The Victoria Cross (VC) is a military decoration awarded for valour "in the presence of the enemy"to members of the Australia Armed Forces. It may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service, and to civilians under military command. Being the highest award in the Australian Honours Order of Wearing, the Victoria Cross takes precedence over all other postnominals and Australian orders and decorations. The Victoria Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856, initially to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. Because of its rarity and inherent significance, the VC is highly prized, both as an award and as a collector's item, with one medal being sold for over A$1 million at auction. Australians have received the Victoria Cross under the Imperial honours system and later under the Australian Honours System, when in 1991 a new but equivalent award was established by letters patent within the Commonwealth of Australia and its Territories, known as the Victoria Cross for Australia. The Victoria Cross for Australia has been awarded five times: twice to Special Air Service Regiment members, once to a member of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and a posthumous award to a member of the 2nd Commando Regiment, and a posthumous award to Teddy Sheean. The first four were for actions in the War in Afghanistan while Sheean's was for actions during World War II.
The Imperial Victoria Cross has been awarded to 96 Australians—91 were received for actions whilst serving with Australian forces, and another five to former members of the Australian forces then serving with South African and British forces. The majority of the awards were for action in the First World War when a total of 64 medals were awarded. Nine of these awards were for action during the Gallipoli Campaign. 20 medals were awarded for action in the Second World War, 6 in the Second Boer War, 4 in the Vietnam War and 2 in the Russian Civil War.Twenty-eight Australians have been awarded the medal posthumously. Notably, one recipient—Captain Alfred Shout VC, MC (who was also Mentioned in Despatches)—was Australia's most decorated soldier of the Gallipoli campaign. His Victoria Cross was posthumously awarded after Shout died of his wounds during the Battle of Lone Pine. Another 19 VCs have been awarded to soldiers who were either born in Australia, or died there, but did not serve in Australian units before being awarded the VC, and as such these are not included in this list.
Keith Payne is the only living Australian recipient of the original Victoria Cross; there are three living recipients of the Victoria Cross for Australia.
This along with the *, indicates that the Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously
AWM = This denotes that the medal is held at the Australian War Memorial
|Conflict||Unit||Place of action||Location of medal|
|Charles Anderson||1942||Second World War||2/19th Battalion||Muar River, Malaya||AWM|
|Thomas Axford||1918||First World War||16th Battalion||Hamel Wood, France||AWM|
|Peter Badcoe||1967*||Vietnam War||Australian Army Training Team||Huong Tra, Vietnam||AWM|
|Robert Beatham||1918*||First World War||8th Battalion||Rosieres, France|| Queensland Museum|
|Frederick Bell||1901||Second Boer War||West Australia Mounted Infantry||Transvaal, South Africa|| Western Australian|
|Frederick Birks||1917*||First World War||6th Battalion||Ypres, Belgium||AWM|
|John Bisdee||1900||Second Boer War||Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen||Warm Bad, South Africa|| Tasmanian Museum|
and Art Gallery
|Arthur Blackburn||1916||First World War||10th Battalion||Pozières, France||AWM|
|Albert Borella||1918||First World War||26th Battalion||Villers-Bretonneux, France||Privately held|
|Walter Brown||1918||First World War||20th Battalion||Villers-Bretonneux, France||AWM|
|Alexander Buckley||1918*||First World War||54th Battalion||Péronne, France||AWM|
|Maurice Buckley||1918||First World War||13th Battalion||Le Verguier, France||AWM|
|Patrick Bugden||1917*||First World War||31st Battalion||Zonnebeke, Belgium||Queensland Museum|
|Alexander Burton||1915*||First World War||7th Battalion||Gallipoli, Turkey||AWM|
|John Carroll||1917||First World War||33rd Battalion||St. Yves, Belgium||AWM|
