Private Eric Seymour Jackson

Date of Birth c. 1897
Age at Death 19
Date of Death 1 July 1916
Service Number PS/1556
Military Service 16 Battalion Middlesex Regiment
Merton Address 27 Panmuir Road, West Wimbledon
Local Memorial Wimbledon Parish Church

Additional Information

Born in Egham, Surrey c.1896, Eric was the son of James and Florence Jackson. The couple also had a younger son, Charles. By 1901 the family was living at 4, Dryburgh Road, Putney, together with two household servants. Eric’s father was a clerk at the London law courts.

By 1911, Eric was at Felsted school, an independent boarding school in Essex. Here he joined the Officer Training Corps and on completing his education he became a clerk. By 1915 the Jackson family had moved to 17, Panmuir Road, West Wimbledon. In February of that year, Eric volunteered for military service, enlisting as a private in the 16th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, also known as the Public Schools Battalion. Now aged 19, he was described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighing 135lbs, with a 37.5 inch chest.

Eric soon qualified as a signaller. He spent the period from February to mid November 1915 doing Home Service undertaking training and drill. His battalion was then sent to France on 16 November, landing in Boulogne, before departure for the Western front.

Eric’s battalion was one of many involved in the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest offensives in British military history. The War Diaries of the 16th Middlesex Regiment show that on the first day of the battle, the men emerged from their trench at 7.30 am. As they moved forward, they suffered heavy losses from enemy machine guns. 3 officers were killed, 10 were wounded, 6 were missing believed killed, plus a further 5 were shown as missing. Of the other ranks, 19 were killed, 306 were wounded, 37 were missing believed killed and 138 were missing. Eric was “presumed dead” – his body was never found.


* Required field