The AIF Project

Thomas JACK

Regimental number823
Place of birthBrisbane Queensland
SchoolNew Farm State School & Brisbane Grammar, Queensland
OccupationDental student
AddressBrisbane, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinFather, James Jack, Brown Street, New Farm, Brisbane, Queensland
Previous military service7th Infantry; Served in the Citizen Military Forces (Sergeant).
Enlistment date17 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentCSM (WO Class II)
Unit name42nd Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/59/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A30 Borda on 5 June 1916
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollCaptain
Unit from Nominal Roll42nd Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular'A brilliant scholar: fine athlete & of lovable disposition. Passed all Examinations at School & in his profession as Dentist, and in the Military top of list.' (details from father)
FateKilled in Action 12 August 1918
Place of death or woundingProyart, France
Age at death from cemetery records24
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Mary Elizabeth JACK, Brown Street, Kingsholme, Brisbane, Queensland

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Although he had been twice buried by shellfire he proceeded through an intense hostile barrage to the front line which had been temporarily thrown into confusion, and at once reorganised the line under very great difficulties and at great personal risk. By his excellent example he restored the morale of the front line troops, and undoubtedly saved many lives.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No

Other detailsMedals: Military Cross, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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