Shona McIsaac's research
The Wold Newton memorial takes the form of a roadside cross on a raised plinth. It can be found at a minor road junction on the road from East Ravendale at the northern end of the village. It is fronted by a rusting white metal railing.
Lichens, mosses and other plants have taken root on the stone, making the inscriptions very difficult to read and transcribe. It is in serious need of restoration.
The names of four First World War men can still be made out, as well as one name from the Boer War, in a panel at the base of the plinth.
The Wold Newton memorial was unveiled by Alderman Alington on 5 February 1921. The news report of the ceremony was published in the Lincolnshire Chronicle on 12 February 1921.
The inscription reads:
Cyril Compton Jackson
South Africa 1900
Details of the men commemorated:
Corporal 41514, 262nd Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Killed in action: 21 March 1918, aged about 26 years
Born in Waltham
Resident of Louth
Enlisted in Grimsby
Commemorated: Arras Memorial
George was born in 1892 in Waltham – the oldest son of Yorkshireman Tom Hawswell Cockrill and Lincolnshire-born Elizabeth Ann (nee Dowes).
Agricultural labourer Tom was born in Flixton in Yorkshire and married Elizabeth, who hailed from Beelsby in the Lincolnshire Wolds, in spring 1889. He worked as a ‘garthman’ – a cattle or herdsman.
In 1891, the couple lived in Bigby near Swallow (sic). It seems as if the Cockrills moved around the northern Wold villages for work – as was typical of many agricultural workers of the time. The births of their children reveal some of the places where the family lived. The 1901 census shows that George was born in Waltham. Seven-year-old Emma was born in Barnoldby-le-Beck. Next is Harry (six), recorded as being born in Hatcliffe. Two-year-old Bertha was born in Croxby and eight month old Eacar (?) in Thoresway, where the family were living at the time.
The 1881 census records Tom as an 18-year-old farm servant living in Emswell-cum-Kellythorpe on the 1,500 acre farm belonging to Robert Holtby.
Ten years earlier Tom was still with his parents in Flixton – Joseph (35) and Fanny (33) along with his siblings – Sarah (10), William (six), Henry (four), Elizabeth (two) and Mary (one).
NOTE: The 1901 census records the family name as Cocherel. Other spellings of the name include: Cockerel and Cockerill. In other records, George’s father’s middle name comes out as Ausewell or Ausevell rather than Hawkswell.
Private 1835, 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment
Killed in action: 14 November 1916
Born in Louth
Resident of Waltham
Enlisted in Louth
Buried: Guillemont Road Cemetery
NOTE: Arthur Dixon is also named on the Waltham memorial
The Guillemont Road Cemetery was begun after the Battle of Guillemont and was closed in March 1917 when it contained 121 burials. However, it was enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from surrounding battlefields. Guillemont Road Cemetery now contains 2,263 burials, including the grave of Raymond Asquith, son of Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith.
CYRIL COMPTON JACKSON
Lieut Colonel commanding the 103rd Mahratta Light Infantry
Died: 22 November 1915, aged 47 years.
Born: Hanley, Staffordshire
Commemorated: Basra Memorial
Cyril Compton Jackson was born in December 1867 in the Staffordshire pottery town of Hanley.
He was the fourth and youngest son of the Revd Charles Bird Jackson and Mary Jackson’s (nee Compton) eight children. Apart from three older brothers, Cyril also had three older sisters and a younger sister.
Cyril’s father, Charles Bird Jackson, was born on 20 February 1821 in Bowden, Chester – the first son of John Jackson and Anne Jackson nee Molyneux.
Charles went to Brasenose College, Oxford University, at the age of 18 in 1839. He gained his BA in 1843 and his MA in 1846.
He entered the church and was the vicar of Northwood in Staffordshire from 1848 to 1875.
In 1851, at the age of 30, the incumbent of Northwood was single and living in Old Hall Terrace in the potteries town of Hanley.
Three years later on 25 July 1854, Charles married Mary Compton – daughter of Joseph Compton and Elizabeth Hoyle. She was born in Manchesteron 30 September 1825.
It was while Charles and Mary were living in Staffordshire that their eight children, including Cyril, were born.
Mary Compton Jackson Born 7 May 1855, Northwood
Charles Selwyn Jackson Born about 1857, Northwood
Arthur Molineux Jackson Born 15 October 1858, Northwood
(Arthur attended Queen’s College, Oxford University)
John Lowthian Jackson Born 18 March 1860, Northwood
(John was a medical student in Edinburgh in 1881)
Ethel Jackson Born 1861, Bakewell, Derbyshire
Annie Elizabeth Jackson Born 9 April 1863, Hanley
Cyril Compton Jackson Born 22 December 1867, Hanley
Constance Lucy Jackson Born 5 August 1869, Hanley
When the 1861 census was taken, the family were visiting Mary’s father, Joseph (76) in Brighton. He is listed as a JP. Charles and Mary have their four children with them – Mary (six), Charles (four), Arthur (two) and John (one).
