The Young Kitchener

Jennie Jackson, dubbed Young Kitchener for her efforts to raise money for an ambulance through street collections in Burnley during the First World War

Jennie Jackson, dubbed Young Kitchener for her efforts to raise money for an ambulance through street collections in Burnley during the First World War

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Shortly after the outbreak of war, Kate Jackson was walking on Towneley Holmes when she saw two soldiers sharing a cigarette.

This prompted her to devise ways of supplying tobacco to men in the trenches.

Jennie Jackson, dubbed Young Kitchener for her efforts to raise money for an ambulance through street collections in Burnley during the First World War

Jennie Jackson, dubbed Young Kitchener for her efforts to raise money for an ambulance through street collections in Burnley during the First World War

She set to work making a military uniform for her young daughter Jennie.

Having gained permission from the Chief Constable of Burnley, she began collecting coppers from members of the public at the corner of Market Street and St James Street.

The neat, diminutive figure with long golden curls soon captivated passers-by and became known as Young Kitchener, a name which stuck for the remainder of her life.

Mother and daughter were there in all weathers for the duration of the war and Jennie’s uniform had to be renewed more than once.

Jennie Jackson, dubbed Young Kitchener for her efforts to raise money for an ambulance through street collections in Burnley during the First World War

Jennie Jackson, dubbed Young Kitchener for her efforts to raise money for an ambulance through street collections in Burnley during the First World War

Jennie received letters from all ranks and many asked to be photographed with her.

In February 1916 she decided to collect specifically for a motor ambulance to be sent to France and by June £1,000 had been subscribed.

The vehicle, built in Burnley, was received, on behalf of the Army, by Queen Alexandra.

They were invited to hand over the vehicle at a ceremony at Marlborough House, where photographs were taken.

Jennie Jackson, dubbed Young Kitchener for her efforts to raise money for an ambulance through street collections in Burnley during the First World War

Jennie Jackson, dubbed Young Kitchener for her efforts to raise money for an ambulance through street collections in Burnley during the First World War

These were later sold to the public to raise even more money.

Jennie was the only child to walk in the Great March of Peace in London in 1919 and was invited to witness the tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.

Later that year, she and her mother visited the battlefields of France and subsequently she was presented with the war medal of the British Red Cross Society, by Lady O’Hagan.

In addition Jennie was instrumental in organising the concerts, jumble sales, public parades and fetes on behalf of Lord Robert’s Memorial Workshops.

This raised over £200. Also a purse of gold was presented to each of the children of Burnley’s own VC Private Thomas Whitham.

Jennie also collected at pit heads for comforts for the men in the Dardanelles. At the conclusion of her work Young Kitchener had been instrumental in raising more than £4,000 – a tremendous sum in those days.

On leaving Burnley Wood School, Jennie moved to Burnley High School for Girls and then worked for some years at the Burnley Education Office and the Town Hall.

During the 1939 – 45 war she held a clerical position at the works of “Platers and Stampers” (Prestige) and then on the production of munitions.

She later worked at the Ministry of Food.