Monday, 8 September 2014

Cornwall in the First World War

During this month, each weekday I'm posting a photograph showing Cornwall's First World War.

This is 2nd Lieutenant W H G Jessup, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Order on 20 August 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.

His citation reads: 'For conspicuous gallantry during operations. When the enemy launched a heavy bomb attack on the flank of our attacking troops, he met them with a party of eight men and drove them back. The whole party except himself and one man became casualties. But collecting another party he held on for 24 hours under continuous enemy fire in his isolated position.'

The action took place in Delville Wood while Lt Jessup was serving with 6th Service Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. It was most unusual for a 2nd Lieutenant to be awarded a DSO and this must have been a special feat of bravery and leadership.

In 1918, Captain (as he had become) Jessup, who by then had also been awarded the French Croix de Guerre, was wounded. Sent home to Britain, he later died from his wounds.

The oil painting above of Lieutenant Jessup, by Stanley Llewelyn Wood, hangs in Cornwall’s Regimental Museum. The museum tells the story of the Duchy's Regiment from 1702 until the present date; its displays cover the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, the volunteers and volunteer militia and the successor Regiment, The Light Infantry:

My book, 'Cornwall In The First World War', is published by Truran. With 112 pages and 100 images, you'll find it in bookshops across the Duchy. It's also available through Amazon:

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