Welcome to my blog......

The purpose of this blog is to remember the fallen heroes of the Great War, whose names are recorded on the memorial plaque situated in St Barnabas Church, New Whittington, Chesterfield.

To mark the centenary of World War 1 I aim to research all of the men on the memorial. I hope to ensure that the brave men who gave their lives for their country 100 years ago are remembered and each man's story told.

I would love to hear from anyone who may have information regarding the men; photos, letters or passed down memories. Any descendents are most welcome to contact me and I will provide copies of the research that I have undertaken.

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left to grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them"

For The Fallen,
Laurence Binyon September 1914.

Saturday, 11 July 2015




Private 2168

1/5th Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment

Killed in action 11th July 1915

William Ewart Jacklin was the son of John and Sarah Ann Jacklin.  He was born around 1891 in Hundall near Dronfield but moved to New Whittington sometime in between 1901 and 1910.

The Jacklin family....

John Jacklin and Sarah Ann Barson married on 13th April 1873 at Dronfield.  Sarah Ann was born in Huntingdon around 1856, her family had moved to West Street, New Whittington by 1861.  Sarah's father William worked as a coal miner.  John Jacklin has not been so easy to track down, census records tell that he was born in Ashford in the Water anytime in between 1844 and 1850.

A few years after John and Sarah married they had a daughter named Sarah Jane, she was baptised on 1st August 1877 at Whittington.  Followed by a second daughter named Alice, she was baptised on 17th December 1879 also at Whittington.  The 1881 census shows the Jacklin family living at Newbridge Lane, Whittington.  John was working as a coal miner.

A son named Lionel was baptised at Beighton on 14th June 1888 and then in 1891 William Ewart was born.  William does not appear on the 1891 census but his family were living at Hundall, John worked as a coal miner, the other children were Sarah J aged 13, Alice aged 11 and young Lionel aged 3 years old.

The 1901 census shows the Jacklin family are still living at Hundall; there are two new members of the family; Harold and Lily.  Harold was born around 1897 and Lily was born around 1900.  William was aged 10 years old now and still at school.  His father John worked as a coal miner way cleaner, below ground.

Sarah Jane married James William Fish in 1903 at Ecclesall Bierlow, Sheffield.  James was a coal miner and they went on to have three sons; Wilfred, Ernest and Harold.

Sadly in 1904 Lily died, she was only aged 4 years old and was buried on 18th January 1904 at Whittington.  According to the 1911 census John and Sarah had 10 children altogether, however only 3 were still living in 1911.  I have found 7 possible children including a female named Harriett Ann who was baptised on 29th April 1885 at Beighton, she may have died a year later at Rotherham (this would need confirmation by the copy birth and death certs). 

According to my research there should have been 4 children still alive in 1911; Sarah Jane, William Ewart, Lionel and Harold.

Alice had married Thomas Swift on 12th June 1905 at Whittington, sadly only one year later in 1906 Alice sadly passed away.  The death was registered at Glossop, Alice was 27 years old.  Her husband Thomas Swift moved to Bolton Upon Dearne and was lodging at 140 Furlong Lane along with Alice's brother William Ewart.  Thomas was described as a "widower". 

1911 census - Thomas Swift & William Ewart Jacklin
140 Furlong Lane, Bolton Upon Dearne

Lionel was still living but he had suffered some sort of debilitating event when he was 18 years old.  On the 1911 census Lionel is an inmate at the Union Workhouse on Newbold Road in Chesterfield.  Lionel was only 23 years old and was described as "late colliery labourer".  He was tragically labelled "imbecile at 18".  Did Lionel suffer some sort of accident whilst he worked in the pits or did he have a serious illness?  It looks likely that Lionel was the child that had been omitted from the count of living offspring on the 1911 census.

Signature of William Ewart Jacklin on short service papers

On 10th September 1910 William Ewart took a brave step and went to the recruiting agents at Chesterfield to sign up for short service with the Sherwood Foresters.  He agreed to serve 7 years with the colours with a further 5 years in reserve. 

