This blog was produced in collaboration with the students and Christine Ritsma of Stratford Northwestern Secondary School, and the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies.
By Ethan Spahiu, Ethan Skinner and Zack Torraville
Henry Ernest Jackson was born in Birmingham, England on 3 October 1878. In 1912, when he was thirty-five, Jackson moved to 706 Downie Street in Stratford, Ontario. He lived there for about three years before enlisting in 1915. After serving for four years, he was discharged in 1919 and moved to Toronto. In the years before and after the war, Jackson was a machinist, residing with his wife in North Bay, Ontario until his death.
Jackson was part of the 150th (Carabiniers Mont Royal) Battalion, and he sailed to England in September 1916. The 150th was dissolved upon arrival and soldiers were absorbed into the 14th, 22nd, 24th and 87th Battalions, and the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles. The unit officially ceased to exist in 1918. Jackson was given the rank of Private upon enlistment, and he kept his rank throughout the entirety of the war. His pay rate throughout the war was $20 monthly. He did not have any physical injuries, though he did come down with influenza and was placed in a British hospital for just over two weeks in 1917.
Jackson did not apply for a pension immediately after the war. Little is known about Jackson between the end of the war and the late 1940s, but in 1949, he applied for an allowance when he was diagnosed with a hernia. At this point, Jackson was eligible for an Old Age Pension, but in his opinion he thought the pension represented charity, which was something he did not wish to receive. He felt differently concerning the War Veterans’ Allowance because he believed he deserved it for his wartime service and therefore felt he had earned it. After consulting with the War Veterans’ Allowance Board, he was granted an allowance and was awarded over $40 monthly. After three years, Henry decided to apply for an Old Age Pension but in the process of claiming it lost his allowance. With his pension, he was granted $40.00 monthly accompanied by a superannuation of $51.50 monthly.
Jackson lived a long and adventurous life. From his experiences in the war, to traveling the world and receiving a War Veterans’ Allowance thirty years after his service, he was a man who lived his life how he wanted. Eventually, he moved to New Zealand for six years then moved back to Canada again residing in North Bay until he died at the age of ninety-nine years of age in 1976.
To view Henry Ernest Jackson’s military service record at Library and Archives Canada, Click Here