24 July 2006

( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Captain Alfred Shout,
1st Bn, Australian Imperial Force

  • Victoria Cross
  • Military Cross ( MC )
  • Queen's South Africa Medal ( 1899-1902 )
    • 3 clasps:
    • "Cape Colony" - "Transvaal" - "Wittebergen"
  • King's South Africa Medal ( 1901-02 )
    • 2 clasps:
    • "South Africa 1901" - "South Africa 1902"
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
The last remaining Australian Gallipoli Victoria Cross remaining in private hands has been sold at auction by Bonhams & Goodman of Sydney, Australia, for a hammer price of $AUS 1,000,000.00 ( £406,716.00 ) - a world record price for a Victoria Cross.

The Shout VC was bought by Australian media magnet Kerry Stokes, in collaboration with the Return Services League, who plan to display the Victoria Cross medal group in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

On the 9th August 1915 the 1st Battalion re-entered the Lone Pine Trenches, Gallipoli, and it was during this last tour of duty that Captain Shout performed the deeds that led to his award of the Victoria Cross. The locale of this action was Sasse's Sap, of which a large portion was found to be occupied by the enemy. Early in the afternoon Captains Shout and Sasse decided to clear it, Sasse already having that morning achieved some success in an indentical operation.

Having got together eight men carrying sandbags for constructing barracades, both officers charged abreast down the trench, Shout bombing and Sasse shooting. Thus they advanced in several short 'hops', building a barricade at each stop. They had just determined a suitable position for the final barracade when Shout prepared three bombs so they might be quickly thrown and the Turks prevented from hindering the building of the barracade.

He ignited all three at the same time, threw one, and then either the second or third exploded as it was leaving his hand, shattering one hand and most of the other, destroyed one eye and laid open his cheek, and scored his breast and leg. Captain Shout was, nevertheless, conscious and talked cheerfully with his men. Immediately afterwards Alfred Shout was evacuated, but three days later he succumbed to his wounds aboard the hospital ship 'Euralia' and was buried at sea. His name is carved on the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli.

Since the day of his arrival Alfred Shout had been the heart and soul of the firing line, his invincible buoyancy and cheefulness being a great help to his fellow Australians. An extract from the "British Australasian" stated

"Wounded soldiers who have returned to Australia have been singing the praises of Captain Shout, one of the nine Australians who were awarded the Victoria Cross a week or two ago. Soon after the landing at Gaba Tepe Captain Shout, although wounded himself, carried more than a dozen wounded men out of the firing line. His arm was then shattered, but he still refused to go to the rear. A little later Captain Shout was again wounded, but struggled and struggled till he got to his feet, refusing all entreaties to retire. He then fell, tried to rise, but was carried away still protesting."

For the award of the Victoria Cross.

[ London Gazette, 15 October 1915 ], Lone Pine Trenches, Gallipoli, Turkey, 9 August 1915, Captain Alfred John Shout MC, 1st Bn, Australian Imperial Force.

For most conspicuous bravery at Lone Pine trenches, in the Gallipoli Peninsula. On the morning of the 9th August 1915, with a very small party, Captain Shout charged down trenches strongly occupied by the enemy, and personally threw four bombs among them, killing eight and routing the remainder. In the afternoon of the same day, from the position gained in the morning, he captured a further length of trench under similar conditions, and continued personally to bomb the enemy at close range under very heavy fire until he was severely wounded, losing his right hand and left eye. This most gallant officer has since succumbed to his injuries.

[ London Gazette, 3 June 1915 ], For the award of the Military Cross, Gallipoli, Turkey, Captain Alfred John Shout, 1st Bn, Australian Imperial Force

On 27th April 1915 during operations near Gaba Tepe, for showing conspicuous courage and ability in organising and leading his men in the thick bushy country, under very heavy fire. He frequently had to expose himself to locate the enemy, and led a bayonet charge at a critical moment.


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Iain Stewart, 24 July 2006