Friday, March 04, 2011

Trooper James E. Jackman of Egremont

Egremont War Memorial, Cumberland (now Cumbria)
One of the WW2 casualties whose name is listed in James Edward Jackman
Photograph taken on Sunday 14 August 2005

Trooper James Edward Jackman from Egremont, Cumberland (now Cumbria) is one of the young men and women who died in WW2. His name is listed on the Egremont Town memorial (seen above).

For additional information click on 'Comments' below


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

1. Introduction

In 2005, as one of BBC Radio Cumbria’s CSV volunteers, one of the articles I posted to the BBC "People's War" website was about the sons and daughters of Egremont who laid down their lives during WW2 (Article ID 5394927). James Edward Jackman was one of these. He lost his life near the town of Geffen in the Netherlands on 21 October 1944, one of 5 British soldiers killed that day.

Previously, James had been part of the B.E.F. to France with the 5th Battalion The Border Regiment and was evacuated from the Dunkirk Beaches in June 1940. Subsequently joining the Armoured Corps, James Jackman saw action in the Middle East (North Africa) and Italy before being withdrawn to the U.K. to take part in the Normandy Landings and the campaign for North West Europe. Aged only 24 when he lost his life, James Edward Jackman had 'crammed an awful lot of living' into a relatively short life.

In March 2011 a Dutch gentleman by the name of Mr Ruud Verhagen from the museum staff at Greffen made a request to The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven for information about Trooper Jackman. His enquiry was passed to the Whitehaven Records Office of Cumbria County Archives, and from there to 'yours truly' who happened to be making a research visit to Records Office.

This article has therefore been written primarily to assist Greffen Museum with their inquiry. It is based on personal research from various sources.

2. Family background of James Edward Jackman

James Edward Jackman (b. 1920) was the son of John Jackman (b.1898) from Egremont and Margaret Jackman (née Bownas, b.1897) originally from the neighbouring town of Cleator Moor. James' paternal grandparents were James E. Jackman and Sarah Jackman, while his maternal grandparents were George and Ellen Bownas.

John and Margaret married in 1917 and, including James, they had 5 children: William B. Jackman (b. 1918), James E. Jackman (b. 1920), John Jackman, Jnr. (b. 1926), Joan Jackman (b. 1927) and Gordon (b.1929). During WW2 William Jackman also served with the British Army.

Friday, 04 March, 2011  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

3. Brief service details

In 1939 James Edward Jackman enlisted into the 5th Battalion (T.A.) The Border Regiment and he was given the Service No 3599941. At that time James was working as an iron ore miner at the Florence Mine, Egremont. In April 1939 - a few months before WW2 - with the increasingly tense political situation in Europe the British Government decided to double the size of the Territorial Army, and this was the time that James and many other young West Cumbrians enlisted to the 5th Border Regiment.

At the outbreak of war in September 1939 5th Border were still at summer camp at Halton, near Lancaster under the command of Lieutenant H.F. d'A. Law, M.C. The 5th Battalion, which was now about twice its normal strength was hurriedly split into two - one part remaining the 5th Battalion with the other part becoming a reserve battalion and numbered as 7th Border.

The 5th Battalion joined the 42nd Division and spent most of the winter based at Wooler, Northumberland - believed to have been one of the coldest on record. One 'wag' called it 'Razmak Camp' after the real Razmak Camp many Border Regiment 'regulars' were used to in the Indian sub-continent (which was not quite so cold!).

On 15 January 1940 5th Border moved to Swindon in readiness for overseas mobilisation. It was at this stage of their training that many of the young men of 5th Border first underwent a strenuous course of co-operation with tanks. In fact 5th Border gave a demonstration with 7th Tanks to the three Army Divisions stationed in the area. Later in the war many of the 5th Border soldiers, which of course included James E. Jackman, would join an armoured unit. The initial introduction to the use of tanks would therefore prove its worth.

As referred to above, James Jackman served with 5th Border while they were part of the B.E.F. in France in 1940. Immediately following a 48-hour embarkation leave, 5th Border embarked at Southampton on 17 April 1940 and disembarked at Le Havre on the following day, 18 April. This was only about a month before the German invasion of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg (10 May 1940). Following a lot of hard fighting, the B.E.F. was forced to withdraw to the Dunkirk Beaches. The 5th Border soldiers who were able to get away were among the last to be evacuated - embarking at 11.00 p.m. on 3 June 1940.

According to a local newspaper article from WW2 about Trooper James E. Jackman, after a short home leave, it was not long before he joined an armoured unit. He fought with "Monty's Desert Rats" from El Alamein to Tunisia, and then to Italy. After being brought back to the UK James, now serving with the 5th Royal Tank Regiment, had another short home leave before taking part in the D-Day Landings (June 1944). This would be his last visit home, as he was to lose his life in the Netherlands on 21 October 1944. His family, then living at No 20 Scurgill, Egremont, received many expressions of sympathy and letters of condolence. Trooper James Edward Jackman was finally laid to rest at Uden War Cemetery, Netherlands (Grave Ref: 6.G.10).

The name of Trooper J.E. Jackman was later added to the war memorial of his hometown of Egremont. The above photograph was taken at an event commemorating the 60th anniversary of V.J. Day in August 2005. Evidently, as can be seen from the enquiry from Greffen, it is not just in his hometown that James E. Jackman is remembered. His sacrifice by giving his life to liberate N.W. Europe has not been forgotten in the land he helped set free.

Friday, 04 March, 2011  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

4. Remembering a short but worthwhile life

Among the many former WW2 veterans and good friends of the writer are some who served in 5th Border with James E. Jackman. A number of them had a long happy life after the war, living well into their 80s and 90s. However, what none of them ever forgot was the ultimate sacrifice made by their former comrades and had a relatively short life. James E. Jackman was one of this latter group. He made the ultimate sacrifice and gave his life so that others could be free.

The former Secretary of the West Cumbria Branch of the Dunkirk Veterans - Mr John L.S. Lowrey (Service No 3599920) has been a good friend of 'yours truly' and a valued contributor of original research material about WW2. John served with James E. Jackman in the 5th Battalion The Border Regiment. Along with their comrades, they were caught up in the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940.

Those who will have felt the loss of James E. Jackman the most would have been his immediate family. The final word, from an 'In Memoriam' article appearing in the local newspaper 'The Whitehaven News' on Thursday 18 October 1945, therefore goes to James' immediate family:

"In Memoriam
Roll of Honour

Jackman - In loving memory of a dear son and brother, Trooper James Edward Jackman, who was killed in action in Holland on October 21 1944.

A smiling face, a heart of gold,
One of the best the world could hold.
We, who loved him, only know
How much we lost one year ago.

Ever remembered by his loving Mam, Dad, Brothers and sister, Joan."


Cumbria County Archives (Whitehaven Records Office) & Mrs Jenni Lister

'The Whitehaven News'

The KORBR & Border Regiment Museum

BBC Radio Cumbria "People's War" website

Mr John L.S. Lowrey,
Former Branch Secretary,
Dunkirk Veterans Association
(West Cumbria Branch)

Friday, 04 March, 2011  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Joseph,

what a great story you sent to me. This is almost everything I wanted to know! You sent me almost his whole militairy life. Thank you for that. You helped me so good.
Now I can inform the people of Geffen, what kind of person died for the liberation of my village.

Thank you.

Best wishes
Ruud Verhagen,
Torenmuseum De Peperbus, Geffen

Saturday, 05 March, 2011  

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