Australia’s first WWI VC recipient remembered

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By: 
DVA Publications Staff

Australia’s first Victoria Cross recipient of the First World War, Lance Corporal (LCPL) Albert Jacka VC, has been honoured this Anzac Day with an Australia Post stamp issue.

The Gallipoli centenary issue of five stamps pays tribute to Albert Jacka VC, alongside four key phases of the Gallipoli campaign: the landing, the Turkish counter attack, the British offensive and the withdrawal.

Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt, said the stamp issue was the second in a five-year series, relaying the chronological order of our nation’s involvement in the First World War.

“The Gallipoli Campaign is such an iconic battle in our nation’s history. Remembering the inspirational service of men and women who served and revisiting their heroic stories is part of annual commemorations on Anzac Day,” said Mr Zsolt.

“It’s a real honour to present this stamp issue as we join the rest of Australia to commemorate the Anzac centenary,” he said.

As Australians around the country commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landing, the day will be significant for generations of the Jacka family. They will remember the sacrifices made by their ancestor, and share his story as part of the commemorative Gallipoli centenary stamp issue.

LCPL Jacka’s stamp depicts him in uniform as part of Australia’s 14th Battalion. In May 1915, LCPL Jacka VC was integral to the success of recapturing a trench at ‘Courtney’s Post’, which had been taken by seven Turkish soldiers, five of whom he killed and two of whom he wounded. For his actions and bravery throughout the campaign, he was awarded Australia’s first Victoria Cross of WWI. He survived the war and later died in Melbourne in 1932, aged 39.

Designed by Janet Boschen of Melbourne-based Boschen Design, the stamps include:

  • The Landing: Depicting Australian troops landing on the beaches of Gallipoli in the early hours of the morning on 25 April 1915.
  • LCPL Albert Jacka VC: Australia’s first WWI Victoria Cross recipient and part of the WWI Australian Imperial Force.
  • Lone Pine: Australian troops of the 1st Brigade shown in Turkish trenches seized during fighting at Lone Pine.
  • Field Medicine: Englishman Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick of the 3rd Australian
  • Field Ambulance represents field medicine at Gallipoli. With the help of his faithful donkeys he recovered wounded soldiers from the frontline.
  • The Evacuation: In this stamp image, men of the 9th Battery, 3rd Artillery Brigade load an 18-pound field gun from their sandbagged position. They fired on Turkish positions in the hours before their evacuation from Gallipoli on 19 December 1915.

This material has been reproduced with permission of Australia Post.

Read more about the stamp issue by visiting the Australia Post website.

You can also read more stories of heroic Australians in wartime through the Audacity publication available through the education portal website.