By 1871, the family had moved to Victoria Street in Hanley. Four children are still living at home: Ethel (nine), Annie Elizabeth (seven), Cyril (three) and Constance Lucy (one).
The three older boys had been sent away to boarding school – Arthur was a pupil Christ’s Hospital in London.
Following his ministry in the Potteries, the Revd Jackson and his family moved to Wold Newton in 1875, when he took up the post of rector. The family would continue to live in Wold Newton for the next two decades until the Revd Jackson’s death.
Two years after the family moved to Wold Newton, Cyril’s 18-year-old brother, Arthur, began studying at Queen’s College, Oxford University. He gained his BA in 1880. He then studied medicine for the next four years.
The 1881 Census lists Charles, Mary and daughters Mary (25), Annie (17) and Constance (11) as living in the Rectory, Wold Newton.
Like his older brothers, Cyril, was sent away to school – Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Horncastle, Lincs. Aged 13 in 1881, he was a boarder and residing at the School House, 63 West Street. At the time of this census, older brother John was a medical student at Edinburgh University.
In the same year, Cyril’s father, Revd Jackson, published a book – Short Sermons on the Words Spoken by our Lord from the Cross, etc.
In 1884, older brother Arthur gets his B Med at Oxford.
After Horncastle, Cyril was sent to boarding school in Newark.
In 1888, Cyril’s father makes the headlines – with the following appearing in the London Truth and the New York Times (19 September 1888):
Obeisance to a Rector Required
From the London Truth
Mr Jackson is the Rector of Wold Newton. He requires his parishioners make obeisance to him. A Sunday or two ago, Mr Jackson passed some boys at the rectory gate. One of them, he insists, did not bow to him. He has, therefore, been excluded from the school until he apologised. The school is a public elementary one, receiving a Government grant. It would be well that this divine should be told that it is no sin in a parishioner not to take off his cap to him, and that, in any case, this heinous offence cannot be punished by exclusion from a public school receiving a Government grant.
Cyril did not follow his older brothers into medicine. On 5 November 1888, at the age of 20, Cyril received a commission in the Border Regiment.
In 1889, he was stationed in Malta with the 2nd Border Regiment. In February 1890, he sailed from Malta on HMS Malabarbound for his posting at Chakrata in India. This initial stay in India didn’t last long, however, as he contracted a 'fever' and had to return to England on sick leave. After convalescing, he returned to India in March 1891.
When the census was taken just weeks later, the Jackson family in England were living at the Rectory in Wold Newton. The Revd Jackson was aged 70 and wife Mary, 65. Three daughters were living at home – Ethel, 29, Annie Elizabeth, 27, and Constance Lucy, aged 21. The household also had two servants – Annie Elizabeth Blow, a 20-year-old cook, and housemaid Maria Curtis, 19.
In 1892, Cyril was attached to the 27th Madras Native Infantry in the Indian Army based at Mahidpoor in Lucknow. He transferred to the Indian Army in April 1893 and was posted to the Bhopal Battalion, in Sahore, Bhopal.
Cyril’s father, the Revd Jackson, died on 10 August 1895 at the age of 74. It isn’t clear whether Cyril returned from India at this time.
Following the Revd’s death, the family’s ties with Wold Newton appear to have been broken.
Cyril’s mother, Mary, moved with two of her daughters to Warwick.
On 9 March 1899, Cyril, the 31-year-old officer, married Beatrix Clara Grey at St Thomas Church in Calcutta.
Cyril Compton Jackson next saw service in Afghanistan and Kashmir before being stationed in Allahabad for several years as adjutant to the local levies.
In 1901, Cyril's mother, the 74-year-old widow, Mary, 45, and Constance, 31, were living at 115 Emscote Road in Warwick.
She then moved to Malvern and lived at Rose Garth.
In 1914, Cyril was given the command of the 103rd Maharatta Light Infantry and formed part of D Force in the Mesopotamian Campaign. He was subsequently given charge of the 110th Light Infantry.
On 22 November 1915, Colonel Cyril Compton Jackson was killed by enemy action near Baghdad.
According to one account, a shell landed on a tent during an orders meeting and killed several senior officers, although other accounts imply that he died after being hit by fire from Turkish machine guns.
