Military History

Bruce Kingsbury, VC

29 AUG 1942: World War II and VX19139 Private Bruce Steel Kingsbury, 2/14th Battalion, originally from Melbourne, Victoria, earns the Victoria Cross at Isurava, New Guinea. It was a posthumous award. Bruce Kingsbury, soldier and real-estate agent, was born on 8 January 1918 in Melbourne, second child of English-born parents Philip Blencowe Kingsbury, estate agent, and his wife Florence Annie, née Steel. Bruce was educated at Windsor State School and (on a scholarship) at Melbourne Technical College. At the outset of...

Australian Ships Enter Tokyo Bay

28 AUG 1945: World War II and Australian destroyers enter Tokyo Bay. Ships of the Royal Australian Navy joined Royal Navy and United States Navy ships in Tokyo Bay to receive the main Japanese surrender on 2 September. Australian ships included the heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire, light cruiser HMAS Hobart, destroyers HMAS Napier, Nizam, Warramunga, the frigate HMAS Gascoyne, and minesweepers HMAS Ballarat, Cessnock, Ipswich, and Pirie. Ship histories; http://ow.ly/RqOKf

Bernard Gordon, VC

27 AUG 1918: World War I and Lance Corporal Bernard Sidney Gordon, MM, 41st Battalion, originally from Launceston, Tasmania, earns the Victoria Cross near Bray, France. Bernard Sidney (Bernie) Gordon (1891-1963), soldier and dairy farmer, was born on 16 August 1891 at Launceston, Tasmania, son of Charles Gordon, cabman and later hotel proprietor, and his wife Mary, née Rowlands. After schooling at Deloraine and Devonport he worked as a cooper's machinist at Beaconsfield. He later went to Townsville, Queensland, where...

Villa Gusti Pact Signed

3 NOV 1918: World War I and an Armistice with Austria-Hungary is signed with Italy. With Turkey having already signed an armistice Germany was left to confront the Allies alone for the remaining days of the war. Mutiny strikes the German Navy at the ports of Kiel and Wilhelmshaven as sailors refuse orders to put to sea to engage in a final colossal battle with the British Navy. Along with this, revolutionary fervour and Bolshevist-style uprisings erupt in German cities including...

Army Memorial Dedicated

1 NOV 1989: The Australian National Army Memorial is dedicated today. The memorial commemorates the service of Australians as members of the Australian Army in all wars. The Memorial on ANZAC Parade, commemorates the service of Australian soldiers. Australian soldiers have fought as a national group in conflicts since the Second Boer War in South Africa. This memorial commemorates their continuing tradition of service, in war, conflict and peace operations. The memorial was unveiled by the Governor-General of Australia, The Hon....

Australia Ratifies UN

1 NOV 1945: Post World War II and Australia ratifies the United Nations Charter. Australia played a leading role in the formation of the United Nations, a product of its commitment to the ideals for which the Allies fought in the Second World War. The Charter of the United Nations (also known as the UN Charter) of 1945 is the foundational treaty of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization. It was signed at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing...

Australia Attacked

21 OCT 1944: World War II and HMAS Australia is damaged by Kamikaze aircraft. The Japanese first used special air units (Tokkō-tai) to undertake suicide attacks on warships in the Allied fleet supporting the American landings on Leyte in the Phillipines. “People of the Philippines, I have returned”, declared General Douglas MacArthur as he waded ashore at Beach Red in the Leyte Gulf in the afternoon of 20 October 1944, thus fulfilling the promise he had made two and...

5th Division in France

21 OCT 1916: World War I and the 5th Australian Division is on the Western Front. The 5th Australian Division entered the front line near Flers on the Somme. By October the Somme battlefield was a waste of mud-bound craters. From March 1916 Australian divisions began arriving in France. Initially the troops found a pleasant land and a welcome change from sea voyages, the cliffs of Gallipoli, and the training camps of Egypt. There were four divisions, each...

Vera Deakin and Red Cross

21 OCT 1915: World War I and the Australian Red Cross Missing and Wounded Enquiry Bureau is established. Miss Vera Deakin, daughter of ex-Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, establishes the Australian Red Cross Missing and Wounded Enquiry Bureau in Cairo. The Missing and Wounded Enquiry Bureau handled many thousands of enquiries from Australian families seeking information on wounded and missing soldiers during the First World War. From the outbreak of WWI Red Cross helped Australian families in their desperate search...

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