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Author Topic: 'Teenage Tommies'  (Read 1598 times)
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Man of Kent1
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« on: November 17, 2014, 08:18:06 AM »

There have been a number of examples posted on the site about underage recruits to the British Army in WWI, including my own great-uncle,  but I was astounded when I watched the recent BBC programme on the subject at just how young these lads were.
The programme covered the stories of 4 teenagers, including one, a Yorkshire vicar's son, who had  joined up at 14.  His father was outraged, not because his son had enlisted but that he'd had the temerity to join as a Private.  The father immediately launched a campaign, with the help of the Lord Mayor of Leeds and other worthies, to get his son accepted as an officer.  It worked - his son was duly Gazetted into the Territorial Army as a 2nd. Lieutenant at 14 years!  The lad survived the war, took Holy Orders like his father and eventually succeeded him as parish priest, dying in 1972.
Does anybody know of a similar story relative to our Forum's area?
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Weebouy
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 21:58:38 PM »

From the Daily Mirror:

In Essex Farm Cemetery on the edge of a busy main road in Ypres, is the resting place of 15-year-old Valentine Strudwick.
Rifleman Strudwick, from Dorking, died on January 14, 1916, and was recognised early on as one of the youngest casualties.
He had been treated in hospital for three months from the effects of gas and shellshock, before returning to the front line but died a week later, shortly before his 16th birthday.

The cemetery is at the spot where Canadian doctor John McCrae wrote the poem 'In Flanders Fields' while sitting in the back of an ambulance at a dressing station at the height of the Second Battle of Ypres.
It contains the lines, “In Flanders fields the poppies blow / Between the crosses, row on row” which started the tradition of Remembrance Day poppies.

My own uncle, William Black enlisted in Northern Ireland when he was barely 15 and served briefly in France before being sent to Salonika with the Army Service Corps where he saw out the war. He served in WW2 and was badly wounded by machine-gun fire, but returned again to see out the war. He was a big man, so presumably was tall as a youth and conned his way in. Credit to them all for their courage
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Craggs
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 07:12:03 AM »

Reading back through 'old posts' made a long time before I became a member of this site , I found a post made in July 2013 about Cadet Allan Radnor who was 18 when he died but the inscription on his grave is   "JOINED 1914 AGED 14  ,  WOUNDED FRANCE 1916  ,  A BRAVE LAD"

so he joined up in 1914 when he was 14, was wounded in France in 1916 when he was 16 and died in 1918 when he was 18.

Cadet Allan Radnor
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Craggs
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2016, 07:05:50 AM »

I found this in the newspaper archives whilst looking for something else.......

Dover Express - Friday 19 October 1917

In Memoriam

JACKSON - In ever loving memory of our dearly loved lad, Sapper Cecil Francis Jackson, R.E., and a late Dover Sea Scout, who voluntarily, without compulsion, did his bit, and fell in action after eight months in France, October 17th 1916, just one week prior to his 17th birthday.
Sleep on, dear Cecil, in your foreign grave,
Your life for your country, you nobly gave,
Life beckoned sweet, the great call came,
He knew his duty, and he went.
             - his loving Mother and Brother.

_______________________________

This refers to -

Cecil Francis JACKSON
Rank:Sapper
Service No:36613
Date of Death:17/10/1916  Age:16
Regiment/Service:Royal Engineers 9th Field Coy.
Panel Reference: Pier and Face 8 A and 8 D. Memorial:THIEPVAL MEMORIAL
Additional Information:Son of Ellen Jackson, of 14, Alma Place, Maison Dieu Rd., Dover, and the late Edwin John Jackson.
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alkhamhills
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2016, 20:29:03 PM »


Cecil Francis Jackson

Medal Roll Card:- Victory & British Medals
Soldiers Effects:- Killed in Action. £5.18.03 and War Gratuity £6 to mother Ellen.

In 1901 with parents & 4 Boarders & a servant(domestic nurse) at 5 Charlton Green, Dover. Father Tin Plate worker. Mother a Laundress.

In 1911 with his younger brother Arthur Alexander  at G/father William Gardner Jackson at 5 Charlton Green, Dover. G/father a stock clerk to a publisher of books.  Cannot find the parents
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Craggs
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2016, 20:43:22 PM »

There is a photograph of Sapper Cecil Francis JACKSON on "The Dover War Memorial project" - do a basic search on "Sapper Cecil Francis JACKSON" and go to their website - should be the top one that appears. 
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John
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2016, 09:18:29 AM »

Air Mechanic 1st Class Albert Young
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2017, 07:35:02 AM »

Drummer George Lovell
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2017, 18:21:46 PM »

Boy Joseph Grayson
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2017, 09:03:00 AM »

Private Arthur Kemp
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