Portrait of Captain Frederick Harold Tubb VC, 7th Battalion, of Longwood Victoria. Frederick Tubb ...

Accession Number H06786
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Maker Unknown
Place made Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Date made c 1916
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Portrait of Captain Frederick Harold Tubb VC, 7th Battalion, of Longwood Victoria. Frederick Tubb was born at 'St Helena' Longwood on 28 November 1881. Educated at East Longwood State School, he left to manage his father's property and become a grazier in his own right. He was active in the community, being secretary to the local Mechanics' Institute and a member of the gun and tennis clubs. An excellent horseman, Tubb served in the Victorian Mounted Rifles, the Australian Light Horse and the 60th (Princes Hill) Infantry Regiment. His interest in the military continued when he joined the 58th Infantry Regiment (Essendon Rifles) in 1913, in which he held a commission as second lieutenant at the outbreak of the First World War.

Tubb enlisted in the AIF on 24 August 1914, only 20 days after the proclamation of war, and was posted as a second lieutenant to the 7th Battalion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Harold 'Pompey' Elliott. He was promoted lieutenant on 3 February 1915 and captain on 6 August, three days before the action at Lone Pine, Gallipoli, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. An extract from The London Gazette, No 29328 dated 15 October 1915, records the following: For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty at Lone Pine trenches, in the Gallipoli Peninsula, on 9th August, 1915. In the early morning the enemy made a determined counter attack on the centre of the newly captured trench held by Lieutenant Tubb. They advanced up a sap and blew in a sandbag barricade, leaving only one foot of its standing, but Lieutenant Tubb led his men back, repulsed the enemy and rebuilt the barricade. Supported by strong bombing parties, the enemy succeeded in twice again blowing in the barricade, but on each occasion Lieutenant Tubb, although wounded in the head and arm, held his ground with the greatest coolness and rebuilt it, and finally succeeded in maintaining his position under very heavy bomb fire.

Due to wounds he received in the battle, Tubb was invalided to England and took no further part in the Gallipoli campaign. While recuperating, further surgery was required to remove his appendix on 27 December. Physically weak due to effects of the wounds and exacerbated by the surgery, Tubb was sent to Australia to convalesce in March 1916. When asked by reporters on his return to describe his Victoria Cross action he replied 'I did not do a darned thing, when you consider what 6000 other fellows did but they did not survive that terrible four days and I did'. He left Australia in early October and rejoined his battalion, now in France, on 10 December.

Tubb was promoted to the rank of major in February 1917. In June, he again became ill and was invalided to England, rejoining his unit on 7 August. On the 20th of the following month the battalion took part in the fighting around Passchendaele. Near Polygon Wood, Tubb's company seized nine pillboxes only to come under allied shelling when the supporting artillery barrage fell short. Tubb was mortally wounded by one of the shells and died later that evening.

Major Frederick Tubb is buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery near Poperinge, Belgium. His original cross was erected by his brothers, Lieutenant Arthur Oswald Tubb, Sapper Alfred Charles Tubb and Captain Frank Reid Tubb. Frank Tubb also served in the 7th Battalion, being awarded a Military Cross in fighting around Pozieres in August 1916. See also P00735.014.