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Victoria Cross recipients protected for generations to come

Apr 23, 2018
  • McGowan Government formalises protection of Victoria Cross war graves and memorials
  • Agreements with the Shire of Esperance and Metropolitan Cemeteries Board coincide with the 103rd anniversary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli in World War I
  • Currently nine Victoria Cross recipients commemorated in WA 

The State Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding today, fulfilling a pledge to protect the graves and memorials of Victoria Cross (VC) recipients commemorated in Western Australian cemeteries.

The agreements will ensure the future preservation of VC graves and memorials while safeguarding the rights of the families to honour their loved ones as they wish.

Local Government Minister David Templeman signed the MOU with the Shire of Esperance in the presence of the family members of the late Tom Starcevich VC, who was commemorated at the Esperance Lawn Cemetery in 1989.

Tom was awarded the VC during the Borneo campaign of the Second World War for single-handedly capturing four Japanese machine gun positions on June 28, 1945. Complete disregard for his own safety played a significant part in the success of his decisive action.

The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour to members of the Australian Defence Force.

It is awarded to a person who, in the presence of the enemy, displays the most conspicuous gallantry, or daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty.

Mr Templeman has already signed a similar Memorandum of Understanding with the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board to protect the graves and memorials of the remainder of WA's VC recipients - commemorated at the Karrakatta and Fremantle cemeteries.

Comments attributed to Local Government Minister David Templeman:

"The McGowan Government believes the significance of this award and the great achievements of those awarded the VC, warrants protection and retention.

"By preserving these war graves and memorials, we demonstrate our collective respect for the contributions, sacrifice and heroic achievements of VC recipients, and we also help to ensure that their individual stories are shared with the community for generations to come."

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