Keith Elliott VC

Keith Elliott VC

Sergeant Keith Elliott VC in Egypt, 13 October 1942. 

Wairarapa farmer and rugby player Keith Elliott (1916-1989) was awarded a Victoria Cross (VC) for his efforts at Ruweisat Ridge on 15 July 1942. Serving with 22nd Battalion, Elliott was wounded in the chest while leading his platoon in a successful breakout. Under heavy machine-gun and mortar fire he led a bayonet charge across 500 m of open ground, capturing an anti-tank gun, several machine-guns, and 50 prisoners. He then went on to help destroy two more machine-gun positions and capture another 80 prisoners, despite suffering further wounds to his thigh and knee.

Promoted to Second Lieutenant in May 1943, Elliott was sent back to New Zealand soon afterwards as part of a campaign to boost morale at home. After the war Elliott was ordained a minister in the Anglican Church, working for many years in the Wairarapa and Wellington regions.

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Kiwi Scribe

Posted: 30 May 2022

The Rev Keith Elliott VC represented the Bush Rugby Union 1938-39, 1944 and 1953 on 13 occasions while playing one match for the Centurions Club in 1951. (Clive Akers. NZ Rugby Register 1870-2016)
His playing days are recounted in an article in the Counties-Manukau Rugby Union programme Counties v Wairarapa-Bush, Saturday 15th August 1987, entitled "Famous Recalls Representative Days."