• Joseph Maxwell

Army / Flying Corps
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  • Enlistment - WW1

    Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia

  • Birth

    Sydney, NSW, Australia

Stories and comments
    • A Hero of Heroes - Sydney Morning Herald 12 June 1919
    • Posted by chisholm, Thursday, 19 February 2015

    The following article was published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 12 June 1919.... "Of the 1000 soldiers whose relatives met them at the Anzac Buffet yesterday the most outstanding figure was Lieutenant Joseph Maxwell. V.C., M.C. and Bar, and D.C.M., of the 18th Battalion. Although of only medium height and weight, and now 23 years of age, Lieutenant Maxwell is regarded by his comrades as one of the gamest young fellows that left Australia. They marvel that he is alive and able to wear his decorations. Before the war Lieutenant Maxwell was a boilermaker's apprentice at Messrs. J. and A. Brown's works at Hexham. At the time of his enlistment as a private he was 18 ½ years of age. He left Australia in June, 1915, and after being a short time at Gallipoli, he went to France. He later gained his commission. He is the second eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Maxwell, of 35 Calvert-street, Marrickville. Lieutenant Maxwell's mother was born in Paris of British parents, and, by a coincidence, was in France at the time of the Franco-Prussian War. The particular act of conspicuous bravery which crowned one long series of valorous deeds and earned Lieutenant Maxwell the Victoria Cross was performed on October 3 of last year, whilst he was leading an attack on the Beaurevoir-Fonsomme line, near Estrees, north of St. Quentin. The company commander had been severely wounded early in the advance. Lieutenant Maxwell took charge. The enemy wire was reached under intense fire, and was found to be exceptionally strong, and supported by machine-guns. Lieutenant Maxwell pushed forward single-handed through the wire; he captured the most dangerous gun, killed three of the Germans, and captured four others. He thus enabled his company to penetrate the wire and reach its objective. Later he again pushed forward and silenced single-handed a gun which was holding up a flank company, while subsequently with only two men he attempted the capture of a strong enemy party. The Military Cross was awarded to Lieutenant Maxwell early last year. He displayed great gallantry and initiative in bringing back a patrol and organising it for attack on a party of about 20 Germans. In this operation he routed the enemy. In November, 1917, while a warrant-officer, Lieutenant Maxwell was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He led a platoon forward with great dash. He moved the men forward to clear them of the heavy barrage, and his action undoubtedly saved many lives. Lieutenant Maxwell and two other men once found themselves in a nest of 20 Germans. They were seized and disarmed. Lieutenant Maxwell, however, produced an automatic revolver (concealed in the box of his respirator), shot two of the Germans, and, along with the other two men who had been captured, he escaped. They were pursued by rifle fire. Only one was wounded. Lieutenant Maxwell then organised a small party, and attacked and captured the post. On his return to Marrickville yesterday, Lieutenant Maxwell was cordially welcomed by the Mayor, Alderman Richards, and other aldermen."

    • Joseph MAXWELL Regimental number 607
    • Posted by aussiedigger1, Monday, 16 November 2020

