Major Edgar Towner V.C. Print Page Print this page

(Diane Watson)
(Diane Watson)

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / John Huth / Sandra Brown / John Huth / Henry Moulds

The sculpture entitled " Towner`s Call " commemorates Victoria Cross winner Major Edgar Towner.

The sculpture was the result of an essay by schoolboy Ronan Robinson who asked the question  why a local hero who had won the Victoria Cross and Military Cross for bravery was not honoured in his home town and did not feature on the town's war memorial. When Ronan's school essay was published in the local newspaper, the people of Blackall rallied around the cause and raised $80,000 with help from Towner's nephews Geoffrey and John for the sculpture to be realised. 

Edgar Thomas Towner VC, MC (19 April 1890 – 18 August 1972) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces. A Lieutenant in the Australian Imperial Force during World War One, Towner was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1918 for his actions during an attack on Mont St. Quentin on the Western Front. Towner remains the most decorated Queensland-born soldier.

After the war he was appointed a director of the Russleigh Pastoral Company, and briefly re-enlisted during World War Two, when he was promoted to Major. A keen geographer, he was awarded the Dr Thomson Foundation Gold Medal in 1956 for his geographical work. 


Address:Landsborough Highway & Hawthorn Street, Blackall Memorial Park, Blackall, 4472
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -24.425833
Long: 145.468333
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919
Artist:William Eicholtz
Monument Manufacturer:Perrin Sculpture Foundry (Melbourne, VIC)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 24th April, 2009
Front Inscription

1067 Lieutenant E. T. Towner, VC, MC
7th Australian Machine Gun Company, 2nd Machine Gun Battalion

Extract from his Victoria Cross citation
"For most conspicuous bravery, initiative and devotion to duty in 1st September 1918,in the attack on Mont St Quentin, near Peronne [ France], when in charge of four Vickers guns.  He captured single handed, an enemy machine gun causing casualties, turning it on the enemy inflicting severe losses.  Subsequently he cut off and captured twenty five enemy.  Later under heavy fire, and by energy, foresight and promptitude, he brought fire to bear on enemy groups.  Again when short of ammunition he secured and enemy machine gun, which he mounted and fired in full view of the enemy, causing the enemy to retire.  Under intense fire, although wounded, he maintained the fire of his gun at a very critical period.  The following night he steadied a small detachment post, and by his coolness and cheerfulness, inspired the men.  The valour and resourcefulness of Lieutenant Towner undoubtedly saved a very critical situation, and contributed largely to the success of the attack."  

Extract from his Military Cross citation
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty south of Morlancourt, near Albert [France] on the night 10th / 11th June 1918 this officer was one of the first to reach the objective, he got his guns into action quickly, assisting the Right Company gain and consolidate the position.  He also brought captured machine guns into action.  In daylight on the 11th, at great personal risk, he helped reorganise an infantry post blown in by shell fire.  By his cheerful and untiring attitude this officer set a conspicuous example to NCOs and men around him."

Mentioned in Dispatches
Awarded for `devotion to duty and consistent good work` on 1st June 1917 and 28th May 1918 [both in France].

Left Side Inscription

Blackall community commemoration of the extraordinary military service of local grazier

1067 Lieutenant E. T. Towner, VC, MC

`Towner`s Call` 

Officially unveiled and dedicated
24th April 2009

Official guest Hon. Justice John Logan, RFD
Unveiled by Mr Geoffrey Towner & Master Ronan Robinson
Dedicated by Chaplain Morgan Batt
Sculpture by William Eicholtz
Cast by Perrin Sculpture Foundry, Melbourne, 2009

`Towner`s Call` made possible by the generous financial support of the Queensland State Government, Blackall Tambo Regional Council, Blackall RSL Sub Branch, Geoffrey and John Towner and members and friends of the Blackall community.

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au