Sergeant John Woods Whittle VC
Date of birth: 3 August 1882
Place of birth: Huon Island, near Gordon, TAS
Date of death: 2 March 1946
Place of death: Glebe, Sydney, NSW
John Whittle was born in Tasmania. He served in the Boer War then joined the Royal Navy. After five years he returned to the army. He enlisted in the 12th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, in August 1915, was sent to France, and was made sergeant in late 1916.
Whittle was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery in early 1917 when he bombed an enemy machine-gun post during an attack. He received the Victoria Cross for his actions around the villages of Boursies and Lagnicourt around 9–15 April: at one point he "rushed alone across the fire-swept ground" to attack a German machine-gun crew before they could bring their gun into action.
Wounded twice in 1918, Whittle returned to Australia on HMAT Medic with other Victoria Cross–holders in October to take part in a recruiting drive. He was discharged in December and settled in Sydney. One of Whittle's sons, Ivan, was killed during the Second World War in New Guinea.
Whittle was awarded the Victoria Cross, DCM, service medals for the Boer War and First World War, the King George V Jubilee Medal, and the King George VI Coronation Medal.