Captain Albert Jacka V.C.Print Page Print this page

Albert Jacka
Albert Jacka

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

Tombstone marks the grave of Captain Albert Jacka VC (Victoria Cross), who died in 1932. Jacka was the first Australian Victoria Cross recipient during World War One and was a former mayor of St Kilda. 

Jacka met his destiny at ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli Peninsula early in the morning of the 19th May, 1915. At 4 am the Turks attacked along the entire line and rushed Jacka`s trench. His three companions were hit but Jacka returned fire and organised a counter attack. While others distracted the enemy, he single-handedly attacked the Turks from the flank, shooting five and bayoneting two.

Receiving the first Victoria Cross awarded to the A.I.F, Jacka became an instant national hero. He was eventually promoted to the rank of Captain. In 1916 at Poziers, France, Jacka received the Military Cross for what was described by war historian C.E.W Bean as "the most dramatic and effective act of individual audacity in the history of the A.I.F". On 7 August Germans attacked his dugout killing two soldiers. Jacka counter-attacked furiously with his platoon rescuing forty Australians being rounded up as prisoners, capturing fifty Germans and retaking the line.

About 5,000 persons attended the ceremony at the St Kilda Cemetery yesterday afternoon at which the memorial-stone over the grave of the late Captain Albert Jacka,V.C., was unveiled by Brigadier General C. H. Brand. Before the ceremony 500 members of the 14th Battalion and the 4th Brigade and 150 members of the St. Kilda Army and Navy Club marched to the cemetery. Among those present were the mayor of St. Kilda (Councillor Herbert Moroney), St Kilda councillors, Colonel I. Isaacson,representing the Minister for Defence, the Rev. H. Clark, Sergeant Izzy Smith,V.C., and Mr. Archie Michaelis. Brigadier-General Brand thanked all those who had contributed to the fund and those who had worked on the memorial. Through the instrumentality of "The Argus" a substantial sum has been raised.

On the memorial were these words:—"Captain Albert Jacka, V.C., M.C., and Bar, 14th Battalion, A.I.F. The first Australian V.C. winner in the Great War, 1914-1918. A gallant soldier and honoured citizen. Died 17th January, 1932, Aged 39 years." "Our late comrade was an inspiration when danger threatened," Brigadier-General Brand continued. "He never committed his company to anything unless he had personally examined the situation. He fought the nation's battles in the line and fought for his men out of the line. It is right that such a man's name should be handed down to posterity." Councillor Moroney said that, measured by time, Captain Jacka's life was short, but measured by deeds it was long. After his wonderful achievements on the battlefields he could easily have rested on his laurels, but he chose the path of citizenship and duty. The president of the St. Kilda Army and Navy Club (Councillor Unsworth) said that they were to honour one of Australia's sons who had finished with a page in her history. The finest memorial to Jacka would be to see that every member of the A.I.F. received full merit and reward for his services. They should look around and see that their wives and children were cared for and tended. That would be a memorial to which Jacka would say, "Well done! Carry on." After the ceremony many beautiful wreaths were placed at the foot of the memorial-stone. 
Argus (Melbourne), 16 May 1932.


Address:Dandenong Road & Hotham Street, St Kilda Cemetery, St Kilda East, 3183
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.861091
Long: 145.002349
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 15th May, 1932
Front Inscription

Captain Albert Jacka V.C., M.C. and Bar
14th Battalion A.I.F.,

The first Australian V.C. in the Great War

A gallant soldier
An honoured citizen

Died 17th January 1932 
Aged 39 Years

Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au