- Charles Groves Wright Anderson
Member of the Australian Parliament
10 December 1949 – 28 April 1951
Preceded by Arthur Fuller Succeeded by Arthur Fuller In office
10 December 1955 – 9 December 1961
Preceded by Arthur Fuller Succeeded by Arthur Fuller Personal details Born 12 February 1897
Cape Town, South Africa
Died 11 November 1988(aged 91)
Red Hill, ACT
Nationality South African Australian Political party Australian Country Party Occupation Farmer, Soldier, Politician Military service Allegiance British Empire Service/branch Kenya Defence Force
Years of service 1914–1919
Rank Lieutenant Colonel Commands 2/19th Battalion Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Victoria Cross
Charles Groves Wright Anderson VC, MC (12 February 1897 – 11 November 1988) was a South African-born, Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, a member of the Australian House of Representatives, and a farmer.
Born of Scottish parents in Cape Town, South Africa, Anderson was educated in Nairobi, Kenya and Brendon College, England. On 13 October 1916, Anderson was commissioned as a lieutenant in the King's African Rifles. He fought with that regiment's 3rd Battalion in the East African campaign against German colonial forces, such as Askari soldiers. Anderson was awarded the Military Cross for his service in this campaign.
Following the war, Anderson lived the life of a gentleman farmer in Kenya, marrying Edith Tout, an Australian in February 1931. Three years later the couple moved to Australia where they purchased a grazing property near Young, New South Wales. He joined the Citizens Military Forces in March 1939 and following the outbreak of the Second World War, Anderson joined the Second Australian Imperial Force.
Second World War
Anderson was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assigned to the 2/19th Battalion, part of the Australian 8th Division, deployed to Malaya in 1941.
During the period of 18–22 January 1942 in the Battle of Muar near the Muar River in British Malaya, the forty four year-old Anderson was in command of a small force which destroyed ten enemy tanks. When they were later cut off, Anderson led his force through fifteen miles (24 km) of enemy-occupied territory, being attacked by air and ground forces all the way. They were again surrounded and suffered heavy casualties; although the detachment attempted to fight its way through another eight miles (13 km) of enemy-occupied territory, this proved impossible, and Anderson had to destroy his equipment and attempted to work his way around the enemy. However he insisted on protecting the wounded from his unit and refused to leave them. For these actions, Anderson was awarded the highest and most prestigious decoration for gallantry in the face of the enemy that could be awarded to British Commonwealth forces.
His V.C citation, as listed in the London gazette, 13 February 1942, states: for setting a magnificent example of brave leadership, determination and outstanding courage. He not ony showed fighting qualities of very high order but throughout exposed himself to danger without any regard for his own personal safety
Anderson was captured and became a prisoner of war for three years (1942–1945). He was the chief staff officer under Brigadier Arthur Varley of the 22nd Brigade in A Force - the first contingent of voluntary POWs at Changi POW camp to avail themselves of a Japanese "offer" to move to a new location where they were told there would be abundant food and a healthy climate. In reality the group of 3,000 were shipped to Burma and were used as slave labour to build the 415 km railway link between Nong Pladuk in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Burma.
His appointment in the army was terminated on 21 December 1945 and he returned to his property in New South Wales.
Charles Anderson entered politics in 1949, winning the Division of Hume as a representative of the Country Party with an 18.8% swing. He lost his House of Representatives seat in the 1951 federal election, unsuccessfully stood for Hume at the 1954 election before regaining the seat in 1955, and remaining in parliament until his defeat at the 1961 election. While in parliament Anderson served as a member of the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory.
Honours & Awards
- ^ a b c d Thompson, Peter (2008) Pacific Fury, William Heinemann, Sydney p227
- ^ a b c d e f g "Lieutenant Colonel Charles Groves Wright Anderson, VC, MC". Who’s who in Australian Military History. Australian War Memorial. http://www.awm.gov.au/people/8219.asp. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- ^ 'Anderson, Charles Groves Wright (1897 - 1985)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, Melbourne University Press, pp 16-18.
- ^ "Lieutenant Colonel Charles Groves Wright Anderson, VC, MC". Australian Military Units. Australian War Memorial. http://www.awm.gov.au/people/timeLine_8219.asp. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- ^ "VC burials in Australia". victoriacross.org. http://www.victoriacross.org.uk/ggaustra.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- ^ "Australian War Memorial". victoriacross.org. Archived from the original on 2007-07-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20070716095534/http://www.victoriacross.org.uk/ddausawm.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- Charles Groves Wright Anderson VC, 1942, www.thevictoriacross.net
- C W G Anderson VC, 1949, portrait, nla.gov.au (Catalogue entry)
- ART31764 - Lieutenant Colonel Charles Anderson, painting by John Barclay Godson, 1956, Australian War Memorial
- Charles Anderson, Fifty Australians, Australian War Memorial
Parliament of Australia Preceded by
Member for Hume
Member for Hume
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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