Captain Alfred Shout VC MC

Alfred Shout. G01028A Alfred Shout.

Date of birth: 7 August, 1881
Place of birth: Wellington, New Zealand
Date of death: 9 August, 1915
Place of death: At sea, off Gallipoli

Alfred Shout epitomised the legend of ANZAC. He was born in New Zealand in 1881, serving in a local contingent in the Boer War before settling in Australia with his wife and daughter in 1905. He was a carpenter and joiner in Sydney and served part-time as an officer in the local militia force. He joined the AIF as soon as war was declared and was a foundation officer of the 1st Battalion. He took part in the landing on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, and was awarded the Military Cross and Mentioned in Despatches for his actions over the next few weeks.

On 6 August the AIF attacked at Lone Pine. During three days of bitter fighting Shout became one of seven Australians to be awarded the Victoria Cross there. He took part in the initial assault and over the next days was conspicuous in defending captured positions. On 9 August Shout charged down an enemy trench, killing eight Turks with bombs and wounding others. Later that day he simultaneously lit three bombs as a prelude to a final dash. The third exploded prematurely, causing horrendous injuries. Shout remained cheerful as he was evacuated to the rear, but died on a hospital ship two days later. He was buried at sea, and his Victoria Cross was gazetted two months later.

For years Shout’s Victoria Cross was the only Gallipoli one not held by the Memorial. It was added to the collection in 2006 and displayed in the Hall of Valour with the other six Lone Pine Victoria Crosses.

Citation (abridged):

On the morning of 9th August, 1915, with a small party, Captain Shout charged down trenches strongly occupied by the enemy, and personally threw four bombs among them, killing eight and routing the remainder. In the afternoon he captured a further length of trench and continued personally to bomb the enemy at close range, under very heavy fire, until he was severely wounded, losing his right hand and left eye. He succumbed to his injuries.

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