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The Rock-itt : June 2012
trench, freed a group of recently captured Australians and forced the surrender of some fifty Germans, as "the most dramatic and effective act of individual audacity in the history of the AIF." He was severely wounded during this action and was later hit by a sniper's bullet in July 1917. On each occasion he returned to the front line, always furthering his reputation as one of the AIF's most respected soldiers. In May 1918 he received the wound that ended his combat career, this time during a German gas bombardment near Villers-Bretonneux. Once again he was invalided back to England. Many people wondered why Jacka had never achieved a higher rank than Captain in the Armed forces but there were those in high command who found this "cocky" soldier hard to handle. Jacka returned to Melbourne in September 1919. Greeted by a large crowd upon his return, Jacka was described in one newspaper as "the symbol of the spirit of the ANZACs. " After being demobilised in January 1920 he went into business with two former members of his battalion. He married the following year and he and his wife later adopted a daughter In 1923 Jacka was instrumental in encouraging Returned Soldiers to support proper recognition of General John Monash. In 1929 he was elected to the St Kilda Council and was elected Mayor the following year. . His political career was marked by his ardent belief in assisting the unemployed. Meanwhile his business, which had performed well until the late 1920s, was forced into voluntary liquidation in 1930. Unfortunately at the same time Jacka's health began to deteriorate. He was admitted to Caulfield Military Hospital in December 1931 and died from kidney disease the following month. More than 6,000 people filed past his coffin as it lay in state and his funeral procession, flanked by thousands of onlookers, was led by over 1,000 returned soldiers - the coffin was carried by eight Victoria Cross winners. Jacka was buried with full military honours in St Kilda cemetery. Priv ate Albert Jacka at the time of his enlistment in the 14th Battalion Captain Albert Jacka with medals