|George Cartwright||1918||First World War||33rd Battalion||Bouchavesnes, France|| Imperial War Museum |
|Claud Castleton||1916*||First World War||Australian Machine Gun Corps||Pozières, France||AWM|
|Percy Cherry||1917*||First World War||26th Battalion||Lagnicourt, France||AWM|
|Albert Chowne||1945*||Second World War||2/2nd Battalion||Dagua, New Guinea||AWM|
|Thomas Cooke||1916*||First World War||8th Battalion||Pozières, France|| Army Museum|
|William Currey||1918||First World War||53rd Battalion||Péronne, France||AWM|
|Arthur Roden Cutler||1941||Second World War||2/5th Field Regiment, RRoAA||Merdjayoun-Damour, Lebanon||AWM|
|Henry Dalziel||1918||First World War||15th Battalion||Hamel Wood, France||AWM|
|Wilbur Dartnell||1915*||First World War||25th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers||Maktau, Kenya||AWM|
|Phillip Davey||1918||First World War||10th Battalion||Merris, France||AWM|
|Tom Derrick||1943||Second World War||2/48th Battalion||Sattelberg, New Guinea||AWM|
|William Dunstan||1915||First World War||7th Battalion||Gallipoli, Turkey||AWM|
|John Dwyer||1917||First World War||Australian Machine Gun Corps||Zonnebeke, Belgium||AWM|
|John Edmondson||1941*||Second World War||2/17th Battalion||Tobruk, Libya||AWM|
|Hughie Edwards||1941||Second World War||No. 105 Squadron RAF||Bremen, Germany||AWM|
|Jack French||1942*||Second World War||2/9th Battalion||Milne Bay, Papua||Privately held|
|Alfred Gaby||1918*||First World War||28th Battalion||Villers-Bretonneux, France||Tasmanian Museum|
and Art Gallery
|Bernard Gordon||1918||First World War||41st Battalion||Bray, France||AWM|
|Jim Gordon||1941||Second World War||2/31st Battalion||Djezzine, Syria||Privately held|
|Percy Gratwick||1942*||Second World War||2/48th Battalion||El Alamein, Egypt|| Army Museum of|
|Robert Grieve||1917||First World War||37th Battalion||Messines, Belgium|| Shrine of Remembrance |
|Stan Gurney||1942*||Second World War||2/48th Battalion||Tel-el-Eisa, Egypt||AWM|
|Arthur Hall||1918||First World War||54th Battalion||Péronne, France||AWM|
|John Hamilton||1915||First World War||3rd Battalion||Gallipoli, Turkey||AWM|
|George Howell||1917||First World War||1st Battalion||Bullecourt, France||AWM|
|Neville Howse||1900||Second Boer War||New South Wales Medical Staff Corps||Vredefort, South Africa||AWM|
|George Ingram||1918||First World War||24th Battalion||Montbrehain, France||AWM|
|Roy Inwood||1917||First World War||10th Battalion||Polygon Wood, Belgium||Adelaide Town Hall|
|Albert Jacka||1915||First World War||14th Battalion||Gallipoli, Turkey||AWM|
|William Jackson||1916||First World War||17th Battalion||Armentieres, France||Privately held|
|Clarence Jeffries||1917*||First World War||34th Battalion||Passchendaele, Belgium|| Christ Church Cathedral,|
|Jørgen Jensen||1917||First World War||50th Battalion||Noreuil, France||AWM|
|William Joynt||1918||First World War||8th Battalion||Herleville Wood, France||Privately held|
|Richard Kelliher||1943||Second World War||2/25th Battalion||Nadzab, New Guinea||AWM|
|Edward Kenna||1945||Second World War||2/4th Battalion||Wewak, New Guinea||unknown|
|Bede Kenny||1917||First World War||2nd Battalion||Hermies, France||AWM|
|Leonard Keysor||1915||First World War||1st Battalion||Gallipoli, Turkey||AWM|
|Bill Kibby||1942*||Second World War||2/48th Battalion||El Alamein, Egypt||AWM|
|Bruce Kingsbury||1942*||Second World War||2/14th Battalion||Isurava, Papua||AWM|
|John Leak||1916||First World War||9th Battalion||Pozières, France||Privately held|
|Alby Lowerson||1918||First World War||21st Battalion||Mont St. Quentin, France||AWM|
|Jack Mackey||1945*||Second World War||2/3rd Pioneer Battalion||Tarakan Island, Borneo||AWM|
|Robert MacTier||1918*||First World War||23rd Battalion||Mont St. Quentin, France||AWM|
|Joseph Maxwell||1918||First World War||18th Battalion||Estrees, France||AWM|
|Leslie Maygar||1901||Second Boer War||5th Victorian Mounted Rifles||Geelhoutboom, South Africa||AWM|
|Dominic McCarthy||1918||First World War||16th Battalion||Madam Wood, France||AWM|
|Stanley McDougall||1918||First World War||47th Battalion||Dernancourt, France||AWM|
|Lewis McGee||1917*||First World War||40th Battalion||Ypres, Belgium|| Queen Victoria Museum|
and Art Gallery,
