Henry (Harry) Dalziel VC
By Tony Derksen (Folh Newsletter 1, 1999)
Last Century LEST WE FORGET Henry Dalziel No. 1936 V.C. Henry (Harry) Dalziel was born on the 18-02-1893 at Ragged Camp near Irvinebank, after Harry's schooling in Irvinebank his parents moved to the Atherton Tableland to take up farming.
On completing his schooling in Atherton, Harry took on an apprenticeship with the Queensland Railways as a Fireman, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces at the Age of 23 in 1916.
The lad from Irvinebank found himself in the 15th Battalion six months later. In the spirit of the ANZAC tradition, Henry Dalziel won his Victoria Cross in the Battle of Hamel Wood, France on the 4th July 1918.
He also had the distinction of becoming the 1000th Commonwealth serviceman to win the Victoria Cross and one of the 96 that have been presented to Australians.
By May 1918, the five Australian Divisions were for the first time formed into the Australian Corps under the Command of Major-General Sir John Monash. In the coming Hamel attack the five Australian Divisions would fight side by side for the first time.
The official record of acts for which the Victoria Cross was awarded to Queenslanders, states
Many thought he would not survive his wounds, his skull was smashed and the brain was exposed, after receiving long and skillful treatment in England, Harry arrived back in Brisbane in July 1919.
Dalziel married and returned to Atherton, he worked a small farm which he called Camelbank. Eventually Harry moved to Sydney, Bathurst and then to Brisbane. In the 1930s Harry joined the Citizen Military Forces and in 1933, then a sergeant, became the first V.C. to be a member of the Guard of Honour at the opening of the Queensland Parliament.
During World War 2, Harry served in a limited capacity in Australia, visiting training camps etc. Harry became somewhat famous as a songwriter, having some of his songs published in the U.K. and the U.S. He also tried his hand at drawing, pottery and prose writing and in 1956 he attended the V.C. Centenary and then went to Hamel on the 4th of July to place a wreath on the Cenotaph.
Henry (Harry) Dalziel died on the 24th July 1965 at the Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital Brisbane and was cremated with full Military Honours. He was 72 years of age.
Loudoun House Museum, Irvinebank, Q. 4872