aside from that, good on Stokes for coughing up the beans and sending the medal to the AWM.

gingermick gingermick 11:01 am 16 Dec 10

Correct, Capn. Enoggera it is.

Captain RAAF Captain RAAF 10:02 am 16 Dec 10

Legend!

I do believe I have had a few quiet beers in the ‘Dalziel Club’ but can’t remember which barracks it is on, might be Enoggera in Brissie.

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