Australian Victoria Cross Recipient

Corporal Walter Ernest Brown

Unit 20th Battalion
Born 3 July 1885 at New Norfolk, Tasmania
Date of action 6 July 1918
Place Villers-Bretonneux, France

Brown was with an advance party which took over some newly captured trenches near Accroche Wood and, on being told that a sniper’s post was causing trouble, he located the enemy strong point, picked up two Mills bombs and ran towards it under fire. His first bomb fell short, but on reaching the post he knocked one German down with his fist and threatened the others with the remaining Mills bomb. The whole party, consisting of one officer and twelve men of 137th Infantry Regiment, surrendered and Brown shepherded them back to the Australian lines.

He re-enlisted in World War 2, giving his age as 39 (instead of 54). On 15 February 1942 in Singapore, which was about to be surrendered to the Japanese, he was last seen picking up some grenades and walking towards the enemy saying: ‘No surrender for me.’ His body was never recovered.

Died 15 February 1942 (?)
Buried or Commemorated His name is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial. The Leeton Soldiers Club has erected a special plaque to his memory.
Current location of the VC Australian War Memorial