10 July 1889|
|Died||24 June 1948
|Years of service||1906–1918
|Unit||7th Battalion, (Victoria), Australian Imperial Force|
William John Symons VC (10 July 1889 – 24 June 1948) 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.
On 8–9 August 1915, at Lone Pine, Gallipoli, Turkey, Symons was in command of a section of newly captured trenches and repelled several counter-attacks with great coolness. An enemy attack on an isolated sap early in the morning resulted in six officers becoming casualties and part of the sap being lost, but Symons retook it, shooting two Turks. The sap was then attacked from three sides and this officer managed, in the face of heavy fire, to build a barricade. On the enemy setting fire to the head cover, he extinguished it and rebuilt the barricade. His coolness and determination finally compelled the enemy to withdraw.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia.
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - Gallipoli (Stephen Snelling, 1995)
- Anthony Staunton, Symons, William John (1889–1948), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 12, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pp 158–159.
- Location of grave and VC medal (Golders Green)