Arrival of Pte. J. Ryan V.C. 28 October 1919 The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser
There was a scene of remarkable enthusiasm at the wharf in Sydney when Private J. Ryan, V.C, of Tumut, N.S.W. was carried down the gangway shoulder high by his mates.
He was immediately rushed by a cheering crowd of Diggers, V.A,D. girls and others, who showered congratulation on him while press photographers struggled to get snaps of the modest hero.
The Premier, Mr. Holman, who had come away from an all-night sitting without waiting for any rest, to be among the party to welcome Private Ryan, finally rescued him from the crowd and motored him to Anzac Buffet. Here the V.C's. mother was waiting to receive him, also his brother, Trpr. Ryan, of the 6th Light Horse, who served through the Palestine campaign.
Private Ryan is 30 years of age, and before enlisting was employed by the Railway Department. He declined to discuss the exploit that brought him fame, except to state that it was in the affair of the sunken canal at Bullecourt, one of the bloodiest episodes of the war.
Great dash and willingness in an attack on the Hiudenburg defences on Sept. 30, 1918, won Pte. Ryan his V.C. He was one of the first to reach the foe's trenches, and although the fire was intense, and the position risky, he moved with a daring that inspired his brother diggers, and resulted in the capture of the trench.
An enemy counter-attack, supported by a bombing party at the rear, came at short notice, and things did not look particularly bright for the Aussies. But Pte. Ryan knew how to organise.
He gathered the men about him, and went forward again, armed with bayonet, bomb, and a good supply of courage - to reach the position with only three comrades.
But this small firing party was not to be beaten. The first three Germans on the enemy flank went down in no time, victims to skilful bayonet work, and Pte. Ryan then attacked the remainder single handed, and although he was wounded in the conflict, succeeded in forcing the enemy back.
Pte. Ryan enlisted at Wagga in the 55th (N.S.W.) Batt., on Dec. 1, 1915, and was one of the "Kangaroos" - the draft which marched from Wagga to Sydney.