William Dunstan VC.
|Born||8 March 1895
|Died||2 March 1957 (aged 61)
|Service/branch||Citizens Military Force
Australian Imperial Force
|Years of service||1914–28|
Mentioned in Despatches
|Relations||Keith Dunstan (son)|
William Dunstan, VC (2 March 1895 – 8 March 1957) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces.
Dunstan was born on 8 March 1895. He was 20 years old and a corporal in the 7th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force during the First World War when he was awarded the VC for his actions on 9 August 1915, during the Battle of Lone Pine on Gallipoli, Turkey. During the action Turkish forces had made a determined counter-attack on the centre of the newly captured trench held by a lieutenant, Frederick Harold Tubb, two corporals (Alexander Stewart Burton and Corporal Dunstan), and a few men. The Turkish blew in the sand-bag barricade, leaving only a foot standing, but Tubb, Burton and Dunstan repelled them and rebuilt the barricade. Twice more the Turkish blew in the barricade and on each occasion they were repelled and the barricade rebuilt.
Dunstan was blind for almost a year after Lone Pine. He later achieved the rank of lieutenant. Before the war, Dunstan had been a messenger boy in a draper's shop. After the war he became the general manager of Keith Murdoch's The Herald and Weekly Times newspaper group. He died on 2 March 1957.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. In 1995 a Memorial to Dunstan was erected in Sturt St, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. The "Dunstan VC Club" at Puckapunyal is named in his honour. He is the father of prominent journalist and writer Keith Dunstan.
Dunstan was awarded:
- Victoria Cross
- 1914–15 Star
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal with oakleaf (MID)
- George VI Coronation Medal
- Elizabeth II Coronation Medal
- "No. 29328". The London Gazette. 15 October 1915. p. 10154.
- REL/03274.001 – Victoria Cross : Corporal W Dunstan, 7 Battalion, AIF, Australian War Memorial
- REL/03274.002 – 1914–15 Star : Corporal W Dunstan, 7 Battalion, AIF, Australian War Memorial
- REL/03274.003 – British War Medal 1914–20 : Corporal W Dunstan, 7 Battalion, AIF, Australian War Memorial
- REL/03274.004 – Victory Medal with Mention in Despatches oakleaf : Corporal W Dunstan, 7 Battalion, AIF, Australian War Memorial
- REL/03274.005 – George VI Coronation Medal : W Dunstan, VC, Australian War Memorial
- REL/03274.006 – Elizabeth II Coronation Medal : W Dunstan, VC, Australian War Memorial