RSL Cenotaph and Boer War Memorial at the main crossroads in Ross, Central Midlands of Tasmania, Australia.
Below the Cenotaph is a memorial to Sgt. Lewis McGee VC. born in Ross in 1888. On 1 March 1916, McGee enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force for service during the First World War.
As part of the third phase of the Passchendaele offensive, the 10th Australian Brigade—of which McGee’s 40th Battalion was part—was detailed to execute an attack on Broodseinde Ridge.
McGee’s platoon was suffering heavy casualties from a particular machine gun 50 metres (55 yd) in front of his position, which was set in a recess atop a concrete pillbox and firing directly at his men. Armed solely with a revolver, McGee dashed alone towards the post across the fire-swept ground. Shooting the gunners, he captured the remaining soldiers in the garrison as prisoners and seized control of the pillbox. On returning to his unit, he reorganised his men and led a bombing party in the capture of a second machine-gun post. McGee’s actions reignited the 40th Battalion’s advance, with McGee himself “foremost in the remainder” of the action. By 09:12 on 5 October, the 40th Battalion had seized its objective and held complete control of the Broodseinde Ridge, having captured 300 Germans as prisoners in the process.
As a result of his actions at Broodseinde, McGee was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously as he was killed in action 8 days later running headlong at an enemy machine gun post.
The stone obelisk is a memorial to local men who fought in the Boer War and the field gun is one actually used in the Boer War in the first action by Australian troops outside Australia.
Taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH1 point & shoot.
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