Photographs of Joseph Jacka’s family, including wife Annie (Kent) and son, Private Arthur Robert Jacka Chapter 14
These photographs were kindly sent by Wendy Walker and previously collected by Russell Stewart. Russell, in collaboration with Wendy, has assembled extensive genealogy for the descendants of Samuel Jacka, father of William Jacka Snr. Russell is descended from Joseph Jacka (1838 – 1911), son of William Snr, through Joseph’s daughter, Mary Maria and her daughter with Albert Stevens, Ilene Annie.
The first photograph shows Joseph’s wife, Annie (Kent) (1845 – 1916) in Adelaide. It is not known when this was taken but may have been sometime in the 1880s or 90s.
The second photo, taken in Adelaide in late 1915 (possibly before son Robert Arthur departed for service in Egypt) shows Annie about a year before her death with some of her children and grandchildren. Joseph had died in 1911. The identity of some of the children is uncertain but where known, those in the photo are as follows: Back row: Ida May (Jacka) King holding Charles William King, Robert Arthur Kent Jacka, Rose Victoria Jacka, Samuel Hall Jacka, possibly holding son Clarence Samuel. Middle row: a daughter of Samuel Hall Jacka, Annie (Kent) holding Mavis Ida Jacka, daughter of Samuel, Lenard Roy Stevens, Mary Maria (Jacka) Stevens holding daughter Ilene Annie. Front row: another Samuel daughter, Stanley Albert Stevens, then two more grandchildren, possibly Edna May King and Evelyn Rose Jacka.
Robert Arthur Kent Jacka enlisted (as Arthur Robert Jacka) in September 1915 at age 29. His service record shows that he was 5 ft 5in, 138 pounds, with dark complexion and hair and hazel eyes. He had been a blacksmith, labourer and station hand before enlisting. A private throughout the war, he was initially assigned to the Australian Imperial Forces 2nd Reinforcements 1st Remount Unit and sent to Egypt where he spent much of the war associated with the 2nd Light Horse as part of the Field Ambulance or on headquarters staff at the “Details” Camp, Moascar, east of Cairo. This camp, run by the Australian Army Medical Corp was a place for holding and training soldiers until they were sent back to the front. Robert Jacka was eventually invalided back to Australia in early 1919 with a diagnosis of “debility”, seemingly a catch-all term for weakness, fatigue and inability to perform duties. Robert, like many others, contracted venereal disease soon after arriving in Cairo in 1916 and was in and out of hospitals around Egypt for much of his four years there. So that may have contributed to his debility. He said he planned to assist his blacksmith brother after leaving the army.