|Member of the Australian Parliament |
10 December 1949 –28 April 1951
|Preceded by||Arthur Fuller|
|Succeeded by||Arthur Fuller|
10 December 1955 –9 December 1961
|Preceded by||Arthur Fuller|
|Succeeded by||Arthur Fuller|
|Born||12 February 1897|
Cape Town, South Africa
|Died||11 November 1988 91) (aged|
Red Hill, Australian Capital Territory
|Political party||Australian Country Party|
|Occupation||Farmer, soldier, politician|
|Branch/service|| British Army (1914–19)|
Australian Army (1939–45)
|Years of service||1914–19|
|Commands||2/19th Battalion (1941–42)|
|Battles/wars||First World War|
|Awards|| Victoria Cross |
Lieutenant Colonel Charles Groves Wright Anderson, VC, MC (12 February 1897 – 11 November 1988) was a South African-born soldier, Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, a member of the Australian House of Representatives, and a farmer. After growing up in Africa and being schooled in England, Anderson served as an officer during the East African campaign against the Germans during the First World War, reaching the rank of captain and being awarded the Military Cross.
The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces. It may be awarded posthumously. It was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two-thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.
The Military Cross (MC) is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces, and formerly awarded to officers of other Commonwealth countries.
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Bantu ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European, Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.
After the war, Anderson settled as a farmer in Kenya. In the early 1930s, he married an Australian woman and later moved to Australia, where he became a grazier. In 1939, he joined the Militia, Australia's part-time military force, before volunteering for overseas service after the outbreak of the Second World War. In early 1941, he was deployed to Malaya as part of the 8th Division, where he rose to command the 2/19th Battalion against the Japanese following their invasion of Malaya in December of that year. For his actions around Muar in January 1942, he was awarded the Victoria Cross before being captured at the end of the fighting on Singapore. He spent over three years in Japanese captivity, before being released at the end of the war.
Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in Africa with 47 semiautonomous counties governed by elected governors. At 580,367 square kilometres (224,081 sq mi), Kenya is the world's 48th largest country by total area. With a population of more than 52.2 million people, Kenya is the 27th most populous country. Kenya's capital and largest city is Nairobi while its oldest city and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu City is the third largest city and also an inland port on Lake Victoria. Other important urban centres include Nakuru and Eldoret.
The Australian Army Reserve is a collective name given to the reserve units of the Australian Army. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, the reserve military force has been known by many names, including the Citizens Forces, the Citizen Military Forces, the Militia and, unofficially, the Australian Military Forces. In 1980, however, the current name—Australian Army Reserve—was officially adopted, and it now consists of a number of components based around the level of commitment and training obligation that its members are required to meet.
The 8th Division was an infantry division of the Australian Army, formed during World War II as part of the all-volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force. The 8th Division was raised from volunteers for overseas service from July 1940 onwards. Consisting of three infantry brigades, the intention had been to deploy the division to the Middle East to join the other Australian divisions, but as war with Japan loomed in 1941, the division was divided into four separate forces, which were deployed in different parts of the Asia-Pacific region. All of these formations were destroyed as fighting forces by the end of February 1942 during the fighting for Singapore, and in Rabaul, Ambon, and Timor. Most members of the division became prisoners of war, waiting until the war ended in late 1945 to be liberated. One in three died in captivity.
In the post war years, Anderson returned to farming and served as a federal parliamentarian, representing the Division of Hume twice between 1949 and 1961, before retiring. He died in Canberra at the age of 91.
The Division of Hume is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales. The division was proclaimed in 1900, and was one of the original 65 divisions to be contested at the first federal election. The division was named after Hamilton Hume, one of the first Europeans to travel through the area.
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. Founded following the federation of the colonies of Australia as the seat of government for the new nation, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory; 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne.
Anderson was born on 12 February 1897 in Cape Town, South Africa, to Scottish parents.His father, Alfred Gerald Wright Anderson, an auditor and newspaper editor, had been born in England, while his mother, Emma (Maïa) Louise Antoinette, née Trossaert had been born in Belgium. The middle child of five, when Anderson was three the family moved to Nairobi in Kenya, where his father began farming. He attended a local school until 1907, when his parents sent him to England. He lived with family members until 1910, when he was accepted to attend St Brendan's College in Bristol as a boarder.
Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa, colloquially named the Mother City. It is the legislative capital of South Africa and primate city of the Western Cape province. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality.
Nairobi is the capital and the largest city of Kenya. The name comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nairobi, which translates to "cool water", a reference to the Nairobi River which flows through the city. The city proper had a population of 3,138,369 in the 2009 census, while the metropolitan area has a population of 6,547,547. The city is popularly referred to as the Green City in the Sun.
He remained in England until the outbreak of the First World War. Returning to Kenya, in November 1914, Anderson enlisted as a soldier in the local forces, before later being allocated to the Calcutta Volunteer Battalion as a gunner.On 13 October 1916, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the King's African Rifles. He fought with the regiment's 3rd Battalion in the East African campaign against the Askari soldiers of the German colonial forces. Anderson was awarded the Military Cross for his service in this campaign.
The King's African Rifles (KAR) was a multi-battalion British colonial regiment raised from Britain's various possessions in East Africa from 1902 until independence in the 1960s. It performed both military and internal security functions within the colonial territory, and served outside these territories during the World Wars. The rank and file (askaris) were drawn from native inhabitants, while most of the officers were seconded from the British Army. When the KAR was first raised there were some Sudanese officers in the battalions raised in Uganda, and native officers were commissioned towards the end of British colonial rule.
The East African Campaign in World War I was a series of battles and guerrilla actions, which started in German East Africa (GEA) and spread to portions of Portuguese Mozambique, Northern Rhodesia, British East Africa, the Uganda Protectorate, and the Belgian Congo. The campaign all but ended in German East Africa in November 1917 when the Germans entered Portuguese Mozambique and continued the campaign living off Portuguese supplies.
An askari was a local soldier serving in the armies of the European colonial powers in Africa, particularly in the African Great Lakes, Northeast Africa and Central Africa. The word is used in this sense in English, as well as in German, Italian, Urdu and Portuguese. In French, the word is used only in reference to native troops outside the French colonial empire. The designation is still in occasional use today to informally describe police, gendarmerie and security guards.
Following the war, having reached the rank of temporary captain, Anderson was demobilised in February 1919 and lived the life of a gentleman farmer in Kenya, marrying Edith Tout, an Australian,in February 1931. He remained active as a part-time soldier and was promoted to substantive captain in 1932. Two years later the couple moved to Australia where they purchased a grazing property near Young, New South Wales. He joined the Citizens Military Forces in March 1939, being appointed to the 56th Infantry Battalion as a captain. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Anderson was temporarily promoted to the rank of major in October 1939. In June 1940, he volunteered for overseas service by joining the Second Australian Imperial Force.
Young is a town in the South West Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia and the largest town in the Hilltops Region. The "Lambing Flat" Post Office opened on 1 March 1861 and was renamed "Young" in 1863.
New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
The 56th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. It was originally raised in 1916 for service during the World War I and took part in the fighting in the trenches of the Western Front in France and Belgium before being amalgamated with the 54th Battalion in late 1918 following the German Spring Offensive reduced the numbers in both battalions. After the war, the battalion was re-raised as a part-time unit in New South Wales. During World War II the battalion was mobilised and undertook garrison duties in Australia until it was disbanded in 1944. It was briefly re-raised in 1956, but was disbanded the following year and its personnel used to re-raise the 4th Battalion, which later became part of the Royal New South Wales Regiment.
In July 1940, Anderson was assigned to the newly formed 2/19th Infantry Battalion, part of the 22nd Brigade, of the 8th Division.Recruited from New South Wales, after training around Ingleburn and then Bathurst, in February 1941 the 22nd Brigade was deployed to Malaya to bolster the garrison there amidst concerns about Japanese intentions in the region.
