Harry Jackson

From an article in the Retro Section of the Sheffield Star 27th July 2013




Sheffielder Harry Jackson (1896-1982) joined the Royal Navy as a volunteer in the First World War.

Harry was part of the Royal Naval Division which participated in the defence of Antwerp in 1914. A total of 1,500 servicemen from the First Royal Naval Brigade fled to neutral Holland where they were interned in Groningen.

The Dutch government built a camp for them which consisted of wooden huts called HMS Timbertown by the men which is where they stayed until the war ended in November 1918. Gradually the Naval soldiers were allowed to go out of the camp and as time progressed they formed clubs and societies which involved the local people e.g. theatrical, musical and many sporting activities.

Harry met a Dutch girl, Ennechiena, they fell in love and married in 1917. In 1918 their daughter Mary was born but she was only six weeks old when Ennechiena died of appendicitis.

Harry went back to Sheffield, remarried, and had two children Eric and Robert. Eric and his wife Nancy had two children David and Susan.
He also opened secondhand furniture and antiques shops on Abbeydale Road and London Road.

Back in the Netherlands Mary lived with her maternal grandparents. When she was in her 20s Mary, and her future husband Rynko Ottes, discovered that she was registered as being English and had a British passport.

By the outbreak of World War II she was not allowed to stay in Holland and so they married quickly in order to prevent her internment in Germany.
Harry had regular contact with his daughter by sending her packets and letters and he also visited her. Some of his sisters wrote to Mary too but all of this contact came to an end when Harry died in 1982.

Ennechiena's Memoriam

See the original Article

Click on the image

See a follow-up article about Groningen Interment Camp

Click on the image









© Copyright 2010 - 2021 Dean Hill and Stuart Reeves