Stories of Remembrance

Army, First World War (1914-18)Lieutenant General Sir Vernon Sturdee KBE CB DSO,1st & 2nd Australian Imperial Force

a kindly, humble and simple man who carried out his work with the minimum of fuss.
Sir Sydney Rowell

Sir Vernon Sturdee served Australia in both world wars and is one of our most celebrated soldiers. A veteran of Gallipoli and the Western Front, where he commanded the 5th Field Company, Australian Engineers, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order on 1 January 1917 and was twice mentioned in despatches for his service in the First World War (1914-18).

In the Second World War (1939-45) Sturdee served as the Chief of General Staff and commanded the First Australian Army. On 6 September 1945 he was the senior Allied officer present at the surrender of Japanese Forces in Rabaul in the South West Pacific theatre.

On 1 December 1945 Sturdee was appointed Commander in Chief of the Australian Military Forces, overseeing the demobilisation of the wartime army. He was mentioned in despatches for a third time on 6 March 1947.

His medals are displayed in the Gallery of Medals

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

  • Name Vernon Ashton Hobart Sturdee
  • Service Number NX35000
  • Date of Birth 16 April 1890
  • Place of Birth Frankston, Victoria
  • Date of Enlistment 25 August 1915

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