Arthur Abraham (Radiator) JACOBS


JACOBS, Arthur Abraham

Service Numbers: 66, R66, R/66
Enlisted: 19 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: London, England, 23 June 1894
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Journalist with "The Register" newspaper aka "Radiator"
Died: Killed in Action (shellfire), Ypres, Belgium, 7 October 1917, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial
XXXVIII.B.21 - Plot 38 Row B Grave 21
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 66, Morphettville, South Australia
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 66, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 66, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 66, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
31 Jul 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN R66, 10th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
26 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 66, 10th Infantry Battalion, Polygon Wood
7 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN R/66, 10th Infantry Battalion, 1st Passchendaele

The Jacobs Family

Arthur Jacobs family came to South Australia in 1908.I know this because ,with the help of Genealogy S.A. and trawling through London census statistics and Ship passenger lists, I have accurately worked it out.
Also Arthur has two older brothers, who also served in the Great War.
The eldest was Mark Jacobs. He enlisted in Melbourne and was a corporal in the 22nd.Battalion; and survived the war; returning to Australia in 1919.He was born in London in 1880.
The next eldest brother was Charles Jacobs, born in 1886 in London.He served as a sergeant in the South African forces . Whether he served in WW1 in this capacity OR enlisted in the British Army as he studied at Oxford and Cambridge, I am still researching this. IThere is no convincing record of him amongst all the Australian "Charles Jacobs" who enlisted in WW1.So he was not an AIF soldier.
In regards to Arthur Abraham a.k.a Adrian Jacobs, he is most definitely buried at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, Belgium. PLOT 38.
/ROW /.GRAVE 21 .
As I learn more accurate details of brotber Charles Jacobs, I will upload them to this site for you to consider.


Arthur Jacobs grave at Tyne Cot

We visited Arthur's grave with the SA Premiers ANZAC Spirit Prize 2013 Tour - 21st April 2013. The headstone is well worn. Along its top are glued stones in the Jewish tradition. His gravestone is marked with the Star of David as was the case with all soldiers of the Jewish faith.

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Jacobs / Kluifeld / Friedmann family history

This story revolves around a remarkable woman; Hannah Jacobs.  She was to become a leading figure in Adelaide's hotel industry over three decades.  She was the matriarch of a large family, born of two husbands.  Seven sons served in the Great War, and three daughters, one of whom later figured prominently with her running several Adelaide hotels,  rounded out her family.

Hanna's maiden name was Friedmann (later anglicised to Freeman).  She was born in in Warsaw, Poland.  She and her first husband, Hirschel Kluifeld, fled the pogroms (Jewish persecutions) that swept Eastern and Central Europe in the 1880s. 

They had five children; Mark Freeman (b1880) a sister Rebecca (1881), brothers Isaac Charles (b 1886), Harry Kluifeld (1887) and a younger sister, Sophie (1888). 

In 1887,  Hannah and Hirschel Kluifeld divorced.  Hannah subsequently re-married, to cigar-maker Jacob Jacobs, a Latvian  Jewish émigré.

More children began arriving.  Arthur was their first born in 1894, Solomon William in 1896, David in 1897, sister Deb in 1900 and youngest brother Emmanuel (aka Martin) in 1901.

In 1906, the family had emigrated, initially to South Africa where they remained for several years, before continuing the journey to Adelaide, South Australia in 1908.

This move split the family. 

Mark Freeman (he appears to have adopted his mother's maiden name) came to Australia but to Sydney rather than Adelaide.  He enlisted for service in WW1.

Isaac Charles Jacobs enlisted in the Cape South African forces during the Boer War and again for service in East Africa in 1915.  He was at one point thought to have been killed in action as there is a Charles Jacobs interrred in the Commonwealth War Graves cemery in Dar es Salam in modern-day Tanzania, but there is now evidence that is not Hannah's son, and that he survived his service in East Africa.  

Rebecca married Samuel Rubensohm and moved to Sydney.  There they had a family and there she remained until her death.

Harry Kluifeld enlsited for service in WW1 in South Africa.

Sophie initially remained in South Africa where she married.  She later fled an extremely violent relationship, after her husband had thrown acid at her.  She joined her mother and younger siblings in Adelaide and went on to work closely with her mother.

Meanwhile, Hannah Jacobs embarked on a career has a very well known publican in the Adelaide CBD and beyond, operating a string of hotels many of which remain to this day.  Her husband Jacob had unfortunately become a chronic alcoholic and developed throat cancer, which eventually killed him in 1914.  At the time they were resident at the Saracens Head Hotel in Carrington Street Adelaide and is the address that Arthur listed for his Next of Kin on his enlistment documents.

