Monthly Archives: August 2017

In Memoriam: Harold Edward Jackson

Photograph of Harold Edward Jackson

Harold Edward Jackson

Harold Edward Jackson was reported missing, later presumed killed, in France on 12th June 1917, aged 20.

He was born in York in 1896 and attended Bootham School from 1913 to 1915.  At school, he was interested in archaeology, entomology and photography and played pianoforte.  He was a curator of entomology. When he left school, “Bootham” magazine said:

“H. E. JACKSON has spent eleven terms at Bootham, and leaves from the Upper Senior. He occasionally played for the 2nd XI.  at both football and cricket. He also did much admirable work as entomologist and photographer.”

The March 1916 issue of “Bootham” magazine, under “Bootham School War Lists” shows, under “Under Military Discipline”:

“Jackson, H. E., Leeds University O.T.C.”

In 1917, Harold was serving at the Front.  He was able to attend the Whitsuntide meeting of the Old York Scholars’ Association in York, having “just arrived from the trenches”.

The December 1917 issue of “Bootham” Magazine reported the following:

“HAROLD E, JACKSON (1909-12), Second Lieut., W. Yorks, has been missing since June, when it was reported that the success of a movement was mainly due to his splendid example and leadership. Any further news of him would be most thankfully received.”

By the following year it was clear that Harold had been lost.  “Bootham” reported in the May 1918 issue:

“HAROLD E. JACKSON. ” British Official.—Last night, in the —— Sector, our troops carried out a successful raid. “

It was on such a raid as this that Harold Jackson took part in June last year. At the time of this raid I was on trench duty in another part of the battalion front. Shortly after the raiders had left our lines I was walking along the grids to the point of exit when I heard a man coming running towards me. Hurriedly he told me that the raiders had encountered heavy opposition, and that stretcher-bearers were urgently needed.

It was not until morning that I heard that Jackson had never returned, and that he was last seen chasing several Germans back towards their support line. One of his officers wrote :

The success of the operation was due to a great extent to the splendid example and leadership of Jackson. I could always rely on him carrying out thoroughly everything he had to do.”

Harold Edward Jackson is remembered on the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.