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91 ... McCarthy VC Plaque      

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McCarthy was a central person in Ross Bastiaan’s life. McCarthy’s only child who was then engaged to Bastiaan’s mother was killed in action on Bougainville Island in 1945. Despite the devastating loss, McCarthy stayed in contact with her and when Ross was born in 1951 the VC winner was always close at hand and a generous support to the family. In particular McCarthy played an important part in Ross’s schooling at Wesley College where his own son had been educated. Ross effectively was his defacto grand son – the grand son he never had.

Ross learnt much of what he knew about the war from McCarthy and in the books he was given by him that covered the many battles McCarthy fought in from The Landing at Anzac to the Hindenburg Line. McCarthy died in 1975 and in 1990 and 1993  a rare opportunity arose for  Ross Bastiaan to repay a debt. He was able to place a plaque on each and every battleground that McCarthy fought on during the Great War. There is no doubt that the Bastiaan plaques would never have occurred if Lawrence McCarthy had not been part of his life. 


Text on plaque


In memory of Lieutenant Lawrence Dominic McCarthy, V.C., C de G. (1892-1975), 16th Australian Infantry Battalion, A.I.F.


Here on 23 August 1918, he single-handedly captured 460 metres of German trench line at the western edge of bois a fame (famous wood), 5 machine guns and over 50 prisoners. For this conspicuous bravery, initiative and leadership he was awarded the Victoria Cross and the Croix de Guerre.


In small print on bottom margin.

Erected 23 August 1993 as a mark of gratitude for the goals and values he gave to my life (Ross J Bastiaan Melbourne)

 



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