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Thomas Dare Jackson Mary "Mimi" Lillian Vera Massy Lloyd
Born: June 14, 1876
Born: 1896
Died: February 7, 1954 Died: April 1, 1975
Father: Sir Thomas JACKSON Father: Brig-General Samuel Eyre Massy LLOYD.
Mother: Amelia Lydia DARE Mother: Annie "Nancy" Eliza Madoc-Jones
Married: January 25, 1919 - NOTE: They met through Mimi's father

NOTE: The dates offered above differ in some respects from the dates in my data base, but I have chosen to use the dates as supplied by Brian McDonald, husband of Juliet Euphrosyne Bowman-Vaughan (who is the daughter of Nancy Amelia Jackson). The text which follows was written by Brian McDonald. Any errors which may have arisen from transcription are mine and mine alone.


THEIR THREE CHILDREN (Note both sons predeceased their parents):

Thomas Rickard Eyre JACKSON, b. February 3, 1921, killed in action in Italy (WWII) February 1944.
Julius Lloyd JACKSON, b. February 6, 1922, drowned. July 31,1943
Nancy Amelia JACKSON, b. September 24, 1924 d. November 27, 2000.


Sir Thomas Dare Jackson, 2nd Bt. Of Herringfleet, Suffolk. DSO and bar (1918), MVO (1912), JP (Suffolk), DL, Boer War 1901-02 (dispatches twice, Queen’s medal five clasps), Adj. 1902-05, ADC to GOC Southern Army India 1906-08, Assistant Military Secretary to GOC Gibralter1910-14, WW1 (dispatches three times); T/Lt. Col 1914-15, T/Brig-Gen. and brigade Commander1915-16, Commanded a Btn. Manchester Regiment 1916-1917, Hon. Brig-Gen. 1919, Col. late KORR (Lancaster);

Mrs Juliet McDonald, Dtr of Nancy Amelia, and Grand dtr of Thomas Dare, has a Portrait, in Pastels, of Thomas Dare, by the renowned portrait artist, Charlotte Blakeney-Ward. 1898-1937. Measuring 25x30 inches.

Sir Thomas Dare Jackson’s Military Career.

Thomas Dare Jackson was born on 14th June 1876, The eldest son of Sir Thomas Jackson, first Baronet, and Amelia Lydia Jackson (nee Dare) and was educated at Cheltenham.

In those days, there were two ways of obtaining a commission in the Infantry: one method was for the young man to sit and pass the Army entrance examination, be accepted for the Royal Military College at Sandhurst and undergo an eighteen months course, satisfactory completion of which, led to a commission. Fathers of Gentlemen Cadets at the RMC had to pay fees. The other method was to obtain a commission in the Militia ( the equivalent of the modern TA), which was theoretically in the hands of the Lord Lieutenant of the county, but in fact was subject to recommendation and interview; and then to apply for transfer to the Regular Army. A young militia officer had to prove that he knew the basics of soldiering, then discreet enquiries would be made as to whether he was “suitable” for regular service—which many were not.

Thomas chose the latter method and joined the King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) from the Militia on 1st December 1897 as a Second Lieutenant. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 16th August 1899.
His regiment was then sent to the South African War, and Thomas served with it in the Cape Colony, Orange River Colony, and Transvaal campaigns, from March 1901 until April 1902. He was obviously well thought of, as he was promoted Captain in April 1902, at the early age of 26, after only five years service. At the end of the war, he had been mentioned in dispatches, and held the Queen’s South Africa Medal with five clasps. He was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), the London Gazette of 31st October 1902 announcing the award to “Thomas Dare Jackson, Captain, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, in recognition of services in South Africa”.
(At this time the DSO was a junior officers’ decoration, awarded to subalterns and captains; their seniors being awarded the Companion of the Bath (CB). This remained the situation until the introduction of the Military Cross (MC) in early WW1, when the DSO moved to being a leadership award for more senior officers).

