Albert Cleary

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Albert Neil Cleary
Born (1919-06-16)16 June 1919
Geelong, Victoria
Died 20 March 1945(1945-03-20) (aged 25)
Sandakan, Borneo
Buried at Labuan War Cemetery
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch Second Australian Imperial Force
Years of service 1941–1945
Rank Gunner
Service number VX52128
Unit 2/15th Field Regiment

World War II

Awards Commendation for Gallantry

Albert Neil Cleary (16 June 1919 – 20 March 1945)[1] was an Australian soldier during World War II. Part of the 2/15th Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, he became a prisoner of war to the Japanese following the Battle of Singapore. He died following an escape attempt in 1945. In 2001, the Australian Labor Party introduced a bill to have Cleary and two others awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia, however this was defeated by the Federal Liberal Government.[2] In 2011, Cleary was awarded a posthumous Commendation for Gallantry.[3] Cleary's death was revealed by historian Lynette Silver to have been caused by dysentery, calling into doubt his elevation as a war hero.[4]


  1. ^ "Cleary, Albert Neil". World War II Nominal Roll. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  2. ^ Sidebottom, Sid, MP (4 June 2001). "First Reading Speech of the Defence Act Amendment" (PDF). Victoria Cross Bill 2001. House of Representatives - Commonwealth of Australia. pp. 1–3. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Commendation for Gallantry, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette S143, 28 September 2011.
  4. ^ "VC award would be based on lies, military historian warns". The Sydney Morning Herald. 13 March 2012.