Jesson, Robert Wilfred Fairey (1886-1917)
Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who died in the First World War, 1914-1918.
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Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.
Details: Robert Wilfred Fairey Jesson (1886-1917), born 17 January 1886, son of Robert William Jesson and Annie Randall Jesson of 10, Archers Road, Southampton.
Attended Handel College, Southampton.
Attended Sherborne School (Harper House) January 1901-August 1905; 6th form; 1st XI cricket team 1903, 1904, 1905. Took part in the 1905 Sherborne Pageant www.flickr.com/photos/sherborneschoolarchives/15974976765...
Attended Merton College, Oxford; won his Harlequin.
Played for Hampshire XI cricket team and for the Old Shirburnian cricket tours in the West of England.
Member of the Inns of Court OTC.
WW1, Major in the Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment); joined as 2nd Lieutenant, 5th (S.) Bn, in August 1914; wounded at Gallipoli; mentioned in despatches. Killed near Kut on 22 February 1917, while 2nd in Command of Regiment.
Basra Memorial, Panel 30 and 64 www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1656815/JESSON,%20ROB...
Sherborne School: War Memorial Staircase; Book of Remembrance; Memorial plaque in the School chapel www.flickr.com/photos/sherborneschoolarchives/28668669474...; Harper House roll of honour. R.W. Jesson and Mrs Jesson donated £6.6s. towards the Sherborne School War Memorial in memory of their son, Major R.W.F. Jesson.
Obituary, 'The Shirburnian', April 1917: 'All those Old Shirburnians who were fortunate enough to go year by year on the Cricket Tour in Devonshire, regarded those few days among the happiest of their lives. They are now indeed sunny memories of which nothing can ever rob us. As we think of them many figures rise before us, but at the present moment none more vividly than that of Wilfred Jesson. There was never a more lion-hearted cricketer than he; and to have him on our side went a long way towards victory. But it was not in the field only that he played so great a part. Which of us will ever forget his cheerfulness, his modesty, his tact, his sympathy and his intense love of all that had to do with Sherborne? It was on our last tour, in August 1914, that he received the telegram summoning him to join his Regiment, and from that day onwards all those qualities that we admired so much in him were given without stint to his country. He served through the Gallipoli campaign, being wounded and, just before the evacuation, invalided home. Last April he went to Mesopotamia and in one of his last letters told of his leading his troops across the Shatt-el-Hai at the beginning of the turning movement which ended in our victory over the Turks. We can well imagine how willingly and eagerly his men followed him. He fought as he had played. On those tours he was our hero, our pride, how much more so now! And we who loved him and are left behind thank God that it was our fortune to know him and count him friend.'