• Albert Chalmers VC Borella

Army / Flying Corps
  • 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 7th Brigade
  • Lieutenant
  • 2nd Lieutenant
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Private

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  • Military Medal (MM)
  • Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
  • 1914–1915 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Victoria Cross (VC)
  • Birth

    Korong Vale, Victoria, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Townsville City, QLD, Australia

Stories and comments
    • BORELLA VC AWM and NAA records by Gary Parsons researcher 26th Bn.
    • Posted by blackboycreek, Friday, 7 September 2018

    Honours and Awards Albert Chalmers Borella Rank Lieutenant Unit 26th Australian Infantry Battalion Service Australian Imperial Force Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918 Award Victoria Cross Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 12 February 1919 on page 262 at position 9 London Gazette 16 September 1918 on page 11075 at position 1

    BORELLA VC Recomm
    • BORELLA VC AWM and NAA records by Gary Parsons researcher 26th Bn.
    • Posted by blackboycreek, Friday, 7 September 2018

    BORELLA DSO Upgraded to Victoria Cross

    BORELLA  DSO Upgraded to Victoria Cross
    • BORELLA M.M. AWM and NAA records by Gary Parsons researcher 26th Bn.
    • Posted by blackboycreek, Friday, 7 September 2018

    Honours and Awards Albert Chalmers Borella Service number 275 Rank Sergeant Unit 26th Australian Infantry Battalion Service Australian Imperial Force Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918 Award Military Medal Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 27 August 1917 on page 1828 at position 28 London Gazette

    BORELLA  M.M.
    • BORELLA MID. AWM and NAA records by Gary Parsons researcher 26th Bn.
    • Posted by blackboycreek, Friday, 7 September 2018

    BORELLA MID. Honours and Awards Albert Chalmers Borella Service number 275 Rank Sergeant Unit 26th Australian Infantry Battalion Service Australian Imperial Force Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918 Award Mention in despatches Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 4 October 1917 on page 2624 at position 44 London Gazette 1 June 1917 on page 5422 at position 32

    BORELLA MID.
    • BORELLA Brothers AWM and NAA records by Gary Parsons researcher 26th Bn.
    • Posted by blackboycreek, Friday, 7 September 2018

    NT News August 15, 2014 Albert Borella (centre) after his return to Australia in 1919, with his half brothers James (on left) and Charles (right)

     NT News August 15, 2014 Albert Borella (centre) after his return to Australia in 1919, with his half brothers James (on left) and Charles (right)
    • Accession Number J03076 AWM and NAA records by Gary Parsons researcher 26th Bn.
    • Posted by blackboycreek, Friday, 14 September 2018

    Accession Number J03076 Description MELBOURNE, AUS. 1927-04-25. AUSTRALIAN VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS WHO TOOK PART IN THE 1927 ANZAC DAY MARCH. IN THE BACKGROUND ARE THE KING'S AND REGIMENTAL COLOURS OF THE A.M.F. BATTALIONS AND REGIMENTS. LEFT TO RIGHT:- CORPORAL (CPL) B.S. GORDON MM, CPL T.L. AXFORD MM, CPL J. CARROLL, SERGEANT (SGT) S.R. MCDOUGALL MM, SGT. A.D. LOWERSON, SGT P.C. STATTON MM, LIEUTENANT (LT) A BORELLA MM, LT J.J. DWYER, LT G.M. INGRAM MM, LT E.T. TOWNER MC, CPL T.J.B. KENNY, PRIVATE (PTE) W. JACKSON, CAPTAIN (CAPT) R.C. GRIEVE, CPL G.J. HOWELL MM, SGT W. PEELER, LT J. HAMILTON, CAPT J. E. NEWLAND, SGT W.E. BROWN DCM, LT W. RUTHVEN, CAPT ALBERT JACKA MC, CPL A.P. SULLIVAN (ARTILLERY DETAILS, AIF, WHO GAINED THE VC AFTER REENLISTING IN THE ROYAL FUSILIERS), STANLEY GIBBS (WHO RECEIVED THE ALBERT MEDAL FROM THE DUKE OF YORK IN SYDNEY), ACTING CORPORAL ISSY SMITH (1ST BATTALION, MANCHESTER REGIMENT), PTE H. DALZIEL, CAPT R.V. MOON, CAPT W.D. JOYNT, PTE G. CARTWRIGHT, PTE W.M. CURREY, PTE J. P. WOODS.

