Temporary Corporal Alexander Henry Buckley VC

Alexander Henry Buckley. P01421.002 Alexander Henry Buckley

Date of birth: 22 July 1891
Place of birth: Warren, NSW
Date of death: 1 September 1918
Place of death: Péronne, France

Alex Buckley was born at Warren, New South Wales. He was a 24-year-old farmer when he enlisted in the AIF in February 1916. He joined the 54th Battalion on the Somme in November. The following year he fought at Bullecourt and in the battle of Polygon Wood. In April 1918 his battalion moved back to the Somme and took part in the allied counter-offensive which began in August.

Buckley was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross following his battalion's operation at Péronne on 1–2 September 1918. The 54th was to take the ground between the town and the river, then move into Péronne "if not too strongly opposed". They moved forward in drizzle and cleared the first line of German trenches, but were then held up by a nest of machine-guns. Buckley charged forward, shot four of the post's occupants and took 22 prisoners. He was killed by machine-gun fire while attempting to cross a footbridge into the town. Buckley's citation praised his "great initiative, resource and courage", as well as his "self-sacrificing devotion to duty". He was buried in the war cemetery at Péronne.

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