Monday, 22 September 2008 2:58 PM

Sir Jacob Vouza-Solomon Islands War Hero

If you have been past the rove Police Headquarters, you may have noticed a huge monument next to the Police Station.

The monument is of Sir Jacob Charles Vouza who was the Solomon Islands World War 2 hero.

Solomon Times did a little research on this hero at the Solomon Islands National Museum.

Described as one of the bravest men, it was said that Sir Jacob Vouza helped the Americans gain victory over the Japanese during the battle in Guadalcanal.

Born in Papagu Village in Koli, West of Guadalcanal Province in the 1900's, Vouza served with the Solomon Islands Protectorate Armed Constabulary in 1916, and retired at the rank of Sergeant Major in 1941.

Vouza volunteered to become a scout for the Americans after he rescued an American Pilot shot down by the Japanese.

On one of his missions to locate enemy camps, he was captured by Colonel Ichiki Kiyonao and his men. After discovering an American Flag Vouza was carrying, he was tortured to reveal information following the American hide outs from which he received brutal wounds to his leg, chest and face.

Despite being tortured severely, the Japanese could not get information from him, so they left him in the jungle to die.

Sir Jacob Vouza then chewed through the vines he was tied with and stumbled through mountainous terrains to reach the American camp, from where he received medical treatment and had enough strength to utter the plans of the Japanese.

The victorious 'Battle of Tenaru' by the Americans was said to have been the result of information given by Sir Vouza.

Sir Jacob Vouza received a number of awards in recognition of his service to the War. The Silver Star was awarded to him by Major General Alexander A. Vandegrift, commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, for refusing to give information under Japanese torture. He also was awarded the Legion of Merit for outstanding service with the 2nd Raider Battalion during November and December 1942, and the British George Medal for gallant conduct and exceptional devotion to duty. He later received the Police Long Service Medal and, in 1957, and was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his long and faithful government service. In 1979 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. (wikipedia.org)

Sir Jacob Vouza passed away in 1984.

Looking up at the statue in front of the Police Head Quarters today, Solomon Islanders are always reminded of the bravery of Sir Vouza, the Solomon Island hero.