1914 - 2023

The Marston Lads

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Henry Jacks

Killed in Action 20th May 1916

Aged 32

B Company 10th Battalion

The Cheshire Regiment

66 Ollershaw Lane

Henry Jacks was the older of the two Jack's brothers that served in WW1. Henry was 28 years old, and like other Marston Lads, had served in the Military before and remained in the 'Special Reserves' with the 3rd Battalion Kings Liverpool Regiment. He attested at Chester on the 31st August 1914 but this time with The Cheshire Regiment. His younger brother Frank, in full knowledge Henry had been killed a year earlier, also attested at Chester 31st July 1917, again with The Cheshire Regiment, aged 25 years.

The Jacks family moved around the North West with children being born in different towns and villages including Sandbach, Birkenhead, Barton and Preston Brook. Henry was working as a Boatman, which suggests that's what his father also did. It explains the different locations their children were born. Frank was working at Lion Salt Works and will also explain why they settled in Marston.
Henry, like a number of Marston Lads, landed in France September 1914 with the main British Expeditionary Force (BEF) hoping to be home by Christmas.

In May 1916, the troops were firmly dug into their trenches around 'The Somme' as the battle of attrition continued with soldiers 'going over the top'. The Battle of Vimy Ridge was raging.

On the 20th May 1916, Henry once again went over the top, but this time he never made it back. He was killed instantly.

Henry's body was recovered and buried at Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Mont-St. Eloi, France.

Just 5 days after Henry was killed, the era of the all-volunteer British Army ends as universal conscription takes effect requiring all eligible British men between the ages of 19 and 40 to report, excluding men working in agriculture, mining or the railroads.

By May 1916, and the first two years of the war, Marston had lost six of its sons. With the War Machine now ramping up, WW1 would go on to a whole new level of killing, and over the next two years, Marston would lose twenty-two more of its lads.

There was at least some good news for the Jacks family. Frank, Henry's younger brother, although wounded in action, survived the war and went on to lead a full life.

Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Mont-St. Eloi, France.
Tony Hayes