15 heroes who em­body An­zac spirit

The Daily Examiner - - WORLD -

A SOL­DIER in the Somme who threw him­self on a shell to save com­rades, the Afghanistan com­mando awarded a Vic­to­ria Cross, and a nurse gunned down by the Ja­panese af­ter re­fus­ing to aban­don her pa­tients.

Th­ese are just three of our ser­vice­men and women who most em­body the spirit of An­zac, ac­cord­ing to mil­i­tary his­to­ri­ans.

Dr Meleah Hamp­ton, Dr Ian Hodges and Dr Michael McKer­nan have com­piled a list of 15 Anzacs who dis­played qual­i­ties like brav­ery, unity and loy­alty - to name just three - which com­prise the Hall of Mem­ory in the Aus­tralian War Memo­rial in Can­berra.

The his­to­ri­ans’ choices span all con­flicts, from the First World War, through to Rwanda and Afghanistan, and all ranks and po­si­tions from the Aus­tralian Im­pe­rial Force to the Aus­tralian De­fence Force.

Cpl Cameron Baird: Joined com­man­dos, serv­ing in East Ti­mor, Iraq and Afghanistan. Baird was killed by en­emy fire while charg­ing an in­sur­gent strong­hold in 2013 and was recog­nised with a Vic­to­ria Cross in 2014.

Cpl John Met­son: Posted to Port Moresby in 1942 where he was shot in the an­kle and un­able to walk. Re­fus­ing to let the weak­ened stretcher-bear­ers carry him, Met­son crawled on hands and knees for three weeks “in silent agony”. He was ex­e­cuted by the Ja­panese while shel­ter­ing in the vil­lage of San­gai.

Pvt Thomas Whyte: Vol­un­teered as a rower at the Gal­lipoli land­ing, of­ten de­scribed as the most dan­ger­ous po­si­tion for those in­volved in the land­ing. He wrote to his fi­ancee Ellen on April 24, in the case of his death.

Sgt David Em­mett Coyne: Threw him­self on a bomb in the trenches of Cor­bie, yelling “here goes” as he did.

Sr Irene Drum­mond: Gunned down by the Ja­panese at Banka Is­land in 1942 af­ter she and 21 fel­low nurses es­caped a ship­wreck to the is­land.

Capt Carol Vaughan-Evans: Co­or­di­nated the ca­su­alty clear­ing sta­tion of the 1995 civil­ian Rwandan Kibeho mas­sacre. Cap­tain Vaughan-Evans re­mained cool and de­ci­sive in her role, de­spite hos­tile gun­fire and ex­haus­tion.

Sur­vivors of HMAS Ar­mi­dale: Ship sunk by the Ja­panese in De­cem­ber 1942, but the sur­viv­ing crew united to build a means of es­cape - in­clud­ing float­ing an old whaler and con­struct­ing a raft out of de­bris.

WO Class II Kevin Wheat­ley: Faced cer­tain death when he re­fused to leave his mate, Ron­ald Swanton, who had been shot while op­er­at­ing in Tra Bong. Wheat­ley lay in wait for the Viet Cong, who killed the pair.

Lt Frank McNa­mara: Wounded on March 20, 1917, but saw a com­rade shot down and a strong force of Turks mak­ing their way to the crash site. McNa­mara res­cued the man de­spite his own se­ri­ous wound, and brought him to safety.

Cpl Ernest Corey: A stretcher-bearer who res­cued in­jured men from the West­ern Front, re­ceived the Mil­i­tary Medal on four oc­ca­sions.

Lt Col Ralph Hy­acinth Hon­ner: In charge of the 39th bat­tal­ion, Hon­ner trans­formed a de­mor­alised unit into a fight­ing force.

Os Ed­ward Sheean: Went down with the HMAS Ar­mi­dale, strapped to his gun, wounded and re­fus­ing to aban­don ship, fir­ing at Ja­panese planes un­til he was pulled down with the ship.

CH Maj Wil­liam McKen­zie: The Scot­tish-born Sal­va­tion Army chap­lain spent en­sured sol­diers’ well­be­ing was pri­ori­tised while work­ing in Gal­lipoli and the West­ern Front.

Cpl Ernest Al­bert Corey: “Four Mil­i­tary Medals, never be­fore or since equalled.”

Lt-Col Vi­vian Bull­winkel: Only sur­vivor of the Bangka Is­land mas­sacre. Shot in the throat and lay as if dead, sur­rounded by her mur­dered nurs­ing col­leagues. She was taken into cap­tiv­ity for a fur­ther three years and when the war ended, re­turned to nurs­ing.

BRAV­ERY: Vi­vian Bull­winkel (third from left), ma­tron of Fair­field Hos­pi­tal, was the sole sur­vivor of the Banku Is­land mas­sacre of Aus­tralian nurses in 1942.

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