Lieutenant Colonel Francis Augustus Jacques

Lieutenant Colonel Francis Augustus Jacques was born in Leyland in 1867 and was the third son of Reverend Kinton Jacques, former Rector of St James’ church in Brindle.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 7th July 2014, 3:48 pm
Members of the Lancashire Fusiliers interrogate Turkish Army at Cape Helles in Gallipoli.
Members of the Lancashire Fusiliers interrogate Turkish Army at Cape Helles in Gallipoli.

On the wall of the church his wife erected a plaque to his memory stating that he was ‘killed leading an attack in Gallipoli’.

Francis Augustus Jacques was educated at Rossall School near Fleetwood and passed through the Militia Battalion of the 47th (Loyal North Lancashire) Regiment.

Being a career Army Officer, he joined the Indian Army and saw action in the Chitral region of Pakistan and in China.

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He was the Commanding Officer of the 14th King George’s Own Ferozepore Sikhs during World War One, and served in Egypt in 1914 guarding the Suez Canal before being shipped in April

1915 to Turkey to take part in the Gallipoli campaign.

He was killed in action at the head of his troops on June 4, 1915 when virtually his whole Battalion was wiped out during an attack in Gully Ravine, during the Third Battle of Krithia.

The ravine became known as “The Valley of Death”.

During the engagement his Battalion made two unsuccessful assaults on the Turkish trenches, resulting in the loss of 12 British Officers out of 15, 11 Indian Officers out of 14, and 380 men out of 514 who took part in the action.

Lt Colonel Jacques was buried close to one of his subalterns, Lt Richard Meade.

Meade was also killed in action on June 4, and his Commanding Officer wrote home saying…..

“his body was recovered a few days afterwards, and was buried by an Army Chaplain near the spot where he was killed. His body lies near that of Colonel Jacques who was killed on the same day….”

The Commonwealth War Graves record that Lt Meade has a grave, albeit unmarked, and is known to be buried ‘somewhere in Pink Farm Cemetery’, less than three-quarters of a mile south east of Gully Ravine.

‘Pink Farm’ (properly known as Sotiri Farm) took its name from the red soil of the area.

The three cemeteries which grew up around the farm were combined after the Armistice in 1918 on the site of Pink Farm Cemetery No. 3, and this cemetery was further enlarged when graves were brought in from other small burial grounds in the vicinity.

There are now 602 servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery - 250 of the burials are unidentified, but special memorials commemorate 219 casualties (including Lt Meade), who are known or believed to be buried among them.

Lt Colonel Jacques, on the other hand, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial at the foot of the Gallipoli peninsula.