Holding the rank of major, Anderson was appointed second-in-command of the battalion and due to his experience in jungle warfare, he was placed in charge of training the battalion's soldiers to use the jungle as a "friend".In August he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and took over as commanding officer of the 2/19th. The war in the Pacific began on 7 December 1941 when Japanese landed on the north-east coast of Malaya around Kota Bahru and launched thrusts along the western coast of the Malay Peninsula from Thailand. Initially the 2/19th was not committed to the fighting, but in mid-January, after the Japanese advance had pushed the British Commonwealth troops back to Johore, the 2/19th was detached from the 22nd Brigade and sent to the west coast to support the hard-pressed battalions of 'Westforce', an ad hoc formation consisting of Australian and Indian troops.
During the period of 18–22 January 1942 in the Battle of Muar near the Muar River, the 44-year-old Anderson was in command of a small force which destroyed ten enemy tanks. When they were later cut off, Anderson led his force through fifteen miles (24 km) of enemy-occupied territory, being attacked by air and ground forces all the way. Many times in the journey from Muar to Parit Sulong, Anderson had to lead bayonet charges and hand-to-hand combat against the Japanese.
Anderson is famous for leading the Allied attack in Parit Sulong against the Japanese when the Allies were retreating to Yong Peng to meet up with the main force heading for Singapore. Upon reaching the small town of Parit Sulong on the way, they discovered their way blocked because the main bridge was already in Japanese hands with a Japanese machine gun defending the bridge. They were surrounded and a heavy battle ensued for several days in Parit Sulong. The Allied troops at Yong Peng under Gordon Bennett unsuccessfully attempted to break through the Japanese lines to reinforce Anderson's men, but without reinforcements, Anderson and his troops had to try many times to recapture the bridge but was unable to do so. Heavily outnumbered, Anderson's Australian and Indian troops were attacked and harassed continuously by Japanese tanks, machine gun, mortar and air attacks and suffered heavy casualties. Yet they held their position for several days and refused to surrender.During the battle, Anderson had tried to evacuate the wounded by using an ambulance, but the Japanese would not let the vehicles pass the bridge.
Although the detachment attempted to fight its way through another eight miles (13 km) of enemy-occupied territory to Yong Peng, this proved impossible, and Anderson had to destroy his equipment and attempted to work his way around the enemy. Anderson then ordered every able man to escape through the jungle to link up with the retreating main force in Yong Peng heading for Singapore. They had no choice but to leave the wounded to be cared for by the enemy, assuming the Japanese would take care of the wounded. But unfortunately, the Japanese unit at Parit Sulong later executed the approximately 150 wounded Australian soldiers and Indian soldiers next to the bridge of Parit Sulong, in the Parit Sulong Massacre.
For his brave actions and leadership in Muar and the difficult retreat from Muar to Parit Sulong and the subsequent difficult battle at Parit Sulong led by Anderson, he was awarded the highest and most prestigious decoration for gallantry in the face of the enemy that could be awarded to British Commonwealth forces.
His VC citation, as listed in the London Gazette on 13 February 1942, states: "...for setting a magnificent example of brave leadership, determination and outstanding courage. He not only showed fighting qualities of very high order but throughout exposed himself to danger without any regard for his own personal safety".
Following the action around Muar and Parit Sulong, Anderson went to Singapore, as the Allies withdrew across the Causeway to prepare a line of defence. Shortly afterwards he was hospitalised and, as a result, missed the majority of the fighting following the Japanese landings on 8 February 1942. As the situation became desperate, on 13 February, Anderson discharged himself and returned to the heavily-mauled 2/19th, by then down to just 180 men from its authorised strength of 900. He led them until the surrender was announced two days later.
Anderson was captured and for the next three years was held as a prisoner of war. He was the chief staff officer under Brigadier Arthur Varley of the 22nd Brigade in A Force – the first contingent of POWs at Changi to voluntarily avail themselves of a Japanese "offer" to move to a new location where they were told there would be abundant food and a healthy climate. In reality the group of 3,000 were shipped to Burma and were used as slave labour to build the 415 km railway link between Nong Pladuk in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Burma. Throughout his time in captivity, Anderson worked to mitigate the hardships of other prisoners, leading by personal example and maintaining morale. At the end of the war, Anderson was repatriated back to Australia. His appointment in the army was terminated on 21 December 1945 and he returned to his property in New South Wales.
