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John E Jordan

Date of birth: 1882
Date of death: 08.08.1917
Area: Outwood, Wakefield
Regiment: Royal Dublin Fusiliers
Family information: Son of Patrick and Ann Jordan nee Lynch
Rank: Private
Service number: 43074

War Service

On the 5th August 1914 John Edward Jordan enlisted in the army. He joined the Royal Munster Fusiliers and was allocated service number 5579. On 9th November 1915 he was part of a draft which joined the 7th Battalion, deployed at Salonika in the Balkans. He was later transferred to the 1st Royal Munsters Fusiliers and then to the 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers. However, in the absence of his service record, the dates of these transfers are not known. Both these battalions fought at Gallipoli and moved to France together on 13th March 1916. At the time of his death John Edward Jordan was serving with the 9th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, with the service number 43074.
The 9th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was formed in Ireland during September 1914 and attached to 48th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division. In September 1915 the battalion moved to England for final preparation before joining the British Expeditionary Force. Three months later, in December 1915, the Division landed at Le Havre and moved to the Bethune area. The Battle of the Somme began on 1st July 1916, but the 16th Division was not involved until September. At this time the 9th Royal Dublin Fusiliers were involved at Guillemont and at Ginchy, where they incurred 209 casualties when clearing part of the village. By the end of September 1916 the 16th Division had moved to the Ypres sector of Flanders.
At 3.10 hrs on 7th June 1917 nineteen mines were blown under the German defences on the Messines-Wytschaete Ridge. This signalled the start of an artillery bombardment and infantry assault, aimed at capturing the two villages, the 16th Division being deployed in Wytschaete Wood. By 7.00 hrs the crest of the ridge had been reached and all second objectives gained. Within one week, all the old German front and support lines north of the River Lys had been captured. This attack was the prelude to the Third Battle of Ypres, which was to begin on 31st July 1917.
During the morning of the 31st July 1917 the 9th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, in support, moved into the old front line trenches north of Ypres. At 21.00 hrs on 1st August the 9th Battalion moved forward to occupy the Blue Line, astride the Potijen-Frezhnberg road. This position was heavily shelled and the 9th Battalion suffered casualties before being relieved the following day. The Battalion remained at Toronto Camp until the 5th August, when they moved to the Vlamestinghe area. On 7th August the 9th Royal Dublin Fusiliers moved forward to occupy the Blue Line trenches, with Headquarters at Wilde Wood. During their occupation of these trenches the 9th Battalion came under intense bombardment from enemy guns and suffered severe casualties before being relieved.
Private John Edward Jordan was killed in action on the 8th August 1917. Unfortunately his body was lost to the battlefield. His name is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres, which commemorates over 54,000 servicemen who died in the Ypres Salient and have no known grave. The site at Menin Gate was chosen because thousands of men passed through Ypres on their way to the front.

Family Life

Born in 1882, John Edward Jordan was the second son of Patrick Jordan and his wife Ann, formerly Lynch. His parents, Patrick and Ann, were both born in Ireland, but married in the summer of 1874 when living in the Batley area. His father was a weaver and his mother a cloth sorter in the woollen industry. However, in 1889 his father, Patrick Jordan, died at the age of 38 years. At the time of the 1891 census the family was living at Smith Road, Dewsbury. At this time his mother was employed as a rag packer and John and his older brother Patrick were pupils at the local school. In 1892 his younger brother, Charles Jordan, died at the age of four years.
In 1898 his mother Ann Jordan married William Whitwam, a widower and coal miner. Shortly afterwards the extended family was living at Junction Lane, Ossett cum Gawthorpe. On the 3rd January 1901 his brother Patrick, having previously signed for the Militia, was posted to South Africa with the 1st Battalion, York and Lancs Regiment. On 2nd December 1900, during the Boer War, Private Patrick Jordan was killed at Utrecht in Natal Province.
At the time of the 1911 census, John Edward Jordan, a coal miner, was living with mother and step-father at Lawns Lane, Outwood. In 1914 he was employed at Silverwood Colliery and living at Rotherham.

Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres

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