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Gordon Jackson

Date of birth: 1893
Date of death: 16.09.1916
Area: Outwood, Wakefield
Regiment: Coldstream Guards
Family information: Son of Arthur and Mary Jackson
Rank: Private
Service number: 13613

War Service

In the weeks immediately after the declaration of war, on 4th August 1914, many young men enlisted in the army. Gordon Richard was one of these men, giving up his employment in the coal mines and joining the Coldstream Guards. After training in England, on the 24th May 1915, Private Gordon Richard Jackson was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards in Flanders.
The 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards embarked for France on the 12th August 1914, eight days after war had been declared. The 2nd Battalion was part of the 4th Guards Brigade, attached to the 2nd Division of the British Expeditionary Force. On the 23rd August the 2nd Division moved forward into Belgium. On that same day the British Army was forced to withdraw from Mons, due to the withdrawal of the French troops on their flanks. The retreat ended on the 5th September, by which time the British had marched 170 miles in thirteen days, reaching an area south of the River Marne, east of Paris.
A month later, after re-crossing the Aisne, the 2nd Battalion moved to Flanders, where they were to remain for some time. The 2nd Battalion was part of the Guards Brigade which fought in the first Battle of Ypres. In the summer of 1915 the Guards Division was formed and the 2nd Battalion moved to the 1st Guards Brigade.
In July 1916, the Guards Division left the Ypres Salient to take part in the Allied offensive on the Somme. The first week of September was spent in billets at Meaulte, but on the 10th September the battalion marched to bivouacs and dug-outs at Carnoy. At 20.00 hours on the 14th September the 2nd Coldstream Guards moved up to the front line at Ginchy, in preparation for the attack. The 2nd Battalion was in the centre of the Guards Division assault, with the 3rd Coldstream Guards on their left and 1st Coldstream Guards on their right.
The assault began at 06.30 hours on 15th September 1916. On emerging from Ginchy Wood, No 3 and No 4 Companies, who were leading the 2nd Battalion’s assault, came under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire and suffered heavy casualties. Despite this, the original objective was taken at 07.15 hours. At 11.00 hours the line again advanced and despite a heavy enemy artillery barrage, took the second line. Lt Edmonstone and Lt Laing, the only two officers who were not casualties, went out 400 – 500 yards in front, with men of No 1 Company and remained there till dusk. During the night the 2nd Coldstream Guards consolidated their positions, but throughout the following day they were continually shelled by enemy artillery. After a quiet night the 2nd Battaliion was relieved at dawn on 17th September and marched to Bernafay Wood, where they had a hot meal, before returning to their billets.
The 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, incurred over 400 casualties during the assault, one of whom was Private Gordon Richard Jackson. His name is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, which is a memorial to those who died on the Somme and who have no known grave. It bears the names of 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South Africa forces who died on the Somme sector before 20th March 1918.

Family Life

Gordon Richard Jackson was born on 24th December 1893, the son of Arthur and Mary Jackson of Newton Buildings, Outwood. His parents, Arthur Jackson and Mary Leverton, had registered their marriage in the Lough District of Lincolnshire in 1891. Their second child and eldest son, Gordon Richard, was baptised on the 4th February 1894 at St Mary Magdalene Church, Outwood. At this time his father was employed as a coal miner. As the family grew, Gordon Richard had five siblings and they continued to live at Newton Lane End, Outwood. On leaving school Gordon Richard Jackson obtained work at a local colliery and the 1911 census shows that he was employed on the underground haulage system.

Thiepval Memorial Thiepval Memorial

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