Charles Anderson entered politics in 1949, winning the Division of Hume in the House of Representatives for the Country Party, with an 18.8% swing. He lost his seat in the 1951 federal election and unsuccessfully stood for Hume at the subsequent 1954 election. However, he regained the seat at the 1955 election and remained in parliament until his defeat at the 1961 election.While in parliament Anderson served as a member of both the joint committee on the Australian Capital Territory and the joint committee on foreign affairs.
Between 1957 and 1960, although he was retired from active military service, Anderson fulfilled the role of honorary colonel of the 4th and 56th Battalions.Anderson owned farming properties around Young, New South Wales, and following his retirement from politics in 1961, moved permanently to Red Hill in Canberra, where he died in 1988. He was survived by three of his four children. There is a memorial stone and plaque for Anderson at Norwood Crematorium, Australian Capital Territory. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia.
|Victoria Cross (VC)||(1942)|
|Military Cross (MC)||(1916)|
|British War Medal|
|War Medal 1939–1945|
|Australia Service Medal 1939–45|
In addition to the decorations and war service medals noted above, in common with other Victoria Cross and George Cross recipients living at the time, Anderson received the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953) and then the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977). Both of these medals form part of his medal set, which is held by the Australian War Memorial.
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for Hume |
Blair Anderson Wark, was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British and other Commonwealth armed forces. A quantity surveyor and member of the Citizens Military Force, Wark enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 5 August 1915, for service in the First World War. After initially being employed in the defence of the Suez Canal, his battalion was shipped to the Western Front; it was here that Wark would be twice decorated for his bravery and leadership. Having received the Distinguished Service Order in 1917 for his actions at the Battle of Polygon Wood, Wark was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1918 for his leadership and gallantry when in temporary command of his battalion over a three-day period, while conducting operations against the Hindenburg Line.
Major Frederick Harold Tubb, VC was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Thomas Currie "Diver" Derrick, VC, DCM was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces. In November 1943, during the Second World War, Derrick was awarded the Victoria Cross for his assault on a heavily defended Japanese position at Sattelberg, New Guinea. During the engagement, he scaled a cliff face while under heavy fire and silenced seven machine gun posts, before leading his platoon in a charge that destroyed a further three.
William Thomas Dartnell, VC, also known as Wilbur Taylor Dartnell, was an Australian-born soldier, actor and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Born in Melbourne, he served in the Second Boer War as a teenager and later in the Bambatha Rebellion of 1906. He married, managed his own business and worked as a professional actor before immigrating to South Africa in 1912 or 1913.
Parit Sulong is a small town in Batu Pahat District, Johor, Malaysia on the Simpang Kiri River, 30 km east of Muar. The historical Parit Sulong Bridge constructed during World War II is a main feature in that town.
The Malayan Campaign was a military campaign fought by Allied and Axis forces in Malaya, from 8 December 1941 – 31 January 1942 during the Second World War. It was dominated by land battles between British Commonwealth army units, and the Imperial Japanese Army with minor skirmishes at the beginning of the campaign between British Commonwealth and Royal Thai Armed Forces. The Japanese had air and naval supremacy from the opening days of the campaign. For the British, Indian, Australian and Malayan forces defending the colony, the campaign was a total disaster.
Gemas is a small town in Tampin District, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, near the Negeri Sembilan-Johor state border.
Federal Route 24, or Jalan Muar–Yong Peng, is a federal road in Johor, Malaysia. The roads connects Muar in the west to Yong Peng in the east. It is also a main route to North-South Expressway via Yong Peng Interchange.
On 23 January 1942, the Parit Sulong Massacre in Johor, Malaya was committed against Allied soldiers by members of the Imperial Guards Division of the Imperial Japanese Army. A few days earlier, the Allied troops had ambushed the Japanese near Gemas and blown up a bridge there.
Gemencheh is a mukim in Tampin District, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.
Takuma Nishimura was a Japanese army general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. After the Japanese surrender, he was tried by Britain and later Australia for war crimes. He was executed in the then Australian territory of Papua and New Guinea. Nishimura was a native of Fukuoka prefecture.
