Report of New Aussie VC Recipient

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Recce_Mitch, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek

    Cpl Roberts-Smith is the second person to have received the Victoria Cross for Australia, which was created in 1991 and is a separate award from the British VC.

    From the BBC
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    What is the difference Andy?

    There is no doubt whatsoever that under the previous arrangement he would have been awarded a "British" VC for his heroic action.;)

    I'd have to check. The Canadians have their own VC too. The obvious thought is that its not made from the captured cannons. I know they only have enough metal left to make around 80 I think and suspect that for British VC's.

    I doubt they would have changed the criteria for receiving one although the new VC's may be authorised by their own countries rather than the final say coming from the UK?
     
  3. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    I'd have to check. The Canadians have their own VC too. The obvious thought is that its not made from the captured cannons. I know they only have enough metal left to make around 80 I think and suspect that for British VC's.

    I doubt they would have changed the criteria for receiving one although the new VC's may be authorised by their own countries rather than the final say coming from the UK?

    I think you are right with most of that. They are awarded by the Australian government under the same rigid criteria.

    Makes sense that we are now "totally" independent of UK control in our armed forces.
     
  4. Cobber

    Cobber Senior Member

    I'd have to check. The Canadians have their own VC too. The obvious thought is that its not made from the captured cannons. I know they only have enough metal left to make around 80 I think and suspect that for British VC's.

    I doubt they would have changed the criteria for receiving one although the new VC's may be authorised by their own countries rather than the final say coming from the UK?



    I guess we down under will have to have two (2) ledgers for Victoria Cross winners, one for the Original British award and another for the Australian version.

    According to Wiki the Australian and the New Zealand version of the Victoria Cross are made from the same Russian cannon as the British VC.
    "If this is true", then I would think that with such a small amount of usable metal left this would change to some other source.
    It would be a interesting debate to see from what the Australians would source the material from, we have numerous captured cannon but not with the history of the guns from the Crimea.

    Victoria Cross for Australia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Having only two awarded in twenty (20) years with over ten (10) years of Combat or 'War Like' service during those twenty (20) years pretty much shows to me that the criteria is close to being just as stringent as it is/was for the original British VC. This appears to be similar for other Australian military 'Gallantry decorations'.

    Medal design
    The Victoria Cross is a Maltese Cross cast in bronze from cannons captured during the Crimean War (1854-1856). The obverse of the Victoria Cross bears a crowned lion standing on a royal crown. The words ‘FOR VALOUR’ are inscribed on a semi-circular scroll beneath the crown.
    The reverse of the cross is engraved with the date of the act of gallantry and the name, rank and unit of the recipient



    How it is awarded
    The Governor-General awards the Victoria Cross for Australia, with the approval of the Sovereign, on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence.
    The Victoria Cross may be awarded posthumously. The post-nominal entitlement for the Victoria Cross is


    It's an Honour - Honours - Awards - A-Z of Awards - Victoria Cross for Australia
     
  5. Cobber

    Cobber Senior Member

  6. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

  7. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    • Brendan Nicholson
    • From: The Australian
    • January 26, 2011 12:00AM
    ANOTHER soldier has been recognised for heroism in the Afghanistan battle in which Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith won the Victoria Cross. A Special Air Service Regiment sergeant, whose name is being kept secret because he is a member of the special forces, will be awarded the Star of Gallantry today.
    When he was awarded his VC at the weekend, Corporal Roberts-Smith said that when his unit was pinned down in front of three Taliban machineguns in June, one soldier bravely knelt just 20m from the enemy and fired at the gunners to keep their heads down.
    The sergeant in command of the SAS unit reacted quickly by throwing a hand grenade, which knocked out one of the machineguns.
    Corporal Roberts-Smith then charged the Taliban position and killed the remaining insurgents there.
    The Star of Gallantry is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in action in circumstances of great peril.
    When the Australian honours system was introduced in 1991, the star replaced the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal and the Distinguished Service Order given to officers.


