Jackson survives bullets, bombs but not a broken leg

WALTER Bentley Jackson survived two years of frontline battle with barely a scratch on him before a broken leg killed him.

He was a 22-year-old grocer living in North Fremantle when he made his way to the Perth Drill Hall and enlisted for World War I on June 21, 1915.

After training at Blackboy Hill, he was assigned as a private to the 28th Battalion 3rd Reinforcements and sailed from Fremantle aboard the HMAT Anchises on September 2.

Walter was sent to Gallipoli almost as soon as he landed in Egypt, fighting alongside the 28th for the rest of the Gallipoli campaign until the evacuation in December 1915.

After months of training and holding parts of the Suez Canal defence line, Walter was sent to France, arriving in Marseilles on March 21, 1916.

He was with the 28th as the fought through Fleurbaix before being moved to the Somme battlefield and playing a role in the capturing of Pozieres on July 23.

Amazingly, Walter came through German attacks on July 29, August 4 and early November unscathed, earning a promotion to Temporary Corporal, then full Corporal, then Temporary Company Quarter Master Sergeant.

Between April 6 and 30 1917, Walter was sent to the Divisional School to take part in a course and was promoted again to 2nd Lieutenant.

However, Walter´┐Żs run of luck in avoiding injury was about to run out.

Three days after returning to the 28th, the unit was involved in the 2nd Battle of Bullecourt.

During the battle a shell exploded near Walter, injuring him and a number of other men.

He was evacuated and was diagnosed with a compound fracture to the leg.

The shrapnel must have cut an artery, and Walter bled to death.

He was buried in Grevillers British Cemetery.

Visit www.anzacfremantle.com.au for more information on the Fremantle men who served.