Studio portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Joseph Maxwell, VC, MC and Bar, DCM. An original member of the ...

Accession Number P03390.001
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Maker C. And B. Macfarlane
Lucknow. Late C and B Macfarelane, 136 Pitt Street, Sydney
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 1919
Conflict Period 1910-1919
First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Studio portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Joseph Maxwell, VC, MC and Bar, DCM. An original member of the 18th Battalion, Lt Maxwell enlisted on 6 February 1915. After serving on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Maxwell went with the battalion to France in late March 1916; he was promoted to sergeant by October, and to Warrant Officer Class II in August 1917. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions on 25 September 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres, when he took command of a platoon whose officer had been killed, and led it in an attack near Westhoek. Noticing that a newly captured position was receiving heavy enemy fire, Lt Maxwell led the men out to safety. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant on 29 September and to Lieutenant on 1 January 1918. Lt Maxwell won a Military Cross in March 1918 when in charge of a scouting patrol east of Ploegsteert. While covering the main body of the patrol with three others as they returned to their lines, he noticed a group of about 30 Germans. Recalling the patrol, he led an attack; the Germans soon withdrew, leaving three dead and one wounded. Lt Maxwell was awarded a bar to his MC for his actions during the great Allied offensive of August 1918. When his company came under heavy fire and he was the only unharmed officer, he led them to safety. The tank preceding the group was hit by a shell; Lt Maxwell approached and opened the hatch, enabling the crew to retreat before the tank burst into flames. After assisting the tank commander, Lt Maxwell continued the attack and achieved the objective. Lt Maxwell won the Victoria Cross for a series of actions during the breaching of the Hindenburg Line around Beaurevoir and Montbrehain in early October 1918. He singlehandedly captured a German strongpoint, killing three and capturing four enemy; later he and two others under his command evaded capture by about 20 Germans. During the Second World War Maxwell enlisted in Queensland and served in a training battalion.

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