ID number RELAWM32316.003
Title British War Medal 1939-45 : Flight Lieutenant W E Newton, 22 Squadron, RAAF
Collection Heraldry
Object type Medal
Maker Unknown (Maker)
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1946
Physical description Cupronickel (alloy)
On display Main building: Hall of Valour: Main Hall


British War Medal 1939-45. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.


This British War Medal 1939-45 was awarded posthumously to Flight Lieutenant William Ellis 'Bill' Newton, who was born in St Kilda Melbourne on 8 June 1919. The son of Charles Ellis and Minnie (nee Miller) Newton, he was educated at the Melbourne Church of England Grammar School.

Newton enlisted in the RAAF on 5 February 1940 as an air cadet. In June of that year he qualified as a pilot and was commissioned a pilot officer, then promoted on 28 December to flying officer. By early April 1942 he was a flight lieutenant and the following month was given an operational posting with 22 Squadron flying the new Boston bomber. On a bombing mission over the Japanese held Salamaua Isthmus in New Guinea, on 18 March 1943, his plane was downed by anti-aircraft fire and he was taken prisoner. After interrogation, he was executed by the Japanese on 29 March. For his 'many examples of conspicuous bravery in New Guinea' on this and previous sorties over enemy held territory he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Newton is buried in the Lae War Cemetery. His medal group came into the Memorial's National Collection in January 1966.