Captain John Eric Jackson-Barstow
John Eric Jackson-Barstow was born on 10th August, 1895 in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset. His father, John Jeremiah Jackson-Barstow was a magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Somerset. His Mother, Mary Woodiwiss was the daughter of Sir Abraham Woodiwiss, who was Mayor of Derby in 1880. John was the couple’s eldest and only son. He had six sisters, though one died in 1914, aged 20. The family lived comfortably, with nine servants, at ‘The Lodge,’ Bristol Road, Weston-Super-Mare.
John was educated at Farleigh School, Weston and St. Andrews, Eastbourne. From 1910-1914, he studied at Malvern College, where he was a Cadet Officer. He was at Pembroke College, Cambridge when war broke out. Aged 19, John enlisted in Bath and joined the 1/1st North Somerset Yeomanry, as a trooper. Not long after, he took part in the First Battle of Ypres, and was injured on 17th November, 1914 when he suffered concussion from an exploding shell. Later the same day, he volunteered to help retrieve the dead and wounded and was hit by a machine gun bullet, shattering his left forearm.
After a period of sick leave, John was granted a commission and appointed Aide-de-Camp to General Lee, serving on the East Coast. Once he had thoroughly recovered from his injuries, he applied for a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps, gaining his Royal Aero Club certificate on 19th December 1917, in a London and Provincial bi-plane at the London and Provincial Flying School, Stag Lane, Edgware. Following that, he flew “regularly in France and Germany,” according to his obituary in ‘The Times,’ though details of his service are scant.
On 27th January, 1919 Jackson-Barstow was ferrying Sopwith Dolphin F7307, from Folkestone to RAF Kenley, when he was caught in a heavy snow storm. Visibility was bad when he crashed into a bank at Marden Park, south-east of the airfield. He died instantly.
John Jackson-Barstow’s funeral was reported in the Western Daily Press, on February 3rd, 1919:
The Late Capt. J. E. Jackson-Barstow.
Funeral at Weston-Super-Mare
There was a remarkable demonstration of public sympathy on the occasion of the laying to rest in Weston-Super-Mare Cemetery, on Saturday, of Captain John Eric Jackson-Barstow, North Somerset Yeomanry (attached Royal Air Force), who was killed as a result of a snowstorm suddenly arising while he was flying from Folkestone to Caterham. The deceased, who was 23 years of age, was the only son of Mr. J. J. Jackson-Barstow, J. P., D. L., and Mrs. Jackson-Barstow, of The Lodge, in that town. Thousands of persons attended the ceremony, including a large proportion of Servicemen, and several survivors of B Squadron, North Somerset Yeomanry, who were with the deceased officer when he was twice wounded in the memorable battle of November 17, 1914, outside Ypres. Fellow officers of the R.A.F. and N.S.Y. troopers successively acted as bearers, and in addition to Air Force officers there were present detachments of men of Caterham, Yate and Filton aerodromes. The coffin was conveyed on a gun carriage, and on the lid was the dead officer’s cap. The first portion of the service was at Christ Church, the Rector of Weston (Preb. B. Norton-Thompson R. D.) the Rev. Nickleson Watson (Vicar of Christ Church) and the Rev. W. A. Robertson officiating. An impressive feature in the cortège consisted of a large number of active, wounded or demobilised soldiers, while the patients from the Ashcombe House Red Cross Hospital attended the church. The firing party was supplied from the local company of the Somerset Volunteer Regiment, and at the close of the service the Last Post was sounded.
Rest in peace Sir and thank you for your service.
Source: ‘The Sopwith Dolphin in RFC, RNAS, RAF and Polish Service” published by Cross and Cockade.
Many thanks to David Hassard from Kingston Aviation for his help.