Whirlpool, Frederick (Private, VC, 3rd Bombay European Regiment b.1829 - d.1899)

Unit Indian Army
Accession Number PR84/008
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 1 cm
Object type Typescript
Maker Croll, Denys
Access Open
Related File This file can be copied or viewed via the Memorial’s Reading Room. AWM315 749/023/028
Conflict British Army Era, 1788-1870
Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition

Relates to the Indian Mutiny service of Private Frederick Whirlpool VC, 3rd Bombay European Regiment. Photocopy of typescript entitled 'Whirlpool, VC: A Fragment of Australian History' by Denys Croll. Undated.
The typescript details the life of Whirpool; commences with birth and youth in Dundalk Ireland; and his education there; much contextual information given such as description of the education system in Ireland; details in India; discussion of the causes of the Indian Mutiny; explains the action at Jhansi April 1958 and Whirlpool's bravery there; the Fort Loharee action; Whirlpool's bravery May 1958 at Lohan; his wounding; and recommendation for VC; Whirlpool's emigration to Victoria and receipt of the VC in 1861; his change of name to Humphrey James; move to NSW; and his career as a teacher in the Hawkesbury River area.

History / Summary

Collector Denys James Frederick Askwith Croll was born in Belfast on 26 August 1913. While still a baby, his family emigrated to Australia, where they took up residence in Sydney.
Croll was educated at Canterbury Boys High School, and while still at school, he lost his father James, in 1929. Following school, Croll attended the University of Sydney with a Teachers' College Scholarship. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1934 and a Diploma of Education in 1935.
Whilst at University, Croll had joined the Sydney University Regiment for the term of his studies. During the Second World War he enlisted with the Royal Australian Naval Reserve in January 1942, but was discharged due to illness two months later.
Croll worked as a Teacher/Librarian. His subjects were English and History. He had met his wife Emily May Collins, whom he married in 1941, while they were both teaching at Queanbeyan High School. He later worked at several secondary schools including Homebush Boys, Manly and Gosford High School. From 1950 to 1959 he worked as a Guidance Officer in the Sydney University Commonwealth Scholarships Office of the NSW Education Department. Croll then became a School Cousellor in the nothern beaches area of Sydney, and later worked in the same capacity in Bowral, and then at Cowra. He passed away on 1 April 1979, in Cowra.
Croll's interest in medal collecting had begun early. His father James had served in the Boer War and had received the Queen's South Africa medal with 5 clasps. The young Croll had first been shown this medal at the age of 12.
Croll had a lifelong interest in military and naval history and he had a 'high regard for bravery and courage'. Not only did he collect military medals, but at one point also built up a collection of Polar medals. He also owned a significant collection of library books reflecting his many interests.
Croll bought the Whirlpool Victoria Cross in 1963 from Baldwins in London. As not a great deal was known about Frederick Whirlpool, Croll began researching his life, and thus wrote 'Whirlpool, VC: A Fragment of Australian History'.

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