John Herbert Jagger (1889-1916)
John Herbert Jagger was born in Stainland in 1889 and was living in Berry Brow when he enlisted in the army. He is remembered on the memorial in Salendine Nook Baptist Church, probably the church attended by the family who were living in Burfitts Road, Quarmby, in 1911, having moved there from Stainland where both Joseph and Sarah Elizabeth Jagger, John's parents, were born, sometime after 1901.
Joseph, worked as a stoker looking after a steam engine probably in textile mills, first living in Outlane, then Stainland, before moving to Quarmby. The family had four children of whom one died young. The children were doing well by 1911: daughter Lizzie, born in 1891, was working as a weaver and Arthur, born 1897, was an assistant in a grocer's shop. John eventually became a spinner.
On 15 October 1910 at St. Paul's, the parish church of Armitage Bridge, John married 24-year-old Edna Archer Hawkyard, a domestic servant and daughter of Robert Hawkyard, a labourer, of Berry Brow. Edna's sister Elizabeth was one of the witnesses.
The couple moved into a two-roomed cottage 66 "Off Chapel Street", Berry Brow, not far from Edna's parents' home.
On 23 September 1914, not long after the outbreak of war, Edna gave birth to a son, Arnold. Edna's pregnancy may have been one reason John did not rush into the army immediately the war began.
We do not know precisely when John enlisted but he arrived in France on 14 July 1915 so was not with the Territorial battalions of the Dukes when they landed in April; this suggests he enlisted early in 1915, a few months after his son Arnold was born. John's mother, Sarah, died in April 1915 and this may also have affected the timing of his enlistment. He seems to have served only with the 2nd Battalion, a Regular Army which had been in France since August 1914. Having enlisted in Halifax it was probably into the Regular battalion, "for the duration".
Like almost 20,000 other British soldiers, John died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, killed by a bomb having reached the German lines, and has no known grave.
As well as being remembered at Salendine Nook Baptist Church, John is remembered on Armitage Bridge and Honley war memorials and on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
John's brother Arthur served in the artillery and survived the war. Edna never re-married and died in 1974; Arnold died in 2006 at the age of 92.
Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922
The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:
- JAGGER, JOHN HERBERT. Private. No 12391. 2nd Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment. Born Halifax. Lived Honley. Killed by a bomb in the German lines on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1.7.1916, aged 27 years. Has no known grave. Commemorated THIEPVAL MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Private JOHN HERBERT JAGGER
- regiment: Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding)
- died: Saturday, July 1, 1916
- record ID: 795439
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission (ID #795439)
- Imperial War Museums: Lives of the First World War (ID #2082853)