    Second hero in machinegun battle with Taliban | The Australian
     
  8. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Senior Member

    The guy deserved his medal and bless him and his colleagues for what they do...
     
  9. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Mark Donaldson: 'Us fighting over there is nothing compared to loss they will feel at home'

    • By Helen Parker
    • From: news.com.au
    • March 03, 2011 12:00AM
    [​IMG]
    The hero's other side. Exclusive with SAS war hero Mark Donaldson VC. He speaks frankly on Sapper deaths, family love and Legacynews.com.au2 March 2011

    VICTORIA Cross recipient Mark Donaldson has spoken frankly about the hardship of leaving his family at home and dangers of life in the field while filming a new TV commercial.

    Corporal Donaldson, who won the military’s highest honour serving in the nation’s elite SAS force in Afghanistan, is part of a campaign by Legacy, which looks after the families of dead soldiers.
    He is doing it to highlight the importance of keeping up the financial and emotional support for those whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice.
    “When one of the guys does lose their life over there and having to tell the family what happened alone is hard enough,” Corporal Donaldson said.
    “But trying to see their kids and the rest of the family continue on with their life - you know it’s probably the hardest thing to do. Us fighting over there - that's nothing compared to the loss that they will feel back home.
    "If I get to come away for a good cause like this that potentially may have to be there for my family - worst case - and be there for my friend’s families then I'm going to give up as much time as I possibly can.
    "The deaths of the two engineers (in Afghanistan) in the last couple of weeks sort of brings it home. And I've seen it first-hand with my friends.”
    Corporal Donaldson, who was awarded his VC in September 2008 after protecting wounded soldiers under heavy fire, is himself a “Legatee”. His father, a former Vietnam Veteran, died when the corporal was just 15.
    "When he passed away Legacy stepped in and helped my mother and my brother, gave us financial and emotional support,” he said.
    The Raise a Glass campaign gives all of the money raised back to families and has been kicked off with a $1 million donation from Victoria Bitter.
    The brewer got involved after they found a picture of WWII Diggers in Egypt in 1941 drinking their beer and using the cans to make the giant VB letters in the sand.


    Mark Donaldson: 'Us fighting over there is nothing compared to loss they will feel at home' | Herald Sun
     
  10. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member Patron

    I assume from that the tradition of the holders of VC's get saluted first ?

    Cheers
    Andy
    Possible so Drew, as holders of the US MoH rate a salute, and a monthly stipend as well.

    Good for him I might add!
     
  11. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Possible so Drew, as holders of the US MoH rate a salute, and a monthly stipend as well.

    Good for him I might add!

    Same in Oz, VC Vets get an allowance as well and a salute from all ranks
     
  12. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    It appears he doesn't have a Victoria Cross as such.

    Spliting hairs he was awarded a Victoria Cross for Australia.

    Victoria Cross for Australia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I see Canada and New Zealand don't get the VC anymore either.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Cross_(Canada)

    Victoria Cross for New Zealand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Canadian one is only partially made from the original gun metal.

    Andy


    Very courageous man. Wonderful that it isn't a posthumous award.

    I didn't know about using the metal from captured cannons for casting the medal. What a great tradition.

    Dave
     
  13. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    A VC is a VC wherever it originates from.
     
  14. martin14

    martin14 Senior Member

    It appears he doesn't have a Victoria Cross as such.

    Spliting hairs he was awarded a Victoria Cross for Australia.

    Victoria Cross for Australia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I see Canada and New Zealand don't get the VC anymore either.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Cross_(Canada)

    Victoria Cross for New Zealand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Canadian one is only partially made from the original gun metal.

    Andy


    Perhaps better to say we don't receive a British VC anymore.

    We are officially separate countries you know. ;)

    Canada has had its' own VC since 93, no one has been awarded it yet.
     
  15. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    It appears he doesn't have a Victoria Cross as such.

    Spliting hairs he was awarded a Victoria Cross for Australia.

