Falfield South Gloucestershire

The news came through on the evening of the Harvest thanksgiving in Eastwood Park, Falfield that John had been killed in action in France.

In 1925, Mrs Joan Langhorne applied to the Gloucester Consistory Court to place the original grave marker from her first husband’s grave in France on the wall of the north nave in Hawkesbury Church in South Gloucestershire.

Her first husband was John Banks Jenkinson. John was the eldest son of Sir George and Lady Banks Jenkinson who lived at Eastwood Park in the neighbouring village of Falfield. The villages of Hawkesbury and Falfield contained the estates owned by the well known Banks Jenkinson family and the baronetcy.

John was the heir to the Baronetcy. Born in 1881 in London, he attended Harrow School and then Sandhurst Military College. He fought in the Boer War with the Mounted Cavalry between 1901 and 1902.

He married his wife in 1907 and he had two children before he rode off to war in 1914.

The news came through on the evening of the Harvest thanksgiving in Eastwood Park, Falfield that John had been killed in action in France.

Here at Falfield in St George’s Church is sited the personal memorial to Captain John Banks Jenkinson. A tablet full of detail of the man.

It reads in full:

In memory of one most beloved John Banks Jenkinson (eldest son of George Banks Jenkinson 12th Baronet) Captain, The Rifle Brigade who was serving on the staff as Brigade Major when killed in action at Vendresse, France in the Battle of Aisne Sept 14th 1914, aged 33 years and is buried at Vendresse, Mentioned in dispatches Served with the Mounted Infantry through the South African War Queen’s Medal and five clasps Subsequently Adjutant Mounted Infantry in Egypt Passed through Staff College 1911 Following year G.S.O. Eastern Command Became Brigade Major in 1913 to the 3rd Infantry Brigade (1st Division) Married 1907, Joan, only daughter of Col. Hill C. B. of Wollaston, Northants who survives him and by whom he leaves two children, a daughter aged 6 years, and a son Antony Banks, aged 2 years. He was a God fearing man, an honourable gentleman and a gallant soldier “He that findeth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” RIP

His death was in the early months of the war after the retreat from Mons in September 1914. On the 13th September, British forces attacked over the river Aisne to confront German troops; however they had already dug in well above the river and the canal which ran from it. Some would say the Battle of Aisne in 1914 were the very roots of trench warfare. British attacks floundered.

Captain John Banks Jenkinson is buried at Vendresse British Cemetery outside the village of Vendresse-Beaulne, east of Soissons in northern France. His headstone reads:

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God

Sir George Banks Jenkinson, his father died in 1915, a few months after his eldest son in France. It meant that John’s three-year-old son would become successor to the baronetcy. Despite the fact that Sir George had another son, Thomas who was also serving in the war effort with the 9th Lancers.

These deaths were the end of the line for Eastwood Park. It was put up for auction and sold in 1916 after trustees of the estate agreed to its sale. However the baronetcy continues its association with Hawkesbury; and Captain John Banks Jenkinson’s original grave marker remains inside Hawkesbury church.

His name lies on the village war memorial which sits next to the main road adjacent to St George’s Church at Falfield.