St Patrick’s students learn of fight for Victoria Cross for Teddy Sheean | The Advocate | #students | #parents


The story of Ordinary Seaman Edward Teddy Sheean is inspiring Latrobe’s next generation with St Patrick’s Catholic School students learning more about his sacrifice and the fight to see him recognised with a Victoria Cross. Teddy, a former St Patrick’s student, we was 18 years old when he died onboard HMAS Armidale in 1942 when he jumped on an Oerlikon gun to fire at Japanese aircraft to defend his shipmates as the ship sunk. Teddy’s nephew Garry Ivory and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Guy Barnett shared the story of their successful fight for a Victoria Cross for Teddy on Friday at their first school visit since the decision was made. Mr Ivory said with Teddy being Tasmania’s 15th Victoria Cross recipient, the first from the Navy and the 101st Australian to earn the medal it was important to him that he continued to engage with local schools. “We have been doing school around Anzac Day for a while… and we wanted to come back to Teddy’s school,” he said. The pair fielded questions from students and met with five students who are related to Sheean. Mr Ivory’s fight for Teddy spanned for 32 years and he shared with the students the importance of standing up for what they believed in. IN OTHER NEWS: “The kids are so interested and enthusiastic to learn more about Teddy and his history,” he said. “The Navy are still celebrating like we are. It was worthwhile. We have had a lot of support across Tasmania. I was never going to stop.” School captain Matilda Hayes is a distant relative of Teddy and she had the opportunity to learn more about him during a visit to the Australian War Memorial. She said the visit from Mr Ivory and Mr Barnett was a great opportunity to learn more about their fight for recognition and for her classmates, like fellow captain Lachlan Wallace, who didn’t know the details of his story. “I didn’t really know that much about Teddy Sheean before, but now I know a lot more and see why he really deserved the Victoria Cross,” he said. “It is pretty awesome that he was here once and he came to this school and it is pretty amazing that they stayed positive and kept fighting for that long.” Mr Ivory said he appreciated that the students recognised the significance of Sheean walk at Latrobe and how special it was to have a statue being offered. “Teddy was the youngest in his family and the only one that didn’t come home,” he said. “There is a long history and heritage of service to their community and particularly in wartime.” While you’re with us, did you know that you can now sign up to receive breaking news updates and daily headlines direct to your inbox? Sign up here.

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