John Dwyer (VC) bigraphy, stories - Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross

John Dwyer (VC) : biography

9 March 1890 - 17 July 1962

John James Dwyer VC (9 March 1890 – 17 January 1962) 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. Elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 1931 representing the Australian Labor Party, Dwyer served as Deputy Premier of Tasmania from August 1958 to May 1959 and remained in office until his death.

When Dwyer was 27 years old he was a sergeant in the 4th Company, Machine Gun Corps, Australian Imperial Force during the First World War. At that time, the following deed took place for which he was later awarded the VC.

On 26 September 1917 at Zonnebeke, Belgium, Sergeant Dwyer, in charge of a Vickers machine-gun during an advance, rushed his gun forward to within 30 yards of an enemy machine-gun, fired point blank at it and killed the crew. He then seized the gun and carried it back across shell-swept ground to the Australian front line. On the following day, when the position was being heavily shelled, and his Vickers gun was blown up, he took his team through the enemy barrage and fetched a reserve gun which he put into use in the shortest possible time.

Dwyer later achieved the rank of Lieutenant. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Australian War Memorial.

Tasmanian parliamentary library photo, c 1931

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