THE VICTORIA CROSS AWARDED TO SERGEANT HENRY DALZIEL, 15TH BN, AIF, HAVE BEEN SOLD AT AUCTION BY NOBLE NUMISMATICS OF SYDNEY.
25 November 2010


( select to enlarge )

Medal entitlement of Sergeant Henry Dalziel,
15th Bn, Australian Imperial Force

  • Victoria Cross
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • Australian Service Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )
The Victoria Cross and campaign medals awarded to Sergeant Henry Dalziel, 15th, Bn, AIF, have been sold at auction by Noble Numismatics of Sydney on 25 November 2010. The group realised a hammer price of AUS$ 525,000 ( £326,665 ).

A recently published media release by the Australian War Memorial in Canberra gratefully acknowledges the generous donation of Private Henry Dalziel's Victoria Cross group by Mr Kerry Stokes AC. Acknowledging the Memorial's appreciation, Mr Stokes said it was always nice to be in a position to help in the preservation of some of our country's most important historical items and it was particularly good to be able to assist the Australian War Memorial at Christmas.


Pear Trench to the south west of the village of Hamel was one of three main known obstacles facing the British. To assist the Canadian 15th Battalion three tanks had been allocated to their left, but they failed to turn up and the infantry had to cope without their assistance.


For the award of the Victoria Cross.

[ London Gazette, 17 August 1918 ], Hamel Wood, France, 4 July 1918, Driver Henry Dalziel, 15th Bn, Australian Imperial Force.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in action with a Lewis gun section ( Hamel Wood, France ).

His company met with determined resistance from a strong point which was strongly garrisoned, manned by numerous machine guns, and, undamaged by our artillery fire, was also protected by strong wire entanglements. A heavy concentration of machine-gun fire caused many casualties, and held up our advance.

His Lewis gun having come into action and silenced enemy guns in one direction, an enemy gun opened fire from another direction. Private Dalziel dashed at it, and with his revolver killed or captured the entire crew and gun, and allowed our advance to continue. He was severely wounded in the hand, but carried on and took part in the capture of the final objective.

He twice went over open ground under heavy enemy artillery and machine-gun fire to secure ammunition, and though suffering from considerable loss of blood, he filled magazines and served the gun until severely wounded through the head.

His magnificent bravery and devotion to duty, was an inspiring example to all his comrades, and his dash and unselfish courage at a most critical time undoubtedly saved many lives and turned what would have been a severe check into a splendid success.

Henry Dalziel was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 13th December 1918.


During the war Henry Dalziel was said to have been wounded thirty-two times and on the last occasion his skull was smashed in and his brain exposed. Skilful medical treatment in England saved his life, and despite his wounds he lived for another forty-seven years, a shock of black hair hiding the scars on his head.

Henry Dalziel died on 24 July 1965 in the Greenslope Repatriation Hospital, Brisbane, and his body cremated at Mount Thompson Crematorium.

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Iain Stewart, 16 December 2010