Private Charles Jackson

Private Charles Jackson

Was the Uncle of parishioner Eric Sanders. On 2nd February 1916 at the age of 37, while working and living in Greenwood Street, Altrincham as a fishmonger’s assistant, he enlisted in the Manchester Regiment to “serve one day with the colours and the remainder of the period in the Army reserves”.

Presumably because of his age, judged to be an old soldier at 37, and his height, 5 feet 4 inches, he was appointed to be a cyclist/messenger in the British Expeditionary Force sent to France in December 1916. Delivering messages on a bicycle must have been a dangerous job cycling in open fields out of the relative safety of the trenches. Sometime in May 1918 he suffered gunshot wounds to the arm, shoulder, thigh and face, which resulted in him being removed from the colours and in October 1918 he was “posted as an unsuitable case” for frontline services. Due to his injuries he was transferred to the Labour Corps and then back to the UK.

On 13 March 1919 he was given 28 days leave after which he was not allowed to wear his uniform, that is he was discharged from the Army. On discharge he received a clear company conduct sheet with a 30% disability and a weekly bonus of 8 shillings and three pence (about 40p!).

In 1919 the Army returned Charlie’s will and he acknowledged receipt on 1st June 1919 in a strong, firm, legible hand, curtly informing them that they had got his address wrong. The awards of the British War Medal and the Victory Medal were made to him in 1922, 3 years after the conflict ended. The family has his Victory Medal but sadly not his War Medal. Eric met his Uncle Charlie on a few occasions as a young boy. He remembers him as a small man with a limp and facial hair, a strong personality and a sharp tongue. He never mentioned the war once to Eric. Eric has a small barometer hanging in memory of him which came from his Uncle’s house after his death.

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