The Battle of Muar was the last major battle of the Malayan Campaign during the Second World War. It took place from 14–22 January 1942 around Gemensah Bridge and on the Muar River. After the British defeat at Slim River, General Archibald Wavell, commander of ABDA, decided that Lieutenant General Lewis Heath's III Indian Corps should withdraw 240 kilometres (150 mi) south into the State of Johore to rest and regroup, whilst the 8th Australian Division would attempt to stop the Japanese advance.
The Battle of Gemas—part of the wider Battle of Muar—took place during the Japanese invasion of Malaya in the Pacific Campaign of the Second World War. The action occurred on 14 January 1942 at the Gemencheh Bridge near Gemas and saw around 1,000 troops of the Japanese Japanese 5th Division killed or wounded during a fierce ambush initiated by Australian soldiers from 2/30th Battalion, assigned to the 27th Brigade of the 8th Division.
The 27th Brigade was a brigade-sized infantry unit of the Australian Army. The brigade was the last Second Australian Imperial Force infantry brigade raised for service during World War II. Initially assigned to the 9th Division, the brigade was transferred to the 8th Division shortly after it was raised. Training was undertaken around Bathurst, New South Wales throughout early 1941, before the brigade was sent to British Malaya in August 1941 to reinforce the 22nd Brigade, which had been dispatched earlier in the year. Following the Japanese invasion of Malaya, the brigade went into action in January 1942, taking part in the fighting along the western side of the Malay Peninsula. Its main action during this period came around Muar before the withdrawal to Singapore. In February, the brigade took part in the short lived Battle of Singapore. When the garrison surrendered on 15 February, the majority of the brigade's personnel were taken prisoner. They subsequently spent the remainder of the war in captivity before being released in August 1945.
The 22nd Brigade was a brigade-sized infantry unit of the Australian Army. It was briefly raised in 1912 as a Militia formation providing training as part of the compulsory training scheme. Later, during World War II, the brigade was raised as part of the all volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force in April 1940. Assigned to the 8th Division, in early 1941 the brigade was deployed to British Malaya where it formed part of the defensive garrison that was established there by the British, eventually establishing its headquarters in the Mersing–Endau area.
The 2/26th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. Raised in late 1940 for service during the Second World War, the battalion undertook garrison duties in Malaya and Singapore prior to the start of the Pacific War. In 1941–42, following the Japanese invasion of Malaya, the battalion fought during the Malayan campaign. After the fall of the island, however, a large number of men from the battalion became prisoners of war, remaining in captivity until being liberated at the end of the war in 1945. The battalion was never re-raised.
The 2/29th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army, which served during the Second World War. Formed in October 1940, the battalion served in Malaya as part of the 27th Brigade, which was assigned to the 8th Division. Recruited mainly from volunteers drawn from the state of Victoria, after completing its training around Bonegilla and then Bathurst, the 2/29th Battalion was sent to Malaya in August 1941 along with the rest of the 27th Brigade to bolster the Australian force there and subsequently fought in the Malayan Campaign following the Japanese attack in December 1941. The battalion fought several delaying actions along the west coast, including fighting around Bakri and Muar, and in Johore, before Allied forces withdrew across the Causeway to Singapore. The battalion later took part in the defence of Singapore in February 1942, but was captured after the garrison capitulated on 15 February. They spent the remainder of the war as prisoners of war, with many dying in captivity.
The 2/19th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army, which was raised for service during the Second World War as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force. After being formed in mid-1940, the battalion was allocated to the 22nd Brigade, which was part of the 8th Division. After completing training in Australia, in early 1941 the 2/19th deployed to Malaya, as part of the Australian force despatched to help bolster the British garrison there as tensions with Japan heightened. Following the commencement of hostilities against Japan, the 2/19th fought several actions in Johore, before withdrawing across the Causeway to Singapore. There, the battalion was involved in the Battle of Singapore in early February 1942, during which it suffered heavy casualties before being captured following the capitulation of the British garrison. The battalion's personnel subsequently spent the next three-and-a-half years as prisoners of war, before being released at the end of the conflict.
Lieutenant Colonel Reginald William James Newton, was an Australian Army officer noted for his leadership while in Japanese prisoner of war camps during the Second World War. He became well known among Australian military circles, where he was affectionately known as "Roaring Reggie."