    Victoria Cross for Australia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I see Canada and New Zealand don't get the VC anymore either.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Cross_(Canada)

    Victoria Cross for New Zealand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Canadian one is only partially made from the original gun metal.

    Andy

    It's an Honour - Honours - Awards - A-Z of Awards - Victoria Cross for Australia

    Extracts:

    The post-nominal entitlement for the Victoria Cross (for Australia) is VC.

    The Victoria Cross is a Maltese Cross, cast in bronze from cannons captured during the Crimean War (1854-1856). There is sufficient metal for a number of new medals to be cast from these cannons. They are each handmade by Hancocks and Company (Jewellers) of London.
    The obverse of the Victoria Cross bears a crowned lion standing on a royal crown. The words 'FOR VALOUR' are inscribed on a semi-circular scroll beneath the crown.
    The reverse of the cross is engraved with the date of the act of bravery and the name, rank and unit of the recipient.
    The suspension bar is decorated with laurel leaves and bears a 'V' from which the cross hangs.
     
  16. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    [FONT=&quot]Victoria Cross allowance of AUD$3,848 per annum is paid to those veterans who have been[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]awarded this decoration.[/FONT]
     
  17. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Nice shot of Cpl Ben Roberts-Smith in Afghanistan with an M14EBR, now that would have some punch (reminiscent of the SLR)

    [​IMG]
     
  18. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

  19. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Digger Ben Roberts-Smith nearly killed soon after VC-winning deed


    • Brendan Nicholson, Defence editor
    • From: The Australian
    • April 05, 2011 12:00AM
    [​IMG]
    SAS Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith at the Australian War Memorial. Picture: Ray Strange Source: The Australian

    Moment of valour
    See the image of Victoria Cross winner Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith that was taken only moments after the fighting that won him the award.

    VICTORIA Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith has described how he was nearly shot dead by an insurgent soon after the action for which he was awarded the top medal for gallantry under fire.

    The Special Air Service corporal was scouting ahead of an Australian unit last June 11 when he passed an insurgent hidden in rocks above him.
    The insurgent fired a burst of gunfire at him from five to 10m away.
    "He missed me - obviously," Corporal Roberts-Smith said at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra yesterday.
    "One of my fellow soldiers engaged and killed that insurgent. It was the last contact of the day."
    A photograph of Australia's most decorated living soldier taken minutes after that engagement was placed yesterday in the War Memorial's Hall of Valour, which commemorates the exploits of all 98 Australian VC winners.
    Just 90 minutes before the photograph was taken, the 2m tall soldier had added the VC to his Medal for Gallantry by single-handedly charging a Taliban machinegun nest to protect members of his unit pinned down by heavy fire.
    Asked if, as a VC winner, he should now stay away from front line action, Corporal Roberts-Smith said it was important to set out the best way to deal with that type of award.
    "For me, is it best for morale to sit back and say 'I've done my bit, I don't need to go back' or it is better to stand up and say, 'You know what, that's great but the job's not finished and I'm willing to continue to put in with my mates until the job is finished'?"
    The photograph was taken of the dead insurgent as part of the intelligence gathering process and Corporal Roberts-Smith happened to be in the background.
    The picture has been cropped to remove the dead insurgent.
    "The benefit of having a photo from the day is that it's real," said Corporal Roberts-Smith, who has donated his medals to the memorial and has had replicas made.
    "Everything I'm wearing there is real. The incident has just happened. It was essentially the culmination of the whole battle, the last insurgent to fire at us."
    After the firing died away, he picked up the insurgent's rifle and slung it over his shoulder.
    So, was he lucky to escape?
    "It's 50 per cent luck, isn't it? I did feel lucky."
    Corporal Roberts-Smith said he would go back to Afghanistan shortly: "I'll stop doing my media appointments and concentrate on my real job."
    His VC duties would end on Anzac Day when he would march in Sydney to mark the 60th anniversary commemorations of the Korean War Battle of Kapyong by his former battalion, 3RAR. Then he would get back to his SAS team, build up and prepare to return to Afghanistan.
    Corporal Roberts-Smith said that while he now had extra responsibilities, he did not consider that a burden.
    "Every time I go away, regardless of where it is or for what mission, I would always put the same amount of effort in, which is always 100 per cent."
    "The additional responsibility I have now is that people know who I am. As with some elite sportsmen, it's my responsibility to portray myself and the ADF and my unit in the best possible light.
    "As far as the job itself goes, there's no change. It'll always be 100 per cent."
     
