THE VICTORIA CROSS AND CAMPAIGN MEDALS AWARDED TO PRIVATE WILLIAM JACKSON, 17TH BATTALION, AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE, HAVE BEEN LOANED TO THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL.
24 June 2016


( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Private William Jackson,
17th Bn, Australian Imperial Force

  • Victoria Cross
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • Australia Service Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )
The Victoria Cross and campaign medals awarded to Private William Jackson, 17th Bn, AIF, were sold privately to an Australian collector in 2008, whose identity has not been revealed.

The current holder of the William Jackson Victoria Cross medal group has now decided to loan the group to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. The VC will go on display in the Hall of Valour.


As a prelude to the battle of the Somme, which opened on the 1st July 1916, an order was issued that as many raids as possible were to be carried out between 20th and 30th June. It was during one of these raids that Australia's youngest recipient, aged 19 years and 10 months, earned his Victoria Cross.

On the night of 25-26 June, Private William Jackson was one of the raiders who entered the German trenches. Engineers accompanying the Australian infantry blew up two bomb stores and five minutes later the party withdrew after causing considerable havoc. As they withdrew across no man's land, they suffered casualties from enemy artillery fire as described in Jackson's citation for the award of the Victoria Cross.


[ London Gazette, 9 September 1916 ], Armentieres, France, 25-26 June 1916, Private William Jackson, 17th Bn, Australian Imperial Force.

For most conspicuous bravery ( near Armentieres, France ). On the return from a successful raid, several members of the raiding party were seriously wounded in “No Man’s Land” by shell fire. Private Jackson got back safely and after handing over a prisoner whom he had brought in, immediately went out again under very heavy shell fire and assisted in bringing in a wounded man.

He then went out again, and with a serjeant was bringing in another wounded man, when his arm was blown off by a shell and the serjeant was rendered unconscious. He then returned to our trenches, obtained assistance, and went out again to look for his two wounded comrades.

He set a splendid example of pluck and determination. His work has always been marked by the greatest coolness and bravery

William Jackson was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 11th November 1916.


Private William Jackson, along with his comrade, Sergeant Hugh Camden of the 19th Battalion, were both recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal for their actions at Armentieres. Jackson's recommendation for the DCM was not withdrawn when the award of the Victoria Cross was submitted. The announcement of Jackson's VC was published in the 'London Gazette' of 9th September 1916, and his DCM was gazetted two weeks later, but was cancelled in a later Gazette on 20th October 1916.

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Iain Stewart, 9 July 2016