Thomas’s career continued to prosper, and he was appointed adjutant of his battalion on 11th August 1902, an appointment held until 10th August 1905. This post was, and still is, the most prestigious post, in the battalion, for a captain. (The Adjutant is the battalion staff officer and the Commanding Officer’s right hand man. Orders from the Adjutant are obeyed, regardless of the seniority of the recipient, as the Adjutant speaks for the Commanding Officer).

After leave in the UK, Thomas was appointed Aid De Camp to the General Officer Commanding Southern Army India (a Lieutenant General) from 22nd June 1906 until 29th October 1908. As ADC to on army commander, Jackson would have seen at first hand, how command at the higher levels is exercised, and his progress was then recognised, on 30th September 1910, by his appointment as Assistant Military Secretary to the Commander in Chief and Governor of Gibraltar.
(The Military Secretariat is a particularly sensitive staff department, dealing with officer’s careers, confidential reports, discipline and postings).

Shortly before the outbreak of WW1, Thomas returned to the 1st Battalion of his regiment, as Officer Commanding D Company. 1st King’s Own, which was part of 12 Brigade, 4th Division, (one of the original four divisions, which made up the “British Expeditionary Force”) landed in France on 23rd August, and fought in the retreat from Mons, and the battles of the Marne.

Thomas was promoted Major on the 30th September 1914. (Later in the war, promotion would be speeded up by casualties, but at this point peacetime rules still applied, and Thomas at 38, was young to be promoted).

On 26th August 1914, the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colnel Dykes, was killed in action, and the battalion second-in-command, held temporary command until Lieutenant Colonel Creagh Osbourne took over on 3rd October 1914. Thomas remained as OC D Company, in the thick of the action, until, Creagh Osborne was relieved by Lieutenant Colonel Purvis, on 2nd July 1915. On the same day, Thomas went on, what was supposed to be, one month’s leave to England. However the following day, Purvis was transferred to take command of the 2nd Battalion of the Regiment and, Thomas was recalled and appointed Commanding Officer of 1st King’s Own.

War diaries of this period show that the battalion was of high moral, and that his operational orders were clear, unambiguous and economical, while leaving no doubt as to what was required. He was still only 39 and that he was considered the best commanding officer in the brigade (of four battalions), is evidenced by his twice being placed in temporary command, once from 6th to 28th September1915, and again from October 1915. In late October 1915, he was promoted temporary Brigadier General, and placed in permanent command of 55 Brigade. (He was still only a substantive Major).

55 Brigade consisted of 7th Buffs, 7th Queens, 7th Royal West Kents and 8th East Surreys. It was a “New Army” brigade composed of “Pals” battalions, raised from the hundreds and Thousands of enthusiastic Volunteers of 1914 and early 1915. It was initially inexperienced, with few battalions having more than two regular officers and a handful of regular NCO’s. The brigade had been in France for only three months when Thomas took it over, and his task was to prepare for it’s blooding in the Somme offensive of 1916, (planning and preparation for which, had begun in late 1915).


55 Brigade was part of 18 Division (53,54 and55 Brigades, all “New Army) commanded by Major General Ivor Maxse, late of the Coldstream Guards. Maxse was one of the more innovative divisional commanders of the war, and laid great emphasis on training and preparation prior to any operation. The headquarters staff of 18 Division was very high grade, and included Major Alan Brooke (later Field Marshall Lord Alanbrooke) as brigade Major Royal Artillery.


In the French view, the British had so far taken little offensive part in the war, and given that the British Army had to expand from a small regular force in 1914, to a mass army able to operate on the Continent, this was fair comment.There is some evidence that Joffre, the French Commander in Chief, chose the Somme (where the British and French armies joined) as the area for the 1916 offensive, in order to force the British to take part.

Originally it was planned as an Anglo French offensive, to break through the German lines, and thus end the war. However, in February 1916, the Germans attacked at Verdun, pulling more and more French divisions into the battle. The Somme offensive, therefore, had to be largely British, and Joffre laid down that 1st July 1916 was the latest date he could hold at Verdun, without some sort of diversionary attack elsewhere. The aims of the Somme offensive therefore changed to take pressure off the French at Verdun, to kill Germans, and to capture territory which could be used for further operations in 1917.


