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Lieutenant Alfred Gaby VC

Lieutenant Alfred Gaby VC
Lieutenant Alfred Gaby VC

Date of birth: 25 January 1892
Place of birth: Springfield, near Ringarooma, TAS
Date of death: 11 August 1918
Place of death: Lihons, France
Unit: 28th Battalion, 7th Brigade, 2nd Division
Date of Action: 8 August 1918
Place of Action: Villers-Bretonneux, France

Alfred Gaby was born on 25 January 1892 at Springfield near Scottsdale. He attended school at Scottsdale until leaving to work on his family farm. Gaby joined the 12th Infantry Regiment where he served for three years with the militia while still working for his father. Gaby has seen his brothers go to the Boer War.

Gaby enlisted in January 1916 and was posted to the 10th reinforcements to the 26th Battalion. Because of his previous military experience, he was rapidly promoted. He became a sergeant in December 1916, a second lieutenant in April 1917 and lieutenant in September 1917. In October 1917 Gaby was gassed in action.

By August 1918, Gaby, was involved in the Battle of Amiens. Early in the morning on 8 August, 2000 guns opened fire, commencing the decisive battle.  This same day Gaby was in command of a company. He moved his unit to the east of Villers-Bretonneux towards Card Copse, where unbroken wire entanglements were encountered. Heavy fire from Germans covering a gap in the wire pinned down the Australians. Gaby found a gap in the wire and single-handedly, approached an enemy strong point while machine gun and rifle fire poured from it. He ran along the parapet, emptied his revolver into the garrison, drove the crews from their machine guns and forced 50 of the enemy to surrender. This resulted in the capture of four machine guns. He then reorganised his company and consolidated the objective. It was these action that saw Gaby receive a Victoria Cross.

Three days later, while leading his company alone his line of posts under heavy rifle and machine gun fire, Gaby was shot by a sniper and killed instantly.