b. 19/03/1916 Dublin, Ireland. d. 26/11/1941 Tobruk, Libya.
James Joseph Bernard Jackman (1916-1941) was born on 19th March 1916 in Dublin, Ireland, the son of Dr James Joseph Jackman MD, and Elizabeth Frances Jackman, of Glenageary, County Dublin. James was educated at Stoneyhurst College in Lancashire. On the outbreak of the Second World War, James enlisted with the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.
He was posted with his Regiment to North Africa, and rose to the rank of Temporary Captain and was given command of a machine gun company. On the 25th November 1941, an attack was launched on the El Duda ridge near Tobruk, Libya.
As the tanks reached the crest of the rise they were met by extremely intense fire from a large number of guns of all descriptions: the fire so heavy that it was doubtful whether the Brigade could maintain its hold on the position. The tanks having settled to beat down the enemy fire, Captain Jackman rapidly pushed up the ridge leading his Machine Gun trucks and saw at once that Anti-Tank Guns were firing at the flank of the tanks, as well as the rows of batteries which the tanks were engaging on their front. He immediately got his guns into action as calmly as though he were on manoeuvres and so secured the right flank. Then, standing up in the front of his truck, he led his trucks across the front between the tanks and guns as there was no other way. His exemplary devotion to duty regardless of danger not only inspired his own men but clinched the determination of the tank crews never to relinquish the position which they had gained. Throughout he coolly directed the guns to their positions and indicated targets to them and seemed to bear a charmed life but later was killed while still inspiring everyone with the greatest confidence.
Jackman was buried with full military honours in Tobruk War Cemetery, Libya. His posthumous VC was presented to his parents by King George VI at Buckingham Palace. The medal passed down to his sister’s family before it was placed on long term loan to his former school, Stoneyhurst College, near Clitheroe, Lancashire.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: STONYHURST COLLEGE, LANCASHIRE. (LOAN)
BURIAL PLACE: TOBRUK WAR CEMETERY, TOBRUK, LIBYA.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
PLOT VII ROW H GRAVE 9