The 18th Division were on the south of the British attack, and 55 Brigade were the right hand brigade of the division, with the task of capturing the trench lines, in and to the west of the villiage of Montauban. Zero hour was 07.30 1st July 1916.

After a seven day bombardment Thomas attacked with two battalions up, 7th Queens left, and 8th East Surreys right. (The right hand leading company of the 8th East Surreys, was commanded by Captain Billy Neville, a professional footballer, who gave his men footballs to kick along in front of them as they advanced)..

On the 18th Division front the artillery had done it’s job and the German wire was cut. The German front line trenches were more lightly held, than was the case elsewhere, and 55 Brigade were through them fairly quickly, although there was stiff fighting from a stoutly defended group of craters to the left of the Brigade’s area. Thomas now sent up his two reserve battalions, and the brigade pressed on, fighting it’s way into the German main position (Pommiers Trench) by 10.15hrs. and reaching Mountauben Alley by 13.30hrs. 55 Brigade had had now taken all it’s first day objectives, as had the rest of 18 Division. (one of only two divisions to do so).

During the next few days very little happened. (In fact the Germans in front of 18 Division had withdrawn) The Army Commander, Rawlinson, received much criticism for failing to capitalise on this success, but there was chaos and confusion behind our own lines (the supporting arms and services were new as well) and any further advance could not have been supported administratively.

18 Division was now relieved, and on 11th July, 55 Brigade was sent off to help 30 Division, which was stuck short of Trones Wood (Bois de Troncs).

On 13th July, 55 Brigade, augmented by two battalions of 53 Brigade, attacked Trones Wood at 19.00 hrs. A night attack, through a wood devastated by artillery fire, and strongly held, was a lot to ask. The attack failed.

The wood was eventually captured on 14th July, in a daylight attack by 54 Brigade, led by Frank Maxwell VC (“The Brat”) On 23rd July, 18 Division (with Thomas and 55 Brigade returned to it) was moved 50 miles north to Armentieres for rest and re-equipping, after which it had two weeks of intensive training, before moving into the line immediately south of Thiepval, on 9th September.

(The Schwaben Redoubt and Thiepval village, had been attacked, on 1st July, by the 36th (Ulster) Division, who had captured the whole of the Schwaben plateau, but as no progress had been made on either flank, they were forced back, with heavy casualties). Further attacks, in July and August, had been repulsed, and it was now to be attempted by 18 Division, which attacked at 12.35hrs on September 26th. (with 53 Brigade left and 54 Brigade right). Thomas’s 55 Brigade, detached one battalion (7 Royal West Kents) to 54 Brigade, and another (7 Queens) to 53 Brigade. The remainder of 55 Brigade was stationed east of the Ancre (in divisional reserve).

The attack was a success, and by 22.00hrs on 28th September, the division had taken both the remains of Thiepval village and most of the Schwaben Redoubt. 55 Brigade was now ordered to relieve the other two brigades in the front line, which Thomas did with all four battalions forward plus a battilion (6th Royal Berkshires) from 53 Brigade, in reserve.


It is at this juncture that Thomas began to disagree with Maxse. Private Robert Cude (a battilion runner in 7th Buffs, and therefore privy to much that the officers in battalion headquarters said amongst themselves) wrote in his diary, on September 28th.

“Just now an interesting situation arises, for Maj Gen Maxse, Officer Commanding 18th Div. Gives order that the Buffs are to make a frontal attack on the system of trenches held by Jerry. This order our Brig Gen Jackson refuses to carry out under the plea that he had insufficient troops at his disposal and that it is impractical”

There appears to have been a further, later, refusal to attack, by Thomas, although he did (under pressure) organise a bombing raid, which led to a number of casualties.

