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Robert Cuthbert Grieve ["Tales of the V.C."]
Australian VC Messine
Article with annotations.
Robert Cuthbert Grieve VC was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry "in the face of the enemy", during the First World War. After nine months service in the Victorian Rangers, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force as a Private on 9 June 1915. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 37th Battalion (Victoria) in January 1916, was promoted to Lieutenant in May 1916, and after training in England, was promoted to Captain in France in February 1917.He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Messines. His Citation reads: On 7 June 1917 at Messines, Belgium, during an attack on the enemy's position, and after his own company had suffered very heavy casualties, Captain Grieve located two hostile machine-guns which were holding up his advance. Under continuous heavy fire from the two guns, he succeeded in bombing and killing the two gun crews, then reorganized the remnants of his own company and gained his original objective. Captain Grieve set a splendid example and when he finally fell, wounded, the position had been secured. Severely wounded in the shoulder by a sniper's bullet, Grieve was evacuated to England, and on recovery returned to his unit in October. However, due to subsequently suffering acute trench nephritis and double pneumonia, he was invalided to Australia in May 1918. The attached account of his actions was written by James Price Lloyd of the Welsh Regiment, who served with Military Intelligence. After the war, the government to destroyed all the archives relating to this propaganda (section MI 7b (1)). They were regarded as being too sensitive to risk being made public. Remarkably these documents have survived in the personal records of Captain Lloyd. Many of these papers are officially stamped, and one can trace the development of many individual articles from the notes based on an idea, to the pencil draft which is then followed by the hand-written submission and the typescript. The archive "Tales of the VC" comprises 94 individual accounts of the heroism that earned the highest award for valour, the Victoria Cross. These are recounted deferentially and economically, yet they still manage to move the reader.