British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum

Recent Books by Forum Members

   

Go Back   British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum > Australian Military Insignia > General Topics

 Other Pages: Galleries, Links etc.
Glossary  Books by Forum Members     Canadian Pre 1914    CEF    CEF Badge Inscriptions   Canadian post 1920     Canadian post 1953     British Cavalry Badges     Makers' Marks    Pipers' Badges  Canadian Cloth Titles  Books  SEARCH
 
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-08-20, 06:53 AM
slick_mick's Avatar
slick_mick slick_mick is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 3,909
Default PM recommends war hero Teddy Sheean for Victoria Cross

I guess this is well overdue.

PM recommends war hero Teddy Sheean for Victoria Cross. This would be the first ever Royal Australian Navy VC.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/fede...10-p55ka2.html

Mick
__________________
Looking for Australian military books?

Regimental Books - Australian Unit History specialists

Chasing militaria? I recommend:

Militaria Online - Australian Militaria Sales

Last edited by slick_mick; 10-08-20 at 07:12 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-08-20, 07:54 AM
Lancer 17 Lancer 17 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Melbourne Australia.
Posts: 1,408
Thumbs up

G'day Mick

Thanks for posting this, it is just fantastic news and only over due by half a life time.

The Navy saw fit to name one of the Collins class submarines after him but the honours review board could only come up with a MID is just bloody scandalous. Thank god that this has been rectified at long last.

So does the submarine now become HMAS Sheean VC ?

Lest We Forget.

Phil.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-08-20, 12:59 PM
lifeochil's Avatar
lifeochil lifeochil is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 129
Default

Retrospective awards. Never agreed with them and never will. Our awards system became a laughing stock years ago with the interference of politicians and nothings changed.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-08-20, 11:50 PM
slick_mick's Avatar
slick_mick slick_mick is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 3,909
Default

I know there is a lot of controversy about retrospective awards, but to me this is a good news story in a sea of negative stories about Covid-19.

Mick
__________________
Looking for Australian military books?

Regimental Books - Australian Unit History specialists

Chasing militaria? I recommend:

Militaria Online - Australian Militaria Sales
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-08-20, 12:00 AM
Roy's Avatar
Roy Roy is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: A Shropshire lad in Arizona
Posts: 3,682
Default

Great news,

This is the very least they should do. Courage like this is almost unimaginable. A short life but a memorable one.

Roy
__________________
Collecting:

Despatch Rider Insignia & Photographs.
British Militia Buttons.
Shropshire Buttons.

Author/Dealer in the Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife
My website: www.fsknife.com
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-08-20, 12:09 AM
slick_mick's Avatar
slick_mick slick_mick is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 3,909
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy View Post
Great news,

This is the very least they should do. Courage like this is almost unimaginable. A short life but a memorable one.

Roy
Definitively! He was barely 18 and gave his life to save his ship mates!

An 18-year-old with less than two years at sea, was an Ordinary Seaman on the minesweeper HMAS Armidale when it came under heavy attack from Japanese aircraft off the coast of what is now Timor-Leste in 1942.

Sheean is recorded as helping launch life rafts before returning to his anti-aircraft gun to fire at enemy aircraft that were strafing his shipmates as they floundered in the water, despite the order having been given to abandon ship.

Witness accounts from the day have him firing as the ship sank. He was never seen again.


Mick
__________________
Looking for Australian military books?

Regimental Books - Australian Unit History specialists

Chasing militaria? I recommend:

Militaria Online - Australian Militaria Sales
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-08-20, 01:28 AM
Mark Corcoran's Avatar
Mark Corcoran Mark Corcoran is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 139
Default

The nature of Ed Sheean's devotion to his duty is undeniable... even Japanese reports on the action, indicate that they had to take evasive action because their aircraft were taking effective fire... and that can only have been from Sheean's gun, because he returned to his station after the order to abandon ship was given... where it is known that he was wounded and that he strapped himself to his gun mount in order to continue firing.

Those of you who have read other witness reports from his shipmates... will recall that they saw fire from Sheean's gun continue as the ship itself submerged. So he fought to his dying breath, to protect them.

