Boston

Memorial for heroic Kirton man awarded Victoria Cross during World War One

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A brave Kirton man will be honoured 100 years on from when he was awarded a Victoria Cross for his heroic actions during the First World War.

Sergeant Harold Jackson received his VC from King George V at Buckingham Palace after single-handedly flushing out the enemy and taking a machine-gun out of action in Hermies, France.

He was the only person in the borough of Boston to be awarded the VC, the most prestigious award for gallantry that can be awarded to servicemen.

Tragically, Sergeant Jackson was killed in action at Mouquet Farm, near Thiepval, Somme on August 24, 1918, just months before the end of the war.

He was just 26.

Sergeant Jackson’s body was only located in 1927, close to the same place where he won his VC, and his ashes were interred at Flers.

Jackson Drive in Kirton, named after Sergeant Harold Jackson

His bravery lives on, with Jackson Drive in Kirton named after him.

A centenary memorial service will take place at Kirton War Memorial at 11am on March 22 next year.

Describing Sergeant Jackson’s heroism, the London Gazette of May 8, 1918, recorded: “No. 18474 Sjt. Harold Jackson, E. Yorks. R. (Kirton, nr. Boston, Lincs.).

“For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.

“Sjt. 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 N.C.O. rushed at them and, single-handed, bombed them out into the open.

“Shortly afterwards, again singlehanded, he stained 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 N.C.O. 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.”