Personal info

  • Name: William John SYMONS
  • D.O.B: 10th July, 1889
  • D.O.A: 9th August, 1915
  • D.O.D: 24th June, 1948
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant, 7th Battalion (Victoria), 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Australian Imperial Force

Lone Pine, Gallipoli, Turkey 7-9 August 1915

7-9 August 1915

More details about:
The Gallipoli Campaign 25 April 1915–9 January 1916 

After the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915 a front line had been established running roughly north to south across the 400 Plateau, south-east of the Cove. The Turkish defences in the south-eastern section of the Plateau had been named Lone Pine by the Australians. On the night of 6-7 August, as part of the diversionary attacks accompanying the landing at Suvla Bay to the north, the Australians attacked the Turkish positions at Lone Pine and, despite heavy casualties, broke through the enemy’s line. The Turks mounted counter-attacks over the succeeding days but the Australians held on and consolidated their gains. The action was a triumph and seven of the Australians were awarded VCs for their gallantry in the fighting: Captains A J Shout and F H Tubb, Lieutenant W J Symons, Lance Corporal L M Keysor, Corporals A S Burton and W Dunstan and Private J P Hamilton.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery on the night of 8th-9th August, 1915, at Lone Pine trenches, in the Gallipoli Peninsula. He was in command of the right section of the newly captured trenches held by his battalion, and repelled several counter-attacks with great coolness. At about 5 a.m. on 9th August a series of determined attacks were made by the enemy on an isolated sap, and six officers were in succession killed or severely wounded, a portion of the sap being lost. Lieutenant Symons then led a charge and retook the lost sap, shooting two Turks with his revolver. The sap was under hostile fire from three sides, and Lieutenant Symons withdrew some fifteen yards to a spot where some overhead cover could be obtained, and in the face of heavy fire built up a sand barricade. The enemy succeeded in setting fire to the fascines and woodwork of the head-cover, but Lieutenant Symons extinguished the fire and rebuilt the barricade. His coolness and determination finally compelled the enemy to discontinue their attacks. 

The London Gazette of 15 October 1915, Numb. 29328, pp. 10153-54

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