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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916


Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 25358 William Robert Jackson


  • Age: 25
  • From: Wolverhampton
  • Regiment: 1st Royal Scots Fus.
  • Died on Thursday 5th December 1918
  • Commemorated at: Charleroi Cc
    Panel Ref: O.15
William Robert was born in Wolverhampton in 1893, the only son of Joseph Jackson and his wife Sarah Ann (née Bailey).  His parents, both from Staffordshire, his father from Bilston and his mother from Wolverhampton, married in 1889 and had two children. William had a younger sister Elsie May, born in 1896 in Wolverhampton. 
 
William was baptised on 19th September 1893 in St. Matthew, Wolverhampton. His father was an iron worker in Wolverhampton, and many of their neighbours were employed in the iron works.  John Lysaght owned ironworks in Wolverhampton and opened the Orb steelworks in Newport, Monmouthshire, in 1898 which  attracted many workers. 
 
By 1901 his parents have moved to Newport and are found at 35 Vivian Road. His father, 33, is an iron worker (roller), his mother is 35, William is 7, and Elsie 5.
 
In the years after the census, two ironworks were built in Ellesmere Port;  Burnell’s opened in 1903 and the Wolverhampton Corrugated Iron Company (later the Mersey Iron Works) in 1905.  
 
The 1911 census finds the family at 24 Meadow Lane, Ellesmere Port.  His father, 43, is listed as an iron worker (“breaking down”) in a galvanised sheet iron works.  His mother is 45, William is 17, a marker in an iron works, and Allie May is 14. 
 
William enlisted in Liverpool on 09/11/1914 as Private 22736, 20th (Pals) Battalion of The King’s Liverpool Regiment, giving his age as 21 years and 3 months, and his occupation as iron worker.  He is described as being 5’ 6” tall, weighing 126 lbs, with a fresh complexion, brown eyes, and light brown hair.  He gives his father Joseph Jackson, at 24 Meadow Lane, Ellesmere Port, as his next of kin, and his religion as C of E.  
 
The battalion trained locally at Knowsley, and in April 1915 moved to Belton Park camp in Lincolnshire.  Whilst there, on 27/6/1915, William was admonished for being absent without leave one day, and forfeited one day’s pay.  The Pals battalions become part of the 89th Brigade, 30th Division.
 
On 18/8/1915 William was transferred to 30th Divisional Cyclist Company as Private 9074.  After moving to Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain, on 27/9/1915, he overstayed his pass one day, was confined to barracks for three days and forfeited one day’s pay.
 
William arrived in France on 8th November 1915.  His service record survives and shows -
 
20/2/1916 to hospital in the field
26/2/1916 rejoined unit
28/3/1916 to hospital
3/4/1916 to 16 General Hospital, Le Tréport, with impetigo
 
On 22/5/1916 he was transferred to the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers, with the regimental number 25358.  The battalion went into action at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, on 1st July in the attack on Montauban, and on 9th July they attacked Maltz Horn Farm.

18/7/1916 to 98th Field Ambulance, influenza
19/7/1916 to No.5 Casualty Clearing Station
20/7/1916 to No.23 General Hospital, Etaples, with influenza; father informed
24/7/1916 to No.6 Convalescent Depot; father informed
27/7/1916 to Infantry Base Depot, Etaples
 
William was transferred yet again, on 10/8/1916, to the 1st Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers.  The 1st Royal Scots saw action at the Battle of Arras in April 1917 and the advance to the Hindenburg Line.  In April 1917 William joined 8th Trench Mortar Battery (it is not known for how long as this portion of his service record is illegible).
 
Similarly, no record of U.K. leave is evident on his record, but William was home in September 1917, when he married Annie Blanche Thompson on 13th September, witnesses Samuel Jackson and his sister Elsie May.  Annie was born in Ellesmere Port in 1892.  There is no record of children born to the marriage.
 
William rejoined his unit and on 19/1/1918 he was again absent without leave for one day, and forfeited a day’s pay.
 
2/8/1918 wounded (gas)
23/8/1918 gassed shell W sev (?), to No.83 General Hospital, Boulogne; wife informed
2/9/1918 to 10 Convalescent Depot, Ecault; wife informed
8/9/1918 joined Base Depot at Calais
16/9/1918 attached to 8th Bde H.Q.
 
We can imagine the relief and joy of his family when the Armistice was signed and William had survived the war.  Annie was informed by telegramme on 30th November that William was ill with influenza at No.55 Casualty Clearing Station and another telegramme on 03/12/18 reporting his condition “slightly better”.  William died of influenza at No.55 CCS on 05th December 1918.  Annie received a telegram:

“Much regret to inform you your husband died 5th December”. 

William was 25 years of age and now rests at Charleroi Communal Cemetery, Hainaut, Belgium, where his headstone bears the epitaph:

"THY WILL BE DONE"

Charleroi was occupied by the Germans throughout the war. The 270 Commonwealth WW1 servicemen buried in the cemetery died either as prisoners of war or after the Armistice.
 
His death was reported in the Chester Chronicle on 21st December 1918:

“Death of Private W. Jackson in Belgium - The sad news has reached us of the death in Belgium from pneumonia of Private William Jackson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jackson of Meadow Lane, which event took place at the 55 Casualty Clearing Station on December 5th.  Private Jackson married over a year ago the youngest daughter of the late Geo. Thompson, of Oak Street, and widespread sympathy is shown towards the bereaved wife and families.  The deceased was a well known figure, and prior to enlistment was employed at the Mersey Iron Works.  He joined the forces soon after the commencement of the war, and went to France in November, 1916 [sic], being wounded in the Somme offensive.  He was afterwards gassed twice, and on three occasions buried by shells.  He was home on leave so recently as October.  Pte. Jackson was perhaps best known amongst the billiard players of the district, being counted amongst the few best players.”
 
William is not listed on the Mersey Iron Works memorial.  He was remembered in the Ellesmere Port Primitive Methodist Church peace service later in December.
 
William served for over four years and earned his three medals.  His widow Annie, at 16 Oak Street, Ellesmere Port, received his Army effects of £28-9s-1d, as well as a War Gratuity of £23-10s, and a pension of 13/9d a week.  She received William’s personal effects in May 1919: Disc, Letters, Cards, Photos, Pipe, Pocket book, Cigarette cases, Key, Stripe, Wallet, Safety razor blades in case, War Savings Certificate.  She applied for William’s 1914-15 Star, which she received on 20th May 1921.
 
In 1919 Annie provided information on William’s living relatives. His parents and sister Elsie May, 23, were still living at 24 Meadow Lane. 
 
Annie appears to have married in 1928 to a man ten years younger (misrepresenting her age), had a son, and died in 1966.
 
William is commemorated on the following memorials :

Ellesmere Port Cross

Christ Church, Ellesmere Port 

Cheshire Roll of Honour