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JESSOP , John William

Reference Name LP17003

Conflict Commemorated:WWI

Last Name:JESSOP

First Name:John William

Date of Birth:26/12/1860

Age At Death:55

Birthplace:Poonah, India

Rank:Lieutenant Colonel

Regiment/ Service:Lincolnshire Regiment

Unit:Commanding 1st/4th Bn.

Date of Death:04/06/1915

Cause of Death:Killed in action

Place of Burial/ Commemoration:DRANOUTER CHURCHYARD West-Vlaanderen


Panel/ Bay/ Grave:6. 5.

UK Memorials:Horncastle St. Mary

Next of Kin:Son of Major and Mrs. Charles Scott Jessop, of The Mount, Crediton, Devon; husband of Marian A. Jessop, of 10, The Broadway, Woodhall Spa, Lincs.

Biographical Notes:John William Jessop was born in 1860 at Poonah, India. (His father was a Major in the army) He was educated Shrewsbury School going on to study medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital London. He qualified as a doctor, L.R.C.P and M.R.C.S. In 1889 he married Mary Annie Hartnell at Clifton, Gloucestershire. The couple moved to Horncastle in 1890. He joined a practice with Dr Boulton before setting up his own practice. He was Medical Officer for Horncastle District, also The Union Workhouse and to the Horncastle Dispensary. His military career started when he joined the Volunteers as a Surgeon - Lieutenant, he was soon made Captain of the Horncastle Company, and improved the drill hall facilities. He was promoted to Major and then in 1911 he was made Lieutenant - Colonel of 4th Bn Lincolnshire Regiment (Territorial). In July/August 1914 they went to annual camp to Bridlington. On the second of August they where due to return to Horncastle. Germany declared war on the 4th of August the battalion were ordered to mobilise. Colonel Jessop had been due to retire on there return from annual camp, but he elected to stay. The battalion was mobilised on 10th August 1914 and undertook training in Britain before leaving for Le Havre, France, on the1st of March 1915. The Battalion's first experience of the front line was on the 9th of April 1915, when they moved to a section of trench opposite Spanbroekmolen about 6 miles from Ypres. On the 4th of June 1915 he was called to a meeting of officers at Kemmel village. The Germans started to shell the area he was in and Colonel Jessop was killed and Colonel Jones was wounded. News of his death reached home on the 5th of June and the flag on the Horncastle Drill Hall was lowered to half-mast.

Researcher:Colin Gascoyne and Mary Silverton - Horncastle's Great War

Notes:He is commemorated on the Horncastle Hospital War Memorial. Also at the Church of the Holy Cross, Crediton, Devon He left a wife (Mary ) and two sons. "The sad news reached Horncastle on Saturday, that Colonel J. W. Jessop, commanding the 1st-4th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment (Territorials) had been killed at the front. The information was first through Mrs Ashby, wife of the Chaplain. The deceased was a native of Devonshire, and took up his residence in Horncastle several years ago as a medical practitioner, in partnership with the late Dr. Boulton. Later, however. He commenced on his own account, and before the outbreak of war was medical officer for the Horncastle Union and the Union District. He had always displayed a great keenness in military matters, and joined the old Volunteer Force as surgeon-lieutenant, being subsequently appointed to the captaincy of the Horncastle Company, and then to the position of major, whilst four years ago he rose to the command of the 4th Battalion of the Lincs. Regiment. In civil life he was exceedingly popular, and it is safe to say that in the army he was almost idolised by those under his command, to whom he showed the utmost kindness and consideration, and for whose comfort he did everything possible The deceased was 55 years of age, and was of excellent physique, standing well over six feet. Last July he attended camp, which was to have been his last, before retiring, but the camp period had not expired when the order for mobilisation was received. At that time the regiment was not up to strength, and his first thought was to get the recruits required. He made an urgent appeal. He made an urgent appeal, and following his splendid example the men came in; in good numbers, with the result that before leaving Lincoln (where he was stationed for a time before departing for Derby and Luton), he had succeeded in his aim and was a happy man. It is interesting to note that whilst at Luton, Col. Jessop celebrated his silver wedding, and was the recipient of handsome presents from his brother officers. He went to France with his regiment about fourteen weeks ago, and there is a touch of pathos in the fact that on the day before the news of his death came to hand a letter was received from the deceased stating that he came out of the trenches on the previous Monday, and that all were in good health. All his letter s were the essence of cheerfulness, and he never forgot to praise his men. He leaves a widow, two sons and one daughter. One of the sons was formerly a lieutenant in the Horncastle Company and is now abroad, and the other son is still at school. The greatest sympathy is felt for the widow and family in their bereavement. A high tribute is paid to the deceased Colonel in a letter from Pte. T. Pacy, of the Grenade Section, 4th Battalion, Lincs. Regiment, whose home is in Bracebridge. "The loss," says Pte. Pacy, "is the hardest blow that the battalion has received, because the Colonel was liked and loved by all his men. A any of us" he adds, "would have done anything for him and followed anywhere, and at the time when it was least expected he was killed. I saw him an hour before it happened. He was on his horse with our two majors, riding past our huts, and I expect he was on his way then to where he was killed. We pass through the same village every time we go to the trenches. It is a lovely place-well it has been, for it has been shelled badly, but not so much as the other village s round about. It is a sort of health resort in peace time, and it is surrounded by big parks and trees. And then for him to go up there and a shell to drop like that!. A piece went right through his heart. The Colonel of the 5th Leicesters was talking to him. He was badly wounded, and the two grooms holding the horses were killed. Our two majors (Cooper and Barrell) had just left him and were walking up the road when the shell dropped. I was out with a party digging a trench only half a mile away. And we heard the shells going over, and then the news came. The last night we were in the trenches another of our best lieutenants got his head blown off. They buried him one day, and then the Colonel was killed on Friday and they buried him yesterday. His funeral was a fine sight. The battalion followed and it was a sad sight. He was taken down on a limber wagon. His coffin was covered with a Union Jack, and there were several wreaths. One of these was from the Allies - France and Belgium - and there was a representative from each country, an officer." Lincolnshire Chronicle, 12 June 1915, pg 5.

Sources Used:Horncastle News 12-6-1915: Killed by shell, born 26th December 1860 at Poonah, India etc ; GJ19150612; Colin Gascoyne and Mary Silverton - Horncastle's Great War

Last updated: 19-September-2019 07:55:45

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