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From the Archives, 1915: Albert Jacka’s V.C. inspires a country at war


Defence Minister Cables Message

Official congratulations have been forwarded to Lance-Corporal Jacka, the first Australian to win the Victoria Cross at Gallipoli. The Minister of Defence, Senator Pearce, has transmitted a cablegram in the following terms to General Sir Ian Hamilton, General Officer Commanding the Forces at the Dardanelles –

“On behalf Commonwealth Government, desire offer heartiest congratulations to Lance-Corporal Jacka, 14th Battalion, 4th Australian Brigade, who has been awarded Victoria Cross, and who has thus gained distinction of being first Australian engaged in present war on whom this signal honor conferred.”

First published in The Age on July 28, 1915


OUR V.C. Hero



When the first Australian Expeditionary Force was sent to the war Mr John Wren announced his intention of presenting a gift of £500 and a gold medal to the first man amongst them who was awarded the Victorian Cross.

When the cable message was published in Melbourne announcing that Lance-Corporal Jacka had gained this great distinction, Mr Wren at once placed himself in communication with the parents of the young hero, and after warmly congratulating them on the bravery of their son conveyed to them the pleasing intelligence that the gift of £500 and a gold medal was the disposal of Lance-Corporal Jacks.

Mr Wren further sent a cable message to the young hero at Gallipoli to a similar effect.

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