On 21st September 1917, the Ipswich Evening Star published the news that a man of the Borough had been awarded the Military Medal for actions in France in the previous weeks.
The ninth of twelve children, James Jordan was born in Ipswich in 1888 and after a start as a sanitary dray labourer with the local council, he decided that the Army was for him and in 1907 enlisted into the Suffolk Regiment.
After initial training at Bury St. Edmunds, Woolwich and on Salisbury Plain, he embarked with the 1st Battalion for Malta on the 'SS Dongola' in 1908. A keen swimmer, he was a member of the Pioneer Platoon, being good with both chisel, axe and a sewing needle.
He returned home in 1914, a few months after war was declared and with the rest of the Battalion, he embarked for France in the cold January of 1915.
Wounded by shrapnel in late April 1915, his wound was most probably a blessing for him for, within a fortnight, virtually all of his Battalion had been either killed, wounded or captured when the Battalion's positions along the Frezenberg Ridge were overrun on the afternoon of 8th May.
After a complete recovery, Jim was posted to the 2nd Battalion in July and therefore avoided being sent to Macedonia with his old Battalion at the end of 1915. Wounded a second time, this time after convalescing, he joined the 7th Battalion, and was in action with them on the Somme and later at Arras in the spring of 1917.
It was some time during this campaign that Jim won the Military Medal and was wounded for a third time. In the weeks that were to follow, he would recover and again return to the fight. His Battalion would be in action again soon, but would his luck hold?
With grateful thanks to Dave Keevil for the above clipping and autobiography of his relative, James Jordan MM.
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