Born in 1893 at Sydney, NSW, Australia. Died 6 November 1914 in or near Bristol.
Pte 1969 2nd Wessex Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps.
Sydney Jacka was born in Sydney, Australia in 1893 to John and Ellen Jacka. The NSW register shows his middle initial as "E", however his is listed as Sydney James Jacka on the list of soldiers dying in WW1. What is certain is that his father was Newquay born and bred. John's mother, Elizabeth, appears to have been widowed early and brough John and his siblings up herself, working as a dressmaker into her seventies to support herself and her family. John made a living as a carpenter and joiner and plied his trade in Australia for a while. However, by the turn of the century he was back in Newquay living in Belmont Place, just up the road from his mother. Sydney had three sisters and a younger brother, Ernest, born in Newquay in 1899.
Sydney clearly answered his country's call promptly and became a driver for the 2nd Wessex Brigade Field Ambulance. Field Ambulances were not vehicles (as I once thought!) but a mobile front line medical unit. Sydney would have been driving the horses pulling the carts carrying equipment. I have no information as to how Sydney met his death; perhaps it was simply an accident, perhaps he became ill. He is buried in Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol. As an Australian Sydney is also listed on the Australian Commemorative Roll.
With Sydney's death John and Ellen Jacka lost their only surviving son; young Ernest had died aged three. They appear to have continued living in Belmont Place for many years.
Writing about Sydney today is something of a coincidence. On my family history blog today I have written about two of my great uncles. They lived in Bristol, not far from Arnos Vale Cemetery, but emigrated to Sydney, NSW from where they embarked for Gallipoli and then the Western Front where they were killed in action. http://www.theviewfromthetreehouse.blogspot.com/.