Alfred Hulme VC

Dunedin-born Alfred Hulme (1911–1982) was awarded a Victoria Cross for a series of heroic acts on Crete. A sergeant with 23rd Battalion, he led a series of counter-attacks against German paratroops around Maleme airfield on 20–21 May 1941. Four days later he played a prominent part in the New Zealand counter-attack at Galatas, clearing a dangerous German position with hand grenades.

After hearing that his younger brother (also serving on Crete) had been killed, Hulme began hunting down German snipers, either alone or with small groups of New Zealanders. On occasions he disguised himself as a German to get close to his targets. Hulme was ruthlessly efficient – he is believed to have killed more than 30 enemy snipers before being seriously wounded on 28 May while stalking yet another.

Sent back to New Zealand, Hulme was discharged from the army as medically unfit in February 1942. After the war, he settled near Te Puke. One of his sons, Denny Hulme, became one of New Zealand’s most successful motor-racing drivers. In 1967 he became the only New Zealander to have won the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.

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