Fellow officer, Captain Spink of the 103rd Mahratta Light Infantry, wrote:
'I shall always remember this march as I rode with Colonel Jackson of the 110th Maharatas, and one of the best, who with his wife used to drive out from 'Nagar to my dam on Sundays.
'The colonel was one of the few who took an interest in the country and its prospects, and being a first class artist himself, spent all his spare time sketching.
'As we rode along he spoke eagerly of the Arch and other ancient monuments we hoped shortly to see and how pleasant a rambling tour around Baghdad would be, little realising that within three days he would be lying dead on the field of Ctesiphon.
'Cyril was transferred to the 110th in command at the start of the month. In the battle for Ctesiphon the 110th were part of Force B, and suffered terrible casualties from the Turkish machine guns, sustaining casualties of 560 out of a strength of 700. The 110th lost all its officers bar one. Ironically, if he had remained with the 103rd, he would like as not have survived as they were held in reserve all day and sustained very few casualties.'
The Battle of Ctesiphon
The ancient town of Ctesiphon is situated on the River Tigris, 380 miles from Basra and south east of Baghdad. The ancient 85 foot high arch is said to be the largest ancient standing arch in the world and dominates the landscape.
The main Turkish position was two miles east of the arch with a second line of trenches to the west. These trenches were well camouflaged and invisible to the British. Three miles to the south, the 20 foot high ruins of an ancient wall (the High Wall) were used by the Turks for observation. The Turks were well-defended with 52 artillery positions.
Three columns under British command were to attack the Turkish lines and one column was to sweep round and then move on to Bagdad.
22 November 1915
C Column, nearest the Tigris, ran into heavy small-arms and artillery fire and was brought to a standstill. To their right, the Gurkhas and Punjabis of B Column captured their first objectives, but suffered heavy losses. B Column continued, pursuing fleeing Turks towards the arch, rather than rolling-up the Turk defences that were holding up C. In turn, C Column was ordered to turn 90 degrees and follow B through the gap. This was a complex manoeuvre that took time, and many casualties were suffered from Turkish fire coming from the High Wall.
No boats had been able to cruise up river to assist C Column, as they had been halted by Turkish guns on the right bank. A Column between B and C was similarly halted. The Flying Column, failing to move sufficiently far from the Turkish trenches, slowed when confronted by some Turk and Arab cavalry, and actually lagged behind the infantry advance.
By late afternoon, the first Turkish line had been captured, but British losses and confusion were such that they were in no position to continue the advance to the second line. There were no reserves.
23 November 1915
In the morning, a Turkish attempt to counter-attack failed. They tried again in strength at night, but again the British defence held.
24 November 1915
By morning, the 6th Poona Division had lost more than half of its strength, which at 8,500 was under establishment before the battle started. Meanwhile, the Turks had ordered a general withdrawal, which - once it was detected - was impossible to exploit. In fact, by this time, Townshend had realised the hopelessness of the position and had ordered a withdrawal.
The British retreat was followed up by the Turks, sensing an opportunity, and harassed by Arabs. The exhausted and depleted British force was urged back to the defences of Kut-al-Amara.
3 December 1915
Kut was finally reached after an epic retreat. The Poona Division formed a garrison in the town and began to dig in. For most of the garrison, they were about to endure an agonising siege.
In this action, the British force suffered 4,600 casualties and the Turks approximately 9,500. With few boats and no hospitals established on the lines of communication along the river, it took 13 days or more for the wounded and sick men to arrive at Basra. There were few doctors, no medical supplies and precious little food or drink. Hundreds of wounded died en route.
Cyril's mother, Mary died on 2 May 1921 in Malvern.
Apart from the fading inscription on the Wold Newton memorial, Cyril’s name also appears on a memorial inside the church and on a memorial in Malvern Library.
Private 12986, 7th Bat, Lincolnshire Regiment
Killed in action: 3rd November 1916
Born in Louth
Resident of Hawerby
Enlisted in Louth
Commemorated: Thiepval Memorial
Harold was born in about 1889 in Louth. By 1901, the family had moved to Grimsby and were living in Macaulay Street. Harold's father, Charles, was 47, and worked as a draper’s traveller. The following children were living at home: Mabel 19, photographer's re-toucher, Ralph Sidney Jno, 14, Office Boy, Port, Harold, 12, and Ruby, 11. Annie Agar Eden – a boarder on her own means was also living with the family. The 74 year old was from Hull.
In addition to the roadside memorial, there is also a wall plaque in All Saints church dedicated to Cyril Compton Jackson. It reads:
Of your charity for the soul of Cyril Compton Jackson Lt Colonel of the 103rd Mahratta Light Infantry who fell at Ctesiphon 21.11.1916 age 46.