Army Museum of New South Wales
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1892. Born in July (circa) at Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales, Victor John (Jack) Sullivan was the son of John T Sullivan and his wife, Sara Jane Sullivan (née Marsh).
1915. In early March and by then a Tram Conductor in Sydney, Jack enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and was posted to the 17th Australian Infantry Battalion. Having regard to three years of previous part-time Militia service, Jack was promoted to Sergeant some three weeks after he enlisted.
The 17th Battalion embarked at Sydney in May for overseas and after training in Egypt landed at Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey on 20th August. The battalion played a defensive role until the British evacuation in December. While on the peninsula, Jack was promoted to Company Sergeant Major.
1916. Jack Sullivan was accidentally wounded on 9th March while in camp near Ismailia in the Suez Canal area, Egypt. After spending time in hospital and convalescing, he was attached the 5th Australian Infantry Brigade Details on 23rd April at Tel-el-Kebir near Ismailia.
He embarked at Alexandria, Egypt on 20th May to join to join the British Expeditionary Force in France opposite German forces on the Western Front. A month later, he was attached to the 1th Anzac Entrenching Battalion engaged on camp routine near Bailleul in the Nord Department, northern France.
Jack Sullivan returned to the 17th Battalion on 3rd August, by which time it was engaged in the British offensive in the Pozières area, Somme Department, northern France.
In late December, Jack was promoted to Warrant Officer and became the battalion’s Regimental Sergeant Major (the RSM). At that stage, the battalion was near Longueval in the Somme Department and about to take over a section of the nearby front line.
1917. Jack Sullivan was wounded in action during a battalion counter-attack on 15th April near the village of Noreuil in the Pas-de-Calais Department, northern France. His injuries resulted in his evacuation to hospital and he re-joined the battalion on 8th May in camp at Fricourt in the Somme Department.
Jack was recognised with the award of the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and bravery in leading a small party at a critical stage of the counter-attack on 15th April. It was during this action that he was wounded but he carried on until his party succeeded in repelling the enemy from a company defence position within the battalion area.
Jack Sullivan’s performance in the battalion led to him being commissioned in the field as a Second Lieutenant on 1st July. On 11th July he proceeded to Rollestone in Wiltshire, England on detachment to the 5th Australian Training Battalion.
1918. On 18th May, after some ten months in England, Jack returned to the 17th Infantry Battalion which by then was in a reserve position near the front line in the Vaux-sur-Somme area of the Somme Department. Jack was wounded yet again on 8th August east of Villers-Bretonneux during the Battle of Amiens. He was evacuated to England for treatment, re-joining the battalion three months later in France, on 27th November by which time the Armistice with Germany had been signed.
1919. Jack returned to Australia April and his appointment in the AIF concluded in September.
1954. Late of the Sydney suburb of Kingsford, Jack Sullivan passed away on 3rd October aged 72 at the Repatriation General Hospital, Concord, New South Wales.
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