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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Jacobs, Len

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1892
Place of birth McLaren Vale
Principal occupation Engine Driver
Date of death 1939
Place of decease Waikerie

Leonard Thomas Jacobs was born in McLaren Vale on 5 April 1892, the second son of Jacob Sydney Jacobs and Mary Jacobs (nee Annis) who had married in June 1889. They had four children:

1. Sydney Arthur, born 19 August 1890.

2. Leonard Thomas, born 5 April 1892.

3. Winifred, born 6 October 1893, married William Male.

4. Cora May, born 9 May 1895.

Len’s father was a blacksmith in McLaren Vale, but he died in 1898, aged only 32. Len’s mother Mary died in 1910 aged 47. Len was a cousin to Connie Jacobs.

Len went to school in Willunga and then worked as an engine driver. He enlisted in the Army in August 1914 and received a Willunga Cheer Up Society farewell on his embarkation for Egypt. He initially served as a gunner and later as a driver. He was posted to Gallipoli, Egypt, France and Belgium and was promoted to Corporal in July 1918. His brother Sydney also enlisted but died of wounds while fighting in Egypt in 1916.

Len Jacobs was away for four and a half years, returning just before Christmas, on 23 December 1918, to a most enthusiastic welcome from Willunga Cheer Up Society and residents. The members of the Cheer-up Society, in uniform, formed a guard of honour. The National Anthem, and Home, sweet home were sung, and the Rev. T. Wood gave an address, after which Mr. S. Blecker [Blacker?], in his decorated motor, conveyed the Anzac to his home. Later a welcome home social was held in the beautifully decorated Agricultural Hall with a crowded audience. Len was cheered as he proceeded to the platform through the guard of honour formed by Boy Scouts and Cheer-up girls. Several speeches followed, then the President of the Cheer-up Society, Mrs. Longbottom, presented Len with a gold medal. Then followed a musical programme given by Mrs M. I Oldam, Misses Richards, Jacobs, J Webb, Hambridge, and Boy Scouts. The singing of the popular song Anzac by Misses Richards, Jacobs, Foreman, and Sibly Hailstone, was much appreciated. The accompanist was Mrs. F. Aldam. Supper was provided by the Cheer-up girls, and a dance followed.

Len married Lillian Wall in 1921. They had three children – Sydney (named after Len’s older brother who was killed in the War), Cyril and Kelvin. The family moved to Waikerie where Len died on 13th September 1939, aged 47. His widow died on 19 June 1972, aged 74. They are both buried in the Waikerie Cemetery.


  • The Victor Harbour Times and Encounter Bay and Lower Murray Pilot Friday 17 January 1919 p4
  • Chris Horsman A Picture of Fortitude 2016 page 215.
Jacobs, Leonard Thomas.
Jacobs, Leonard Thomas.

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