    Joseph MAXWELL Regimental number 607 Place of birth Sydney, New South Wales Religion Church of England Occupation Boilermaker Address 5 Nicholson Street, West Maitland, New South Wales Marital status Single Age at embarkation 19 Height 5' 4.5" Weight 126 lbs Next of kin Mother, Mrs Elizabeth Maxwell, Nicholson Street, West Maitland, New South Wales Previous military service Served for 3 years in the Senior Cadets; 2 years in the Citizen Military Forces. Enlistment date 6 February 1915 Place of enlistment Liverpool, New South Wales Rank on enlistment Private Unit name 18th Battalion, B Company AWM Embarkation Roll number 23/35/1 Embarkation details Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A40 Ceramic on 25 June 1915 Regimental number from Nominal Roll Commissioned Rank from Nominal Roll Lieutenant Unit from Nominal Roll 18th Battalion Recommendations (Medals and Awards) Military Cross Altered to DCM. Recommendation date: 25 September 1917 Fate Returned to Australia 1 May 1919 Medals Distinguished Conduct Medal 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This warrant officer took command of a platoon, and led it forward with great dash. On one of our strong points being heavily barraged, he went forward on his own initiative, and moved the men forward clear of the barrage, during which operations only one casualty was sustained. The action of this warrant officer undoubtedly saved many lives. Throughout the operations he carried out his duties with great skill and was a source of great inspiration by his splendid example.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 95 Date: 27 June 1918 Victoria Cross 'For most conspicuous bravery and leadership in attack on the Beaurevoir-Fonsomme line, near Estrees, north of St. Quentin, on the 3rd October, 1918. His company commander was severely wounded early in the advance and Lieutenant Maxwell at once took charge. The enemy wire when reached under intense fire was found to be exceptionally strong, and closely supported by machine guns, whereupon Lieutenant Maxwell pushed forward single handed through the wire andcaptured the most dangerous gun, killing three and capturing four enemy. He thus enabled his company to penetrate the wire and reach the objective. Later, he again dashed forward and silenced, single handed, a gun which was holding up a flank company. Subsequently, when with two men only he attempted to capture a strong party of the enemy, he handled a most involved situation very skilfully, and it was due to his resource that he and his comrades escaped. Throughout the day Lieutenant Maxwell set a high example of personal bravery, coupled with excellent judgment and quick decision.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61 Date: 23 May 1919 Military Cross 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While in command of a patrol he observed a party of about fifty of the enemy entering a disused trench. He attacked them with bombs and rifle fire, and then assaulted the position and captured a prisoner. He showed splendid initiative and determination.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 165 Date: 24 October 1918 Bar to Military Cross 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in the advance at Rainecourt on 9th August 1918. Within thirty minutes of zero he was the only officer left with his company, but kept his men well in hand, notwithstanding machine gun fire, besides fire from an anti-tank gun and a battery of 77 mm. He was close to a tank which was struck by a shell and set on fire, and, though shaken by the explosion, he rushed to the doors and opened them in time for the crew to escape. He showed a fine example of courage and presence of mind.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 67 Date: 3 June 1919 Other details War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 25 June 1915. Admitted to 5th Field Ambulance; transferred to Hospital Ship, 2 December 1915 (jaundice), and transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 5 December 1915; discharged to Convalescent Camp, Ras el Tin, 11 December 1915; discharged to duty, 5 January 1916. Admitted to Australian Dermatological Hospital, Abbassia, 4 February 1916; discharged to duty, 11 March 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 36 days. Rejoined unit, 14 March 1916. Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 25 April 1916, and admitted to 7th Australian Field Ambulance; transferred to 3rd Canadian General Hospital, 28 April 1916 (non-venereal); transferred to 1st Convalescent Depot, 2 May 1916; discharged to Base Details, 13 May 1916. Found guilty, 13 May 1916, of (1) breaking ranks on 7.30 am parade (2) absent without leave from 8 am until 1 pm, 24 May 1916: reduced to the Ranks. Rejoined unit, 1 June 1916. Admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, 14 October 1916 (synovitis, right knee); rejoined unit, 16 October 1916. Posted for duty with 5th Infantry Training Bn, Rollestone, England, 28 November 1916; appointed to Permanent Cadre, Rollestone, 1 January 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 9 May 1917; rejoined unit, 13 May 1917. Detached to attend No. 6 Officers' Cadet Bn, 5 July 1917; rejoined unit, 11 September 1917. Appointed 2nd Lieutenant, 29 September 1917. Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal, 16 October 1917. Promoted Lieutenant, 1 January 1918. Admitted to 7th Australian field Ambulance, 10 January 1918 (scabies); discharged to unit, 17 January 1918; rejoined unit, 20 January 1918. Awarded Military Cross. On leave to England, 17 July 1918; rejoined unit from leave, 1 August 1918. Awarded Victoria Cross. Awarded Bar to Military Cross. Proceeded to England for investiture, 8 April 1919; rejoined unit in France, 12 March 1919. Marched out to England for return to Australia. Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'China', 1 May 1919; disembarked Melbourne, 8 June 1919, for onward travel to Sydney; discharged, 20 August 1919. Medals: Victoria Cross, Military Cross & Bar, Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal