Arthur Gurney VC
WX9858 Private Arthur Stanley GURNEY
2/48th Australian Infantry Battalion AIF
22nd July 1942 at Tel el Eisa, Egypt
Arthur Stanley GURNEY was born at Day Dawn, on the Murchison Goldfields of Western Australia on 15th December, 1908. He is buried in the El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.
London Gazette: 11th September 1942:"For gallantry and unselfish bravery in silencing enemy machine-gun posts by bayonet assault at Tel el Eisa on 22nd July 1942, thus allowing his Company to continue the advance. During an attack on a strong German position in the early morning of 22nd July 1942, the Company to which Private Gurney belonged, was held up by intense machine-gun fire from posts less than 100 yards ahead, heavy casualties being inflicted on our troops, all the officers being killed or wounded. Grasping the seriousness of the situation and without hesitation, Private Gurney charged the nearest enemy machinegun post, bayoneted three men and silenced the post. He then continued on to a second post, bayoneted two men and sent out a third as a prisoner. At this stage a stick of grenades was thrown at Private Gurney which knocked him to the ground. He rose again, picked up his rifle and charged the third post using the bayonet with great vigour. He then disappeared from view and later his body was found in an enemy post. By this single-handed act of gallantry in the face of a determined enemy, Private Gurney enabled his Company to press forward to its objective, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy. The successful outcome of this engagement was almost entirely due to Private Gurney's heroism at the moment when it was needed."
[Photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial]