Mark’s History: Tragedy of the Private from Wortley, buried aged just 21

Arthur Jackson lived here: 4 Lytham Place, Wortley. Photo: Mark Stevenson

In the second of four posts coinciding with Remembrance Day, Mark Stevenson photographs the former homes of some of the brave West Leeds soldiers who gave their lives serving their country so many years ago…

Robert and Esther Jackson of 4 Lytham Place, Lower Wortley, had seven children. Arthur Jackson, their third child, was 13 in 1911 and working as a clayworker in a brick works. In 1919 he was lying dead in a grave in Varna, Bulgaria. 

The Varna Protestant Cemetery has British war dead in it dating back to the Crimean War when the Turks gave it to the British.

Private Arthur Jackson was part of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry 8th Bn. which, for the most part, was in the Balkans in World War One. Compared to the Western Front, it was fairly quiet. 

The Armistice of Salonica effectively ended Bulgaria’s participation in World War I on the side of the Central Powers. So I am not sure why Arthur died on the 3rd of February 1919 aged 21.

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  1. [From Wikipedia] In October 1915 the British and French landed in Salonika at the request of the Greek Prime Minister. Both the 7th and 8th Service battalions were part of the 26th Division which landed between December 1915 and February 1916. The 7th (Service) Battalion was part of 78th Brigade whereas the 8th (Service) Battalion was a pioneer battalion attached to the division. The regiment’s time in the Balkans was mostly quiet, experiencing sporadic fighting, but it included the repulsing of a Bulgarian invasion of Greece at Lake Doiran in April–May 1917. The regiment saw very heavy fighting against the Bulgarians around Doiran the following September, after the Allies had launched an offensive in July 1918 with the intention of ending the war in the Balkans. The war ended on 30 September 1918 with Bulgaria signing an Armistice with the Allies. The Ox and Bucks, along with the rest of the division, was subsequently employed for a brief period of time on occupation duties in Bulgaria.


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