Kenneth Grant JACOB

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JACOB, Kenneth Grant

Service Number: 770
Enlisted: 8 September 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 12th Infantry Battalion
Born: Snowtown South Australia , September 1895
Home Town: Kadina, Copper Coast, South Australia
Schooling: St Peter's College, Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Bank Clerk
Died: Killed in action, France, 30 May 1918
Cemetery: Borre British Cemetery
Hazebrouck, Nord Pas de Calais, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Kadina Memorial High School WW1 Honour Roll, Kadina Town Hall WW1 & WW2 Roll of Honour, Kadina War Memorial Arch, Lindisfarne Officers of the 12th Battalion Pictorial Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

8 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 770, Morphettville, South Australia
17 Sep 1914: Involvement Sergeant, SN 770, 12th Infantry Battalion
17 Sep 1914: Embarked Sergeant, SN 770, 12th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Melbourne
30 May 1918: Involvement Lieutenant, 12th Infantry Battalion

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Biography

From the book Fallen Saints - Kenneth Grant Jacob was born at Snowtown South Australia in September 1895. During his time at St Peter's College he served in the cadets and after leaving in 1912 was employed as clerk with the Union Bank in the copper mining town of Moonta, South Australia. His father who was a trooper in the South Australian Mounted Police built the family homestead ‘Edgarley’ near Kadina and later purchased the Royal Exchange Hotel in Kadina.

According to a note on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour circular written by his brother Ross, Kenneth was one of six brothers to enlist and like the others joined the cadets as soon as he was old enough. In May 1910 he was one of 6 South Australian boys selected to ‘tour the world’ with 16 other Australian Mounted Cadets. [i]

As he had served in the cadets since the age of fourteen and was a Lieutenant in the senior cadets for the year prior to enlisting at Morphettville Camp on 8 September 1914 he was promoted to Sergeant at just 19 years of age. 

He joined F Company 12th Battalion at Pontville Camp Tasmania in early October, and sailed from Hobart aboard HMAT Geelong on 20 October. 

After training with the remainder of the 3rd Brigade in Egypt he sailed from Alexandria aboard HMT Devanah in March and took part in the landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915 and was appointed second lieutenant on 4 August.  

On 4 October he was evacuated with Pyrexia and enteric fever to Mudros then by H S Assage to England. He was admitted to 3rd London General Hospital Wandsworth, England on 20 November, was struck off the battalion strength on 20 February and placed on the supernumerary list at Serapeum. He marched in to the 1st Division Base Depot at Étaples on 13 June and a week later after damaging his knee during parade ground drill was evacuated and readmitted to 3rd London General Hospital Wandsworth England. There surgeons removed part of the cartilage in his knee and that coupled with a serious bout of tonsillitis ensured he was rendered unfit for duty so he remained in England until he’d fully recovered.

In late December he proceeded to France, rejoined the 12th Battalion in January and was promoted to Lieutenant in February. He was transferred to the 70th Battalion at Wareham, England in March and attended a Lewis Gun course at Harrowby Camp, Grantham and gained a very good result.

When the building of Australia’s 6th Division was abandoned the men of the 70th Battalion were returned to their original units; Lieutenant Jacob proceeded to France again and rejoined the 12th Battalion in the field on 12 January.  

Lieutenant Kenneth Grant Jacob was killed in action during a minor operation against enemy posts at Merris on 30 May 1918; he was 23 years of age. 

Ross Jacob, the original commander of H Company, was in command of C Company at the Anzac Landing; he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1917 and commanded the 10th Battalion for short periods in 1917 and 1918.

Ross and his brothers, Glen, 50th Battalion (OS), Gordon, 3rd Light Horse Regiment and Jack, 17 Divisional Supply Column all returned to Australia.



[i] The Advertiser – Adelaide, 19 May 1910, p.6

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