Tasmania has a long and proud military history and all of those Tasmanians who have served our nation’s uniform provide us with an example of service and sacrifice.
Up until last year a select group of 14 Tasmanians had been awarded the Victoria Cross – our nation’s highest award for bravery in battle.
The 5th edition of `Our Heroes’ has now been launched, a book that recognises Tasmania’s Victoria Cross recipients and other notable Tasmanians.
The 5th edition of ‘Our Heroes’ is a special Teddy Sheean VC Edition marking the incredible journey of the Sheean family, and especially Teddy’s nephew Garry Ivory, in seeking justice for a young 18-year-old `ordinary seaman’ from Barrington. Teddy is now the 15th Tasmanian out of 101 Australians to be awarded the Victoria Cross – an incredible achievement considering Tasmania has less than 2 per cent of Australia’s population.
“Teddy Sheean’s story of sacrificing his life to help save his crewmates as the HMAS Armidale was sinking in the Timor Sea in 1942 is well known and it was my honour to work alongside Garry Ivory for 17 years to have Teddy’s conspicuous gallantry and sacrifice recognised.” Said Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Guy Barnett.
This latest edition includes chapters on all VC recipients from Trooper John Bisdee in the Boer War in 1900 through to Burnie-born CPL Cameron Baird for his exploits and bravery in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan on 22 June 2013. There are also special chapters on the long campaign for justice for Teddy Sheean, the contributions of indigenous Tasmanians and also the role of animals in multiple war campaigns.
Eleven Tasmanians were awarded the Victoria Cross during World War I, including Australia’s most decorated infantry soldier Lieutenant Colonel Harry Murray who was raised in Evandale.
“This new edition has also unearthed many new stories and facts about our brave soldiers and I hope all Tasmanians, but especially young Tasmanians, are inspired by the values, courage, endurance, mateships and sacrifice flowing from these pages which I dedicate it to all Tasmanians who have served, and their families.”
The book is available at most RSLs for a $10 donation which goes back to the RSL.