Albert Jacka

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Albert Jacka
Albert Jacka
Captain Albert Jacka VC, MC & Bar
Nickname Bert
Allegiance Australia Commonwealth of Australia
Service/branch Australian Imperial Force
Years of service 1914–1920
Rank Captain
Unit 14th Battalion
Battles/wars

First World War

Awards Victoria Cross
Military Cross & Bar
Other work Mayor of St. Kilda

Albert Jacka VC, MC & Bar (10 January 1893 – 17 January 1932) was given the Victoria Cross, the highest medal for valour "in the face of the enemy" that can be given to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces. Jacka was the first Australian to win the VC during the First World War, receiving the medal for his actions during the Gallipoli Campaign. After Gallipoli he was sent to the Western Front where he again was given medals for his bravery.

After the war, Jacka went back to Australia and started a business, Roxburgh, Jacka & Co. Pty Ltd, importing and exporting electrical goods. He was later elected to the local council, and became the mayor of St Kilda, Victoria. Jacka never fully recovered from the many wounds he got in the war and died at the age of 39.

Early life[change | change source]

Albert Jacka was born on a dairy farm at Layard, near Winchelsea, Victoria on 10 January 1893.[1] His parents were Nathaniel Jacka and his English wife, Elizabeth Kettle.[2] The family moved to Wedderburn, Victoria when he was five years old, where he went the local school. He began working with his father transporting goods. He was working for the Victorian State Forests Department when the First World War broke out.[3]

Gallipoli and the VC[change | change source]

He joined the AIF, the Australian Imperial Force, on 18 September 1914.[1] His battalion was sent to Cairo Egypt for training. They landed at Gallipoli on 26 April, 1915, the second day of the Gallipoli campaign. On 19 May the Turkish army started a large attack to push the ANZACs back into the sea. The Turks were able to capture a small section of a trench at Courtney's Post. Jacka jumped into the trench by himself and killed most of the Turkish soldiers in it. For this he was awarded the Victoria Cross.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Captain Albert Jacka, VC, MC & bar". www.awm.gov.au. http://www.awm.gov.au/people/226.asp. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
  2. Snelling. VCs of the First World War: Gallipoli, p. 116
  3. "Hard Jacka - The Story of a Gallipoli Legend". hardjacka.com. http://www.hardjacka.com/jacka.html. Retrieved 28 November 2010.