WAR HERO REMEMBERED: Crowds mill around in front of the bronze statue of Myrtleford's Alby Lowerson after its official unveiling on April 23, 2015.
“It’s often been said that anyone who wins a Victoria Cross is either crazy or exceptionally brave and I think it’s somewhere in between.”
Monday, April 23, marks three years since the Myrtleford community unveiled a statue to the town’s World War I hero, Sergeant Albert (Alby) David Lowerson.
In September it will be 100 years since Lowerson led a small group of soldiers in storming a German strong point, the action that earned him a Victoria Cross, Australia’s highest military honour.
Myrtleford RSL secretary Bryan Meehan said the community raised $140,000 to create a lasting memorial.
“Initially it was met with a certain amount of scepticism that we’d never ever do it, but once we started to get the ball rolling, we got a bit of momentum going and people responded in such wonderful ways,” he said.
A model working with sculptor Lis Johnson at the time influenced the statue’s active pose.
“All of a sudden, for whatever reason, the model took his hand back and when we asked him why he had done that, he said that he felt from his reading of Albert Lowerson that he was in fact beckoning his men to follow him into battle,” Mr Meehan said.
“Which is in fact what he did, he and seven other soldiers rushed forward and took 12 machine gun posts.
“Even today, every time I go past it, it captures me immediately, I think, gosh, that’s a magnificent representation of what he’d been doing.”
Wounded several times during his service, Lowerson returned to Myrtleford after the war and died in 1945, aged 49.
“He never complained, he just got on with the job,” Mr Meehan said.