William Dunstan V.C. Print Page
A monument commemorates William Dunstan V.C.
On 2 June 1915 William Dunstan enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force as a private and a fortnight later embarked for Egypt as an acting sergeant of the 6th Reinforcements of the 7th Battalion. From 5 August he was an acting corporal with the 7th on Gallipoli where four days later he won the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery at Lone Pine.
Early on 9 August the Turks made a determined counter-attack on a newly captured trench held by Lieutenant F. H. Tubb and ten men. Two men were told to remain on the floor of the trench to catch and throw back enemy bombs or to smother their explosions with overcoats; both were soon mutilated. Tubb, with Corporal Dunstan, Corporal A. S. Burton and six others, kept firing over the parapet. Several bombs burst simultaneously in the trench killing or wounding five men.
Tubb continued to fight, supported only by Dunstan and Burton until a violent explosion blew down the barricade. Tubb drove the Turks off and Dunstan and Burton were rebuilding it when a bomb burst between them, killing Burton and temporarily blinding Dunstan. On the 10th June 1916 he was presented with the Victoria Cross.
|Address:||Sturt & Doveton Streets, Ballarat, 3350|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -37.561572|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||04-August-1914|
|Actual Event End Date:||28-June-1919|
|Approx. Monument Dedication Date:||1995|
In honour of WILLIAM DUNSTAN, VC 1895 - 1957.
William Dunstan was born in Ballarat East and educated at Golden Point State School.
Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, 19 year old Dunstan enlisted in the 7th Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division of the Australian Imperial Forces.
Within 3 weeks he was posted to Gallipoli and was immediately embroiled in the Battle of Lone Pine.
Early on the morning of 9th August, 1915, Dunstan and 10 other men were defending a trench captured from the Turks.
The enemy launched repeated counter attacks and suffered heavy casualties. Only 3 surviving Australians remained and were rebuilding the blown-up barricade of sandbags when the Turks launched a final, vicious assault to regain the trench.
Struggling to defend their position, the three Australians resorted to catching the Turkish hand bombs and throwing them back at the enemy or smothering those that landed with Turkish great-coats.
Hand bombs killed a 10th defender and wounded both Dunstan and his only remaining companion. Again the Turks were driven back and this time the two wounded Australians were left alone until later relieved and hospitalised.
As a result of the intensity of the fighting and the tenacity of the 3 defenders, each was awarded Victoria Crosses for their conspicuous bravery.
Following the war, Dunstan enjoyed a successful career to become the Managing Director of the Herald and Weekly Times.
He died in Melbourne aged 62 and is remembered with respect by the citizens of Ballarat.