Corporal John French V.C.Print Page
Bust commemorates Victoria Cross winner, Corporal John French who was born at Crows Nest.
John French (1914-1942) won a posthumous Victoria Cross (V.C) following action at Milne Bay in World War Two and is honoured with a bust outside the John French Memorial Library.
He had served in Tobruk and Syria before the action in New Guinea which led to his death. He is buried in the Bomana War Cemetery, New Guinea.
|Address:||New England Highway & William Street, John French Memorial Library, Crows Nest , 4355|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -27.261111|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||04-September-1942|
|Actual Event End Date:||04-September-1942|
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Saturday 14th October, 2000|
FRENCH CORPORAL JOHN ALEXANDER
2/9th Australian Infantry Battalion, A.I.F.
4th September 1942, at Milne Bay, New Guinea
CITATION. At Milne Bay on the afternoon of the 4 September 1942, a company of an Australian Infantry Battalion attacked the Japanese position east of the Buna Mission where it encountered terrific rifle and machine-gun fire. The advance of the section of which Corporal French was in command was held up by fire from three enemy machine-gun posts, whereupon Corporal French, ordering his section to take cover, advanced and silenced one of the posts with grenades. He returned to his section for more grenades and again advanced and silenced the second post.
Armed with a Thompson submachine-gun, he then attacked the third post, firing from the hip as he went forward. He was seen to be badly hit by the fire from this post, but he continued to advance. The enemy gun then ceased to fire and his section pushed on to find that all members of the three enemy gun crews had been killed and that Corporal French had died in front of the third gun pit. By his cool courage and disregard of his own personal safety, this non-commissioned officer saved the members of his section from heavy casualties and was responsible for the successful conclusion of the attack.
(Plaque 2 )
CORPORAL JOHN ALEXANDER FRENCH (1914 -1942)
2/9TH AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION, A.I.F.
AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS
IN ACTION AGAINST THE JAPANESE ARMY
AT THE BATTLE OF MILNE BAY-NEW GUINEA
ON 4TH SEPTEMBER, 1942
A SON OF CROWS NEST
LEST WE FORGET