|Frank McNamara||1917||First World War||No. 1 Squadron AFC||Tel el Hesi, Palestine||RAF Museum, London|
|Ron Middleton||1942*||Second World War||RAAF attached No. 149 Squadron RAF||Turin, Italy||AWM|
|Mick Moon||1917||First World War||58th Battalion||Bullecourt, France||AWM|
|Harry Murray||1917||First World War||13th Battalion||Gueudecourt, France||AWM|
|James Newland||1917||First World War||12th Battalion||Bapaume, France||AWM|
|Bill Newton||1943*||Second World War||No. 22 Squadron RAAF||New Guinea||AWM|
|Martin O'Meara||1916||First World War||16th Battalion||Pozières, France||Army Museum of|
|Frank Partridge||1945||Second World War||8th (Militia) Battalion||Bougainville, New Guinea||Privately held|
|Keith Payne||1969||Vietnam War||Australian Army Training Team||Ben Het, Vietnam||AWM|
|Samuel Pearse||1919*||North Russia Relief Force||45th Battalion, RF||Emtsa, Russia||AWM|
|Walter Peeler||1917||First World War||3rd Pioneer Battalion||Ypres, Belgium||AWM|
|Charles Pope||1917*||First World War||11th Battalion||Louveral, France||AWM|
|Reg Rattey||1945||Second World War||25th Battalion||Bougainville, New Guinea||Privately held|
|James Rogers||1901||Second Boer War||South African Constabulary||Thaba 'Nchu, South Africa||AWM|
|William Ruthven||1918||First World War||22nd Battalion||Ville-sur-Ancre, France||AWM|
|John Ryan||1918||First World War||55th Battalion||Hindenburg Defences, France||AWM|
|Clifford Sadlier||1918||First World War||51st Battalion||Villers-Bretonneux, France|| St George's Cathedral|
|Alfred Shout||1915*||First World War||1st Battalion||Gallipoli, Turkey||AWM|
|Ray Simpson||1969||Vietnam War||Australian Army Training Team||Kontum Province, Vietnam||AWM|
|Leslie Starcevich||1945||Second World War||2/43rd Battalion||Beaufort, British North Borneo||Army Museum of|
|Percy Statton||1918||First World War||40th Battalion||Proyart, France||AWM|
|Percy Storkey||1918||First World War||19th Battalion||Hangard Wood, France||Army Museum|
|Arthur Sullivan||1919||North Russia Relief Force||45th Battalion, RF||Sheika River, Russia||AWM|
|William Symons||1915||First World War||7th Battalion||Gallipoli, Turkey||AWM|
|Hugo Throssell||1915||First World War||10th Light Horse||Gallipoli, Turkey||AWM|
|Edgar Towner||1918||First World War||Australian Machine Gun Corps||Mont St. Quentin, France||Privately held|
|Frederick Tubb||1915||First World War||7th Battalion||Gallipoli, Turkey||AWM|
|Blair Wark||1918||First World War||32nd Battalion||Bellicourt, France||Queensland Museum|
|Lawrence Weathers||1918||First World War||43rd Battalion||Peronne, France||Privately held|
|Kevin Wheatley||1965*||Vietnam War||Australian Army Training Team||Tra Bong, Vietnam||AWM|
|John Whittle||1917||First World War||12th Battalion||Boursies, France||AWM|
|James Woods||1918||First World War||48th Battalion||Le Verguier, France||AWM|
|Guy Wylly||1900||Second Boer War||Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen||Warm Bad, South Africa||Tasmanian Museum|
and Art Gallery
|Conflict||Unit||Place of action||Location of medal|
|Cameron Baird||2013*||War in Afghanistan||2nd Commando Regiment||Khod Valley, Afghanistan||AWM|
|Mark Donaldson||2008||War in Afghanistan||Special Air Service Regiment||Urozgan Province, Afghanistan||AWM|
|Daniel Keighran||2010||War in Afghanistan||6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment||Urozgan Province, Afghanistan||AWM|
|Ben Roberts-Smith||2010||War in Afghanistan||Special Air Service Regiment||Kandahar Province, Afghanistan||AWM|
|Teddy Sheean||1942*||Second World War||HMAS Armidale||Arafura Sea, East Timor||Yet to be presented.|
Peter John Badcoe, was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in battle that could be awarded at that time to a member of the Australian armed forces. Badcoe, born Peter Badcock, joined the Australian Army in 1950 and graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea, in 1952 as a second lieutenant in the Royal Australian Artillery. A series of regimental postings followed, including a tour in the Federation of Malaya in 1962, during which he spent a week in South Vietnam observing the fighting. During the previous year, Badcock had changed his surname to Badcoe. After another regimental posting, he transferred to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps, and was promoted to major.
