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John Hurst Edmondson
Birth: Oct. 8, 1914
Death: Apr. 14, 1941

World War II Victoria Cross Recipient. A native of Australia, he was gazetted for the award posthumously on July 1, 1941 for his actions as a corporal in the 2/17th Australian Infantry Battalion on 13-14 April 1941 in the early stages of the Siege of Tobruk, Libya, during the North African Campaign of World War II. He was the first Australian in World War II to receive the award. Nicknamed "Jack, he was born in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia and moved with his family to Liverpool, outside of Sydney, Australia. He attended Hurlstone Agricultural High School in the nearby town of Glenfield, with a desire to become a farmer. In March 1939 he began serving with the 4th Militia Battalion and after World War II broke out in September 1939, he joined the 2/17th Australian Infantry Battalion the following May, and was sent to the Middle East five months later as part of the 9th Australian Division, and underwent desert training in Palestine. In March 1941 his division relieved the 6th Australian Division in Cyrenaica, Libya and soon afterwards they engaged German General Erwin Rommel's forces at Tobruk, where he won the Victoria Cross for gallantry and died in combat at the age of 26. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "War Office, 1st July, 1941. The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the VICTORIA CROSS to: No. 15705 Corporal John Hurst Edmondson, Australian Military Forces. On the night of 13th-14th April, 1941, a party of German infantry broke through the wire defences at Tobruk, and established themselves with at least six machine guns, mortars and two small field pieces. It was decided to attack them with bayonets, and a party consisting of one officer, Corporal Edmondson and five privates, took part in the charge. During the counter-attack Corporal Edmondson was wounded in the neck and stomach but continued to advance under heavy fire and killed one enemy with his bayonet. Later, his officer had his bayonet in one of the enemy and was grasped about the legs by him, when another attacked him from behind. He called for help, and Corporal Edmondson, who was some yards away, immediately came to his assistance and in spite of his wounds, killed both of the enemy. This action undoubtedly saved his officer's life. Shortly after returning from this successful counter-attack, Corporal Edmondson died of his wounds. His actions throughout the operations were outstanding for resolution, leadership and conspicuous bravery." In addition to the Victoria Cross, he received the British War Medal (1939-45), which are both on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
Tobruk War Cemetery
Al Butnan, Libya
Plot: 3. J. 8.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: K
Record added: Dec 10, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 8170952
John Hurst Edmondson
Added by: laurinlaurin espie
John Hurst Edmondson
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Added by: Peter Leggo
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Rest in Peace
- Bruce Nuckowski
 Added: Dec. 6, 2015
Thank you for your courage and valor in time of battle. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Nov. 9, 2015
A true Aussie hero, John was my father's second cousin and spoke of him and his deeds often. Dad also fought in WWII against the Japanese in New Guinea but spoke more highly of John's actions at Tobruk. I have never forgotten these stories and pass them o...(Read more)
- Greg Hackett
 Added: Nov. 11, 2014
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