Stories of Remembrance

Army, First World War (1914-18)Captain Robert Grieve VC,Australian Imperial Force

The momentous event closed with the playing and singing of the National Anthem and by a rearguard action I dodged all the camera fiends.
Robert Grieve describing VC presentation

Robert Grieve was the son of John Grieve, clerk and later warehouseman, and his wife Annie Deas, née Brown, both Victorian-born. Grieve was educated at Caulfield Grammar School and Wesley College, and became an interstate commercial traveller in the softgoods trade before enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force in 1916.

Captain Robert Grieve received the Victoria Cross, for his bravery at Messines, Belgium on 7 June 1917. He was serving with the 37th Battaltion (Victoria), 10th Brigade, 3rd Division of the Australian Imperial Force. His citation reads:

...Captain Grieve located two hostile machine-guns which were holding up his advance. Under continuous heavy fire from the two guns, he succeeded in bombing and killing the two gun crews, then reorganized the remnants of his own company and gained his original objective. Captain Grieve set a splendid example and when he finally fell, wounded, the position had been secured...

A conscientious officer, Grieve was respected by his men for his quiet, understanding style of command. His VC is unusual in that it was conferred on the recommendation of his men. His fellow officers, none of whom had witnessed his feat, had been killed or injured.

Grieve was repatriated to Australia in 1918 and died in Melbourne on 4 October 1957. His family later donated his VC to his old school, Wesley College.

… your uncle as cold as a frog – I was that cold that a tear started to roll down my right cheek, … Well I had quite a yarn with “ his nibs” and then on went the bit of old cannon a shake of the hand and I returned also to my seat. The momentous event closed with the playing and singing of the National Anthem and by a rearguard action I dodged all the camera fiends …

Letter from Robert Grieve to his nephew describing the moment that he was presented his Victoria Cross by King George V, date unknown. 

This Story of Remembrance was compiled through the research of the Exhibitions and Collections team at the Shrine of Remembrance.

  • Name Robert Cuthbert Grieve
  • Date of Birth 19 June 1889
  • Place of Birth Brighton, Victoria
  • Date of Enlistment 23 February 1916
  • Date of Death 04 October 1957
  • Place of Death Melbourne, Victoria

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