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.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 24 May 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Brisbane

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Military Medal

  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Military Medal

  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Military Medal

  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Collection Items

Photograph

059288

MYRTLEFORD, VIC. C. 1943-11-06. INSPECTION OF THE GUARD AT THE 51ST AUSTRALIAN GARRISON COMPANY PRISONER OF WAR CAMP. SHOWN ARE:- V81550 CAPTAIN A.C. BORELLA, VC, MM, (1); V17079 SERGEANT B.C.E. DONOVAN (2); V80701 WARRANT OFFICER II. D. SMITH, MC, (3).

059288

059289

MYRTLEFORD, VIC. C. 1943-11-06. INSPECTION OF THE GUARD AT THE 51ST AUSTRALIAN GARRISON COMPANY PRISONER OF WAR CAMP. SHOWN ARE:- V17079 SERGEANT B.C.E. DONOVAN (1); V80701 WARRANT OFFICER II. D. SMITH, MC, (2); V81550 CAPTAIN A.C. BORELLA, VC, MM, (3).

059289

059294

MYRTLEFORD, VIC. C. 1943-11-06. THE COMMANDING OFFICER AND PARTY, CONSISTING OF AN INTERPRETER, INTELLIGENCE OFFICER AND ESCORT, ENTERING THE GATES OF "A" COMPOUND, 51ST AUSTRALIAN GARRISON COMPANY PRISONER OF WAR CAMP FOR AN INSPECTION OF THE PRISONERS. SHOWN ARE:- VX80979 LIEUTENANT COLONEL C.J....

059294

059331

MYRTLEFORD, VIC. 1943-11-05 TO 1943-11-07. V81550 CAPTAIN A.C. BORELLA, VC, MM., COMMANDING OFFICER, 51ST AUSTRALIAN GARRISON COMPANY PRISONER OF WAR CAMP, ADDRESSING THE NEW GUARD.

059331

059332

MYRTLEFORD, VIC. 1943-11-05 TO 1943-11-07. ONE OF THE TWICE DAILY COUNT OF INMATES OF THE 51ST AUSTRALIAN GARRISON COMPANY PRISONER OF WAR CAMP. SHOWN IS:- V81550 CAPTAIN A.C. BORELLA, VC, MM. (1).

059332

059344

MYRTLEFORD, VIC. 1943-11-05 TO 1943-11-07. OFFICERS OF THE 51ST AUSTRALIAN GARRISON COMPANY PRISONER OF WAR CAMP. LEFT TO RIGHT:- FRONT ROW:- V17794 LIEUTENANT F.L. JAMES; V57063 LIEUTENANT J.M. MURPHY; VX35269 LIEUTENANT E.J. REES; V6772 LIEUTENANT R.L. FISHER; VX133202 CAPTAIN C.H.B. ADAMSON....

059344

115842

ALBURY, NSW. 1945-09-19. THE FIRST BATCH OF PRISONERS OF WAR RELEASED FROM JAPANESE PRISON CAMPS TRAVELLED BY NSW HOSPITAL TRAIN TO ALBURY WHERE THEY WERE TRANSFERRED TO 6TH AUSTRALIAN AMBULANCE TRAIN FOR THE JOURNEY TO MELBOURNE. SHOWN, MAJOR-GENERAL J. S. WHITELAW, COMMANDER, VIC LINES OF...

115842

H03331

Portrait of Lieutenant Albert C. Borella VC MM, 26th Battalion AIF. He was awarded his VC as the result of his leadership on 17 and 18 July 1918 at Villers-Bretonneux in capturing a forward German position and subsequently repulsing two heavy counter attacks.

H03331

P02939.032

Studio portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Albert Chalmers Borella VC MM, 26 Battalion. Lt Borella was awarded the Victoria Cross for "most conspicuous bravery in attack" on 17 - 18 July 1918 at Villers Bretonneux. He ran ahead of his men under heavy enemy fire and captured an enemy machine gun. He then...

P02939.032

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.