Victoria Cross for Edward "Teddy" Sheean

Pusser01

The Bunker Group
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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.
There has been prior precedents of medals from Australian Honours System being awarded for actions in WW2 & Vietnam & even at least one from WW1. This does not mean I myself believe that medals should be retrospectively awarded after such a time frame, especially when said medals didn't exist back then. Cheers News : Defence Medals : Department of Defence
 
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spoz

The Bunker Group
I'm afraid that just because they have done a few others recently, it doesn't make it the appopriate thing to do. As somebody said, should Nelson now get a posthumous VC for Trafalgar? Benbow for the Revenge? While I, personally, believe that Rankin had a better claim than Sheean, does this now mean that the case for he, and Stoker and potentially hundreds of others to be awarded gongs based on a value set to which they would not necessarily subscribe, and many years after their deaths, is now so strong that we should do so? In what way is this different to the behaviour of people who think their view of the past is so much clearer than the people of the time that it allows them to revisit decisions made in the past to create statues of individuals whom they personally do not, and we as a society do not now respect for some aspects of their lives? Are we so much more righteous in our decision making, at least in our own minds, than those who made them in the past; and if so, how shall we be judged in 80 to 100 years from now?
 

Pusser01

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Noting the below list of personnel were also rejected at the same-time as Sheehan in 2013, I wonder if there will be a renewed push for further recognition for them aswell.
Gunner Albert Neil (Neale) Cleary — Army • Midshipman Robert Ian Davies — Navy • Leading Cook (Officers) Francis Bassett Emms — Navy • Lieutenant David John Hamer — Navy • Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick — Army • Lieutenant Commander Robert William Rankin — Navy • Able Seaman Dalmorton Joseph Owendale Rudd — Navy • Ordinary Seaman Edward Sheean — Navy • Leading Aircrewman Noel Ervin Shipp — Navy • Lieutenant Commander Francis Edward Smith — Navy • Lieutenant Commander Henry Hugh Gordon Stoker — Royal Navy • Leading Seaman Ronald Taylor — Navy • Captain Hector Macdonald Laws Waller — Navy
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Noting the below list of personnel were also rejected at the same-time as Sheehan in 2013, I wonder if there will be a renewed push for further recognition for them aswell.
Gunner Albert Neil (Neale) Cleary — Army • Midshipman Robert Ian Davies — Navy • Leading Cook (Officers) Francis Bassett Emms — Navy • Lieutenant David John Hamer — Navy • Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick — Army • Lieutenant Commander Robert William Rankin — Navy • Able Seaman Dalmorton Joseph Owendale Rudd — Navy • Ordinary Seaman Edward Sheean — Navy • Leading Aircrewman Noel Ervin Shipp — Navy • Lieutenant Commander Francis Edward Smith — Navy • Lieutenant Commander Henry Hugh Gordon Stoker — Royal Navy • Leading Seaman Ronald Taylor — Navy • Captain Hector Macdonald Laws Waller — Navy
John Simpson Kirkpatrick is of course very famous for his exploits in rescuing Soldiers at Gallipoli with his Donkey over a period of 30 days before he was finally killed.
3 of the Navy personal above have been highly honoured by having Collins class Submarines named after them and the ship Sheean served on as had the first of class named after it.
 

oldsig127

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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....
The award has now been approved by the Queen.

Various websites, and ABC news
oldsig
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Yep I have just seen a video of your Governor General making the announcement. A BZ to all those involved.
Yes as i thought, Monday’s announcement was just mere formality, dotting the i’s and crossing the Ts as they say.
Congrats to all those involved
 

ngatimozart

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Staff member
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I know that there is a Teddy Sheean thread but I have posted this here because it is applicable to the whole of the RAN.

[EDIT] Copied from the RAN Thread.

VC citation for Ordinary Seaman Edward Sheean

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY

TO BE AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS FOR AUSTRALIA

ORDINARY SEAMAN EDWARD SHEEAN H1617 (DECEASED)

For the most conspicuous gallantry and a pre-eminent act of valour in the presence of the enemy during a Japanese aerial attack on HMAS Armidale in the Timor Sea on 1 December 1942.


On 1 December 1942, during operations in the Timor Sea, HMAS Armidale came under aerial bombardment and torpedo attack from Japanese aircraft. Shortly after the commencement of the attack, Armidale was hit by a torpedo and began listing to port. One minute later the ship was hit by a second torpedo which broke the vessel’s back, causing the Captain to order abandon ship.

