Alexander Young Jackson (1882-1974) was born in Montreal, Quebec, on October 3, 1882, and, like many of the Group of Seven, travelled to Europe as a young man to learn his craft at schools and art colonies in France and Belgium. His nature paintings proved very popular, and it was not long until they were shown in Canada's National Gallery. The founding member of the Group of Seven, Jackson served in the First World War with the 60th Battalion (Victoria Rifles of Canada), but was wounded shortly after reaching the front in the Battle of Sanctuary Wood in 1916. While recovering, his talent as a landscape artist came to the attention of Lord Beaverbrook, the expatriate Canadian business tycoon who had recently established the Canadian War Records Office in London. Jackson was transferred to this new office and promoted to lieutenant. For the remainder of his service he worked as a war artist, documenting important scenes and events connected to the war, such as the aftermath of battles and the destruction of villages. After the war he moved to Toronto, then to Manotick near Ottawa. He died in 1974, and is buried on the grounds of the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg, Ontario.
Service Record Details
Date of Birth: October 3, 1883 (Montreal, PQ)
Date of Attestation: June 14, 1915 (Montreal, PQ)
Age at Enlistment: 31 years, 8 months
Height: 5 feet, 5 1/2 inches
Weight: 139 pounds
Description: Sallow complexion, blue eyes, dark grey hair. Church of England. Two vaccinations on left arm.
Home Address: Canadian War Records
Trade: Artist (landscape painter)
Next of Kin: Mother—Mrs. Henry A. Jackson, living at 69 Hallowell, Westmount, Montreal, PQ.
Theatre of War: England and France
Casualties / Medical History
- June 4, 1916 – Jackson is admitted to the No. 1 Canadian General Hospital in Étaples, France, for shrapnel wounds to his shoulder and left hip. He is hospitalized for over 10 weeks and is discharged on August 17. (Page 5)
Interesting Details from the Service Record
- February 9, 1918 – He is "seconded for duty" with the Canadian War Records Office. (Page 16)
- November 21, 1918 – He is transferred to the Siberian Expeditionary Force. (Page 16)
- May 7, 1919 – His final pay as an officer is $170.54. (Page 15)
The London Gazette
Military Medals Honours and Awards
In 1911, Mrs. Henry Jackson (69) is living with her sons, A.Y. (28) and W.H. (23), and her two daughters Isobel (26) and Catherine (21). She is listed as the head of the family. She was born in Ontario and is of Scottish descent. The family is Anglican. A.Y. is listed as an artist. W.H. works as a ledger keeper in a bank. Isobel and her mother do not work outside the home; however, Catherine works as a stenographer in a paint office.