Ernest Jakeman was the son of Mr and Mrs W. Jakeman of Cherry Street near Gig Mill, Stourbridge, and lived nearby with his family at Inglenook Cottages in Poole Street. He worked as a plasterer for Alfred Ward of New Street in Stourbridge. He was among the last of the volunteers in 1915 and joined the Worcesters, serving with the 2nd Battalion. He therefore experienced some of the severe fighting on the Somme in 1916 and at Third Ypres in 1917. In 1918 the 2nd Battalion faced the second of the German Spring offensives on the river Lys south of Ypres. The Worcesters were quickly moved forward to stop the German breakthrough in front of Neuve Eglise. On April 13th the Germans attacked in force, infiltrating along the hedges and lanes towards the British trench line and establishing machine gun posts on their flanks. On the morning of the 14th it was apparent that the troops in Neuve Eglise were nearly surrounded. A successful breakout was led by Captain Crowe who was later awarded the Victoria Cross, but many fought to the last or were forced to surrender. Private Ernest Jakeman died on the battlefield, along with 60 others. Because the German troops swept on for another ten miles, the casualties could not be recorded properly and were posted as missing. The family of Private Ernest Jakeman were not officially notified of his death until June 1919, more than a year later. He was 40 years of age and left a widow and three children. He is commemorated on the Ploegsteert, Stourbridge, Oldswinford church and St. Thomas's church Memorials.
Rectory Road, Old Swinford, DY8 2HA
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