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Cyril Jacobs (1891-)

Sunderland born doctor served in the Royal Army Medical Corps

Cyril Jacobs was born on 14 November 1891 in Sunderland. His father was Israel Jacobs who was originally from Russia. His mother was Augusta Jacobs, nee Asher from Sunderland. Cyril’s parents married in the last few months of 1876 in Sunderland. Israel became a naturalised British Citizen on 14 May 1886. Cyril had six brothers and four sisters, although the 1911 census records one of these children was no longer alive by this date.

At the time of the 1901 census, the family were living at Thornhill Park in Bishopwearmouth, Sunderland. Cyril’s father was working as a furniture dealer and shop keeper. The family had moved by 1911 and now lived at 6 St George’s Square, Sunderland. The census suggests the family’s furniture business was doing well as they were living in a house with 10 rooms and employed a servant. Cyril is recorded as a medical student.

Cyril was admitted to Bede Higher Grade School in 1900, and then went on to study at Argyle House School in Sunderland. Cyril studied at Durham University at the School of Medicine, graduating in 1914.

In September 1914 Cyril was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) but was quickly promoted to the rank of captain. Cyril first served at Aldershot and then went on to serve at the base camp in Bolougne, entering the theatre of war on 14 December 1914. A letter sent home to his brother Maurice in April 2015 reports him working for the 8th Field Ambulance at this time. At some point during his time in the RAMC, he was attached to the Lincolnshire Regiment.

Cyril was mentioned in dispatches twice during 1917, reported in the London Gazette on 4 January and 29 May. Later that year, Cyril went on to be awarded the Military Cross which was reported in the London Gazette on 18 July 1917: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. After an assault he went out over the whole ground in daylight, cleared as many of the wounded as possible, and having located the wounded who were in the enemy wire and close to it, completed his task by nightfall. He succeeded in evacuating all wounded men.”

During 1918 Cyril was awarded a bar to his Military Cross reported in the London Gazette on 19 April 1918: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in forming his dressing station under heavy fire. It was once blown in on top of him and five casualties occurred, but he remained at his post and managed to evacuate all wounded. On the following day he cleared the battlefield in spite of heavy fire, and brought back twenty badly wounded cases.”

In addition to the Military Cross with bar Cyril was awarded the Victory Medal, British War Medal and 1914-15 Star for his service. After the war he returned to work as a doctor in Sunderland and is listed as an ophthalmic surgeon at the time of his father’s death in 1939.

Civil Parish: Sunderland

Birth date: 14-Nov-1891

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: Thornhill Park, Bishopwearmouth, Sunderland (1901 census)
6 St George’s Square, Sunderland (1911 census)
9, The Elms West, Sunderland (1915 and 1920 Medical Registers)
Winter’s Building, 30 St. Ann’s Street, Manchester (Medal Roll card)
268 Oxford Road, Manchester (1923 Medical Register)

Education: Bede Higher Grade School
Argyle House School
Durham University, School of Medicine

Employment: Doctor
Ophthalmic Surgeon (1939)

Family: Parents: Israel Jacobs, Augusta Jacobs nee Asher
Siblings: David Jacobs, Moses Jacobs, Lionel Jacobs, Edward Jacobs, Bertha Jacobs, Harold Jacobs, Grace Jacobs, George Jacobs, Rita Laura Jacobs, Flora Jacobs

Military service:

Royal Army Medical Corps
8th Field Ambulance

Medal(s): Military Cross with bar
British War Medal
Victory Medal
1914-15 Star

Gender: Male

Contributed by Fiona Johnson - Durham