Remembering Jenkinson Haxby

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record states that Jenkinson died on the 7th July 1916. His body was not recovered for burial and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial with 1,463 others. I’ve looked carefully down the list and he is the only casualty serving with the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment.

He is also remembered on the headstone of his grandparents, Matthew and Jane HAXBY in St Oswald’s churchyard but the inscription records his death on the 8th. Only 354 deaths are recorded on the Thiepval Memorial for that day but there are a number of men from the 2nd Bn Yorkshires. I haven’t been able to establish where Jenkinson was killed but after several days of little action in the Battle of Albert the attempt to capture Trônes Wood began on the 8th, so maybe that is where and when he fell with some of his brothers in arms.

G655_HAXBYmatt_20180708_fst

And their beloved grandson L/C JENKINSON HAXBY, 2nd Yorks. Regt., killed in action July 8th 1916, aged 23.

‘Wars bitter cost, a dear one missed.’

(On the Memorial Plaque in St Oswald’s, Jenkinson is among Filey men who died in 1917 and is recorded as serving with the West Yorkshire Regiment.)

I did some work today on his father’s birth family but not enough to put Jenkinson or his mother Elizabeth Ann JENKINSON on the FamilySearch Tree. Grandfather Matthew HAXBY 1834 – 1902.

Polygon Wood

PolygonWood

Before the Great War began the wood may have had this exact shape – but probably a different mix of tree species. It was fought over in October 1914 by, amongst other regiments, the 2nd Worcesters. When they returned in September 1917 –

…the aspect of the scene at dawn was very different from what it had been three years before. The open fields had been beaten into a desolate expanse of boggy shell-holes. Such trees as still stood had been stripped and broken. On the skyline to the left, a mere stubble of bare tree trunks marked the site of Polygon Wood.

The Battle for the Wood “raged” throughout the day of the 26th and in the hours of dark the area was subject to an intense bombardment.

…as dawn broke at 5am the artillery of both sides suddenly ceased their fire. For some minutes all remained under cover, then, as the guns did not recommence, men
ventured cautiously from their defenses and gazed around in wonder. The intense bombardment of two days and nights had beaten the whole area into a different
appearance. Such landmarks as had existed beforehand had disappeared. The surface of the ground from Stirling Castle to Gheluvelt had been churned up afresh, the whole
landscape was even more desolate and repulsive than before.

Source

The battle for Polygon Wood was effectively over. “Intermittent sniping alone
continued throughout the day of Thursday the 27th of September.”

Perhaps it was a sniper’s bullet that ended the life of Private Harold CRIMLISK of Filey, fighting with the 6th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment.

Harold is buried at Cement House Cemetery, about 12 kilometers distant from where he fell. There is a small cemetery at Polygon Wood and this source offers a gallery of 14 photographs showing the difference a hundred years make.

Harold and some of his forebears may be found in Filey Genealogy & Connections and on the FamilySearch Tree.  He also has a page on the Looking at Filey Wiki.