OL00413.008
ID number OL00413.008
Title Elizabeth II Coronation Medal : J Maxwell
Collection Heraldry
Object type Medal
Maker Unknown (Maker)
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1953
Physical description Silver
On display Main building: Hall of Valour: Main Hall

Description

Elizabeth II Coronation Medal. Unnamed as issued.

Summary

Joseph Maxwell was born at Forest Lodge, Sydney, NSW, in 1896. A boiler-maker's apprentice before the war, he enlisted in the AIF in February 1915, and became an original member (No 607) of 18 Battalion. Maxwell served with the battalion at Gallipoli, and travelled with it to France in 1916, being promoted to Sergeant late in the year, and to Warrant Officer in mid 1917. His first decoration, the Distinguished Conduct Medal, came as a result of an attack near Westhoek, Belgium, in September 1917, and within a period of almost exactly 12 months, he was further decorated three times for gallantry. Commissioned in 18 Battalion as a 2nd Lieutenant, and soon promoted to Lieutenant, he was awarded the Military Cross in March 1918 for leadership of a patrol near Ploegsteert, Belgium, and a bar to the award in August, for taking command of his company during the great Allied offensive. At Beaurevoir in October 1918, for his bravery in one of the final Australian actions of the war, Joe Maxwell was recommended for the Victoria Cross, which he received from the King at Buckingham Palace in March 1919. Between the wars, he held a variety of jobs in the ACT and NSW, and in 1932 published his colourful and highly successful autobiography "Hell's Bells and Mademoiselles". During the Second World War, he several times attempted to enlist in the 2nd AIF under an assumed name, eventually being successful in Queensland, where he not so well known. His identity was soon revealed, however, and he was given a position in a training battalion. Maxwell died in Sydney in July 1967.