Biography

Birth date: 19 April 1890
Birth place: Australia: Queensland: Blackall
Death date: 27 August 1972
Death place: Australia: Queensland: Longreach
Final rank: Major
Service number: 1067 - First World War, 1914-1918
Q30753 - Second World War, 1939-1945
Units:
  • 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
  • 7th Australian Machine Gun Company

Edgar Towner (1890-1972) enlisted in 1915 and soon established himself as an outstanding soldier. Fighting in France, he was commissioned, won the Military Cross and was twice Mentioned in Despatches before receiving the Victoria Cross for the attack on Mont St Quentin. In the battle, constantly under fire, he undertook dangerous reconnaissance and bravely led his machine-gunners. At one point he personally captured a machine-gun and turned it on the enemy. After 30 hours' fighting he was evacuated, wounded and exhausted.

After the war Towner returned to rural Queensland, but served again in the Second World War. A pastoralist at home in the bush, he was a life-long bachelor.

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Rolls and Awards

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 29 June 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Brisbane
  • Recommended for: Military Cross
  • Unit: 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 7th Australian Machine Gun Company
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Military Cross
  • Unit: 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 7th Australian Machine Gun Company
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Unit: 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Military Cross
  • Unit: 7th Australian Machine Gun Company
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 7th Australian Machine Gun Company
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Collection Items

Digitised Collection

Timeline

Date of birth 1890-04-19
Date of embarkation 1915-06-29
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-03-03
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-03-04
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-06-19
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-06-22
Awarded Victoria Cross 1918-09-01 For action at Mont St Quentin, France whilst serving with 2 Machine Gun Battalion, 2 Division as a Lieutenant
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-09-09
Date of death 1972-08-27