"Greater love hath no man..."

Always remember the legal maxim... that justice delayed is justice denied.
Just because the armchair warriors denied the nomination at the time, doesn't mean that a wrong was not done to Sheean AND to the men he sought to protect. Those men were grateful for his action and denying recognition for saving their lives from Japanese strafing, was an obvious bureaucratic injustice at the time and both the ADF and the Prime Minister himself, rejected that nomination all over again on two occasions in the last couple of years alone.

One of the clear problems with Sheean's case, goes back to the fundamental bias in the UK system of military honours and awards. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert established the medal for ALL ranks, in an attempt to ensure that bravery from enlisted ranks would have a better chance of being publicly recognised. Even so, Command level objection to citations involving men 'merely doing their duty' has obviously persisted... and alas, that bent effectively slipped into our own Defence Force culture as well.

It is also fairly clear that another technical issue also cropped up in this case... just as it has in quite a few other famous (and denied) VC nominations. The order "Abandon Ship"had been given, when Sheean returned to his post... in an apparent contravention of that ORDER. So, this is another of the many nominations which Command frowned upon, because any form of failure to follow a direct order... even as an action of undoubted valour, opened up a pandora's box.

There is of course another form of lunacy which impacts 1st and 2nd WW nominations for the VC and other valour awards. The notion of "Quotas". Only a military bureaucracy could conceive of approving (or denying) awards of this kind, on the basis of an arbitrary quota. I mention it to show just what nonsense went on behind earlier nominations of this kind... not that this impacted the decision at the time... of course it didn't, the RAN had no VC's.

Finally, I note that if it was not for a 30 year campaign by a new generation of the man's family, the repeated injustice would have been sustained. I am glad some measure of common sense has been attained, but his family shouldn't have had to fight so long and so hard to attain a measure of justice and recognition for the self-sacrifice shown in the face of the barbarity of the war in the Pacific.

I note also that after a brief public tour, Sheean's VC will reside in the AWM, as a national treasure.

Yours in research and writing

Lest we EVER forget

Mark Corcoran
https://charliebravobooks.com/
Co Author of: “Metal Uniform Embellishments of the Australian Army” Post 1953 (the 'QEII' era)
Vol 1: Insignia for Corps and Schools Etc and Vol 2: Insignia for Units and Regiments.
__________________
To quote and old friend of mine:
"If you are able to read this, thank a teacher.
If you are able to read this in English, thank a soldier."
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-08-20, 07:18 AM
Drummajor's Avatar
Drummajor Drummajor is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Queenstown, Tasmania
Posts: 606
Default

Thank you for that Mark. Very interesting reading.
Well done to Teddy's relatives for continuing to fight for the recognition.
Lest we EVER forget, Indeed.

Phil.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-08-20, 11:34 AM
lifeochil's Avatar
lifeochil lifeochil is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 129
Default

I debated retrospective awards over a decade ago on the British Medal Forum. My opinion hasn't changed and neither have the facts.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-08-20, 12:37 PM
mike_vee's Avatar
mike_vee mike_vee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Uxbridge
Posts: 1,455
Default

With no disrepect to the subject of this thread I also have some reservations about retrospective awards.

When politicians get involved where does it end ? In these , politically correct , times will they also try to 'remove' awards from those whose actions do not fit our modern standards or sensibilities.

Heroes of the past are are now being 'judged' from a different viewpoint .
__________________
British Legion/Royal British Legion , Poppy/Remembrance/Commemorative.

Poppy Wanted & Spares for sale/swap
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-08-20, 08:55 PM
slick_mick's Avatar
slick_mick slick_mick is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 3,909
Default

Another thing to consider. This is good (great!) news for the Australian public in the middle of a once in a century pandemic where the headlines are full of bad news stories about Covid-19 and lots of people losing their jobs.

A good news story such as this is good for morale.

Mick
__________________
Looking for Australian military books?

Regimental Books - Australian Unit History specialists

Chasing militaria? I recommend:

Militaria Online - Australian Militaria Sales
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 13-08-20, 10:43 AM
mike_vee's Avatar
mike_vee mike_vee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Uxbridge
Posts: 1,455
Default

Found a thread on GWF from 2011 discussing this topic , the first post contains an article : Tribunal to consider 13 retrospective VCs.

