Victoria Cross for Edward "Teddy" Sheean

DDG38

Active Member
Pardon my french, but about ****ing time ! I remember learning about Sheean's actions in the first week of RAN recruit school and even then as a 17 year old I couldn't believe he wasn't awarded the VC, Seemed obvious then as it does now. Can't say I was impressed with Scomos commentary though. Here's hoping for a smooth less bureaucratic passage to approval.

MODERATOR EDIT. Rules state that all posts are to be in English. Post edited to remove stoker bastardisation of French language.

On serious note we don't appreciate the use of obscene language on the forum. It is afterall both a professional and public forum.

Ngatimozart
 
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oldsig127

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Pardon my french, but about ****ing time ! I remember learning about Sheean's actions in the first week of RAN recruit school and even then as a 17 year old I couldn't believe he wasn't awarded the VC, Seemed obvious then as it does now. Can't say I was impressed with Scomos commentary though. Here's hoping for a smooth less bureaucratic passage to approval.
Couldn't agree more about the language. ScoMo though is forced to walk a careful line because there are still people who strongly oppose the award and could through their whinging devalue the award
Brendon Nelson was pretty blunt in listing the faults in the original recommendation and the bureaucratic failings that left his award in limbo...until the ABC crossed away to Dan Andrews current news, so I have no idea whether ScoMo fielded any questions

oldsig
 

StingrayOZ

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Wow. IMO I believe its justified, but I am certainly not an expert on such things.
I don't see how it takes away from the VC, IMO it only adds. Getting mentioned in official dispatches isn't the same for that kind of sacrifice and heroism.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Pardon my french, but about ****ing time ! I remember learning about Sheean's actions in the first week of RAN recruit school and even then as a 17 year old I couldn't believe he wasn't awarded the VC, Seemed obvious then as it does now. Can't say I was impressed with Scomos commentary though. Here's hoping for a smooth less bureaucratic passage to approval.
Totally agree, the Queen still has to sign off on it, lets hope there is no drama there. Personally i think that if the PM and GG of Australia recommends it, then that should be good enough.
 
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oldsig127

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Totally agree, the Queen still has to sign off on it, lets hope there is no drama there. Personally i think that if the PM and GG of Australia recommends it, then that should be good enough.
Bluntly, she has no choice.

oldsig
 

Pusser01

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Would he be awarded the VC for Australia that came into existence in 1991 or the original VC that was part of the British Honors System? Cheers
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Couldn't agree more about the language. ScoMo though is forced to walk a careful line because there are still people who strongly oppose the award and could through their whinging devalue the award
Brendon Nelson was pretty blunt in listing the faults in the original recommendation and the bureaucratic failings that left his award in limbo...until the ABC crossed away to Dan Andrews current news, so I have no idea whether ScoMo fielded any questions

oldsig
I dont understand the people who are strongly opposing the award.

"Previous attempts at having Sheean awarded a VC have been unsuccessful, with a 2013 inquiry finding Sheean's actions "did not reach the particularly high standard required for recommendation of a VC", and the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence refusing to consider him for the accolade in 2017."

Whats wrong with such people. Does Sheean only deserve a VC if he gave his life twice or 3 times!?

Im sorry, but what have those people who are strongly opposing it, done and sacrificed for their country? Maybe they are even born long after the end of WW II
 

oldsig127

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I dont understand the people who are strongly opposing the award.

"Previous attempts at having Sheean awarded a VC have been unsuccessful, with a 2013 inquiry finding Sheean's actions "did not reach the particularly high standard required for recommendation of a VC", and the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence refusing to consider him for the accolade in 2017."

Whats wrong with such people. Does Sheean only deserve a VC if he gave his life twice or 3 times!?
It seems bizarre, but what it comes down to is trying to prevent a tide of applications for VC's decades after the action. There's a lot of back story to this.

After Federation all Australian Army recommendations went through the Army system to the Australian Government aand via the Governor General to the King/Queen for approval. The Air Force (having been part of the Army from 1912 or thereabouts until the formation of the RAAF in 1921 used a similar system

However the RAN put their commendations to the King via the UK Admiralty, and that persisted until after WW2. Without accusing the Poms of bias, unconscious or otherwise, the extra layers of bureaucracy always militated against an approval. Recommendations for awards for his ship weren't possible until *after* WW2, by which time actual eye witnesses were reduced to something like 13 souls. The documents weren't filed properly and not *filled* properly. Consequently it failed on several of the hoops that have to be jumped through both within Australia and the Admiralty.
In a post war "trying to forget" environment Sheean was lucky to get MiD.

The two 21st century inquiries came to opposing determinations, with the main difference being the requirement that new evidence be found to justify reopening any commendation (To prevent the tide I mentioned)

They've found reevant evidence in the Japanese record - whether it's cast iron or not it provides a tie breaker to right a wrong. That said, there are no doubt hundreds, perhaps thousands of others who were never recommended because all the witnesses died with them. Sheean can perhaps stand for their as well as his own huge hearted gallantry

oldsig

(Edit: A campaign to get a VC awarded to Robert Rankin faces the same obstacles. Anyone familiar with the stories of HMS Jervis Bay and HMAS Yarra and the different outcomes for Fegan and Rankin has got to think about injustice, but there's a limit to how far tradition can be stretched after so long. I doubt it will go any further)
 
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oldsig127

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Actually she does. Her father, George VI, determined in 1946 that no further WW2 VC recommendations would be entertained by the Monarch. So she can still say no and it's known that she's loathe to go against her father's wishes. We shall see.
Yes, aware of that. And understand that the commendation is for the Australian VC, though my correspondent didn't tell me how he knew it.