Keith Payne, is an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces. Payne's VC was awarded for his actions during the Vietnam War. Aged 87, he is the last living Australian recipient of the original "Imperial" Victoria Cross.
Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Cecil Maygar, 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. He was awarded the VC for facilitating the rescue of a dismounted man while under severe rifle fire in 1902 during the Second Boer War. He later served at Gallipoli during the First World War, and died of wounds after being strafed during the Battle of Beersheba as part of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.
Samuel George Pearse, VC, MM 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. Serving in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War, he saw action during the final weeks of the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915 and later on the Western Front from 1916 to 1918. Following the Armistice he fought as part of the North Russia Relief Force with the British Army during the North Russia Campaign in 1919. He was killed after charging a machine gun post during an action at Emtsa, in North Russia, for which he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
Frederick Whirlpool VC was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. In his later life, Whirlpool migrated to Australia; as a result, he is sometimes claimed as an Australian VC recipient although his name is not included in the official count.
Alfred John Shout, VC, MC was a New Zealand-born soldier and an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest decoration for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces. Shout was posthumously awarded the VC for his actions at Lone Pine in August 1915, during the Gallipoli Campaign of the First World War. After Ottoman forces had counterattacked and seized a large stretch of the Australians' front line, Shout gathered a small party of men and charged down one trench throwing bombs. He killed eight Turkish soldiers, and managed to clear others to retake the trench. In a similar action later that day, and supported by another officer, he recaptured further ground amid hard fighting. In the final push forward, Shout simultaneously lit three bombs to lob at the enemy. He successfully threw two, but the third burst just as it was leaving his hand. Shout was grievously wounded, and died two days later.
Thomas Cooke, VC was a New Zealand-born soldier who served in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War. He was a recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest award for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
John Leak, VC was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in battle that could be awarded at that time to a member of the Australian armed forces. Leak enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in early 1915, and served with the 9th Battalion in the Gallipoli Campaign during the First World War. Evacuated suffering from dysentery, Leak rejoined his battalion after it had been withdrawn to Egypt. Along with his unit, he transferred to the Western Front in France and Belgium, where he participated in the Battle of Pozières in July 1916. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the battle. The following month he was seriously wounded in the Battle of Mouquet Farm.
Joseph "Joe" Maxwell, was an Australian soldier, writer, and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of British and Commonwealth armed forces. Often described as Australia's second most decorated soldier of the First World War, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 8 February 1915, and served at Gallipoli before being transferred to the Western Front. In just over twelve months he was commissioned and decorated four times for his bravery.
Frederick William Owen Potts, VC,, more commonly known as TrooperFred Potts, was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Edward "Teddy" Sheean, was a sailor in the Royal Australian Navy during the Second World War. Born in Tasmania, Sheean was employed as a farm labourer when he enlisted in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve in April 1941. Following training at HMAS Derwent and the Flinders Naval Depot, he was posted to Sydney, where he joined the newly commissioned corvette HMAS Armidale in June 1942. Sheean served aboard Armidale as she took part in escort duties along the eastern Australian coast and in New Guinea waters. In October he transferred with the ship to Darwin, where Armidale was tasked with assisting Australian operations in Timor.
The Victoria Cross for Australia is the highest award in the Australian Honours System, superseding the British Victoria Cross for issue to Australians. The Victoria Cross for Australia is the "decoration for according recognition to persons who in the presence of the enemy, perform acts of the most conspicuous gallantry, or daring or pre-eminent acts of valour or self-sacrifice or display extreme devotion to duty."
The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for valour "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.
Daniel Alan Keighran, is an Australian soldier and a recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia, the highest award in the Australian honours system. Keighran was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia for his actions in the Battle of Derapet on 24 August 2010, during the War in Afghanistan. He was presented with the medal by the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, at a ceremony in Canberra on 1 November 2012. Keighran is the third soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia, and the first member of the Royal Australian Regiment so awarded.