  20. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Grim reality of VC Ben Roberts-Smith's guts and glory obscured by military censors


    • Sean Parnell and Rory Callinan
    • From: The Australian
    • June 16, 2011 12:00AM
    CORPORAL Ben Roberts-Smith wore running shoes the day he earned a Victoria Cross in Afghanistan. But a photo of his bloodied sneakers is the only graphic image taken by Australian soldiers during the operation that has not been heavily censored by the Defence Department.
    [​IMG]
    Another photo of Corporal Roberts-Smith in action - armed and pensive, having already earned the nation's highest military honour - hangs in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. But even it has been cropped by Defence to hide at least one dead insurgent in the foreground.
    A larger version obtained by The Australian under Freedom of Information laws is still censored, with only a splatter of blood visible on the ground.
    Official photos and video are now routinely taken on the front line and yet, despite the deaths of 27 Australian soldiers and an ongoing debate about the war in Afghanistan, Defence continues to censor its official account of the conflict.
    According to his citation, it was during an operation by the Special Operations Task Group in Kandahar province a year ago that Corporate Roberts-Smith "identified an insurgent grenadier in the throes of engaging his patrol" and "instinctively engaged the insurgent at point-blank range, resulting in the death of the insurgent".
    "With the members of his patrol still pinned down by the three enemy machine gun positions, he exposed his own position in order to draw fire away from his patrol, which enabled them to bring fire to bear against the enemy. His actions enabled his Patrol Commander to throw a grenade and silence one of the machine guns," the citation reads.
    "Seizing the advantage, and demonstrating extreme devotion to duty and the most conspicuous gallantry, Corporal Roberts-Smith, with a total disregard for his own safety, stormed the enemy position, killing the two remaining machine gunners."
    A Defence spokesman said last night that Corporal Roberts-Smith, who was scout for the operation, wore running shoes "in an attempt to enable rapid, stealthy movement".
    "The shoes became stained while carrying out battle damage assessment," the spokesman said, insisting his choice of footwear was not a reflection on the adequacy of combat boots.
    Every other graphic image of that operation has been censored, with Deputy Special Operations Commander Brigadier Mark Smethurst finding a need to protect Australia's national security, defence or international relations.
    Brigadier Smethurst told the Defence FOI section that the photos were taken for intelligence purposes and to identify insurgents killed during the battle.
    "Brigadier Smethurst advised that not only is this information still currently of classified intelligence value, and would directly compromise the conduct of current (Australian Defence Force) operations, but if released it would form the basis of campaigns to target not only ADF personnel, but Australian nationals more broadly by international terrorist organisations," the FOI decision states.
    Fay Anderson, a historian from the University of Melbourne, said the photos should be released uncensored.
    "The problem with war in Australia is it's sanitised or obscured so much that we don't have any comprehension of what our soldiers are doing and, in effect, we don't think of them as being wounded or killed until we get the numbers; or the other thing, we don't think of our soldiers doing the killing," said Dr Anderson, co-author of Witnesses to War: History of Australian Conflict Reporting from the New Zealand Wars to Afghanistan. "I don't particularly like seeing dead bodies in newspapers, but if we are sending young men and women off to war, then we should see what it is that they are involved in."
    But Vietnam VC-winner Keith Payne defended the censorship, saying certain details should "remain under wraps", especially if there was a risk of inciting further acts of violence or terrorism.
     

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