Blair Anderson WARK VC, DSO, MID

WARK, Blair Anderson

Service Numbers: Officer, N35778
Enlisted: 15 September 1915
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 1st Battalion VDC
Born: Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia, 27 July 1894
Home Town: McMahons Point, North Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: Fairleigh Grammar School, St. Leonard's Superior Public School and Sydney Technical College
Occupation: Army Officer and Quantity Surveyor
Died: Coronary Heart Disease, Puckapunyal, Victoria, Australia, 13 June 1941, aged 46 years
Cemetery: Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park, NSW
Memorials: East Killara North Sydney Technical High School WW1 Honour Board, Keith Payne VC Memorial Park, North Bondi War Memorial, Winchelsea WWI Memorial
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Peacetime

15 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1

World War 1 Service

9 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 30th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 30th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Beltana, Sydney
20 Feb 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN Officer, 30th Infantry Battalion
19 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN Officer, 30th Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)
19 Jul 1916: Wounded Fromelles (Fleurbaix), Gun Shot Wound Leg
18 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN Officer, 32nd Infantry Battalion
27 Apr 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, SN Officer, 32nd Infantry Battalion
11 May 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, SN Officer, 32nd Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages
26 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, SN Officer, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Polygon Wood
8 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, SN Officer, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Amiens
28 Sep 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, SN Officer, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Breaching the Hindenburg Line - Cambrai / St Quentin Canal
12 Mar 1919: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, SN Officer, 30th Infantry Battalion

World War 2 Service

17 Apr 1940: Involvement Australian Army, Major, SN N35778, 1st Battalion VDC
Date unknown: Involvement AIF WW1

Distinguished Service Order Citation

Major Wark has at all times displayed great gallantry and devotion to duty. At Fromelles in July 1916 he continued to direct his company after being seriously wounded. His thoroughness and personal courage have inspired his men with the utmost confidence. At Sunray Trench near Le Transloy his position was heavily shelled for two days. This officer with commendable courage walked around the trenches encouraging his men. By his untiring efforts all ranks were kept in a cheery state and withstood the intense bombardment splendidly. This enterprise and initiative deserves special recognition.

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Victoria Cross Citation

For most conspicuous bravery, initiative, and control during the period 29th September to 1st October, 1918, in the operations against the Hindenburg Line at Bellicourt and the advance through Nauroy, Etricourt, Magny La Fosse and Joncourt. On 29th September, after personal reconnaissance, under heavy fire, he led his command forward at a critical period, and restored the situation. Moving fearlessly at the head of, and at times far in advance of, his troops, he cheered his men on through Nauroy, thence towards Etricourt. Still leading his assaulting companies, he observed a battery of 77mm guns firing on his rear companies, and causing heavy casualties. Collecting a few of his men, he rushed the battery, capturing four guns and then of the crew. Then moving rapidly forward, with only two N.C.O's he surprised and captured fifty Germans near Magny La Fosse. On 1st October, 1918, he again showed fearless leading and gallantry in attack, and without hesitation; and regardless of personal risk, dashed forward and silenced machine guns which were causing heavy casualties. Throughout he displayed the greatest courage, skilful leading, and devotion to duty, and his work was invaluable.

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Biography

Blair Anderson Wark (1894-1941), army officer and quantity surveyor, was born on 27 July 1894 at Bathurst, New South Wales, fourth child of Alexander Wark, a gas engineer from Scotland, and his native-born wife Blanche Adelaide Maria, née Forde...

... On his return to duty in November, he joined the 32nd Battalion. His conduct at Fromelles and in action at Sunray Trench in March 1917 led to his recommendation for the Distinguished Service Order. Though no award was made, he was promoted major on 27 April... 

 

To read the full article by Richard Gorrell in the Australian Dictionary of Biography please click here (adb.anu.edu.au) or see further links in the side-bar relating to the life of Major Blair Wark.

 

Awarded:

Victoria Cross

Distinguished Service Order

Mentioned in Depatches

1914/15 Star: 24273

British War Medal: 24677

Victory Medal: 24441

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