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The Rock-itt : June 2012
His Citation for Australia's first VC read as follows: "For most conspicuous bravery on the night of the 19--20th May, 1915, at Courtney's Post, Gallipoli Peninsula. Lance Corporal Jacka, while holding a portion of our trench with four 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". Albert Jacka was born in January 1893 at Layard in Victoria. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 18th September 1914 as a private in the 14th Battalion. After training in Egypt Jacka's battalion landed at Gallipoli on 26th April 1915, the second day of the offensive. About three weeks later on 19th May, with the ANZACs now entrenched above ANZAC Cove, the Turks launched a massive full frontal assault against the ANZAC positions. A group of Turks captured a small section of trench at Courtney's Post. Early attempts to drive them out failed, until Lance Corporal Jacka, taking advantage of a diversion created by bomb throwers at one end of the Turkish position, leapt into the trench, killing most of the occupants. For this he was awarded Australia's first Victoria Cross of the First World War. When his commanding officer, Lieutenant Keith Wallace Crabbe, arrived in the Turkish trench, he found Jacka sitting calmly among the dead. With a cigarette on his lip, Jacka commented: "I managed to get the beggars, sir. " Because of this action, Jacka quickly became famous - his likeness was used on recruiting posters and his exploits featured regularly in newspapers, particularly in his native Victoria. He began a rapid rise through the ranks, finally becoming a captain in March 1917. The 14th Battalion was shipped to France after the battle for Gallipoli ended in December 1915. At the battle for Pozières in August 1916 and at Bullecourt in 1917 he won the Military Cross and a Bar to that award. The Australian official historian, Charles Bean, described Jacka's actions at Pozières, during which he recaptured a section of By The Rockitt’s War Historian, Simon Lyon Australia's First Victoria Cross Winner Albert Jacka's Medals Can be seen at the Australian War Museum in Canberra. On your way down there, take time to Stop at the various resting places where Aussie VC's are commemorated A poster depicting Jacka's attack on the Turkish trench