The Hall of Valour at the AWM honours the one-hundred Australians who have received the Victoria Cross; the highest award for bravery in time of war. The Hall of Valour recognises the deeds of ordinary Australians under the extraordinary conditions of war. Of these, seventeen (17%) are known to have been Freemasons.
The Victoria Cross was instituted in 1856 by Queen Victoria and made retrospective to 1854 to cover the period of the Crimean War. The traditional explanation of the source of the gunmetal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the siege of Sevastopol. It was awarded to Australians for valour in several major conflicts since the Boer War until replaced by the Victoria Cross for Australia in 1991.
As a comparison, America’s Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1863 and has been awarded 3,465 times while the VC has been awarded 1,354 times across the whole British Empire. That’s a ration of almost 3:1
AWM has 65VCs which I believe to be the second largest public display of these medals in the world.
William Dunstan VC, Victoria Cross Winner
John Hurst Edmondson (1914-1941) Victoria Cross Winner. Initiated into Lodge Liverpool No 197 on 3 April 1935. First Australian VC of WW2
Walter (Walley) Brown VC (1885-1942) Victoria Cross Winner. Initiated Lodge Godeldrie No 558 on 7 April 1931.
Lt Neville R Howse VC (1863-1930), Australia's first Victoria Cross Winner and only medical member of the Australian Forces to be awarded the VC. Initiated Lodge Ophir on 29 Aug 1901
William Currey VC (1895-1948) Victoria Cross Winner. Initiated into Lodge Carlton No 382 on 11 March 1930.
Captain Albert Jacka, VC, MC & bar (1893-1932) Australia’s First WW1 VC