    Accession Number J03076
    • ANZAC Profile for Albert Chalmers Borella 'VC', "MM"
    • Posted by LeonaFranklinnaaVSO, Friday, 19 October 2018

    Albert Chalmers-Borella was a highly awarded veteran of both the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Albert was born in the County of Borung, Victoria, to father Louis Borella, a farmer and Annie, nee Chalmers, both native born Australians. His mother died when he was only 4 years old and in remembrance of her, in 1939 he changed his family name by deed poll to Chalmers-Borella. He was the middle child of that marriage, having both an older and a younger sister. His father remarried and had five more children. His three half-brothers also served in the war and all survived and returned to Australia. Albert was educated at the Borung and Wychitella state schools and then farmed in the Borung and Echuca districts. He spent 18 months with the voluntary regiment, Victorian Rangers, were he learned to shoot, the discipline required for military service and trained for active combat as well as becoming skilled in working with horses. He resigned at his own request before moving to Melbourne, where he gained employment with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade as an engine driver (a very dangerous occupation at that time), he remained in that capacity from April 1910 to January 1913. From here he took up a pastoral lease on the Daly River in the Northern Territory, however, he was forced to abandon this in 1915, due to financial and other difficulties. In 1915 Borella decided to enter the Great War. He had been working as a cook for a survey party (a job he did not enjoy), earning money to pay off his debts. He set off on foot from Tennant Creek, with an Aboriginal man named Charlie, following the Overland Telegraph track. He had to cross flooded rivers in order to reach Renner Springs, from where he borrowed a horse from the mailman and continued his journey by riding 400 kilometres to Katherine. He then hitched a ride in a horse drawn buggy to Pine Creek and continued by train to Darwin. Military authorities were not accepting volunteers from the Northern Territory, so after receiving financial aid from Walter Bell, Borella was able to board the SS Aldenham and proceed to Townsville, where he took the oath and enlisted on 15 March 1915. He had wanted to join the Light Horse (as did everyone) but was taken into the infantry, which was the most dangerous occupation in all of the military. Albert was assigned to ‘B’ Company, 26th Battalion AIF. At the time of his enlistment he appears to have lowered his age by 2 years from 33 to 31. Albert embarked for active service on 25 May 1915, headed for Alexandria and trained in Egypt. He landed at Gallipoli on 12 September and served there until he was sent to the Western Front in November 1916. He was promoted to Corporal on 8 September 1915 and then further promoted to Sergeant on 6 January 1917. The position of Sergeant was of considerable importance. Sergeants were generally the most experienced or capable men within the soldier ranks. Albert was wounded in action at the battle of Pozieres Heights on 29 July 1916, receiving a gunshot wound to his right forearm and multiple shrapnel wounds and was evacuated to the 3rd Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, for 4 months. Albert again received promotion to 2nd Lieutenant on 7 July 1917 and Lieutenant on 28 August 1917 at which time he was sent to England for officer training. On 11 May 1917 he received the Military Medal as a result of action at Malt Trench Warlencourt and was mentioned in despatches on 1 June 1917. When mentioned in despatches, the certificates would have included the names of two famous identities in military history, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig and Winston Churchill, Secretary of State for War, which Albert would have revered highly. In the early months of 1918, the 26th Battalion held the line at Dernancourt and were mainly engaged in patrols and raids. Albert fought at Morlancourt and Hamel, where he earnt his Victoria Cross. He was awarded the V.C. for conspicuous bravery in attack. He shot two