More to follow............

Research compiled by Susie Nicholls 2014-2018



Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

Arthur Abraham (aka Adrian) Jacobs, 10th Battaion AIF

Arthur was born in London, to Jacob and Hannah Jacobs, on 23 June 1894.

He and his three Adelaide-based younger brothers enlisted in the AIF.  Three other brothers from Hannah's first marriage also served.  Their circumstances are detailed in the accompanying biographical notes.

Arthur Abraham  (aka Arthur Adrien) Jacobs - 10th Battalion  b June 1893 KIA 7 Oct 1917
Solomon (aka Sullivan) William Jacobs – 10th Battalion WI April 1917 b Jul 1895 d 1981
David  - 27th Battalion / 5th Field Ambulance WIA b Mar 1897
Emmanuel – aka Martin Edward  - enlisted under an assumed name age 16  - 32nd Battalion / 50th Battalion  and returned to Australia having falsely declared his age.  b 1901 died  23 October 1973

The family emigrated to South Australia in 1908, having spent two years in South Africa.  see family notes for further information.

In 1912, Arthur was promulgated as a Second Lieutenant in the Senior Cadets (76th Battalion) as of May 6th.  (Advertiser Tuesday 14th May 1912 P 15 – ).

By 1914 Arthur was a journalist.  His employer was the 'Register' newspaper, the precursor of the modern day 'Advertiser' newspaper.  He is recorded as having had service in the senior cadets  and citizens forces.  He resigned his commission in the cadets to enlist in the AIF.  He continued to write for the 'Register' under the nome de plume of "Radiator".

Arthur’s enlistment documents advise his parents' address as the Saracens Head Hotel in Carrington Street and later the Colonel Light Hotel in Currie Street.  This is a pointer to his mother's extraordinary careeer as a publican in Adelaide.  At the time of enlistment, Arthur lived at ‘Oakhampton’ on South Terrace.

His Service No R66 marks him as a very early enlistee.  He was 21 years old on enlistment on 19 August 1914.  Like many of the Jewish faith, Arthur 'Anglicised' his name - in his case he enlisted using the middle name Adrien instead of Abraham.

He was enlisted into the 10th Battalion AIF, "The Adelaide Rifles" and was assigned to 'E' Company (The Fighting Tenth, Lock).

After initial training Arthur embarked with the 10th Battalion on 20/10/14 aboard HMAT 'Ascanius', one of two ships that conveyed the 10th Battalion, the other being HMAT Soldhana. They proceeded in the convoy that took the AIF to Egypt.

Arthur's prior service no doubt played a role in his being promoted to Corporal (Acting Sergeant) on the date of embarkation 20/10/14. The 'Ascanius' arrived in Port Said on 1 December 1914.

The 10th Battalion was disembarked and for the next few months they consolidated their training and formed part of the defence of the Suez Canal, based in the 'Tent City' at Mena Camp at Giza on the outskirts of Cairo at the foot of the Pyramids.

This sequence of events is outlined in Cecil Lock's book "The Fighting Tenth" (Lock C.B.L., Webb & Son Adelaide 1936.

On 1st March the 9th and 10th Battalions were embarked on the "Ionian" for the Greek Islands.  But this was no holiday cruise.

The 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th  Battalions, drawn from Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, were all part of the 3rd Brigade, which was assigned the role of Covering Force for the landing.  They would be first ashore.

And so Arthur would have clambered down the sides of a warship into the waiting rowing boats along with his colleagues, to be towed towards the darkened shores of their objective.

He would have been part of the desperate scramble for the high ground in the pre-dawn light, with bullets cracking past like angry wasps and thudding into the earth about them, every one of them bearing death or wounding.

Unlike many of his colleagues, Arthur survived the landing and went on to endure the rigours of protracted exposure to combat for the next six months.  All the while his friends would have been falling around him, to be replaced by new fresh faces that arrived as reinforcements.  If they survived, within two weeks they too would be indistinguishable from 'the originals'.

Arthur's 10th Battalion was in the front line when the Turks mounted a major attack on the 19th May in an effort to sweep the Australians from their foothold on the Peninsula.

Arthur's record shows that he was reprimanded on the 17 Jul 15 for Neglect of Duty. 

By October the health of the troops, particularly the 'originals' was suffering after six months continuous service on the front line.  Many of the ‘originals’ had succumbed to enemy fire,  either wounded or killed.  Increasingly disease began to take its toll. Enteric Fever, a virulent form of typhoid, took a heavy toll.

