Died of Wounds on Monday, 24th January 1916, age 20.
Buried in Grave A. 16. 26. at St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France.
‘C' Company of 14th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment. 13th Brigade of 5th Division.
Son of R. T. W. and Emma Jenkins, of 183, Aston Lane, Perry Barr, Birmingham.
Born: Dudley, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Unknown.
First landed France & Flanders, 21st November 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.
Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial but commemorated on King Edward's, Aston, School Memorial.
Commemorated here because recorded on the Census as born in Tipton.
Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/515190/
Birth of John Richard Jenkins registered December Quarter 1895 at Dudley.
6 Railway Road, Aston, Birmingham.
Richard T.W. Jenkins (34, Packing Crate Maker, born Folkestone, Kent), his wife Emma (36, born Dudley Port, Tipton), and their 5 children: Thomas H. (12, born Burnt Tree, Tipton), Ada G. (10, born Wednesbury), Sarah D. (8, born Wednesbury), John R. (5, born Dudley Port, Tipton) and Harry (2, born Witton, Handsworth).
183 Aston Lane, Perry Barr, Birmingham.
Richard Thomas Whittaker Jenkins (44, Commission Agent for Provident Clothing & Supply Co., Bradford, born Folkestone, Kent), and his 5 children: Thomas Henry (22, Student at Birmingham University, born Tipton), Ada Gertrude (20, School Teacher, born Wednesbury), Sarah Dorothy (18, Home Duties, born Wednesbury), John Richard (15, School, born Dudley Port, Tipton), Harry (12, School, born Handsworth). Also, Eliza Jane Lyons (Sister-in-Law, 34, Single, Assisting Home Duties, born Tipton).
Mrs Emma Jenkins was registered at 318 Wheeler Lane (a Public House managed by John and Emily Leeson). Emma (47, born Dudley Port, Tipton) was a Maternity Nurse, so she was possibly there attending on a temporary basis for a recent or imminent birth.
John Richard Jenkins was born on 7th September 1895 in Dudley Port, his mother’s place of birth. The family had moved around, but before John was 3 years of age the family moved to the Aston area where they settled.
Harry attended King Edward’s School, Aston, before being admitted to King Edward’s School, Edgbaston, in September 1912. He was a capable student and excelled at sports, especially rugby and cricket. After leaving school, he worked as a Student Teacher for the Birmingham Education Committee.
A letter in the Birmingham Daily Mail, January 20th 1916, says that John was orderly to Captain Bryson (George Lander Unite Bryson of Barnt Green). Captain Bryson was killed on July 30th 1916 during a costly attack on High Wood on the Somme.
After John’s death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £6/12/7d (6 pounds, 12 shillings and 7 pence); this was paid to his father, Richard, in May 1916 and March 1918. His War Gratuity was £5/10/0d (5 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his father in August 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that John had enlisted in approximately September 1914.
The 14th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment (14/RWR) were 1 of 3 battalions raised in Birmingham in August and September 1914, they were known at the Birmingham Pals or Birmingham City battalions. John Jenkins enlisted as one of the first 1000 men and so was in the 1st Birmingham Pals, this meant that he was likely to have enlisted on the 31st August, or very soon afterwards.
The Birmingham Pals battalions constituted 3 of the 4 battalions of the 95th Brigade of the 32nd Division. They landed in Boulogne, France on November 21st 1915, John was with them on their first day abroad.
During December 1915, the Birmingham Pals underwent trench familiarisation near Carnoy on the Somme, under the tutelage of 13th Brigade of 5th Division. At the very end of December 1915, the 3 Birmingham Pals left 32nd Division to join the highly experienced 5th Division. The purpose of this was to “stiffen” the New Army 32nd Division with a number of Regular battalions, and the Birmingham Pals served alongside experienced Regular soldiers in 5th Division.
The 14/RWR went back into the front line near Carnoy (Sector B3) at 20.30hrs on January 4th 1916. Within 2 days, John Jenkins was grievously wounded as reported in the War Diary for January 6th:
“No. 631 Pte. Jenkins, ‘C’ Company, wounded by Trench Mortar shell, which only accounted for this one casualty although dropping mid-way between the openings of 2 dug-outs, both fully occupied at the time.”
