Biography

Birth date: 07 August 1881
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Borung
Death date: 07 February 1968
Death place: Australia: New South Wales, Albury
Final rank: Lieutenant
Service number: 275 - First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion

In 1918 Albert Borella (1881-1968) led a platoon in an attack to straighten the front line beyond Villers-Bretonneux, from which a major British offensive was to be launched a few weeks later. While ahead of his troops, he single-handedly captured a machine-gun. Then, after clearing a trench and dug-outs, he inspired his men to hold out during heavy enemy counter-attacks. Borella had earlier received the Military Medal and been Mentioned in Despatches.

Although he had enlisted in Townsville (from Darwin), after the war he lived in Victoria as a farmer. Borella also served in the Second World War, and afterwards settled in Albury, New South Wales.

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Rolls and Awards

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 24 May 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Brisbane
  • Recommended for: Military Medal
  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Distinguished Service Order
  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Distinguished Service Order
  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Military Medal
  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Military Medal
  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Collection Items

Photograph

Timeline

Date of birth 1881-08-07
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1915-03-15 A Company, 26th Battalion.
Date of embarkation 1915-05-24
Other 1915-09-08 Admitted to hospital in Egypt.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916
Other 1916-02-05 Rejoined his unit.
Other 1916-03 Sailed for France
Date wounded 1916-07-29 Wounded in the Battle of Pozieres.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917
Date of honour or award 1917-02 Although he was recommended for a higher award, he was Mentioned in Despatches for 'devototion to duty and general good work in the trenches'.
Date of honour or award 1917-03 Awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery in action during the attack on Malt Trench, north of Warlencourt.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-03-11
Date of honour or award 1918-07-17 - 1918-07-18 Took part in an assault on a trench at Villers-Bretonneux for which he was recommended for the Distinguished Service Order. The award was upgraded to the Victoria Cross.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-07-25
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-07-31
Other 1918-08 Evacuated sick.
Date returned to Australia 1918-11-06
Other 1919-02-23 AIF appointment ended.
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1939 Appointed to the Army and carried out guard duties for prisoners of war.
Date of discharge 1945 Discharged with the rank of captain.
Date of death 1968-02-07 Buried with full military honours in the Presbyterian cemetery in Albury, New South Wales.