Title: Breaking the Road for the Rest
Author: Joynt, Willian Donovan VC
Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 1979
Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 206 pages
Comments: This is the author’s unforgettable story of his experiences in World War I on the Western Front. Gift inscription on the title page.
He was awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery on 23rd August, 1918 in France, while a Lieutenant with the 8th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF.
William Donovan Joynt VC (19th March 1889 – 6th June 1986 (aged 97)), an office worker, farm labourer, soldier, farmer, printer, publisher and author, was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest military award for gallantry in the face of the enemy given to British and Commonwealth forces.
On 23rd August 1918 at Herleville, near Chuignes, Peronne, France, he performed an act of bravery for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Joynt was born at Elsternwick, Melbourne and educated at The Grange Preparatory School and later Melbourne Church of England Grammar School. After working in a number of office jobs in Melbourne, in 1909 he sailed to Rockhampton and worked as a farm labourer in North Queensland, the Victorian Mallee, Western Australia and Flinders Island.
He enlisted in the A.I.F. on 21st May 1915, was commissioned on 24th December 1915, and arrived in France in May 1916. He fought in France until August 1918, where he was commended in divisional orders, shot in the shoulder, and promoted to lieutenant.
On 23rd August 1918, he was 29 years old, and a lieutenant in the 8th (Victorian) Battalion, Australian Imperial Force during the First World War, when the following events occurred.
Lieutenant Joynt took charge when his company commander had been killed. When the leading battalion had been demoralized by heavy casualties, he rushed forward and reorganized the remnants of the battalion. Having discovered that heavy fire on the flanks was causing delay and casualties, he led a frontal bayonet attack on the wood, capturing it and over eighty prisoners, thus saving a critical situation. Later, at Plateau Wood, after severe hand-to-hand fighting, he turned a stubborn defence into an abject surrender.
He was subsequently badly wounded by a shell on 26th August and evacuated to England. He was promoted to captain in October 1918, and posted to AIF Headquarters in London in March 1919. He returned to Melbourne in February 1920, and was discharged on 11th June.