Who's Who - Sir Henry Jackson

Sir Henry Jackson Admiral Sir Henry Bradwardine Jackson (1855-1929) served as British First Sea Lord from 1915-16 during World War One.

Jackson, who entered the navy in 1868, attained an early reputation as a pioneer of ship-to-ship radio technology, where he worked with Marconi, earning himself appointment as a Fellow to the Royal Society.

From 1905-08 Jackson served as Third Sea Lord and Comptroller of the Navy.  Next came periods as head of Portsmouth's Naval War College and the infant Admiralty War Staff in 1913.

The arrival of the First World War in August 1914 saw Jackson work on the co-ordination of British attacks on Germany's colonial possessions.  He was selected as the surprise successor to Admiral Fisher upon the latter's spectacular resignation in May 1915 (ironically, given Fisher's known detestation for staff officers).

Despite his cordial (some said insipid) working relationship with First Lord of the Admiralty (and former Prime Minister) Arthur Balfour, Jackson was widely held to be a weak First Sea Lord, overly concerning himself with administrative matters and ineffectually attempting to extend the Dover Barrage.

Jackson did however oppose Winston Churchill's original Dardanelles plans, believing a naval expedition without army support on land to be unfeasible.

With British naval success at sea apparently difficult to come by calls grew for Jackson's replacement as First Sea Lord.  Consequently Sir John Jellicoe was appointed to replace Jackson in November 1916.

Jackson saw out the rest of the war as King George V's aide-de-camp and as president of the Royal Naval College at Greenwich.

In 1919 Jackson was appointed Admiral of the Fleet; he retired five years later.  He died in 1929.

'White Star' was a German mixture of chlorine and phosgene gas, so-named on account of the identification marking painted on the delivery shell casing.

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