Ordinary Seaman Sheean, one of the youngest and most junior ranked members of Armidale’s Ship’s Company, made his way to the stowage position of the motor-boat and assisted in its launch. As the enemy continued to fire upon the ship and his shipmates who were already in the water, Ordinary Seaman Sheean decided to forgo his opportunity for survival by not abandoning ship and returning to his Action Station to man the aft Oerlikon gun, where he was the loader, not the gunner. Despite being wounded, he strapped himself into the gun and commenced firing at the enemy, damaging at least two enemy aircraft.

Ordinary Seaman Sheean’s actions disrupted and distracted the enemy from strafing and killing his defenceless shipmates in the water. He sacrificed his life trying to save his shipmates and, despite his wounds, he continued firing the gun until the ship sank and took him to his death. His pre-eminent act of valour and most conspicuous gallantry saved Australian lives. His heroism became the standard to which the men and women of the Australian Defence Force aspire.

 
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KiwiRob

Active Member
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.
I don't think the Queen will allow it, you need to read about the VC application for Haane Manahi.

Another Maori Victoria Cross? The case of Haane Manahi
During the Battle of Takrouna in Tunisia in April 1943, Lance Sergeant Haane Manahi of Te Arawa led a small band of Māori soldiers up a 300-m-high rocky outcrop. Under mortar and machine-gun fire, they captured a stronghold held by more than 300 Italian and German troops. The act was described by Lieutenant General Sir Brian Horrocks as ‘the most gallant feat of arms I witnessed in the course of the war’. While a field-marshal and three generals recommended Manahi for the Victoria Cross (VC), this recommendation was changed, and a Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) was awarded instead. It is not known who made this decision, or why.

In 2006 a bid to have the VC awarded posthumously was taken to Buckingham Palace by the Minister of Defence, Phil Goff. After careful consideration, the request was turned down by the Queen, who followed King George’s 1949 decision that no further awards from the Second World War should be considered. In October 2006, it was announced that Buckingham Palace had agreed to posthumously honour Haane Manahi, but not with a VC.
To allow another VC to be awarded for WW2 will open up a can of worms, many families and associations will claim that there relative/member also deserved a VC and should have it awarded posthumously. WW2 is long over, the door for awards was closed in 1949, it should remain closed.

What do you then do with someone like Charles Upham, the Bar to his VC with a merge of two separate acts of bravery, the first at Minqar Qaim and the second at Ruweisat should they be demerged and him be given a 3rd VC?
 

KiwiRob

Active Member
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....
If you're giving someone an award for actions undertaken long before that award first came into being questions the validity of the award, it makes it less valid for the people who have won it since it's creation. The award he was eligible for is the Victoria Cross, not the Victoria Cross of Australia.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I don't think the Queen will allow it, you need to read about the VC application for Haane Manahi.



To allow another VC to be awarded for WW2 will open up a can of worms, many families and associations will claim that there relative/member also deserved a VC and should have it awarded posthumously. WW2 is long over, the door for awards was closed in 1949, it should remain closed.
@KiwiRob It has been awarded it was announced on Wednesday. Please read the citation that NG has posted immediately above your Post.
He has been awarded the VC for Australia which is slightly different to those awarded in WW2. And it doesn’t have to be cleared by the RN Admiralty for RAN personal and every single VC recommendation ever sent to the Admiralty by the RAN was rejected. Sorry Mate but I don’t see how any recommendations for VCs by any other Government has got anything to do with this awarding. The Australian Government has asked the Queen of Australia to award a VC for Australia to a person that served in the RAN, how other Commonwealth Governments handle the awarding of VCs has got nothing to do with the Government of Australia and I don’t believe they should take reactions by citizens of other nations into consideration.

Personally i find it somewhat suspicious that the RN awarded 76 VCs during WW1 and WW2 and not a single one to the RAN or RNZN and just 2 to the RCN(and one of those was for a RCN Pilot posted to a RN Carrier). One thing we don’t know about the RAN VC recommendations is who knocked them on the Head, the Admiralty or Buck Palace, if its the former then i fully support the awarding in these cases as they had to go through extra hoops that Army and RAAF VCs didn’t
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I don't think the Queen will allow it, you need to read about the VC application for Haane Manahi.

Another Maori Victoria Cross? The case of Haane Manahi
During the Battle of Takrouna in Tunisia in April 1943, Lance Sergeant Haane Manahi of Te Arawa led a small band of Māori soldiers up a 300-m-high rocky outcrop. Under mortar and machine-gun fire, they captured a stronghold held by more than 300 Italian and German troops. The act was described by Lieutenant General Sir Brian Horrocks as ‘the most gallant feat of arms I witnessed in the course of the war’. While a field-marshal and three generals recommended Manahi for the Victoria Cross (VC), this recommendation was changed, and a Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) was awarded instead. It is not known who made this decision, or why.

To allow another VC to be awarded for WW2 will open up a can of worms, many families and associations will claim that there relative/member also deserved a VC and should have it awarded posthumously. WW2 is long over, the door for awards was closed in 1949, it should remain closed.

What do you then do with someone like Charles Upham, the Bar to his VC with a merge of two separate acts of bravery, the first at Minqar Qaim and the second at Ruweisat should they be demerged and him be given a 3rd VC?
OFF TOPIC, but I watched a short interview with Tom Scott the other night who has just published a new biography on Charlie Upham and he says that in toto, Charlie Upham was witnessed to have committed eight seperate acts of valour that would have warranted a VC in each case, but of course the Poms would never have approved that many. Apparently some of his recommendations for VC were denied. So yes definitely more than two for feats of valour in the face of the enemy. He was one very rare individual and a very humble man.

I have read about the application for Haane Manahi and believe that he was shafted by the Pommy Army Imperial General Staff in London. They and the RN did have a habit of doing it to the colonials. However I believe that the Queen has made amends that have given considerable mana to him and his whanau, and settled any utu that was outstanding. Given that, any retrospective awarding of a VC of NZ to him or his whanau, would I think, be out of the question and that, IMHO, is fair enough.
 

ngatimozart

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Staff member
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@KiwiRob It has been awarded it was announced on Wednesday. Please read the citation that NG has posted immediately above your Post.
He has been awarded the VC for Australia which is slightly different to those awarded in WW2. And it doesn’t have to be cleared by the RN Admiralty for RAN personal and every single VC recommendation ever sent to the Admiralty by the RAN was rejected. Sorry Mate but I don’t see how any recommendations for VCs by any other Government has got anything to do with this awarding. The Australian Government has asked the Queen of Australia to award a VC for Australia to a person that served in the RAN, how other Commonwealth Governments handle the awarding of VCs has got nothing to do with the Government of Australia and I don’t believe they should take reactions by citizens of other nations into consideration.

Personally i find it somewhat suspicious that the RN awarded 76 VCs during WW1 and WW2 and not a single one to the RAN or RNZN and just 2 to the RCN(and one of those was for a RCN Pilot posted to a RN Carrier). One thing we don’t know about the RAN VC recommendations is who knocked them on the Head, the Admiralty or Buck Palace, if its the former then i fully support the awarding in these cases as they had to go through extra hoops that Army and RAAF VCs didn’t
I agree and it was the Admiralty that would have knocked back colonial naval VCs because the RAF got RNZAF VCs through and NZ Army VCs went through. One NZ 2nd Division junior officer managed to be awarded a VC & Bar both in combat. C/REF my post above. However the Imperial General Staff was also known to knock back colonial VCs as well. Can't have the colonials getting more VCs than our chaps, what ho. I know our Gen. Freyberg used to get stuck into overbearing pommy officers, especially those who he believed mistreated his Kiwi troops. He reamed a couple of pommy red cap officers new arseholes each (one was a Lt Col, the other a Capt) after the Capt threw some Kiwi soldiers into the cells overnight in Cairo. What really riled Tiny Freyberg up was the the Capt had ordered his MPs to take to the Kiwis with batons after they told him to f off. He'd caught them playing two up in a side street and when he told them to break it up and line up he got a typical ANZAC answer in reply which included the questioning of his parentage and ancestry. The Poms were allowed to discipline the Kiwis after WW1 and Tiny Freyberg wouldn't have a bar of it.

EDIT: Correct rank of Charles Upham VC & Bar.
 
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KiwiRob

Active Member
I agree and it was the Admiralty that would have knocked back colonial naval VCs because the RAF got RNZAF VCs through and NZ Army VCs went through. One NZ 2nd Division Sgt managed to be awarded a VC & Bar both in combat. C/REF my post above. However the Imperial General Staff was also known to knock back colonial VCs as well. Can't have the colonials getting more VCs than our chaps, what ho. I know our Gen. Freyberg used to get stuck into overbearing pommy officers, especially those who he believed mistreated his Kiwi troops. He reamed a couple of pommy red cap officers new arseholes each (one was a Lt Col, the other a Capt) after the Capt threw some Kiwi soldiers into the cells overnight in Cairo. What really riled Tiny Freyberg up was the the Capt had ordered his MPs to take to the Kiwis with batons after they told him to f off. He'd caught them playing two up in a side street and when he told them to break it up and line up he got a typical ANZAC answer in reply which included the questioning of his parentage and ancestry. The Poms were allowed to discipline the Kiwis after WW1 and Tiny Freyberg wouldn't have a bar of it.
Upham was an officer when he received his VC & Bar.
 
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