Friday 28 June 2013

Remembering Tom Starcevich in the Canberra suburb of Jacka

Tom Starcevich was awarded the Victoria Cross on 28 June 1945 for conspicuous gallantry during the Second World War. After the war he worked as a car salesman in Perth before taking up a War Service Land Settlement Farm in Carnamah.

The Australian Capital Territory's Public Place Names Determination reads:

"Tom Starcevich from Western Australia enlisted in the 2/43rd Battalion in April 1941. He sailed to Palestine and was wounded in action in Egypt in July 1942, but still managed to carry a shell shocked colleague to an aid post before passing out himself. He returned in time to see the Battle of Alamein begin in October. His battalion returned to Australia in February 1943 and left for New Guinea in September. Starcevich was mentioned in despatches for refusing to leave his post as he had the enemy spotted. In June 1945 he served with his battalion during the capture of Beaufort in British North Borneo. He attacked Japanese machine gun positions, fearlessly firing his Bren gun from the hip,which resulted in decisive success for the mission and his award of the Victoria Cross. After the war he turned to farming and grazing and served his local Citizen Military Forces unit."

Image courtesy of the Army Museum of Western Australia,
who now have Tom's Victoria Cross in their collection

Last year we assisted the ACT Places Names Unit with information and to gain descendant-approval in the naming of a street in the Canberra suburb of Jacka after Tom Starcevich. The suburb of Jacka in Gungahlin was named after Albert Jacka - the first Australian to receive the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

The determination of Starcevich Crescent became official on 2 July 2012. The theme for naming Jacka streets was "valour and community service" and along with four others Tom was chosen as a notable Australian for bravery in military and civilian situations.

1 comment:

Coachcaptain said...

Hi. There is a street named Tom Starcevich VC in Grass Patch, which is between Norseman and Esperance.