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Donation of Victory Medal of Lone Pine posthumous VC recipient

Donation of Victory Medal of Lone Pine posthumous VC recipient

Well this is an exciting
and very important day not only for Australia
but also for the people of Euroa and for the Burton family themselves. The Victoria Cross was awarded
to Alexander Stewart Burton on the 9th of April, 1915, for an act of extraordinary
courage and bravery. Along with Tubbs and Dunstan
he was given this Victoria Cross for extraordinary courage…
in the battle of Lone Pine… where the Turks were involved
in a very serious counter-attack and over the years, the Victoria Cross,
I understand from the Burton family was in a drawer of the family shop
in Euroa and then recently, a few years ago, Mr Baker,
a remarkable Australian, generosity of spirit
and also with a curious mind, having bought the Victory Medal,
which quite rightly was also awarded posthumously to Mr Burton, he then traced down
the origins of this medal and was able to find
the Burton family in Euroa and here today we are very privileged
at the Australian War Memorial to bring back into the Hall of Valour,
alongside Alexander Stewart Burton’s Victoria Cross, the Victory Medal. This is a remarkably important find.  It is the kind of thing we encourage
all Australians to be thinking about particularly as we come up to the Centenary
of the First World War and I’m sure that the Burton family,
I’m certainly sure that Mr Baker, would agree if you’re watching this,
if you’re reading about this,  then go and have a look in your attic,
have a look in that old box or those drawers, where your
great-great uncles or great-grandfather’s memorabilia
from the First World War might be, or look in your mantlepiece
or your display cabinet and that medal that you have, 
or some other piece of military memorabilia may be of immense interest to and
importance to our country, Australia.  At the Australian War Memorial
we have many experts,  we have great expertise, that can help you
find your history and that medal that you have, that you put out
in a garage sale, for goodness sake, might actually have immense value
not just monetary value but more importantly historical,
heritage value in terms of the pride we have in our nation
and those men and women, who gave us this legacy. Increasingly, what is happening
we are having young Australians, who are proud of and interested
in our military history but who don’t understand what they’ve
inherited from their families, bringing stuff in or it’s turning up
on Ebay or garage sales or some form of moving it on, who don’t
realise just how important  what they have is to us as Australians. So Mr Baker, he’s obviously
a very special man because he got the Victory Medal
and then he worked very hard, a bit of a kind of a bit of a
curiosity doing some research to find out, well who
does it come from, who did it belong to
and who was it awarded to?  This is a very important thing
because what it means now that not only the Burton family
themselves, and Burton’s descendants  are able to come to the Australian
War Memorial and see this medal exhibited with his Victoria Cross
but so too can all Australians. And whenever you give something
to the Australian War Memorial, you know it’s going to be kept safely
and proudly for ever and if you ever want to come and see it or your family
or members of the public want to come and see it you can at any time you want. And the other thing
I just say to Australians  is for the Centenary
of the First World War,  we will be building a travelling
exhibition, which will travel throughout many parts of Australia
and one of the things we are looking at is a kind of an Antique Roadshow
so get your stuff ready because in a couple of years
we’ll be coming to you.

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