Almanac Poetry: Albert Jacka Earns Australia’s First VC of The Great War


Captain Albert Jacka, VC, MC and Bar, 1917. He was memorably described by Les Carlyon as ‘the one-man epic’. Many thought his exploits during WW1 deserved three Victoria Crosses. (Source: Australian War Memorial Collection.)


Albert Jacka Earns Australia’s First VC of The Great War
(Courtney’s Post, Gallipoli, May 19-20, 1915)


Wielding a bolt action
Lee-Enfield .303,
bayonet attached,
in a feat of brilliant athleticism
as much as bravery,
Lance-Corporal Jacka leaps into a trench,
shoots dead five Turks,
bayonets two more,
and the remaining enemy
‘think it best to leave’.
His platoon commander,
Crabbe, finds him
after the affray
leaning against the parados,
face flushed, unlit cigarette
dangling from his lips:
“I managed to get the beggars, sir.”



Read more from Kevin Densley HERE

Kevin Densley’s latest poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, is available HERE

Read more Almanac Poetry HERE

If you would like to receive the Almanac Music and Poetry newsletter we will add you to the list. Please email us: [email protected]

To return to our Footy Almanac home page click HERE.

Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?

And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help things keep ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE.

One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE.

Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE.





Kevin Densley is a poet and writer-in-general. His fourth book-length poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, was published in late 2020 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.


  1. He’s an extraordinary character. Thanks for this Kevin.

    I’ve read quite a bit about Jacka over the years. He’s as intriguing as Ned Kelly.

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Cheers, Dips! I appreciate your comments.

    Yes, I agree that Jacka is right up there in interest with other ‘mythic” Australians like Kelly. Some of Jacka’s wartime exploits border on the superhuman. His VC at Gallipoli was just the beginning.

Leave a Comment