Henry Dalziel

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This article is about the Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross. For the British newspaper proprietor and politician, see Henry Dalziel, 1st Baron Dalziel of Kirkcaldy.
Henry Dalziel
StateLibQld 2 93480 Private Henry Dalziel, V.C.jpg
Nickname(s) Harry
Born (1893-02-18)18 February 1893
Irvinebank, Queensland, Australia
Died 24 July 1965(1965-07-24) (aged 72)
Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital, Brisbane
Buried at Mt Thompson Crematorium, Brisbane.
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1915–1919
Rank Sergeant
Unit 15th Battalion (Queensland & Tasmania), Australian Imperial Force
Battles/wars

Henry Dalziel VC (18 February 1893 – 24 July 1965) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Dalziel's VC was the 1000th awarded.

He was 25 years old, and serving as a driver in the 15th Battalion (Queensland & Tasmania), Australian Imperial Force during the First World War when, during the Battle of Hamel, the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. Assigned to the battalion's transport company, Dalziel volunteered to join the attack to make up for a manpower shortage that the battalion was experiencing at that time.[1]

On 4 July 1918 at Hamel Wood, France, when determined resistance was coming from an enemy strong-point which was also protected by strong wire entanglements, Dalziel, armed only with a revolver, attacked an enemy machine-gun. He killed or captured the entire crew and, although severely wounded in the hand, carried on until the final objective was captured. He twice went over open ground under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire to obtain ammunition and, suffering from loss of blood, continued to fill magazines and serve his gun until wounded in the head.[2]

His citation, published in the London Gazette on 17 August 1918 read:

"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in action with a Lewis gun section. His company met with determined resistance from a strong point which was strongly garrisoned, manned by numerous machine-guns and, undamaged by our artillery fire, was also protected by strong wire entanglements. A heavy concentration of machine-gun fire caused many casualties, and held up our advance. His Lewis gun having come into action and silenced enemy guns in one direction, an enemy gun opened fire from another direction. Private Dalziel dashed at it and with his revolver, killed or captured the entire crew and gun, and allowed our advance to continue. He was severely wounded in the hand, but carried on and took part in the capture of the final objective. He twice went over open ground under heavy enemy artillery and machine-gun fire to secure ammunition, and though suffering from considerable loss of blood, he filled magazines and served his gun until severely wounded through the head. His magnificent bravery and devotion to duty was an inspiring example to all his comrades and his dash and unselfish courage at a critical time undoubtedly saved many lives and turned what would have been a serious check into a splendid success."
A dark plaque on a white brick wall. The plaque is decorated with a Victoria Cross emblem and reads "1936 Private H. Dalziel, VC. 15 Batallion, 24-7-1965 Age 72."
Henry Dalziel's cremation niche, Wall 12, Section 16, No 106, at Mount Thompson Crematorium, Brisbane

He later achieved the rank of Sergeant.

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Chataway 1948, pp. 213–214.
  2. ^ Laffin 1999, pp. 77–78.
Bibliography