Biography

Birth date: 22 August 1881
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Highton
Death date: 19 March 1949
Death place: Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Caulfield
Final rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Service number: 2 - First World War, 1914-1918
2354 - South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
Units:
  • 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 4th Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse

James Newland was born at Highton, Victoria. He served in the Boer War before becoming a regular soldier. In August 1914 he transferred to the AIF. He took part in the Gallipoli landing; he was soon wounded and evacuated and, later that year, commissioned. In 1916 he went to France as battalion adjutant, and was Mentioned in Despatches at Pozières.

Newland was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on three occasions over 7 9 April, and 15 April 1917. Near Boursies and Lagnicourt, France, he led strong attacks and repelled enemy counter-attacks. "It was [his] tenacity and disregard for his own safety that encouraged the men to hold out." In early May, Newland was again wounded.

Returning to Australia, Newland served in the army until 1941. He worked briefly for the Red Cross then joined the inspection staff at Footscray Ammunition Factory, Melbourne, until his death in 1949.

As well as the Victoria Cross Newland received service medals for the Boer War and First and Second World Wars, the King George VI Coronation Medal, and long and meritorious service medals. The oak leaf denotes that Newland was Mentioned in Despatches.

Rolls and Awards

Pre First World War Conflicts Nominal Rolls

  • Rank: Private
  • Unit: 4th Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse
  • Conflict: South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Date of embarkation: 20 October 1914
  • Place of embarkation: Hobart

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Military Cross

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : French Croix de Guerre

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Military Cross

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Collection Items

Photograph

A02614

Studio portrait of Captain James Ernest Newland VC of the 12th Battalion.

A02614

J03075

1927-04-25. AUSTRALIAN VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS WHO TOOK PART IN THE ANZAC DAY MARCH IN MELBOURNE, WAITING TO ENTER THE EXHIBITION BUILDING, WHERE A COMMEMORATION SERVICE WAS HELD. LEFT TO RIGHT: CAPTAIN R.C. GRIEVE, 2ND LIEUT W. RUTHVEN, CAPT J.E. NEWLAND, 2ND LIEUT J. HAMILTON, LIEUT. A....

J03075

J03076

MELBOURNE, AUS. 1927-04-25. AUSTRALIAN VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS WHO TOOK PART IN THE 1927 ANZAC DAY MARCH. IN THE BACKGROUND ARE THE KING'S AND REGIMENTAL COLOURS OF THE A.M.F. BATTALIONS AND REGIMENTS. LEFT TO RIGHT:- CORPORAL (CPL) B.S. GORDON MM, CPL T.L. AXFORD MM, CPL J. CARROLL, SERGEANT...

J03076

P02939.013

Studio portrait of Captain (Capt) James Ernest Newland VC, A Company, 12th Battalion. Capt Newland was awarded the Victoria Cross for "most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in the face of heavy odds, on three separate occasions" on 7 - 9 April at Bapaume-Cambrai Road and 15 April 1917 at...

P02939.013

P02939.014

Outdoor portrait of Captain (Capt) James Ernest Newland VC, A Company, 12th Battalion. Capt Newland was awarded the Victoria Cross for "most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in the face of heavy odds, on three separate occasions" on 7 - 9 April at Bapaume-Cambrai Road and 15 April 1917 at...

P02939.014

Art

James Ernest Newland VC

Depicts a portrait of James Ernest Newland VC (1881-1949) who enlisted as a Private with the 4th Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse for service in the Boer War. In August 1914 he enlisted with the 12th Battalion in Tasmania and travelled to Gallipoli, where he was wounded. In France Newland...

ART92981

Private Record

Heraldry

Tivoli Theatre lifetime pass : Captain J E Newland, 12 Battalion, AIF

Rose gold and gilded metal Tivoli Lifetime Theatre Pass in the shape of a Victoria Cross suspended from a rose gold link. Below a King's Crown, on the obverse of the cross, are the words, 'LIFE PASS' engraved on a small raised plaque. Underneath the plaque a horseshoe shaped scroll is engraved with...

REL/11415

Timeline

Date of birth 1881-08-22
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1899 Served with the 4 Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse (VIC) in South Africa as a Private - service number 2354.
Other 1914-08-22 Transferred to AIF and joined 12 Battalion.
Date of embarkation 1914-10-20
Date wounded 1915-05 Wounded at Gallipoli.
Date promoted 1915-05-22 Appointed 2nd Lieutenant.
Date promoted 1915-10 Appointed Lieutenant.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-09-07
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-10-06
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-01-19
Date of honour or award 1917-04-08 - 1917-04-15 Awarded Victoria Cross for action at West of Boursies and Lagnicourt, France whilst serving with 12 Battalion, 3 Brigade, 1 Division as a Captain.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-04-18
Date of death 1949-03-19