Sunshine & Victorian Cross "V.C." Reciptients
In 1887, Walter "Wally" Peeler, was born in Castlemaine, Victoria.
In 1917, he won the "V.C.' for his actions at the Battle of Broodseinde, Belgium.
The citation for his V.C. stated "For most conspicuous bravery when, with a Lewis gun, accompanying the first wave of the assault he encountered an enemy party sniping the advancing troops from a shell hole.
Lance Corporal Peeler immediately rushed the position, and accounted for none of the enemy, and cleared the way for advance. On two subsequent occasions , he performed similar acts of valour, and each time accounted for a number of enemy.
During operations, he was directed to a position from which an enemy machine-gun was being fired on out troops. He located and killed the gunner, and remainder of the enemy ran to a dug-out close by. From this shelter they were dislodged by a bomb, and ten of the enemy ran out. these he disposed of.
This non-commissioned officer actually accounted for thirty of the enemy.
He displayed an absolute fearlessness in making his way ahead of the first wave of the assault, and the fine example which he set ensured the success of the attack against the most determined opposition."
In about 1930, he moved to Sunshine to worked as a machinery assembler for the Sunshine Harvester Factory. He lived just down the road from the factory in Devonshire Rd, Sunshine. In about 1936 Walter moved to live in Caulfield East.
In 1934, he was appointed the inaugural custodian of Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance.
In 1940, he enlisted for the Second World War. In 1942 he was captured by the Japanese and remained a prisoners of war until the end of the war.
When he returned to Australia he took up his old role as the custodian of Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance until he retied in 1964.
In 1968, he passed away in his South Caulfield home.
Lawrence "Laurie" Dominic McCarthy
In 1892, Lawrence "Laurie" Dominic McCarthy, was born in York, Western Australia.
In 1918, he won the "V.C.' for his actions at Madam Wood, east of Vermandovillers, France.
The events leading up to him being awarded the V.C. stated "Lawrence August, McCarthy performed what some regarded as the most effective piece of individual fighting in the history of the AIF.
Leading the 16th Battalion's "D" Company, attained his objectives, but the battalion on their left had been held up by German machine guns.
He and a sergeant attacked the machine-gun posts, capturing 460 metres of German trench and forcing the surrender of between forty and fifty Germans. McCarthy was unscathed, the sergeant wounded."
In 1926, he and his family moved to Victoria and he found work at the Sunshine Harvester Works as a commercial traveler. While he never lived in Sunshine as most of his work was in the Mallee Region he still had an association with a Sunshine Business. He worked for the Sunshine Harvester Works until 1934 when the factory was forced to reduce staff due to the great depression.
In 1975. Lawrence died at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Melbourne.
Sunshine & British Empire Medal Reciptient
Thomas "Tom" O'Brien
Thomas served in the Army as a Staff Sergeant during WW2. He was a Prisoner of War (POW) in Thailand after being captured by the Japanese. Throughout this period he kept a secrete diary of the daily events. After the war this dairy was used by the former POW's to claim back pay. Through this effort he was award the British Empire Medal.