German machine gunners with his revolver, then lead an attack on the enemy machine gun emplacement. He and his men were outnumbered 10 to 1 but with ‘his cool determination he inspired his men to resist heroically and the enemy was repulsed with very heavy loss’ (NAA Series Number B2455 page 34). They bombed two dug-outs and took 30 prisoners. Notices appeared in the London Gazette on 16 September 1918 and later in the Australian Gazette No. 23 on 12 February 1919. Albert was presented with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Sandringham Palace. At age 36 he was the oldest recipient within the 1st AIF. He was 1 of only 100 Australians to receive a V.C. and is considered the only Northern Territorian to have earned this honour. Only weeks later Albert returned to Australia on the ‘HMAT Marathon’ and was invalided owing to wounds, illness and very defective teeth. Being considered unfit to return to France till his dentures were perfected, he was deemed medically unfit and his service was officially terminated on 23 February 1919. In addition to the Victoria Cross and Military Medal Albert’s many awards and medals include: 13/8/23 Victory Medal 13/8/23 British war Medal 26/2/21 Star Medal (1914/15) 14/10/20 Certificate for Mention in Despatches 7/10/20 2 Oak Leaves, 1 large and 1 small for Mention in Despatches 1920 to 1939 saw Albert return to farming and he took up a soldier-settlement block near Hamilton Victoria. He ran as the National Party candidate for Dundas in the 1924 Legislative Assembly election and was only narrowly defeated. He married Elsie Jane Love at the Wesley Church Hamilton on 16 August 1928. Together Albert and Elsie had four sons. On 15 October 1939 Albert re-enlisted for WW II at the age of 58. He was appointed Lieutenant in the 12th Garrison Battalion, where he served until 1941, attached to the POW Group at Rushmore. Borella was further promoted to Captain (V81550) on 1 September 1942 and served in the 51st Garrison Company at Myrtleford until he was discharged on 8 May 1945, aged 63. From here he was placed upon the Retired List (VIC). After leaving the military, he moved to Albury NSW and joined the Commonwealth Department of Supply and Shipping as an inspector of dangerous cargo, until finally retiring in 1956. Albert Chalmers-Borella died on 7 February 1968 at the age of 86, being survived by his wife and two of his four sons. He was buried with full military honours in the Presbyterian cemetery, Albury. He has been described as an adventurous soul, but was a humane, quietly spoken and unostentatious man, ever ready to assist a worthy cause. After his military service and as a consequence of that service, he received further tributes and honours. On 13 April 1967, the Imperial League of Australia, Albury Sub-Branch made an application for the Anzac Medal for Captain Albert Chalmers-Borella. Streets in Albury and Canberra are named after him. A street in Albury was re-named Borella Road and a plaque was placed on a nearby memorial in 1977. Another plaque was unveiled in Jingili Northern Territory in 1968. In November 2014, a life-sized bronze statue of Albert was erected at the Peards Complex in Albury. On Anzac Day 2018 the Borella-Jacka Victoria Cross Commemorative Sculpture was unveiled at the Wedderburn's Soldier's Memorial Park in Loddon Shire, Victoria. Members of both the Borella and Jacka families attended the unveiling. The book "Next to Impossible - The Remarkable Life of Albert Chalmers-Borella V.C.", by B. Chalmers, contains a vast amount of historical detail about the 26th Battalion interwoven with Albert's own story. In August 2014, the Northern Territory Government announced that it would commemorate Albert Borella’s service with ‘The Borella Ride’, a re-enactment of aspects of his journey from Tennant Creek to Darwin to enlist. This was an ANZAC Centenary Programmed event. Albert's grandson, Richard Borella took part in the ride to help mark the original journey and to honour his grandfather. Albert Chalmers-Borella’s Victoria Cross is held privately. There is an extensive list of memorials to Albert Borella available to view at http://www.memorialstovalour.co.uk/vc1017.html.