Private 19715 William Jackson

Killed in Action on Thursday, 3rd October 1918, age 30.
Commemorated on Panel 6 and 7 of Vis-En-Artois Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.

1st/5th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 137th Brigade of 46th Division.

Son of William and Sarah Jackson, of Horston St., New Town, West Bromwich.
Born: West Bromwich, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1744165/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
25 Tasker Street, West Bromwich, Staffs.
William Jackson (52, Ironworks Labourer, born West Bromwich), his wife Sarah Ann (49, born West Bromwich), and their 4 children: Joseph (27, Sheet Mill Iron Worker, born West Bromwich), Richard (21, Sheet Mill Iron Worker, born West Bromwich), William (13, Guide Mill Iron Worker, born West Bromwich), and Thomas (8, born West Bromwich).

1911 Census
William's widowed mother and siblings were still in West Bromwich, William cannot be traced with any certainty.

2a Ryders Green Road, West Bromwich, Staffs.
Sarah Ann Jackson (58, Widow, born West Bromwich), and 3 of her 6 children: Richard (31, Labourer in Iron Works, born West Bromwich), Mary Ann (27, born West Bromwich), and Thomas (18, Labourer in Iron Works, born West Bromwich).

Personal Data

After William's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £9/3/6d (9 pounds, 3 shillings and 6 pence), and his War Gratuity was £18/10/0d (18 pounds and 10 shillings). A sum of £3/10/0d was paid to his mother, Sarah, in September 1919, and the balance of £24/13/6d seems to have been paid to 4 children in October 1919 - details follow. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that William had enlisted in October 1914.

The 4 children were: John (born 25-03-1908), William (born 29-11-1910), Mary (born 26-02-1912), and James (born 21-10-1916). I have been unable to trace these children, or a marriage, with any certainty.

Action resulting in his death

William Jackson arrived in France at an unknown date after 1915, so missed the 1/5th South Staffs' disastrous day at the Hohenzollern Redoubt in October 1915. It is possible that he was present at their second disastrous day, 1st July 1916 at Gommecourt, but he would have been in action on 29th September 1918, the day the 46th (North Midlands) Division reputation was finally restored - "the day the Staffords won the war".

The Hindenburg Line, the final truly defensible German defence line, was to be breached on 29th September 1918. The 46th Division stormed the St. Quentin Canal between Bellenglise and the Riqueval Bridge, captured the Riqueval Bridge itself, and took the village of Bellenglise.

Following the breach of the Hindenburg Line the offensive continued, pushing the Germans eastwards.

War Diary 3rd October 1918
The Battalion was in position by 05.00am. Zero Hour was 06.05am.The Battalion was on the right of the attack, the 32nd Division taking Sequehart on our right flank. 'C' & 'D' Companies were in the first wave, 'A' & 'B' Companies in the second wave. The Battalion met with very strong opposition from the enemy, his machine gunners being especially troublesome. After some very hard fighting during which many of the enemy were killed and many captured, the battalion reached its objective by about 08.00am. Outposts were pushed forward on to Mannequin Hill but later had to be withdrawn owing to the intense enfilade machine gun fire. Unsuccessful counter-attacks on both flanks were made by the enemy. Shelling and machine gun fire was severe throughout the day.

This was the day William was killed in action, one of 39 men from the 1/5th South Staffs killed that day. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings