Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial licensed copyright,
|Object type||Black & white - Glass original postcard negative|
|Place made||France: Picardie, Somme, Vignacourt|
|Date made||c November 1918|
|Copyright holder||Australian Capital Equity Pty Ltd|
Group portrait of officers from the 18th Battalion, many of whom are veterans of Gallipoli as indicated by the brass "A" on their colour patches. Identified are, back row: possibly Lieutenant (Lt) Eric Walter Satchell; Lt Lancelot Mervyn Redgrave; Lieutenant (Lt) William Edward Greenwood; unidentified; and Lt William Philpot. Front row: unidentified; Captain John Norris Doyle; Lt Joseph Maxwell.
Lt Maxwell, a boilermaker from Sydney, NSW, was awarded the Victoria Cross, Military Cross and Bar, and Distinguished Conduct Medal. His VC was awarded for most conspicuous bravery and leadership in the attack on the reserve line of the Hindenburg Line on 3 October 1918. When his commander was severely wounded, Maxwell took over, disposed of an enemy machine-gun crew, then led his company to take the objective. Later, he went forward alone to silence a machine-gun position and then, with two others, attempted to capture a strongly held enemy post. Although captured, he managed to draw his revolver and kill two of the enemy before escaping with his men under heavy rifle fire. His award of the VC was approved in January 1919, approximately 6 weeks after this photograph was taken.