Teddy Sheean will be awarded Victoria Cross

Prime Minister Scott Morrison today announced that Ordinary Seaman Teddy Sheean will be awarded the Victoria Cross, reversing his earlier position.

FILE IMAGE: Ordinary Seaman Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean and a painting depicting his final heroic action. Courtesy Royal Australian Navy.

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“The Australian government recognises the extraordinary service, dedication and sacrifice of Ordinary Seaman Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean and I have written to the Governor-General requesting he seek the approval of Her Majesty The Queen to posthumously award a Victoria Cross for Australia,” Prime Minister Morrison said.

“Our view and policy has always been that consideration of the awarding of a retrospective Victoria Cross would only occur in light of compelling new evidence or if there was evidence of significant maladministration.

“There was a clear conflict of advice between the 2013 Inquiry into Unresolved Recognition for Past Acts of Naval and Military Gallantry and Valour (the Valour Inquiry) and the 2019 review of the Defence Honours and Awards Appeal Tribunal as to whether the case of Teddy Sheean met those standards.

“There were further differences of opinion in the interpretation of what was contained in those reports.

“This conflict prevented a clear recommendation from being made and needed to be resolved before proceeding further.

“That’s why I commissioned an expert panel to provide further advice on the subject.

“The panel has identified maladministration in the consideration of Teddy Sheean’s actions, as well as compelling new evidence that his previously awarded Mention in Dispatches should be replaced with a Victoria Cross.

“Overturning a decision relating to a Victoria Cross nearly 80 years later requires compelling reasons.

“The panel has articulated those reasons clearly.

“This is an exceptional case for an exceptional Australian.”

The panel found that:

  • Teddy Sheean was done a substantial injustice in consideration of his actions in the original decision-making period of 1942-45, constituting maladministration;
  • On the basis of all the evidence now available, higher recognition for Teddy Sheean is supported;
  • Teddy Sheean’s courageous sacrifice of his life to save his shipmates meets the eligibility criteria for a Victoria Cross for Australia; and,
  •  the highest level of recognition should be accorded in this exceptional case.

Prime Minister Morrison said the report was also testament to the dedication of Teddy’s family and friends, as well as Tasmanian Veterans’ Affairs Minister Guy Barnett and Member for Braddon and ex-serviceman Gavin Pearce to ensure that Teddy received the recognition he deserved.

Senator Jacqui Lambie also conducted a vociferous campaign recently.

“The frustration they have felt at times should not be underestimated but it is the government’s duty to uphold the highest evidentiary standards for the awarding of a Victoria Cross,” Prime Minister Morrison said.

“We are pleased this process has provided an avenue for their efforts to be validated and rewarded.

“The government thanks the expert panel for their detailed work in preparing their report and recommendations, particularly the efforts of panel’s chair Dr Brendan Nelson.”

The panel’s report can be found at Historic Victoria Cross Report of the Expert Panel

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EDITOR’S NOTEToday’s announcement will be a considerable embarrassment to the current Chief of Navy who was the number one objector in last year’s hearings.

So too for Defence generally, after it issued a strong endorsement of the PM’s earlier rejection of the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal findings.

We eagerly await their humble pie 😉

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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

One thought on “Teddy Sheean will be awarded Victoria Cross

  • 26/02/2023 at 7:58 pm
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    Teddy Sheean, and his severely well overdue, recognition for one of Australia’s most incredible recorded acts of gallantry during the Pacific in WW2.

    I am incredibly proud of what our grandfathers had to endure during WW2 and their fathers back in WW1. As I am a proud son of ANZACs! As would be the majority of people who have joined the ADF over the last several decades after WW2, Korea, and Vietnam, Iraq and now Afghanistan.

    So what disturbs me about this battle for significant recognition and the highest honour which can be bestowed onto an Australian who serves in a war zone. As these should concern a lot of Australians, as there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of issues to choose from – Such as isn’t the time it’s taken, nor the numerous enquiries, and money spent to get to different conclusions, and political interference to prevent any further decisions which could possible change the outcome to a positive outcome for Teddy and his surviving family.

    Besides all the above mentioned serious concerns there is one which disturbs me greatly more so than any other (which others in Australian are glancing over and forgetting) is the current Chief of Defence Force (CDF) Angus Campbell’s opinion and his continued stance, against the matter.

    A written letter to ScoMo from Angus said ” Chief of the Defence Force Angus Campbell has written to both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister of Defence Personnel Darren Chester to “strongly advise” them not to seek the honour for Teddy Sheean.” and then further down said this “Defence Honours and Awards staff have advised me that a decision in favour of Ordinary Seaman Sheean would be unprecedented for both Australia and the broader Commonwealth,”

    What is interesting is the wording the Prime Minister says about this case which was raised on 10JUN2020 and this quote… “Our view and policy has always been that consideration of the awarding of a retrospective Victoria Cross would only occur in light of compelling new evidence or if there was evidence of significant maladministration”.

    Dr Brendan Nelson, speaks quite clearly about how there was evidence of significant maladministration, but also compelling new evidence from Japan which recorded the same witness accounts.

    It should be obvious to most, the current CDF (Angus Campbell) isn’t a fan of those Enlisted Ranks at all, regardless from what service they represent or the time period they served in (past or present) no matter what they did or didn’t do.  Given his stance and disdain for death symbols within the Army (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-28/death-symbol-ban-not-political-correctness/9696674) – For fuck sake champ, you wear a fucking bayonet badge on your uniform you moron?! (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5645131/War-veteran-slams-Armys-call-ban-death-symbols-scathing-open-letter-incoming-army-chief.html)

    The CDF is not really concerned about a relationship with the queen nor the commonwealth, all Australia at all?

    What the CDF is really concerned about is the significant amount of evidence ADF Officers failed in their duty to correctly report incidents which were witnessed by others and then being covered up, ignored and downplayed / swept under the carpet, so as not to have the actual troops out shine too many officers. As it will no doubt prove the majority of ADF officers did purposely omit important facts which their troops had achieved during both war like, and non war like operations – Thus showing evidence of significant maladministration.

    This could, and it should, open the floodgates for others to appeal previous decisions made by so-called “superiors” within the ranks who hold the rank of officer?

    It should be a warning to all those who are given the honour and responsibility to command troops, regardless of the rank – The team matters, not the individual who leads the team.

    Reply

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