Day 108 of riding - Seymour to Benalla via Euroa and Violet Town.
Heading up the Hume Highway out of Seymour today and deep into the bushranger trail where Ned Kelly and his gang are set in stone - particularly Ned as a folklore bushranger only to be hanged and remembered for his misdeeds and his famous quote before he was hanged "Such is life". More to follow on Ned Kelly later as his name still lingers on today.
Riding into Euroa to a welcome and morning tea hosted by RSL members Phil Munt and Gary Cooper. The RSL is proud to have three statues of three Victoria Cross recipients:
Lieutenant Leslie Maygar c. 1903
Leslie Cecil Maygar, VC, DSO, VD (27 May 1868 – 1 November 1917) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was awarded the VC for facilitating the rescue of a dismounted man while under severe rifle fire in 1902 during the Second Boer War. He later served at Gallipoli during the First World War, and died of wounds received at the Battle of Beersheba during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.
Captain Frederick Tubb c.1916
Tubb was born on 28 November 1881 to Harry and Emma E. Tubb, of St. Helena, Longwood East, Victoria, Australia. He was 33 years old, and a lieutenant in the 7th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, during the First World War when he was awarded the VC for his actions on 9 August 1915 at Lone Pine, Gallipoli. Lieutenant Tubb held a newly captured trench which was being counter-attacked by the enemy, who blew in a sand-bag barricade, leaving only a foot of it standing. Tubb led his men back, repulsed the enemy and rebuilt the barricade. Twice more the enemy blew in the barricade, but on each occasion this officer, although wounded in the head and arm, held his ground and assisted by corporals Alexander Burton and William Dunstan, rebuilt it, and maintained the position under heavy bombardment.
Alexander Stewart Burton.
Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Burton enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 18 August 1914 and posted to the 7th Battalion. He embarked with the battalion for the Middle East on 19 October 1914. On 25 April 1915, 7th Battalion landed at Gallipoli but Burton was sick and did not reach the front lines until a week later. He was promoted to the rank of lance corporal on 10 July 1915 for "having volunteered and taken part in the forcing of Saphead D21 in the face of the enemy".
On 9 August 1915, Burton fought in the Battle of Lone Pine when his company reinforced newly captured Turkish trenches. Burton was one of a party of men that manned a barricade against attacking Turkish soldiers. Killed in this action, he was recommended by his battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Pompey Elliott, for the award of the Victoria Cross (VC). Two other members of the party, Lieutenant Frederick Tubb and Corporal William Dunstan, were also awarded VCs. Burton's VC was gazetted on 15 October 1915 - the citation read as follows:
For most conspicuous bravery at Lone Pine Trenches on the 9th August, 1915. In the early morning the enemy made a determined counter-attack on the centre of the newly captured trench held by Lieutenant Tubb, Corporals Burton and Dunstan and a few men. They [the enemy] advanced up a sap and blew in a sandbag barricade, leaving only one foot of it standing, but Lieutenant Tubb with the two Corporals repulsed the enemy and rebuilt the barricade. Supported by strong bombing parties the enemy twice again succeeded in blowing the barricade, but on each occasion they were repulsed and the barricade rebuilt, although Lieutenant Tubb was wounded in the head and arm and Corporal Burton was killed by a bomb while most gallantly building up the parapet under a hail of bombs.
— The London Gazette, 15 October 1915
Thank you to the RSL for morning tea and a grand tour of the Victoria Cross memorial statue park.
A huge welcome on arrival Violet Town by RSL committee, staff, members, Lions club members, and the public at the memorial hall in the centre of town after riding on from Euroa. A warm welcoming speech by Ross Walker RSL President whom I hadn't seen for almost 46 years after serving together in SAS.
Ross was onboard to facilitate and organise a grand welcome for myself and the long ride home team as mentioned, a substantial donation presented by RSL Vice President James Payne, Lions President Michael Loughlin, an invite to plant a SAS Anniversary Rose in front of the wall of honour, and a hearty luncheon before riding onto Benalla.
To all at Euroa and Violet town a huge thank you for your warm welcoming ceremonies, donations and outstanding hospitality during the long ride home whilst on route North to Sydney. And to those who have donated thank you as well on behalf of the long ride home team, they are:
Highlands Caravan Park Seymour
Knippel & Payne
Lions Club Violet Town
Violet Town RSL
The Late Stephen John Payne
Alana & Shannon, Hair Manor, Benalla
RSL Murray Bridge
Warmest Regards and many thanks to you all for your donations, support and marvellous comments on the long ride home website and Facebook.
A big thank you to Frauline from the Violet Town RSL who presented me with a huge bag of Anzac biscuits to take with me on the ride.
Truck in Benalla Victoria on the long ride home, still truckin.