The service papers paint a vivid picture of William's appearance; he was 5 ft 61/2 inches tall, 112lbs in weight, with brown eyes and hair and a fresh complexion.  William bore a tattoo of a woman in a bathing costume on his left forearm and had a mole on his left pectoral area.

Short service records - William Ewart Jacklin
William was now known as Private 11436 and posted to the Depot two days later.  Unfortunately however his service was short lived and on the 24th October 1910 he was discharged.  The reason given was "not being likely to become an efficient soldier" under the Kings Regulations para 390 (iii) (c) which indicates that he was found to be either unfit or his conduct undesirable for service.

1911 - pre WW1....

And so William returned to civilian life, as we already know he was living and working at Bolton Upon Dearne as a coal miner.

His parents John and Sarah had now moved to New Whittington and were living at 71 London Street.  Harold is the only child still living at home, he was aged 14 years old and worked as an iron worker.

Sarah Jane was living with her husband and three sons at 70 Crown Yard, New Whittington.  Lionel was an inmate at the Chesterfield Union Workhouse.

Another tragedy for the Jacklin family....

Only months after the 1911 census on, 19th September 1911, page 8 of the Derbyshire Courier reported "Man drowned in South Yorkshire"  "Widow repudiates strange letter"....

The deceased was John Jacklin a miner 68 years old of 37 London Street, New Whittington.  John's body was found in the Dearne at Bolton Ings near Billingley.  The body was removed to Dronfield for the inquest, where his son William Ewart Jacklin of 140 Furlong Lane made the positive identification.

John's death was marked as being suspicious.  The newspaper reported that a pencilled note was found in his vest pocket ; addressed to his wife it read....

"To wife.  When you hear of this I will be no more.
It is your fault"

The inquest heard how John had left his home at New Whittington about a week earlier and not told Sarah where he was going.  She wasn't concerned because he had done this before.  He had been on short hours at the pits lately only working 2 or 3 days a week.

William Ewart told the jury how his father had visited him a day earlier, in good spirits, he had only stopped a few minutes but William had already had a visit from him earlier in the week when he stayed a couple of hours.  William had been under the impression that John was looking for his nephew and that he was on his way to the railway station.  William had given him some money for the fare, and had not walked some of the way with his father as he suffered from a bad foot.

Both William and Sarah contested the letter and the implications which came with it.  They said that John would not commit suicide, he was in good spirits and would not leave a note like that in any case.  They also stated that John was wearing an Ingersoll watch and chain which was now missing.  Sarah was asked if she had complained to John that he wasn't earning enough money, to which she replied "no because I knew it was no good".  She confirmed again that there had been no row or disagreement between them.

The PC who was called to the body stated that there was no evidence of violence to John.

A verdict of "found drowned" was decided by the Jury.

William's war....

William had a second chance at military life when Britain found itself thrown into the "war to end all wars".  He wasted no time in enlisting and went straight to Goldthorpe at Rotherham on 17th August 1914 and signed his papers.  He stated that he had served 4 years ago with the Notts & Derbys Regiment, there is no note on the file to state that William was discharged.  William had his medical that very same day, being found "fit" he was soon off to undertake his basic training; Private 2168 of the 1/5th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment.  The battalion formed at Rotherham but later moved to Gainsborough and then York.

William embarked from Folkestone on 13th April 1915, off to join the theatre of war in France.  The battalion landed in Boulogne that same night and then marched to Ostrehove Rest Camp.  By the end of April they found themselves under enemy attack in the village of Fleurbaix.  The battalion sustained their first casualty on 26th April 1915; Private Mellors died of wounds received the day earlier.

The battalion remained in the area of Fleurbaix until 26th June 1915 when they marched the 6 miles to Sailly Sur La Lys and then onward to arrive at brigade headquarters at Thieushauk on 30th June 1915.  Their time spent in Fleurbaix had seen much enemy shelling and fighting, many casualties and men killed.

On 1st July the battalion marched 1 1/2 miles from Fletre to Watou to their billets where they rested until 8th July when they set off to Oestnoek Wood near Poperinghe.  A day later on 9th July William and his comrades rested during the day and in the evening they moved to front line trenches and took over the line near to the Yser Canal and Boesinghe.

This area of trenches had been recently taken from the Germans and so the enemy were keen to fight to regain their line.  Subsequently on 10th July the 1/5th York & Lancaster Regiment found themselves under extremely heavy bombardment.  It was so bad at times that a machine gun was totally blown over with the force of the attack, burying the team of men under it.  The incident resulted in one death and one wounded.

The trenches were said to have been in a dreadful state, when the battalion arrived they found the deceased bodies of the enemy situated in them.  The war diary states "the conditions in which the officers and men had to live were terrible".

At 8 pm that night the B.E.F returned gun fire and "opened a heavy fire in reply to the hostile guns".  Eventually after about 1 1/2 hours the enemy silenced.  On that day the war dairy recorded 27 other ranks killed, Captain Rhodes and 127 other ranks wounded and 2 other ranks missing. 

The 11th July was described as "an altogether much quieter day".  The enemy were still shelling the B.E.F but paying more attention to the banks of the Yser Canal.  They did however hit a section of trench in which "A" Company of the battalion were stationed.  Luckily no men were injured in the blast.  That evening the battalion were relieved by the 1/4th Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment. 

Private William Ewart Jacklin is recorded as being killed in action on 11th July 1915.  As the war diary does not note any deaths or casualties on that day it may be possible that William was either wounded and died a day later, was one of the missing in action on 10th July or he did in fact die in action on 11th July 1915 and his death was not recorded. 

The Lieutenant Colonel stated that "all ranks worked so hard under very difficult circumstances" on the day of 10th July 1915.

William is remembered at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium panel 36 and 55.  The CWGC states that he was the son of Mrs S.A. Jacklin of 3 High Street, New Whittington.

Medal Card William Ewart Jacklin

Private William Ewart Jacklin 2168 was awarded the British War Medal, Victory Medal and 15 Star for his service.
Derbyshire Courier, 4th September 1915 page 4
William's death was reported in the Derbyshire Courier on 4th September 1915.  He was described as "a great favourite with members of No 6 platoon of the regiment".

Life went on....

On 12th May 1919 the service record states that William's mother Sarah lived at 90 Furlong Lane, Bolton Upon Dearne.  He had one brother Harold who lived at the same address and a sister S Jane Fish of Handley Road, New Whittington. 

Death of Sarah Jane Fish nee Jacklin
Derbyshire Times 8th September 1939 page 10
Sarah Jane Jacklin remained living in New Whittington.  Sadly her youngest son Harold who was born in 1910 died aged 1 year old in 1911.  Her remaining sons lived on to an old age.  Sarah died in 1939 aged 62 years old.  Her husband James Fish lived another 10 years and died in 1949.

Lionel Jacklin may have died in Burton Upon Trent in 1929 aged 41 years old.

Harold Jacklin died in Chesterfield in 1966. 


If you may be connected to this family or have any further information on William Ewart Jacklin or his family please do either leave comments via the pen icon below or drop me an email.

I hope that I have not given details of living persons, if so please advise and I will remove immediately.

Please note all information has been taken from online indexes and sources.  Due to the sheer numbers of people to be researched I am unable to purchase vital event certificates to confirm my research.


With kind thanks to the Derbyshire Times Newspaper
for permission to use the articles relating to the 
William Jacklin and his family in this blog.


Reference and further reading -

Parish Registers
Medal Rolls
Service Records www.ancestry.co.uk 
Service Records pre WW1 - www.fmp.co.uk

Soldiers who died in the Great War

Newspaper Articles - 
The Derbyshire Courier - 19th September 1911 page 8
                                       - 4th September 1915 page 4
The Derbyshire Times - 8th September 1939 page 10

War Diary - 1/5th York & Lancaster Regiment, 49th Division, 148 Infantry Brigade - WO 95/2805/2 National Archives UK

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