O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'
O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'

Royal NavyO'Byrne

The following is the entry for Thomas Sturges Jackson in William O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'.


Admiral Sir Thomas Sturges Jackson died on Sunday at his home at Colchester at the age of 92. Since the death of Admiral Claude E. Buckle in February, 1930, he had been the senior officer of his rank on the retired list, and was thus regarded as the "Father" of the Navy. His eldest son, also an admiral, has been on the retired list for over 10 years.
Admiral Jackson was an officer of great public spirit, who took an interest in all matters appertaining to his profession or those who served in it. He was a prominent member of the Navy Records Society, for which he edited in 1889-1900 two volumes dealing with the logs of vessels which played important parts in Nelson's and other operations of 1794-1805, under the title of "Great Sea Fights." While Admiral-Superintendent of Devonport Dockyard he was active in promoting rifle shooting, and was president of the Devonport Rifle Club. He was a valued correspondent of The Times, and one of his last letters appeared on February 6, 1932, just before he was 90, on the subject of experiments with detachable buoys.
The son of the Rev. Thomas Jackson, Prebendary of St. Paul's, he was born on March 6, 1842, and entered the Royal Navy in April 1856. Within a few months he was appointed to the Calcutta, and served in her as a midshipman at the capture of the Peiho Forts in 1858, being also A.D.C. to Captain W.K. Hall in every expedition during the operations against the Chinese in the Second China War. It was the Calcutta in which the late Sir John Knox Laughton was naval instructor, and, as Sir Edward Seymour said, Laughton taught so well that of his pupils at least 17 reached the active list of captains, and eight attained flag rank, which, from one ship, is believed to be a record.
After being promoted sub-lieutenant in July, 1862, and lieutenant in March, 1864, Jackson was appointed in June, 1867, to the gunnery schoolship Cambridge at Devonport, and in November, 1870, was reappointed as first lieutenant. From this post he was promoted commander in November, 1873. In the following July, after a period of study at the Naval College, where he was awarded a £50 prize, he became commander of the frigate Topaze, on detached service, and afterwards commanded the training ship Implacable at Devonport, from which he was advanced to captain in October, 1881.
After the customary period of half-pay he was appointed to the Admiralty in June, 1884, for special service, and for nearly two years was Naval Adviser at the War Office. He resumed sea duty as captain of the corvette Comus on the North America Station in 1886, and after three years in her he received command of the battleship ColossusExternal link in the Mediterranean. In September, 1892, he went to Jamaica as Commodore and Naval Officer in charge, remaining there for three years, and a few months after his return, on October 20, 1896, he was promoted to rear-admiral. His only active appointment on the flag list was as Admiral-Superintendent of Devonport Dockyard, which he held from July, 1899, to July, 1902, during which time he was advanced to vice-admiral. He became a full admiral in July, 1905, and retired from the active list in the same month. He was created a K.C.V.O. on the occasion of the Royal visit to Devonport on March 8, 1902, for the launch of the battleship QueenExternal link, and the laying down of the King Edward VIIExternal link and the laying of the foundation-stone of Dartmouth College.
Sir Thomas married first, in 1867, Helen, daughter of Mr. C.A. Gordon, of Lahore. She died in 1884; and in 1892 he married Marian, daughter of the Hon. W.H. Crane, of New Brunswick. She died in 1920. Two of his three sons entered the Navy — namely, Admiral Sir Thomas Jackson, K.B.E., who served from 1881 to 1923. and during the War was Director of Operations and in command of the Egypt and Red Sea Division; and Captain H.G. Jackson, C.B.E., who served from 1890 to 1933, and for some years was in the Ordnance Department, in which he became Superintendent of Design. He leaves five daughters, two of whom are married respectively to Major-General Clifford Coffin, V.C., and Major Norton Francis, of Christchurch, New Zealand.
The cremation will be at Ipswich Cemetery at noon to-morrow. There will be no mourning, and friends are asked to send contributions to Service charities instead of flowers.

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