Victoria Cross recipient honoured in lasting tribute

Lieutenant Albert Borella, a Victoria Cross recipient during the First World War, has been commemorated with a recently opened Hume Highway rest area named in his honour at Murlo in NSW.

Lieutenant Borella served in both World Wars. He was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery in 1917 and was mentioned in despatches for his devotion to duty.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said Lieutenant Borella was awarded Australia's highest award for acts of bravery in wartime, the Victoria Cross, for his bravery in 1918, leading a platoon in an attack to straighten the frontline beyond Villers-Bretonneux.

“While ahead of his troops, Lieutenant Borella single-handedly captured a machine gun. After clearing a trench and dug outs, he then inspired his men to hold out during heavy enemy counter-attacks. Borella is an example of why we hold our service personnel in such high regard. This action, along with earlier actions, shows a profound commitment to defending our nation,” Mr McCormack said.

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads, Maritime and Transport Kevin Anderson said an official dedication was held today as part of the NSW Centenary of Anzac Commemoration at the rest area, located about 40 kilometres north of Albury.

“The Murlo Heavy Vehicle Rest Area will now be known as the Albert Borella Victoria Cross Rest Area, which is a wonderful tribute to a true local and national hero, and part of the State's broader recognition of our servicemen and women,” Mr Anderson said.

Federal Member for Farrer Susan Ley said that as part of today's ceremony a plaque was unveiled by the Borella family, featuring Lieutenant Borella's citation and biography.

“Albert Borella settled in Albury after World War II with his wife Elsie. He died in 1968, aged 87, and was buried with full military honours in the Presbyterian Cemetery in North Albury,” Ms Ley said.

NSW Member for Albury Greg Aplin said trees were also planted by the Borella family in Lieutenant Borella's memory.

“After being approached by Cr Graham Docksey, then President of the Albury RSL sub-branch, to rename and dedicate the rest area in honour of Albert Borella, we are pleased to make this a reality,” Mr Aplin said.

The Murlo rest area was opened to traffic in July 2017 and was a $6.2 million project jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments under the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.