Studio portrait of Lance Corporal (L Cpl) John Carroll VC. L Cpl Carroll enlisted on 27 April ...

Unit 33rd Australian Infantry Battalion
Accession Number P02939.022
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white, Landscape
Physical description Black & white, Landscape
Date made c 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Studio portrait of Lance Corporal (L Cpl) John Carroll VC. L Cpl Carroll enlisted on 27 April 1916 and embarked as a Private (Pte) with the 44th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcements, aboard HMAT Militiades (A28) on 9 August. In late November he was transferred to the 33rd Battalion. In June 1917 the 3rd Division, under Major General John Monash, took part in the Battle of Messines. Then Pte Carroll was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for his actions during 7-11 June at St Yves (near Messines), Belgium. The recommendation for his award reads:

For most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. In the Battle of Messines Ridge on June 7th Private John CARROLL acted as a mopper-up. Immediately the barrage lifted he rushed the enemy's trench and bayoneted four Germans. He then noticed a comrade in difficulties with one of the enemy and he at once proceeded to his comrade's assistance and killed the German. He continued working ahead with grim determination and wonderful fearlessness, and came across a machine gun and team of four men in a shell hole; they offered resistance but single-handed he attacked the entire team, killed them all and captured the gun. Later two of his comrades were buried by a shell, and in spite of very heavy shelling and machine gun fire he extricated them. During the 96 hours the Battalion was in the line Pte Carroll displayed most wonderful courage and fearlessness. Each night he went out wiring in front of the new line and did excellent work. On two occasions he brought wounded men back to our line. His magnificent example inspired the whole battalion.

He was invested with his VC at Buckingham Palace by King George V on 23 March 1918. Pte Carroll was promoted to L Cpl in September 1917 and was twice wounded following the action at Messines. He, along with nine other VC recipients, returned to Australia in August 1918.