No-one will ever know what made him do it. Teddy Sheean was part of the evacuation of his warship, the corvette Armidale sinking fast while around it swarmed Japanese aircraft, shooting with abandon. Teddy turned back to his gun, an Oerlikon 20mm anti-aircraft cannon with a broad leather strap to secure the gunner. He began firing...a courageous Tasmanian was determined to do his best to save his mates and his ship.
No member of the Royal Australian Navy has ever been awarded a Victoria Cross. Of the 100 so far given to Australians, 96 are to the Army and four to the Royal Australian Air Force.
It was not from lack of bravery that this unjust situation has arisen.
It derives from substantial unfairness. In World War I and II, the RAN had to apply through Britain’s class-bound Royal Navy for any such award to be made.
This book focuses on a naval sailor who should have received a VC.
Honour Denied – Teddy Sheean, a Tasmanian Hero, also:
- Reveals the secret engagement Teddy Sheean kept concealed from his family
- Lists for the first time the full list of Dutch soldiers who died when HMAS Armidale was sunk in 1942
- Compares the bravery of Sheean to two other Australian naval heroes – who should also have been decorated with the Victoria Cross
- Reveals the reverse of what other writers have suggested: the Royal Australian Navy was proud of Armidale and her fight, and did not cover up her loss
Hour Denied Book Review by Dr Peter Williams
Robert Cox review in the Hobart Mercury, 27 February 2017
John Baxter review in Aerogram, December 2016
Ross Gillett review in Australian Warship, Issue 93, August 2016