CWG: Private Frank Jacobs

Private Frank Jacobs

Frank Jacobs was born on 17th March 1892, and was one of fifteen children to George and Amelia Jacobs. George was a machine worker from Ashford in Kent, but the family moved around the county, presumably for work, as the years went on. Frank was born in Riverhead, near Sevenoaks, but within a few years, the family had settle in Faversham.

George and Amelia appear to have separated when Frank was in his early teens. There are no death records for George until the 1920s, but Amelia had a son with her maiden name in 1905 and, by the time of the 1911 census, she was married to a George Appleton, and had been for just under a year.

The same census recorded the Appletons living in Faversham with five of Amelia’s children, including Frank, who was employed in a local tannery.

On 25th October 1913, Frank married Ivy Clark, the Faversham-born daughter of a cement works labourer. The couple went on to have two children, Ronald and Eileen, in 1915 and 1916 respectively.

When was broke out, Frank was keen to play his part. He initially enlisted as a Private in the 10th (Service) Battalion of The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), but at some point was transferred across to the Labour Corps. He served throughout the conflict, and was based on home soil for the duration.

Private Jacobs remained on active service through to the summer of 1919. By this point he had returned home to Kent, but the war had taken its toll, and he fell ill. He was admitted to the Military Hospital in Chatham, but died from his illness – possibly one of the lung conditions prevalent at the time – on 30th August 1919. He was 27 years of age.

Frank Jacobs was laid to rest in the Borough Cemetery near his family home in Faversham.

Private Frank Jacobs

Tragedy was to strike again for the Jacobs family. When the Second World War broke out, Frank and Ivy’s son Ronald enlisted. He joined The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) and, towards the end of the conflict, he was among those fighting in Italy.

Private Ronald Jacobs was killed on 19th April 1945, aged just 30 years old. He was buried in Argenta, Emelia-Romagna.

While Ronald had not left a widow or any children, his mother, Ivy, had now lost her husband and only son to European conflict.

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