Saturday, 26 July 2014

Forgotten Heroes - Lieutenant Rupert Moon, V.C.

Lieutenant Rupert Vance 'Mick' Moon, 58th Battalion, Victoria Cross action at Bullecourt.

Rupert "Mick" Moon was born at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, and grew up in Gippsland. He had been in the militia, and in 1914 enlisted in the light horse. He was sent to Gallipoli, then in September 1916 was commissioned and transferred to the 58th Australian Infantry Battalion to replace recent losses.

At Bullecourt on the 12 May 1917, Moon led an attack on an enemy strongpoint but was soon wounded. Not giving up, and continually calling, "come on boys", he was badly wounded twice more but still stayed to lead, inspire, and encourage his men. "We would have followed him anywhere, he was that game", said one. Only when he was wounded for a fourth time, severely now, did he finally agree to retire and seek medical help.

Moon returned to Australia but went back to Europe and ended the war as a temporary captain. Afterwards he worked in a bank and as an accountant. He was eventually one of the last surviving Australian Victoria Cross–holders of the war.

Moon was awarded the Victoria Cross, service medals for the First World War, coronation medals for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II, and the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal.

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