The AIF Project

Joseph MAXWELL

Regimental number607
Place of birthSydney, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationBoilermaker
Address5 Nicholson Street, West Maitland, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 4.5"
Weight126 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Elizabeth Maxwell, Nicholson Street, West Maitland, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in the Senior Cadets; 2 years in the Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date6 February 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name18th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/35/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A40 Ceramic on 25 June 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll18th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Cross


Altered to DCM.
Recommendation date: 25 September 1917

FateReturned to Australia 1 May 1919
Medals

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This warrant officer took command of a platoon, and led it forward with great dash. On one of our strong points being heavily barraged, he went forward on his own initiative, and moved the men forward clear of the barrage, during which operations only one casualty was sustained. The action of this warrant officer undoubtedly saved many lives. Throughout the operations he carried out his duties with great skill and was a source of great inspiration by his splendid example.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 95
Date: 27 June 1918

Victoria Cross

'For most conspicuous bravery and leadership in attack on the Beaurevoir-Fonsomme line, near Estrees, north of St. Quentin, on the 3rd October, 1918. His company commander was severely wounded early in the advance and Lieutenant Maxwell at once took charge. The enemy wire when reached under intense fire was found to be exceptionally strong, and closely supported by machine guns, whereupon Lieutenant Maxwell pushed forward single handed through the wire andcaptured the most dangerous gun, killing three and capturing four enemy. He thus enabled his company to penetrate the wire and reach the objective. Later, he again dashed forward and silenced, single handed, a gun which was holding up a flank company. Subsequently, when with two men only he attempted to capture a strong party of the enemy, he handled a most involved situation very skilfully, and it was due to his resource that he and his comrades escaped. Throughout the day Lieutenant Maxwell set a high example of personal bravery, coupled with excellent judgment and quick decision.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61
Date: 23 May 1919

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While in command of a patrol he observed a party of about fifty of the enemy entering a disused trench. He attacked them with bombs and rifle fire, and then assaulted the position and captured a prisoner. He showed splendid initiative and determination.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 165
Date: 24 October 1918

Bar to Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in the advance at Rainecourt on 9th August 1918. Within thirty minutes of zero he was the only officer left with his company, but kept his men well in hand, notwithstanding machine gun fire, besides fire from an anti-tank gun and a battery of 77 mm. He was close to a tank which was struck by a shell and set on fire, and, though shaken by the explosion, he rushed to the doors and opened them in time for the crew to escape. He showed a fine example of courage and presence of mind.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 67
Date: 3 June 1919

Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 25 June 1915.

Admitted to 5th Field Ambulance; transferred to Hospital Ship, 2 December 1915 (jaundice), and transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 5 December 1915; discharged to Convalescent Camp, Ras el Tin, 11 December 1915; discharged to duty, 5 January 1916.

Admitted to Australian Dermatological Hospital, Abbassia, 4 February 1916; discharged to duty, 11 March 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 36 days. Rejoined unit, 14 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 25 April 1916, and admitted to 7th Australian Field Ambulance; transferred to 3rd Canadian General Hospital, 28 April 1916 (non-venereal); transferred to 1st Convalescent Depot, 2 May 1916; discharged to Base Details, 13 May 1916.

Found guilty, 13 May 1916, of (1) breaking ranks on 7.30 am parade (2) absent without leave from 8 am until 1 pm, 24 May 1916: reduced to the Ranks. Rejoined unit, 1 June 1916.

Admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, 14 October 1916 (synovitis, right knee); rejoined unit, 16 October 1916.

Posted for duty with 5th Infantry Training Bn, Rollestone, England, 28 November 1916; appointed to Permanent Cadre, Rollestone, 1 January 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 9 May 1917; rejoined unit, 13 May 1917.

Detached to attend No. 6 Officers' Cadet Bn, 5 July 1917; rejoined unit, 11 September 1917.

Appointed 2nd Lieutenant, 29 September 1917.

Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal, 16 October 1917.

Promoted Lieutenant, 1 January 1918.

Admitted to 7th Australian field Ambulance, 10 January 1918 (scabies); discharged to unit, 17 January 1918; rejoined unit, 20 January 1918.

Awarded Military Cross.

On leave to England, 17 July 1918; rejoined unit from leave, 1 August 1918.

Awarded Victoria Cross.

Awarded Bar to Military Cross.

Proceeded to England for investiture, 8 April 1919; rejoined unit in France, 12 March 1919.

Marched out to England for return to Australia.

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'China', 1 May 1919; disembarked Melbourne, 8 June 1919, for onward travel to Sydney; discharged, 20 August 1919.

Medals: Victoria Cross, Military Cross & Bar, Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal