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Registered: 05-2003
Location: Benalla, Victoria
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Captain Robert Grieves V.C - Goes to Shrine of Remembrance.

Famous medal heads cast of thousands
Herald Sun

ONE of Wesley College's old boy treasures is to go public when the school today hands over its prized Victoria Cross to the Shrine for display in its new wall of medals.

Capt Robert Grieve's medal will be the only VC to feature among 4000 medals being fitted this week as the Shrine prepares to open its $7 million complex next month.
Capt Grieve displayed the brave dash he had shown on Wesley's playing fields up to 1905 again on the muddy Belgian battlefields of World War I.

His bravery was not witnessed by any superior, so in true Old Collegians team spirit his nomination for the Commonwealth's highest award for valour was backed by every 37th Battalion Digger.

Capt Grieve led his men against a German concrete blockhouse pouring out machinegun fire at Messines in June, 1917.

The only surviving officer, he ordered his men to take cover while he grabbed a sack of grenades and single-handedly stormed the fortress, killing all and capturing the garrison.

After he died in 1957, his VC was presented to the school. But the treasured medal has rarely been shown in public after a fire in 1989.

The VC was thought lost when a blaze destroyed Wesley's library.

Alan Storen, Wesley's then deputy principal, recovered the medal among the ruins next day.

"There were other medals -- one was melted, but the VC was made from gunmetal, which would survive a furnace," Mr Storen said.

Since then the VC, valued at about $200,000, has been locked in the school's art vault. Wesley's leaders approached the Shrine trustees offering it for secure display in the new complex.

Year 7 students Sam Whitney and Beatrix Spencer are keen to see the medal on show.

"It will be good to see it -- we've learned about the war," Sam said.

Sam's great-grandfather fought at Gallipoli, while Beatrix's great-grandmother was a nurse during World War I.
8/8/2003, 9:37 am Link to this post Send Email to Kate Blake   Send PM to Kate Blake Blog

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