Joseph MAXWELL VC, MC+Bar, DCM

MAXWELL, Joseph

Service Number: 607
Enlisted: 6 February 1915, Sydney, New South Wales
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 18th Infantry Battalion
Born: Annandale, New South Wales, 10 February 1896
Home Town: Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Boilermaker
Died: Natural causes (heart attack), Sydney, New South Wales, 6 July 1967, aged 71 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Hexham Workshop Employees HR, John Hamilton VC Pictorial Honour Roll, Keith Payne VC Memorial Park, North Bondi War Memorial, Winchelsea WWI Memorial
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World War 1 Service

6 Feb 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 607, Sydney, New South Wales
25 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 607, 18th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 607, 18th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ceramic, Sydney
10 Aug 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 18th Infantry Battalion

WW!

The book "Stealth Raiders" at page 290 refers the readers to a book or paper that was published posthumously, written by Joseph titled "Hells Bells and Mademoiselles: A true story of Life, Love and Larrikinism on the Western Front" which he may have written in 1932, but not published until 2012.

WW1

The details provided are taken from the book "Stealth Raiders - a few daring men in 1918" written by Lucas Jordan, published 2017, refer to pages 4, 83/4, 271 & 290. Prior to the wr he was a boilermaker of West Maitland NSW. He enlisted 6th Feb 1915 aged 19 years. He served with the 18th Infantry Battalion, rising through the ranks to be promoted to Lieutenant. During his service he was awarded a Victoria Cross, a Distinguished Conduct Medal and a Military Cross twice. (VC, DCM, MC & Bar). He survived the war, departing the UK for home 1st May 1919.

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This warrant officer took command of a platoon, and led it forward with great dash. On one of our strong points being heavily barraged, he went forward on his own initiative, and moved the men forward clear of the barrage, during which operations only one casualty was sustained. The action of this warrant officer undoubtedly saved many lives. Throughout the operations he carried out his duties with great skill and was a source of great inspiration by his splendid example.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 95
Date: 27 June 1918
 

Victoria Cross

'For most conspicuous bravery and leadership in attack on the Beaurevoir-Fonsomme line, near Estrees, north of St. Quentin, on the 3rd October, 1918. His company commander was severely wounded early in the advance and Lieutenant Maxwell at once took charge. The enemy wire when reached under intense fire was found to be exceptionally strong, and closely supported by machine guns, whereupon Lieutenant Maxwell pushed forward single handed through the wire andcaptured the most dangerous gun, killing three and capturing four enemy. He thus enabled his company to penetrate the wire and reach the objective. Later, he again dashed forward and silenced, single handed, a gun which was holding up a flank company. Subsequently, when with two men only he attempted to capture a strong party of the enemy, he handled a most involved situation very skilfully, and it was due to his resource that he and his comrades escaped. Throughout the day Lieutenant Maxwell set a high example of personal bravery, coupled with excellent judgment and quick decision.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61
Date: 23 May 1919
 

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While in command of a patrol he observed a party of about fifty of the enemy entering a disused trench. He attacked them with bombs and rifle fire, and then assaulted the position and captured a prisoner. He showed splendid initiative and determination.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 165
Date: 24 October 1918
 

Bar to Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in the advance at Rainecourt on 9th August 1918. Within thirty minutes of zero he was the only officer left with his company, but kept his men well in hand, notwithstanding machine gun fire, besides fire from an anti-tank gun and a battery of 77 mm. He was close to a tank which was struck by a shell and set on fire, and, though shaken by the explosion, he rushed to the doors and opened them in time for the crew to escape. He showed a fine example of courage and presence of mind.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 67
Date: 3 June 1919

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