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One Anzac's Story

John Leslie ‘Jack’ Nicholson was born in The Rocks in Sydney on October 23, 1894. 


His father was a stevedore at the docks. Jack was an electrician by trade and a member of the reserve army unit, the St. George’s Rifles when the First World War was declared in 1914. He enlisted in the newly formed AIF, the Australian Imperial Force.


He had his 20th birthday aboard the troop ship A19 ‘Afric’ bound for Egypt in October 1914. Jack was one of hundreds of Anzacs who stormed the heavily-defended Turkish position at Lone Pine. He was wounded by a machine gun bullet before he bayonetted the machine-gunner. He was evacuated, hospitalized and sent back to Gallipoli, where he remained until the evacuation in December 1915. For the next three years Jack Nicholson was an infantryman fighting Germans in the trenches of France. He was wounded two more times, at Pozieres in 1916 and Bullecourt in 1917.


Jack survived the horror of war and returned to Sydney on Christmas Eve 1918. He resumed work as an electrician, married, and had five children (3 sons and two daughters) and 5 great grandchildren. Jack was a life member of the RSL, and (when I met him) lived alone at Lidcombe in Sydney.


Portraits of Jack Nicholson 


C Company, 1st Battalion, 

1st Infantry Brigade, 

1st Australian Division, England;


Jack in 1985; and as a young man.



A young Jack Nicholson 1914
Jack Nicholson, an Anzac
Anzac WW1 veteran Jack Nicholson 1985
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