The AIF Project

Albert JACKA

Regimental number465
Date of birth10 January 1893
Place of birthGeelong, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressRidge Street, Wedderburn, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 6.5"
Weight145 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs N Jacka, Ridge Street, Wedderburn, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date18 September 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll15 September 1914
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name14th Battalion, D Company
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 22 December 1914
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollCaptain
Unit from Nominal Roll14th Battalion
Promotions

2nd Lieutenant


Unit: 14th Battalion
Promotion date: 29 April 1916

Lieutenant


Unit: 14th Battalion
Promotion date: 18 August 1916

Captain


Unit: 14th Battalion
Promotion date: 15 March 1917

Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Mention in Despatches


Recommendation date: 25 May 1915

Victoria Cross


Recommendation date: Unspecified

Military Cross (Altered from Companion of the Distinguished Order)


Recommendation date: 11 August 1916

Bar to Military Cross


Recommendation date: 15 April and 14 June 1917

Unspecified


Recommendation date: 13 June and 29 September 1917"

FateReturned to Australia 6 September 1919
Medals

Victoria Cross

'For most conspicuous bravery on the night of the 19th-20th May, 1915, at "Courtney's Post" Gallipoli Peninsula. Lance Corporal Jacka, while holding a portion of our trench with four other men, was heavily attacked. When all except himself were killed or wounded, the trench was rushed and occupied by seven Turks. Lance Corporal Jacka at once most gallantly attacked them single handed, and killed the whole party, five by rifle fire and two with the bayonet.'
Source: 'London Gazette' No. 7279
Date: 23 July 1915

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry. He led his platoon against a large number of the enemy, who had counter attacked the battalion on his right. The enemy were driven back some prisoners they had taken were recovered, and 50 of the enemy captured. He was himself wounded in this attack.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917

Bar to Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He carried out a daring reconnaissance of the enemy's position, and obtained most valuable information. Later, he rendered invaluable assistance in guiding troops to their assembly positions.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 169
Date: 4 October 1917

Discharge date10 January 1920
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Awarded Victoria Cross.

Suffered diarrhoea, Gallipoli, 19 July 1915; admitted to No 1 Stationary Hospital, Lemnos, 19 July 1915 (influenza). Promoted Corporal, 28 August 1915. Admitted to Casualty Clearing Station, Mudros, 25 August 1915 (gastritis); discharged, 27 August 1915. Promoted Sergeant, 12 September 1915; Company Sergeant Major, 4 November 1915. Disembarked Alexandria from Mudros, 1 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation). Promoted 2nd Lt, 29 April 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 4 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 8 June 1916.

Wounded in action, France, 7 August 1916; admitted to 20th General Hospital Camiers, 8 August 1916; transferred to England, 9 August 1916, and admitted to 4th London General Hospital, Denmark Hill, SE, 9 August 1916; transferred to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 10 August 1918 (wound slight, neck and shoulder). Discharged from 4th Auxiliary Hospital, 22 November 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 6 December 1916; rejoined unit, 9 December 1916. Promoted Lt, 18 August 1916.

Promoted Captain, 15 March 1917.

Awarded Bar to Military Cross.

Wounded in action, Belgium (2nd occasion), 8 July 1917 (gun shot wound, right thigh); admitted to 7th Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, 10 July 1917; transferred to England, 13 July 1917, and admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, 13 July 1917; discharged to Perham Downs, 27 August 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 30 August 1917; rejoined unit, 1 September 1917.

On leave to United Kingdom, 15 February 1918; rejoined unit from leave, 7 March 1918.

Detached to 2nd Army School of Instruction, 23 March 1918; rejoined unit from School, 14 April 1918.

Wounded in action (3rd occasion), 16 May 1918 (gas shell), and admitted to 12th Australian Field Ambulance; transferred to 47th Casualty Clearing Station, 16 May 1918; to 8th General Hospital, Rouen, 20 May 1918; to England, 22 May 1918, and admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, 23 May 1918; discharged to No 2 Command Depot, Sutton Veny, 19 August 1918.

Following his discharge from hospital, Jacka was offered furlough in Australia. He declined, but was initially overruled by the GOC, who stated that it was the wish of the Australian Government that Jacka should return to Australia, 'much as the GOC admires the fine spirit shown by Captain A. Jacka VC, MC, 14th Battalion, in electing to remain on duty overseas in lieu of accepting the furlough in Australia which has been offered to him.' On 3 September 1918 Jacka reported to AIF Headquarters, London, and requested that he be allowed to continue in his Depot posting, not least because 'it would enable me to keep in touch ? with my own relative in this country.' GOC replied, 7 September 1918, that while he appreciated the sentiments that underlay Jacka's request, the Minister had 'definitely expressed his wish that all VC winners be returned to Australia'. Administrative Headquarters, AIF, London (T. Griffiths), replied to General Birdwood, 15 September 1918, that Jacka had offered further reasons for not returning to Australia at the present time: '1. He is engaged to a lady in England and has arranged to get married to her within the next two or three months. 2. He is at present somewhat estranged from his father who is a strong anti-conscriptionist in Australia, Jacka being of course a conscriptionist; and he feels that if he goes out to Australia to help in the conscription campaign it will considerably widen the breach between them - a thing which he is particularly anxious to avoid. I am afraid that if we persist in returning Jacka to Australia merely because he is a VC man we should come in for a great deal of criticism both here and in Australia, but of course there may be reasons of which I do not know,' Birdwood reversed his decision, 18 September, and granted Jacka appointment for six months at AIF Depots in the United Kingdom in lieu of returning to Australia.

Resumed duties as Sports Officer, No 2 Group, Sutton Veny, 1 May 1919.

Commenced return to Australia from Devonport on board HT 'Euripides', 7 September 1919; disembarked Sydney (date not recorded); discharged, 10 January 1920.

Medals: Victoria Cross, Military Cross & Bar, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death17 January 1932
Age at death39
Place of burialSt Kilda Cemetery, Melbourne, Victoria
SourcesNAA: B2455, JACKA Albert