Victoria Cross hero to be memorialised

Harold Jackson
Harold Jackson

A man awarded the Victoria Cross 100 years ago is set to be paid further tribute with the laying of a memorial paving stone next year.

Sgt Harold Jackson, from Kirton and of the East Yorkshire Regiment, was presented with the VC by King George V at Buckingham Palace after single-handed World War One action in which he flushed out the enemy and took a machine gun out of action.

Harold Jackson

Harold Jackson

He was the only person in the borough to be awarded the VC, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Sgt Jackson already has a street in Kirton named after him.

The Centenary Memorial Service will take place at Kirton War Memorial at 11am on March 22, 2018 - 100 years to the day after Sgt Jackson received the award.

At the time, the London Gazette of May 8, 1918, recorded that he had been awarded for ‘most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty’.

The paper said: “Sgt. Jackson volunteered and went out through the hostile barrage and brought back valuable information regarding the enemy’s movements.

“Later, when the enemy had established themselves in our line, this NCO rushed at them and, singlehanded, bombed them out into the open.

“Shortly afterwards, again singlehanded, he stormed an enemy machine gun, threw Mills bombs at the detachment, and put the gun out of action.

“On a subsequent occasion, when all his officers had become casualties, this very gallant NCO led his company in the attack, and, when ordered to retire, he withdrew the company successfully under heavy fire. He then went out repeatedly under heavy fire and carried in wounded.”

The action took place at Hermies, France.

Sgt Jackson, however, was killed in action at Mouquet Farm, near Thiepval, Somme, France, on August 24, 1918, aged 26.

His body was located in 1927 and his ashes were interred at Flers.