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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 80


Mr DRUM (MurrayNationals Whip) (10:20): On Saturday, 1 September I had the privilege of attending the official commemoration service for Private Robert Mactier VC at the Robert Mactier VC Memorial Garden in Tatura. It was a service for the unveiling of a statue to recognise the 100th anniversary of Robert Mactier's being awarded the VC posthumously for outstanding bravery on the battlefield during World War I. Robert Mactier was born in Tatura in May 1890. He was the seventh of 10 children, went to school locally and later worked on his father's property. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Seymour on 1 March 1917. During the battle of Mont St Quentin on 1 September 1918, Mactier was a battalion runner with the 23rd Battalion. He was sent forward by an officer to determine the cause of a delay in his battalion's moving forward. The cause was a well-placed enemy machine gun. On his own initiative, Mactier jumped out of the trench and charged the gun, killing its crew of six. He then charged two other machine guns, killing their crews and causing at least 40 enemy to surrender. He was later killed by fire from a fourth machine gun, but not before enabling his battalion to form up and saving many of their lives. He was truly a courageous man. I'd like to thank the president of the RSL from Tatura's subbranch, Mr Mark Sommers, and also the secretary, Glenda McLeod, and Tatura RSL members for inviting me to that commemoration of the Robert Mactier statue. It will be a very proud addition to Tatura's gardens.

The electorate of Murray boasts seven Victoria Cross recipients. We have three from Euroa: Leslie Maygar, Frederick Tubb and Alex Burton. The only Australian airman to receive the VC in World War I, Frank McNamara, was from Rushworth. There were two VCs from Wedderburn: Albert Jacka and Albert Chalmers Borella. Both have a memorial in their name. Shepparton honours Sir Murray Bourchier. He was a local war hero who played a leading role in the light horse charge at the Battle of Beersheba. His battalion is very well known as Bourchier's Force. There is a committee within the Shepparton community, run by the Hon. Jeanette Powell and Peter McPhee, who are working to try and create a bust of Sir Murray Bourchier and his horse that is similar to the one Tatura is now able to boast for Robert Mactier. Hopefully, the state government and federal government can get behind this project and deliver a fitting memorial for Sir Murray Bourchier.