Late last year, a plaque to commemorate the bravery of Robert Grieve VC (OW1904) during the June 1917 Battle of Messines was unveiled at the St Kilda Road Campus. Located on the wall of the north tower of the main building, the plaque was designed by Dr Ross Bastiaan (OW1968), who is internationally recognised for battlefield and other plaques.

Special guests included Principal Nick Evans (OW1985) Commodore Greg Yorke AM CSC, Chair of the Victorian Veterans Council (VCC) and Michael Lindell (OW1962), a great nephew of Captain Grieve. An identical plaque was installed in the market square in Messines, Belgium in July 2023.

On 9 June 1917, Robert Grieve led the men of ‘A’ Company, 37th Battalion, into their first major action at Messines. He singlehandedly attacked enemy machine guns, holding up the Company’s advance. He was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest military award for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

Due to the generosity of his family, Wesley College became the proud owner of his VC in 1959. For many years, it was on display in Adamson Hall. A few days after Remembrance Day 1989, it survived a fire that swept through the St Kilda Road Campus Library. In 2003, the College loaned the VC to the Shrine of Remembrance, where it is now on display.

The College acknowledges and thanks the VCC for funding the plaque’s manufacture.

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