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Corp John Alexander "Jack" French
Birth: Jul. 15, 1914
Crows Nest
Queensland, Australia
Death: Sep. 4, 1942
Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea

World War II Victoria Cross Recipient. A native of Australia, he was gazetted for the award posthumously on January 12, 1943 for his actions as a corporal in the 2/9th Infantry Battalion of the 2nd Australian Imperial Force on September 3, 1942 at Milne Bay, New Guinea during World War II. The son of a barber, he received his formal education from Toowoomba State High School and Toowoomba Technical College, located in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.. In 1929, after completing his training, he apprenticed with his father as a barber. Following the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, he enlisted in the 2nd Australian Imperial Force the following month and was sent to the Middle East in December 1940 as part of the 2.9th Battalion where he participated in the North African Campaign, including the Siege of Tobruk, Libya. In early 1942 he returned with his unit to Australia for jungle warfare training in preparation to counter the Japanese advancement in New Guinea. In August of that year his unit was sent to Milne Bay, New Guinea and the following month he was killed in combat at the age of 28, for which he won the Victoria Cross. The resistance of Australian forces at Milne Bay eventually forced the Japanese Army to retreat from New Guinea, resulting in their first full-scale land defeat on World War II. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "At Milne Bay New Guinea, on the afternoon of 4 September 1942, a company of Australian Infantry battalion attacked a Japanese position where it encountered terrific rifle and machine-gun fire. The advance of the section, of which Corporal French was in command, was held up by fire from three enemy machine-gun posts, whereupon Corporal French, ordering his section to take cover, advanced and silenced one of the posts with grenades. He returned to his section for more grenades and again advanced and silenced the second post. Armed with a Thompson sub-machine gun, he then attacked the third post, firing from the hip as he went forward. He was seen to be badly wounded by fire from this post, but he continued to advance. Enemy guns then ceased fire and his section pushed on to find that all the members of the three enemy gun crews had been killed, and that Corporal French had died in front of the third gun pit. By his cool courage and disregard of his own personal safety, this non-commissioned officer saved members of his section from heavy casualties and was responsible for the successful conclusion of the attack." His Victoria Cross is privately held. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Albert French (____ - 1956)
  Lucy Fanny May Donaldson French (1885 - 1988)
 
 Sibling:
  John Alexander French (1914 - 1942)
  Gordon Albert French (1921 - 1943)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Port Moresby War Cemetery
Port Moresby
National Capital, Papua New Guinea
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: K
Record added: Dec 10, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 8170889
Corp John Alexander Jack French
Added by: Erik Skytte
 
Corp John Alexander Jack French
Added by: hornet
 
Corp John Alexander Jack French
Added by: hornet
 
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Thank you for your courage and valor in time of battle. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Oct. 1, 2015

- poddop
 Added: Sep. 4, 2015
RIP
- Michelle & Ricky
 Added: Aug. 20, 2015
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