Francis Augustus Jacques was an Oakham School pupil who went on to lead a battalion of Sikhs into action at Gallipoli where he was killed. A vicar's son, he was born in 1867 to the Reverend Kinton Jacques and his wife Caroline of Westhoughton Vicarage, Bolton-Le-Moors, Lancashire. He was at Oakham School for just a year, between 1880 and 1881. Francis joined the Indian Army as a career soldier and served on the north-west frontier and also went to China. When the First World War broke out his battalion of King George's Own Ferozepore Sikhs was sent to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal against the Turks. From there it was sent to Gallipoli and landed near Helles. Francis was killed on 4 June 1915 as his men attacked Turkish positions in the Third Battle of Krithia. Extract from The Sikh Regiment by Lieutenant Colonel P G Bamford DSO: "4th June was a beautiful summer's day. The artillery bombardment took place according to plan but produced little effect. In Gully Ravine, Lieutenant Colonel Jacques led No. 2 Double Company foreward with great gallantry in the face of very heavy fire. They encountered numerous machine guns in hidden positions on both sides of the ravine and both officers were killed almost immediately." The Sikhs kept attacking and by the end of the day had lost 371 officers and men. Francis was buried near where he fell alongside another officer who was killed in the attack, Lieutenant Richard Meade. After the war Francis's grave could not be found although Lieutenant Meade is known to be buried somewhere in Pink Farm Cemetery and has a special memorial. Francis is now commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Panel 256. He is also remembered in Oakham School Chapel and on South Ribble Civic War Memorial. Francis left a widow, Olivia, who came from San Diego, California.
With thanks to Brian Needham of Oakham School and the Lancashire Evening Post for all of the above information.
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