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Ernest Jackson

Ernest William Jackson was born in the third quarter of 1896 , according to the census of 1901 in Welham, and his birth was registered in Malton. He was the eldest son of William and Frances Mary (nee Stilborn) Jackson.

William was a farm labourer and in 1901 he was living with his wife and her brother together with three small children at 29 Wentworth Street.

1901 census – resident at 29 Wentworth Street, Malton
JACKSON, William, Head, Married, M, 29, Farm Labourer, Ebberston Yorkshire,
JACKSON, Frances H, Wife, Married, F, 24, , Huttons Ambo Yorkshire,
JACKSON, Ernest W, Son, Single, M, 4, , Welham Yorkshire,
JACKSON, Herbert, Son, , M, 3, , Malton Yorkshire,
JACKSON, Frances E, Daughter, , F, 1, , Malton Yorkshire,
STILBORN, Henry B, Wife's Bror, Single, M, 27, Builder's Carter, Huttons Ambo Yorkshire,

 By 1911 the family had moved to Paul’s Row and the 14 year old Ernest was out at work as a “wheel turner.” The census amplifies this as being in a rope works. The only recorded rope works at this time was on the Market Place and was owned by George Woodall – and is still in business today, one of a handful of rope manufacturers in Britain. The wheel that Ernest turned was for spinning hemp fibre into rope – the job did not require much skill but simply very steady and even movement.

1911 Census – resident at 7 Paul’s Row, Malton
JACKSON, William, Head, Married, M, 39, Cowman On Farm, Yorkshire Ebberston,
JACKSON, Frances Mary, Wife, Married 15 years, F, 34, , Yorkshire Hutton Ambo,
JACKSON, Ernest William, Son, , M, 14, Wheel Turner, Yorkshire Welham,
JACKSON, Herbert, Son, , M, 13, School, Yorkshire Malton,
JACKSON, Frances Everlyne, Daughter, , F, 11, School, Yorkshire Malton,
JACKSON, Arthur Burton, Son, , M, 7, School, Yorshire Malton,
JACKSON, Hilda Mary, Daughter, , F, 3, , Yorshire Welham,
JACKSON, George Robert, Son, , M, 1, , Yorshire Malton,

Whether or not he learnt to drive motor vehicles in civilian life, he did so in the army serving both in the Royal Army Service Corps and in the Royal Field Artillery as a driver in MT 46th Divisional Ammunition Column RFA.

It was presumably during his service with the RASC that he served in Salonika as there is no record of the 46th Division having been stationed there. We do not know when he joined up, but probably it was when conscription came in, in 1916.  

With The Royal Field Artillery he would have seen fighting at Gommecourt and the Ancre, and would have been involved in the battles around the Hindenburg Line at St Quentin and Cambrai and the final drive into Picardy.

At the end of the war they were at Sains-du-Nord on 11 November 1918. As they were not selected to join the Army of Occupation, the Division moved back to Landrecies on 14-15 November. Units moved to the Le Cateau area in early January 1919 and demobilisation began.

It was at this time while waiting for demobilisation the Ernest was sent on home leave. He came home to a town in the grip of the influenza epidemic. He contracted the disease and died at his parents’ house in 7 Paul’s Row on 22nd February 1919. His death was reported in the Malton Messenger “Military honours were accorded at the funeral of the late Gunner Ernest W. Jackson RFA, eldest son of Mr & Mrs Jackson, St Paul’s Terrace. Returning home on furlough, pending demobilisation, he was taken ill with influenza from which he never recovered. The deceased had served in France and Salonika.”

Ernest was buried with a military headstone in New Malton Cemetery.