Thursday, 11 June 2015

Forgotten Heroes - Captain James Ernest Newland, 12th Battalion, AIF, V.C.

Captain James Ernest Newland, 12th Battalion, AIF, Victoria Cross action on 8 April and 15 April 1917 at Lagnicourt.

James Newland was born at HightonVictoria. He served in the Boer War before becoming a regular soldier. In August 1914 he transferred to the AIF. He took part in the Gallipoli landing; he was soon wounded and evacuated and, later that year, commissioned. In 1916 he went to France as battalion adjutant, and was Mentioned in Despatches at Pozières.

Newland was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on three occasions over 7–9 April, and 15 April 1917. Near Boursies and LagnicourtFrance, he led strong attacks and repelled enemy counter-attacks. "It was [his] tenacity and disregard for his own safety that encouraged the men to hold out." In early May, Newland was again wounded.

Returning to Australia, Newland served in the army until 1941. He worked briefly for the Red Cross then joined the inspection staff at Footscray Ammunition Factory, Melbourne, until his death in 1949.

As well as the Victoria Cross Newland received service medals for the Boer War and First and Second World Wars, the King George VI Coronation Medal, and long and meritorious service medals. The oak leaf denotes that Newland was Mentioned in Despatches.

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