Retrospective VCs

Ordinary Seaman Edward Sheean was one of those mentioned , so what about the other 12 ? Should/did any of them get the retrospective award ?

Yes , this is a good news story at a difficult time but is that really a good reason or are awards going to be given out based on social media campaigns (or which poplitician is in charge).

I wonder how the other families feel when their relatives have missed out , will this start other campaigns ?


.
__________________
British Legion/Royal British Legion , Poppy/Remembrance/Commemorative.

Poppy Wanted & Spares for sale/swap
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 14-08-20, 01:59 AM
Oz Ubique Oz Ubique is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 72
Default

Not for a moment doubting his heroism, but if the award was issued because we are in a pandemic then the award was issued for the wrong reason. Begs the question: Would the award have been issued if we were not in a pandemic and politicians were not keen to have a 'good news story'.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 14-08-20, 02:34 PM
lifeochil's Avatar
lifeochil lifeochil is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 129
Default

Very few people understand why the Defence Honours and Awards Appeal Tribunal was created and when. Very few understand how people get appointed to the tribunal, who they're appointed by and why most of the time they're retired senior officers who never saw a shot fired in anger to retired senior public servants.
Very few don't realise how much larger the tribunal has become, how politicians have always had a say in it from it's inception to the present day.

I once asked the tribunal what the limit was on looking at 'cases'. Was it 121 years ago to the Boer War, WW1, WW2, when? Their reply was there was no limit. Well, we now go they'll go back to at least WW2.

I don't question the gallantry of these people. In Australia, every retrospective VC awarded is like the relatives winning lotto because that gong is $1M+ and in this case way above that if it's ever sold.

What changed the government's mind from May of this year when they said that Sheehan would not be awarded the VC to now agreeing that the VC will be awarded?
What changed the tribunals mind who in 2013 after two years of looking at these cases said Sheehan and 12 other people would not be awarded a VC?

We have equalled the Americans with retrospective awards.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 14-08-20, 08:34 PM
fairlie63's Avatar
fairlie63 fairlie63 is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Claremont, Tasmania
Posts: 1,167
Default

Without doubting the gallantry and entitlement to the awards that have been awarded retrospectively to individuals during the last twenty or thirty years, the whole process of retrospective recognition in the Australian Army is beginning to be based on who lobbies the loudest.

Defence is often the worst, part of the time it argues against recommendations to the tribunal, fearful of the Pandoras Box that will be opened. Other times it completely breaches its own guidelines to achieve a result suitable to the loudest voice. It itself is inconsistent.

Ultimately, although it trumpets the awards after the fact, it is again inconsistent in application. For instance the recent award of the Unit Citation for Gallantry to some units which served in AO Surfers at Fire Support Patrol Bases Coral and Balmoral in 1968. In the matter of perpetuating units allowed to wear the insignia of the award Combat Services Support Battery of 8th/12th Regiment RAA inherits the award for Admin Troop, HQ Battery, 12th Field Regiment RAA despite there being only a couple of cooks, medics and regimental police in the places concerned. On the other hand, Detachment 131st Divisional Locating Battery RAA missed out on any award despite having 25 members on the ground at the time, a substantial component of its in-country strength. Although Det 131 Div Loc Bty was a formed sub-unit under comd of 12 Fd Regt, Chief of Army has argued that the whole of 131 Div Loc Bty never served in Vietnam therefore it had no entitlement.

To top it off I understand that some former members of 102 Fd Bty, which received the Honour Title 'Coral' for the action in in 2008, forty years later, are privately furious at the Tribunal's action in widening the award because as far as they are concerned, they were the Battle of Coral.

Personally I think better let sleeping dogs lie in the past. One of my family members was recommended for the MC for his actions at First Bullecourt in April 1917. As he was last seen face down on the ground by his batman as they withdrew from the German trenches and his body has never been found, he wasn't awarded it. I certainly won't be jumping up and down to lobby for a review - it is in the past now.

Keith
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:16 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.