Sergeant Lewis McGee VC


Sergeant Lewis McGee - image cropped from AWM Accession Number A02623

Author: Henry Moulds

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Lewis McGee was born in Ross, Tasmania in 1888. He was living in Avoca, Tasmania, with his wife and daughter when he enlisted in early 1916. He was allocated to the 40th Australian Infantry Battalion .

On the 4th of October 1917, McGee was leading a depleted platoon in the attack on Broodseinde Ridge. His Company advance was held up by machine gun fire from a fortified ‘pill box’. Armed only with a revolver, McGee rushed the post, shot some of the German crew and captured the rest. The silencing of this machine gun enabled the advance to continue.

He reorganised the remnants of his platoon and continued in the remainder of the advance. His coolness and bravery were conspicuous and contributed largely to the success of the Company's operations. For his actions that day McGee was recommended for the Victoria Cross.

Sadly, McGee didn’t live to hear of the recommendation, for just eight days later, in the futile attack on Passchendaele, he was killed in action. His Victoria Cross was subsequently awarded posthumously.

His widow, Eileen Rose later remarried but continued to live in Avoca.



They Dared Mightily – Lionel Wigmore, second edition

Roll of Honour circular – AWM website

AWM biographical information – AWM website

The London Gazette No 30400, 23rd November 1917

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