John’s leg was severely wounded and he was moved back through the Casualty Clearing system. Sadly, for such a keen sportsman, his leg had to be amputated on January 16th. Eight days later, on January 24th, John succumbed to his wounds at one of the many hospitals in Rouen, and he was buried in St Sever Cemetery, Rouen.
Birmingham Daily Mail, January 20 1916
OLD EDWARDIAN SERIOUSLY WOUNDED.
PROMINENT RUGBY FOOTBALLER AND CRICKETER.
Information has been received that Private John R. Jenkins, a member of ‘C’ Company of the 1st City of Birmingham Battalion, was seriously wounded on January 6th by the bursting of a shell. One of his legs was so badly shattered that it was deemed necessary to amputate it on the 16th inst.
Private Jenkins is very well known in the city. He was educated at King Edward’s School, Aston, and whilst there took an active interest in the school games, gaining his colours and cap for Rugby football, and his colours for cricket. He was captain of the cricket team in the seasons of 1911-12, and vice-captain of the Rugby football team. Whilst at school he was chosen to play in the Rugby match for the East v. West. He was subsequently a member of the Aston Old Edwardians Rugby first fifteen, all the members of which are now in the Army.
When he left Aston School, he was appointed a student teacher under the Birmingham Education Committee, and attended King Edward’s High School for two years. On the outbreak of war, he joined the 1st City Battalion, and was a member of the Rugby football team, whilst he won the “C” Company event at the Battalion sports. He went to France on November 21st, and was orderly to Captain Bryson. He is 20 years of age.
The Sportsman, January 22 1916
Every man in the Aston Old Edwardian Rugby first fifteen is in the Army. A member recently wounded is Pte. J.R. Jenkins, 1st Birmingham City Battalion, who has had one of his legs amputated. When at King Edward’s School he was captain of the cricket eleven and vice captain of the football team.
Birmingham Daily Mail, January 25 1916
OLD EDWARDIAN DIES OF WOUNDS.
News has been received of the death in a Base Hospital in France of Private John R. Jenkins of “C” Company, of the 1st City of Birmingham Battalion, who was seriously wounded on January 6 through the bursting of a shell. His left leg was so badly shattered that it was deemed necessary to amputate it on the 16th inst. He also sustained other injuries. Private Jenkins was only 20 years of age, was appointed a student teacher under the Birmingham Education Committee when he left Aston Grammar School, and attended King Edward’s High School for two years. He was prominently identified with the Rugby Football Club and the Cricket Club when at Aston School, and was subsequently a member of the Aston Old Edwardian First Fifteen, all the members of which joined the Army. On the outbreak of war, he joined the 1st City Battalion, and was a member of the Rugby football team, whilst he won the “C” Company event at the Battalion sports. He went to France on November 21, and was orderly to Captain Bryson. He was the second son of Mr. R.T.W. Jenkins, of 183 Aston Lane Perry Barr.
Old Edwardian’s Roll of Service.
Jenkins, John Richard
Private ▪ 1st Birmingham Pals, 14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment
John Richard Jenkins, born on 7th September 1895, was admitted to King Edward’s School in September 1912, having transferred from King Edward’s Aston. His father, Richard, was a commission agent, and the family, including his two brothers and two sisters, lived at 183, Aston Lane, Perry Bar. John’s brothers, Thomas and Harry, attended King Edward’s Aston and Harry served and died in the Great War.
At School, John was a member of the 1st XV, and was described by the Secretary in 1914 as: “a fair tackle, must learn to go low; does not use his pace to the best advantage”. He was also a good bowler, taking 4 for 21 against King’s School Worcester in 1914, and making 21 runs himself. Academically, he was capable at all aspects of study, particularly French and English. After School, he worked as a Student Teacher for the Birmingham Education Committee.
In 1914, John enlisted as a Private Soldier in the 1st Birmingham Pals Battalion (14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment). He was a member of the Battalion rugby XV, winning the C Company event at the Battalion Sports Competition. In November 1915, he was sent to France, and on 6th January 1916 he was severely wounded by shrapnel. His leg was shattered, and later had to be amputated. John unfortunately succumbed to his wounds on 24th January 1916, aged twenty, and was buried in St Sever Cemetery, Rouen. On 20th January 1916, four days after his leg had been amputated, and four days before his death, the Birmingham Daily Mail reported that Private Jenkins was “very well-known in the city.” John’s father requested that the inscription on his son’s headstone should read: “O Rest in the Lord.”