Maxse now gave Thomas orders to “Capture the remains of the Schwaben Redoubt, and occupy the high ground to the north of it”. The Germans had lost Thiepval and most of the redoubt, but were to fight hard to prevent any further inroads. From 30th September to 5th October, there was scrappy, confused fighting in the area with considerable casualties to 55 Brigade. By the end of the operation, there had been some progress, but the British front line had hardly moved. Maxse blamed Thomas, and when the division was pulled out of the line on 5th October, Thomas was sacked.

In a rather spiteful report, Maxse wrote:-

“In my opinion the 55th Brigade was not handled with firmness, and the attacks were too partial. The situation should have been grasped more firmly by the brigade commander concerned, and he was so informed”

The dismissal, of Thomas, was deeply resented by his brigade. Private Cude wrote:-

“ Brig Gen Jackson is relieved of his command and returns to England. For what- being a human man. He will carry with him the well wishes of the whole Bde and we can never forget the man who would wreck his career rather than be a party- However unwilling- to the annihilation of troops under his command. What would the Bde like to do with Gen Maxse, the man with a breast full of decorations- not one of them earned. In place of our General we have another thing sent to us to take command. Words fail me to describe it, if it had a label around it’s neck and hung in a shop window one could say it was in it’s right place. It’s name is Brig Gen Price and whatever price was asked for it would have been dear.”

Private soldiers do not, of course, understand the whole picture. Cude is grossly unfair to Price, who was a brave and highly competent commanding officer of the 7th Bedfords, before being promoted, but his comments do show that Thomas had earned the respect and loyalty of the men in his brigade. (Cude went on to become a sergent and win the MM, so is a reasonably trustworthy source)

Maxse, although undoubtedly a magnificent trainer, and with a flair for tactics, was not always good with people. He was often overbearing, and a little too obviously ambitious. He rarely accepted the blame himself when things went wrong, but sought a scapegoat. Most officers, removed from command, were returned to England, and employed in training or a support capacity. That this did not happen to Thomas, is a measure of his determination to continue to give his all, and an indication that there was some sympathy for him in the higher echelons of the Army. He was appointed as commanding officer of the 11th Battalion the Manchester Regiment, in another division. While he had lost command of a brigade, and his “acting” rank of Brigadier General, he was still in an active post at the front.


Thomas had not lost his flair for training, or his understanding of the importance of moral. On 31st October the battalion won the brigade football competition. The battalion alternated between being in the trenches at Fransu, St Pierre Divion, and Acheux, and being in billets at the rear for training. When practice grenades were not available for training, Thomas instructed that tey use turnips, with nails stuck into them to represent the pin.

In January 1917 Thomas went on one month’s leave to England, and on his return to the battalion, was sent to Montauban (the scene of his highly successful action on the first day of the Somme offensive the previous year), where it remained until May 1917. His Battalion was in support during the successful attack on Messines Ridge, in June 1917, before moving into brigade reserve.


On 9th September1917, 11th Manchesters were training behind the lines, when Thomas collapsed at the end of a route march. He was evacuated, sent to hospital and remained there until April 1918. The hospital records no longer exist, but it seems that Thomas was simply exhausted, both mentally and physically. He had not only been at the front since the beginning of the war, but had spent all of those three years, in the thick of the fighting, as a company, battalion, brigade, and again battalion commander. It would be surprising were he not completely burnt out.

Little stigma could have been attached to his sacking as brigade commander, by Maxse, as the London Gazzette of 1st January 1918 anounced the award of a bar to the DSO. (this now being a leadership award) to “Major and brevet Lieutenant Colonel Sir T D Jackson Bart. MVO DSO Royal Lancaster Regiment”

After discharge from hospital, Thomas spent the rest of the war in England, in command of a Graduated Battalion. (That is a “holding”battalion of men, too young to go overseas, and conscripts awaiting postings)

In November 1919 Thomas retired from the Army, he was only 43 and was granted the honorary rank of Brigadier General.

 

 

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