Australia

The Truth about Albert Jacka, Our First War Hero

Twenty-one years ago James Griffin wrote a Quadrant article titled “Albert Jacka and the Choice of Achilles”, in which he lamented the fact that seventy years after Jacka’s death “historians seem unfamiliar with the basic facts of the life of Australia’s most acclaimed war hero”. Griffin’s two primary concerns were that: in a recent article by Michael Evans (Quadrant, October 2001) the author suggested Jacka had “made ‘the choice of Achilles’, to prefer a young glorious death to a long, secure and inconspicuous life”; while “Jacka’s biographer, Ian Grant [Jacka VC: Australia’s Finest Fighting Soldier] … wants us to believe…

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