Corporal John Edmondson V.C.Print Page Print this page

A plaque commemorates John Edmondson who was awarded the Victoria Cross (V.C.) during World War Two.

Corporal John Hurst Edmondson, who was born in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry in the Siege of Tobruk. He was the first Australian to be awarded a Victoria Cross in World War Two. On the night of 13th-14th April, 1941, a party of German infantry broke through the wire defences of Tobruk, and established themselves with numerous machine guns, mortars and field pieces. Led by an officer, Corporal Edmondson and five privates carried out a bayonet charge upon them under heavy fire.

Although wounded in the neck and stomach Corporal Edmondson not only killed one of the enemy, but went to the assistance of his officer, who was attacked by a German from behind while bayoneting another who had seized him about the legs. Despite his wounds, Corporal Edmondson succeeded in killing these two Germans also, thus undoubtedly saving his officer`s life. Throughout the operation he showed outstanding resolution and leadership, and "conspicuous bravery." Edmondson died the next day from his wounds.

On Sunday morning, December 21, a Requiem Eucharist was held in St John`s Church, Wagga to the late Corporal John H. Edmondsen, V.C., son of Mr  and Mrs Edmondsen of Liverpool. A memorial tablet, which has been erected on the western wall of the church was unveiled. This is of handsome design, with dark coloured stone background, on which marble has been superimposed. At the top centre is the official sign of the Australian Imperial Forces, and the inscription reads; "A tribute to the memory of NX15705, Corp. John H. Edmondson, V.C., 2/17th Battalion. A.I.F., born at Wagga on 8 October 1914, and baptised in this church, who gave his life in saving his officer at Tobruk. Died April 14, 1941, aged 27 years. 'Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.' Erected by the Wagga Sub Branch of the R.S.S. & A.I.L.A." The unveiling of the memorial tablet was performed by Mr. W. M.. Currey (himself a V.C.), who had made the trip from Sydney for this purpose. 
Biz (Fairfield, NSW), 8 January 1942. 


Address:Church Street, St Johns Church of England, Wagga Wagga, 2650
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.107515
Long: 147.374438
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 21st December, 1941
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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