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ID number 100112
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white
Physical description Black & white

Description

PORTRAIT OF VX19139 PRIVATE BRUCE STEEL KINGSBURY VC, 2/14TH INFANTRY BATTALION. HE IS WEARING A MIXTURE OF CIVILIAN DRESS AND MILITARY UNIFORM, FAIRLY COMMON DURING THE EARLY DAYS OF THE WAR. PRIVATE KINGSBURY WAS AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS POSTHUMOUSLY FOR ACTION IN THE ISUVARA AREA, NEW GUINEA. FROM 1942-08-09 AN INFANTRY BATTALION WAS HOLDING THE ISURAVA AREA AGAINST THE ENEMY WHO WERE ATTACKING FIERCLY IN FORCE. ON 29 AUGUST THE ENEMY ATTACKED IN SUCH FORCE THAT THEY SUCCEEDED IN BREAKING THROUGH THE BATTALION'S RIGHT FLANK. THIS CREATED A SERIOUS THREAT TO BATTALION HEADQUARTERS AND THE WHOLE BATTALION. IT WAS ESSENTIAL THE GROUND LOST ON THE RIGHT FLANK BE REGAINED IMMEDIATELY, OTHERWISE THE POSITION WOULD BE DESPERATE INDEED. THE PLATOON WAS ORDERED TO COUNTER-ATTACK AND RESTORE THE POSITION. PTE KINGSBURY, ONE OF THE FEW REMAINING SURVIVORS OF NO. 9 PLATOON, WHICH HAD BEEN IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH THE ENEMY SINCE 27 AUGUST, VOLUNTEERED TO JOIN THE PLATOON. IN THE COUNTER-ATTACK HE RUSHED FORWARD FIRING HIS BREN L.M.G. FROM THE HIP THROUGH TERRIFIC MACHINE-GUN FIRE, AND SUCCEEDED IN CLEARING A PATH THROUGH THE ENEMY FOR THE PLATOON, A COURAGEOUS ACTION WHICH MADE IT POSSIBLE TO RECAPTURE THE POSITION. PRIVATE KINGSBURY WAS KILLED BY A SNIPER IN THE SAME ACTION.