History SA/Veterans SA’s travelling exhibition Bravest of the Brave, which tells the moving stories of the eight South Australians awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War, is now on the Yorke Peninsula for the first time.
Trevor and Lyn Clerke from the Port Vincent RSL collected the display, affectionately known as BoB from the Torrens Parade Ground on Tuesday. It will be exhibited at 3 venues at the Port Vincent RSL/Memorial Bowling Club, the Port Vincent Institute (Visitor Information Centre) and the Maitland Community Library at the Minlaton District School
Bravest of the Brave tells the story of eight ordinary men: Arthur Blackburn, Phillip Davey, Roy Inwood, Jørgen Jensen, John Leak, Arthur Sullivan, Lawrence Weathers and James Park Woods – who on one day of their lives, under extraordinary circumstances, demonstrated extraordinary heroism for their comrades and country. Some were born or educated in South Australia; some enlisted here, while others lived here either before or after the war.
Corporal Davey has a local connection having followed farming pursuits on the Yorke Peninsula with his uncles for a short time after leaving school.
At just 19, he was one of the first to enlist three days before Christmas 1914, and was present at the Gallipoli landing in April the next year.
Previously awarded a Military Medal, he received his Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery and initiative in the attack at Merris, France on 28 June 1918.
After the war, he worked for the South Australian Railways and there is a memorial to him in the Adelaide railway station.
The Victoria Cross is the British and Commonwealth’s armed forces’ most coveted award, their supreme decoration for gallantry, under enemy fire. Only 1,356 medals have been awarded since its introduction in 1856.
Port Vincent is the Bravest of the Brave’s 11th venue. It is booked up to travel to a variety of venues in South Australia throughout the rest of 2013, and most of 2014.
The first of many projects that are being prepared worldwide to commemorate the centenary of the First World War in 2014-2018, Bravest of the Brave is available from History SA free of charge to travel to schools, RSL clubs, museums, libraries, aged-care facilities, community centres etc. There is also a schools resources kit. Enquiries regarding the exhibition’s availability should be made on 08 8203 9888 or email for more information.
More photographs of the display at other venues including its launch by the Hon Jack Snelling MP in April 2012 are here