John ‘Jack’ Vincent Tunbridge

September 6, 2015

TUNBRIDGE, John -‘Jack’ Vincent- – – – SPC 1901-1910

DoB:- – 13 February 1894, Ballarat, VIC

Father:- – Alfred Tunbridge, 1437 Sturt Street, Ballarat

Mother:- – Mary Cecily, nee Doolan

Jack, as he was known at St Patrick’s was a day student at the College, starting as a junior boy in Grade 2.

Service No:- 155

Rank:- – Lieutenant

Unit:- – Australian Flying Corps, No 1 Squadron, Headquarters

Jack Tunbridge enlisted on 1 February 1916, aged 22 years. He was a tall man, at five feet eleven inches, with a fresh complexion, brown hair and brown eyes. He was unmarried, and worked as a Warehouseman.

Jack embarked on the Orsova on 16 March, and arrived at Suez, Egypt on 14 April 1916. He proceeded to Aboukir, Heliopolis, for instruction in aviation, and on 29 October 1916 was posted to the 5th Wing Royal Flying Corps (RFC), 67th Australian Squadron.

Jack was wounded in action on 11 May 1917, and admitted to hospital dangerously ill with burns to his arms, chest and abdomen. He was initially admitted to hospital at El Arish in Egypt, and later transferred to Base Hospital in Cairo for more specialised treatment.

By 23 May he was pronounced -‘Out of danger’, however he was so severely injured and in need of recuperation, that on 12 July 1917, he was transferred back to Australia on board the Port Sydney for -‘a change’.

His actions in May 1917 led to a recommendation for the award of the Military Cross.

-‘-¦ For consistent gallantry in numerous air combats, notably on the 11th May 1917, when he engaged and drove off an enemy aeroplane which threatened the machine he was escorting, continuing the engagement even after a bullet had ignited the signal cartridges in his machine, causing him severe injuries. In bombing operations his work has always been distinguished by the greatest coolness and disregard of danger -¦’

The recommendation for the Military Cross was approved by His Majesty the King, and promulgated on 18 April, 1918.

In 1924, Jack Tunbridge married Grace Hammond, at the age of 30. They lived at 1602 Sturt Street, Ballarat, and had two children.

Jack died on 15 June 1976, aged 82 years old. He donated his body to the School of Anatomy, at the University of Melbourne.