Lance Corporal Jesse Jagger


Jesse Jagger was born on 24 December 1896 in Crigglestone, Yorkshire, one of at least four children of coal miner George Jagger and his wife Fanny (née Shaw). His mother died when he was just ten years old. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in High Street, Crigglestone, with his father, step-mother, and two brothers, and working as a screen boy in the coal mines.

Jagger enlisted in the Dragoons of the Line on 14 December 1914 (No.11311), probably with Arthur Britton, also from Crigglestone. Posted to the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, he embarked for France in 1916 or the first half of 1917, possibly at the end of June 1916, having been posted to the headquarters establishment of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment following the formation of that regiment in France from C and F Squadrons and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron. The headquarters, formed in England and comprising 40 officers and men, joined the new regiment in France at the beginning of July.

The 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment served as corps cavalry to X Corps until August-September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Jagger, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Jagger was issued regimental number 41178.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

At some point prior to March 1918 Jagger was posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Jagger was wounded in the back during the 36th (Ulster) Division's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 at the beginning of the German spring offensive. It is not known whether he saw any further front line service, but it seems unlikely. On 11 March 1919 he was discharged as 'surplus to military requirements, having suffered impairment since entry into the service' (paragraph 392 xvi(a), King's Regulations). He was granted a pension due to his wounds.

After the war Jagger returned to Crigglestone. On 6 October 1921 he married Lena Parry in St James's Church at nearby Chapelthorpe. The 1939 Register records them as living at Poplar Cottage, Crigglestone, Jagger working as a woodcutting machinist.