Today I was privileged to unveil a plaque honouring Sgt Percy Statton VC MM, one of Tasmania’s 14 Victoria Cross recipients, at the Repatriation Hospital in Hobart.
Statton, who was born in Beaconsfield, was awarded his Victoria Cross for actions in August 1918 when he led his men across 75 metres of open ground to enemy trenches, storming a number of machine gun positions. He later recovered a wounded member of his party under cover of darkness, bringing him back across no-mans land to safety.
Statton was presented his Victoria Cross at Buckingham Palace by King George V, before returning to Tasmania where he lived in the Derwent Valley, working in the timber industry and becoming a local councillor at Ouse.
As an active member of the community, Statton was recognised for his rescue work during the 1934 Derwent Valley bushfires, before again serving his nation in the volunteer Defence Corp during World War II. He died on 5 December 1959.
The commemorative plaque is located on the Statton Building, part of the Repatriation Hospital in Hobart and was removed during renovation works in the past.
As a result of the Statton family’s efforts, the plaque has been reinstalled, ensuring that the memory of this outstanding Tasmanian is honoured.
A portrait of Sgt Percy Statton VC MM was recently bought at auction in Launceston by the Australian War Memorial, where it will soon hang in the Hall of Valour.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to supporting Tasmania’s veterans and ex-serving community.