In October, after six months continuous combat, Arthur was seriously wounded by a bomb (possibly a hand grenade or one of the home made jam tin bombs that characterised this campaign) on 4 Oct 15.  He was evacuated to 3 Field Ambulance (supporting the 3rd Brigade) Casualty Clearing Station.

His wounds were deemed sufficiently serious as to warrant further evacuation to the island of Mudros on the ‘Assaye’ on 6 Oct 15, and from there to the UK.

On arrival in Great Britain, he was admitted on 20 Oct 15 to No 2 General Hospital, St Marks College London.  His records show that he required extended hospitalisation and seven separate surgeries.

21 Feb 16 – he was released from Hospital to be invalided and assigned home service in Australia – He embarked on 5 May 16 on HS “Thermistocles” arriving back in South Australia on the 19 June 1916.

Back in Adelaide he underwent rehabilitation on light duties, reporting regularly to Keswick Barracks for re-assessment until being declared  'Fit' on 31 Aug 1916.  On the 6 Sep 16 Arthur returned to duty.   He subsequently undertook Musketry, Bombing and NCO schools at Mitcham camp on the site of present-day suburb of Colonel Light Gardens) in late 1916.

He was then assigned to the 19th reinforcement draft for the 27th Battalion, another well known South Australian unit, but in the Fourth rather than the First Division.

Arthur re-embarked for Active Service on HMAT Militiades on 24th January 1917.

He was Promoted to Temporary Sergeant and then Acting Company Sgt Major for the voyage, reverting to Corporal once they reached the 7 Training Battalion base depot in the UK.  Here, he and his colleagues would have undergone the latest training to acquaint them with conditions at the Front.

As was often the case, although assigned to 27th Battalion reinforcements, Arthur was an 'old 10th Battalion man’.  He would have been given the option of  re-assignment to the 10th Battalion and on 1 June 1917 he was so posted.  By then many of his colleagues from the original draft of 10th Battalion on Gallipoli would themselves have become casualties in the subsequent campaigns and battles, so familiar faces were probably relatively few.

His previous experience would have been readily acknowledged.  He was promoted Temporary Sergeant (most promotions were 'temporary' as opposed to 'substantive' because the substantive incumbent was as often as not in hospital recuperating from wounds or illness) on 23 June 1917.

By October 1917 the 10th Battalion was involved in the Third Battle of Ypres in Belgium, with actions at Menin Road and Polygon Wood.  This phase culminated on the 4th October at Broodseinde Ridge, the great meeting engagement when a large Australian attacking force met head on with a German formation attacking the Allied lines.  The 10th Battalion did not take part in this engagement directly - it was in supports at the time. However, the result of the engagement was that the Australians swept all before them and captured the key Broodseinde Ridge, which was to be the 10th Battalion’s next place in the line.

Arthur's luck ran out on 7 Oct 17.  He was Killed in Action (KIA) near Broodseinde.  The Official history notes that the 10th Battalion was that day carrying out a relief in place of 12th Battalion, in a preliminary operation for 1st Passchendaele. 

The Red Cross Record indicates that Arthur was killed, “blown to pieces – not enough left to bury” along with three other men, by an artillery  shell. One of the other men is believed to be PTE C Henry who is buried alongside Arthur.

The shelling of which they were a victim would likely have been 'predicted' rather than observed,  fired by the Germans in a bombardment aimed at the ‘supports’ or assembly areas to the rear of the front line where units assembled before and after occupying the front line.  

His brother William Solomon (aka 'Sullivan") Jacobs was also serving in the 10th Battalion nearby, and his detailed account of his brother's death is contained in the Red Cross record.

Arthur is buried at Tyne Cot cemetery, the largest Commonwealth Cemetery on the Western  Front. He is buried with a headstone bearing the Star of David signifying his Jewish faith and it has stones fixed to the top in the Hebrew practice. There are other 10th Battalion men buried nearby so it is reasonable to assume these were his colleagues. They are not, as might be anticipated from the description of his death, pushed together, signifying that the remains of several men could not be distinguished one from the other.

Arthur’s medals, the 1914/15 Star (#4182), the British War Medal (#4651) and the Victory Medal (#4650) - the numbers are those of the authority issuing the medal - and Memorial Plaque were issued to his sister on behalf of his mother in 1923.  Arthur’s brother Solomon was still alive in 1967 (passing away in 1981) – see letter on file claiming Gallipoli Medallions for himself and his deceased brother.

Original record compiled by Steve Larkins Dec 2012.  Arthur Jacobs was the very first entry in the RSL Virtual War Memorial.  I wished I could have known him.

It has progressively been updated thanks largely to the work of Susie Nicholls, biographer of Arthur's younger brother Solomon.