John Carroll ["Tales of the V.C."]

Title in English
Australian VC Winner

Private John Carroll, Australian Imperial Force, was awarded the V.C. for bravery. John Carroll (1891-1971), soldier, labourer and railway employee, was born on 16 August 1891 in Brisbane, son of John Carroll, labourer, and his wife Catherine, née Wallace, both Irish-born. When he was two the family moved to Donnybrook, Western Australia, and then to Yarloop. About 1905 they settled at Kurrawang where John and his father joined the Goldfields Firewood Supply Co. as labourers. Tall and well built, John was a good athlete and a prominent member of the local football club; he was working as a railway guard on the Kurrawang line when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force as a private on 27 April 1916. Carroll embarked for England in August with reinforcements for the 44th Battalion, then on 14 November was transferred to the 33rd Battalion. He went into the line at Armentières, France, and served there until April 1917 when his unit moved into position for the Messines offensive. On 7 June, in the battle of Messines Ridge, he rushed an enemy trench and bayoneted four men, then rescued a comrade who was in difficulties. Later in the advance he attacked a machine-gun crew, killing three men and capturing the gun, and, in spite of heavy shelling and machine-gun fire, dug out two of his mates who had been buried by a shell explosion. During the battle his battalion was in the line for ninety-six hours and Carroll 'displayed most wonderful courage and fearlessness' throughout. He was awarded the Victoria Cross and in September was promoted lance corporal. On 12 October, in the second battle of Passchendaele, he was severely wounded and did not rejoin his unit until June 1918; next month he was transferred to A.I.F. headquarters, London, and in August returned to Australia. This account of his actions was written by James Price Lloyd of the Welsh Regiment, who served with Military Intelligence. After the war, the government to destroyed all the archives relating to this propaganda (section MI 7b (1)). They were regarded as being too sensitive to risk being made public. Remarkably these documents have survived in the personal records of Captain Lloyd. Many of these papers are officially stamped, and one can trace the development of many individual articles from the notes based on an idea, to the pencil draft which is then followed by the hand-written submission and the typescript. The archive "Tales of the VC" comprises 94 individual accounts of the heroism that earned the highest award for valour, the Victoria Cross. These are recounted deferentially and economically, yet they still manage to move the reader. Date stamp: 14 December 1917.

Summary description of items
Article with annotations.

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Number of items
Person 1
John Carroll
Person 2
James Price Lloyd
Origin date
June 7, 1917 – October 12, 1917
Propaganda, Trench Life
Western Front
Messines, Belgium
Jeremy Arter
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    John Carroll [

    Messines, Belgium

    John Carroll ["Tales of the V.C."]

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