oldsig
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
Sorry, for the reasons oldsig raises, this is a dreadful decision. Plus, what gives us of this generation the right to second guess the generation that actually fought the war?
 

ngatimozart

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Yes, aware of that. And understand that the commendation is for the Australian VC, though my correspondent didn't tell me how he knew it.

oldsig
Sorry, for the reasons oldsig raises, this is a dreadful decision. Plus, what gives us of this generation the right to second guess the generation that actually fought the war?
I can understand the reasons why everyone, myself included, who think that Teddy Sheehan has had the dirty done on him by the RN Admiralty, however I do agree with @spoz that it's wrong to second guess the generation that fault the war, but there are cases where awards for gallantry / bravery have been denied for bureaucratic or personal reasons that should be reinvestigated; and Teddy Sheehan's is one of them. However, my comment about Her Majesty's approval is quite pertinent and claims that she "has to approve it" are somewhat arrogant. Also I think that there could be legal issues about awarding him a VC of Australia because that award wasn't in existence during WW2 and didn't come into existence until decades later. It would be the same as awarding Admiral Nelson a VC for his actions at Trafalgar or the Battle of the Nile etc.
 

Takao

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The report recommends him for a VC of Australia. I don't think any of the reviews have recommended a British or WW2 VC. What the politicans choose to do though....
 

Redlands18

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I can understand the reasons why everyone, myself included, who think that Teddy Sheehan has had the dirty done on him by the RN Admiralty, however I do agree with @spoz that it's wrong to second guess the generation that fault the war, but there are cases where awards for gallantry / bravery have been denied for bureaucratic or personal reasons that should be reinvestigated; and Teddy Sheehan's is one of them. However, my comment about Her Majesty's approval is quite pertinent and claims that she "has to approve it" are somewhat arrogant. Also I think that there could be legal issues about awarding him a VC of Australia because that award wasn't in existence during WW2 and didn't come into existence until decades later. It would be the same as awarding Admiral Nelson a VC for his actions at Trafalgar or the Battle of the Nile etc.
I would actually be very surprised if the Queen said no as i doubt an Australian PM would publicly put the Queen in such a position without checking unofficially with Buck Palace first. I suspect the Queen has already said she would sign off on it and it is now just the formal paperwork that has to be forwarded and signed.
A no in this case would definitely cause a backlash in Australia against the Monarchy, the Queen has always been very careful to stay out of Australian Politics.
The GGs office should be aware of any legal issues over awarding of VCs, either for current actions or historical ones
 

MrConservative

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Also I think that there could be legal issues about awarding him a VC of Australia because that award wasn't in existence during WW2 and didn't come into existence until decades later.
Nothing in Schedule 1 of the Victoria Cross Regulations as signed off on the Letters Patent documents of 4 February 1991 pertain to any time limitation on the awarding of a VC. Technically, the Queen can refuse it, but noting the history of constitutional law with respect to the Commonwealth of Australia, and the constitutional crisis of the Whitlam government, she is very unlikely to use her Reserve Powers as monarch and will as she has always done respect the advice of Her Majesties government of Australia and the Armed Forces serving in her name. Her Majesty would also be well aware of the potential damage to the Crown within Australia if she refused that advice, whether she agrees with it or not, as it would raise the spectre of republicanism.
 

cdxbow

Active Member
It seems bizarre, but what it comes down to is trying to prevent a tide of applications for VC's decades after the action. There's a lot of back story to this.

After Federation all Australian Army recommendations went through the Army system to the Australian Government aand via the Governor General to the King/Queen for approval. The Air Force (having been part of the Army from 1912 or thereabouts until the formation of the RAAF in 1921 used a similar system

However the RAN put their commendations to the King via the UK Admiralty, and that persisted until after WW2. Without accusing the Poms of bias, unconscious or otherwise, the extra layers of bureaucracy always militated against an approval. Recommendations for awards for his ship weren't possible until *after* WW2, by which time actual eye witnesses were reduced to something like 13 souls. The documents weren't filed properly and not *filled* properly. Consequently it failed on several of the hoops that have to be jumped through both within Australia and the Admiralty.
In a post war "trying to forget" environment Sheean was lucky to get MiD.

The two 21st century inquiries came to opposing determinations, with the main difference being the requirement that new evidence be found to justify reopening any commendation (To prevent the tide I mentioned)

They've found reevant evidence in the Japanese record - whether it's cast iron or not it provides a tie breaker to right a wrong. That said, there are no doubt hundreds, perhaps thousands of others who were never recommended because all the witnesses died with them. Sheean can perhaps stand for their as well as his own huge hearted gallantry

oldsig

(Edit: A campaign to get a VC awarded to Robert Rankin faces the same obstacles. Anyone familiar with the stories of HMS Jervis Bay and HMAS Yarra and the different outcomes for Fegan and Rankin has got to think about injustice, but there's a limit to how far tradition can be stretched after so long. I doubt it will go any further)
Glad to see Sheean got one.
My family tried to get some official recognition for my uncle Bill Doolan, who died at Ambon | The Australian War Memorial and is the source of the 'Driver Doolan' story.
We were told he would never be awarded anything because:
1. The events were not directly witnessed
2. His commanding officer did not recommend him
3. There were no new findings to be considerd.
Now Bill was a bit of a larrikin, familiar with fighting with a motorcycle chain, and in all honesty, was probably not a model soldier. In my families telling of it, he didn't get on with his commanding officer. He did get a song written about him Song of Bill Doolan's Last Stand, Gull Force, Ambon, WWII, 1942
 
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