THE VICTORIA CROSS, DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER AND CAMPAIGN MEDALS AWARDED TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL BLAIR WARK, 32ND BN, AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE, HAVE BEEN LOANED TO THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL.
15 June 2019


( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Colonel Blair Wark,
32nd Bn, Australian Imperial Force

  • Victoria Cross
  • Distinguished Service Order ( DSO )
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 ) + MiD
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • Australian Service Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1947 )


The private collector who owns the Victoria Cross awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Blair Wark, 32nd Bn, Australian Imperial Force, has now decided to loan the Blair Wark VC medal group to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. It is thought the loan will be for a period of three years.


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 26 December 1918 ], Bellicourt to Joncourt, France, 29 September to 1 October 1918, Major Blair Anderson Wark DSO, 32nd Bn, Australian Imperial Force.

For most conspicuous bravery, initiative and control during the period 29th September to 1st October 1918, in the operations against the Hindenburg Line at Bellicourt and the advance through Nauroy, Etricourt, Maguy La Fosse and Joncourt.

On 29th September, after personal reconnaissance under heavy fire, he led his command forward at a critical period and restored the situation. Moving fearlessly at the head of, and at times, far in advance of, his troops, he cheered his men on through Nauroy, thence towards Etricourt.

Still leading his assaulting companies, he observed a battery of 77mm. guns firing on his rear companies and causing heavy casualties. Collecting a few of his men, he rushed the battery, capturing four guns and ten of the crew. Then moving rapidly forward with only two NCOs he surprised and captured fifty Germans near Maguy La Fosse.

On 1st October 1918, he again showed fearless leading and gallantry in attack, and without hesitation and regardless of personal risk dashed forward and silenced machine guns which were causing heavy casualties.

Throughout he displayed the greatest courage, skilful leading and devotion to duty, and his work was invaluable.

Blair Wark was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 13th February 1919.

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Iain Stewart, 15 June 2019