b. 28/09/1869 Melton Mowbray, Australia. d. 14/01/1930 Tranquility, Tasmania, Australia.
John Hutton Bisdee (1869-1930) was born on 28th September 1869, at Hutton Park, Melton Mowbray, Tasmania. He attended the Hutchins School in Hobart before working on his father’s property until enlisting for service in South Africa in April 1900 with the 1st Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen.
In South Africa, Bisdee saw action in both the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, until being wounded and forced to return home. Bisdee returned to South Africa in March 1901 as a lieutenant with the 2nd Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen.
On 1st September 1900, a group of eight Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen including Bisdee, formed an advance scouting party on horseback, under the command of Lieutenant Guy Wylly.
Bisdee and other members of an advance scouting party were ambushed by Boers in a rocky defile. Six of eight men were hit including two officers, Major Brooke and Lieutenant Wylly. Brooke’s horse bolted so Bisdee put the officer on his own horse and, despite being seriously wounded, ran alongside under fire until he too could mount up and get away.
Bisdee was recommended for, and awarded the VC on 13th November 1900, and was presented with his medal by the Governor of Tasmania in 1902 in Hobart. On returning to Tasmania, Bisdee resumed farming at Hutton Park, and on 11 April 1904 married Georgina Theodosia Hale.
In 1906 Bisdee returned to service where he joined the 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Tasmanian Mounted Infantry. By 1910, Bisdee had risen to the rank of Captain. In 1913, he became commanding officer of the 26th Light Horse.
On 26th July 1916, Bisdee joined the AIF and was assigned to the 12th Light Horse and served in Egypt against the Senussi until receiving a wound to the leg. Bisdee served with the 12th Light Horse throughout 1917 and in January 1918 was appointed Assistant Provost Marshal of the ANZAC Day Provost Corps.
He was awarded the OBE in 1919, and returned to farming in Tasmania after the Great War. He died on 14th January 1930 in Tranquility, Tasmania and was buried in St James Churchyard, Tranquility. His medals are held and displayed by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart.
LOCATION OF MEDAL:TASMANIAN MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY, HOBART.
BURIAL PLACE: ST JAMES CHURCHYARD, JERICHO, TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA.
Courtesy of Gordon Traill
Medal display at Tasmanian Museum (Jason Daniels)
Cornelian Bay Crematorium, Hobart (Richard Yielding)