Blair Anderson Wark VC
(27 July 1894 – 13 June 1941) was an Australian recipient
of the Victoria Cross
, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth
armed forces. A quantity surveyor
and member of the Citizens Military Force, Wark enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force
on 5 August 1915, for service in the First World War
. After initially being employed in the defence of the Suez Canal
, his battalion was shipped to the Western Front
; it was here that Wark would be twice decorated for his bravery and leadership. Having received the Distinguished Service Order
in 1917 for his actions at the Battle of Polygon Wood
, Wark was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1918 for his leadership and gallantry when in temporary command of his battalion over a three-day period, while conducting operations against the Hindenburg Line
Returning to Australia after the war, Wark resumed work as a quantity surveyor and established his own business. A respected member of Australian society, he held several positions and directorships in various companies and charities, before re-enlisting for service in the Second World War. Promoted to lieutenant colonel, Wark assumed command of the 1st Battalion (City of Sydney's Own Regiment), but died suddenly at Puckapunyal Camp, Victoria, of coronary heart disease at the age of 46.
The Hoary-headed Grebe, Poliocephalus poliocephalus, is a member of the grebe family common to New South Wales, and across Australia. The bird takes its name from the silvery-white streaking on its black head.