John James Dwyer


John James Dwyer Famous memorial

Cygnet, Huon Valley Council, Tasmania, Australia
Death 17 Jan 1962 (aged 71)
Alonnah, Kingborough Council, Tasmania, Australia
Burial Hobart, Hobart City, Tasmania, Australia
Memorial ID 7714417 View Source

Politician, World War I Victoria Cross Recipient. A native of Tasmania, he received the award from British King George V on March 7, 1918 at Buckingham Palace in London, England for his actions as a sergeant in the 4th Company, Machine Gun Corps, Australian Imperial Force on September 26, 1917 at Zonnebeke, Belgium during the Third Battle of Ypres. Born in Lovett (now Port Cygnet), Tasmania, his father was a farmer. From 1910 to 1913 he worked as a laborer in the timber and cane business in Queensland Australia, after which he returned to Tasmania and was employed at the Lake Margaret Hydro-Electric Power Scheme. In February 1915, following the outbreak of World War I, he joined the Australian Imperial Force and was sent to the Middle East where he participated in the Gallipoli Campaign in Turkey with the 15th Battalion. In December 1915 he was evacuated to Egypt where he was transferred to the 4th Machine Gun Company and the following June he was sent to the Western Front in France. He saw combat at the Battles of Passchendaele, Messines, and Third Battle of Ypres, the latter of which he won the Victoria Cross for gallantry. In May 1918 he was commissioned and promoted to the rank of lieutenant three months later and returned to Tasmania the following October and discharged. He established an orchard farm and a sawmill and in May 1931 he entered politics and was elected as a member of the Australian Labor Party to the Tasmanian House Assembly, serving as Speaker of the House from 1942 until 1948, and as Minister of Agriculture in June 1948. From August 1958 until May 1959 he served as Deputy Prime Minister of Tasmania. He died in Bruny Island, Tasmania at the age of 71. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "For most conspicuous bravery when in attack. Sergeant Dwyer, in charge of a Vickers machine gun, went forward with the first wave of the brigade. On reaching the final objective, this non-commissioned officer rushed his gun forward in advance of the captured position in order to obtain a commanding spot. Whilst advancing, he noticed an enemy machine gun firing on the troops on our right flank, and causing casualties. Unhesitatingly, he rushed his gun forward to within 30 yards of the enemy gun, and fired point blank at it, putting it out of action, and killing the gun crew. He then seized the gun and, totally ignoring the snipers from the rear of the enemy position carried it back across the shell swept ground to our front line, and established both it and his Vickers gun on the right flank of our brigade. Sergeant Dwyer commanded these guns with great coolness, and, when the enemy counter attacked our positions, he rendered great assistance in repulsing them. On the following day, when the position was heavily shelled, this non-commissioned officer took up successive positions. On one occasion, his Vickers gun was blown up by shell fire, but he conducted his gun team back to Headquarters through the enemy barrage, secured one of the reserve guns, and rushed it back to our position in the shortest possible time. During the whole of the attack, his contempt of danger, cheerfulness, and courage, raised the spirits of all who were in his sector of the line." In addition to the Victoria Cross, he received the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal (1914-20), the Victory Medal (1914-19), the King George VI Coronation Medal (1937), and the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953). His Victoria Cross and other medals are on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

Family Members



In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees



How famous was John James Dwyer?

Current rating:

36 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 27 Jul 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7714417
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John James Dwyer (9 Mar 1890–17 Jan 1962), Find a Grave Memorial ID 7714417, citing Cornelian Bay Cemetery And Crematorium, Hobart, Hobart City, Tasmania, Australia ; Maintained by Find a Grave .