"Over the Top" Trench Warfare Header
Blank Menu Bar

Shawnee County Casualties in WWI
Stories of Valor and Tragedy on the Battlefield

PFC Charles Thomas JESSOP, A Co., 110th Engineers, 35th Division
Charles Jessop headstone
Charles Jessop

Return to: Stories

KIA on the evening of 29 Sep 1918 just south of the front line trenches along the Baulny Ridge, on the Chaudron Farm, by a high explosive shell, while on the way to the front lines with a message. Charles JESSOP was 18 years of age.

The following account is taken directly from the book Joe's War by Joseph N. Rizzi

"The shelling had let up. Being a little cold as it was about dusk, .................Getting back, eating and trying to keep warm was a problem. We were just raising (ducking shells was more than a problem) up from ducking a shell when we heard a terrific breeze, a resounding crash and, before we could recover we saw two of our comrades, about 20 feet from us, sent into eternity by this shell. We would never have known who they were because of the terrible way in which they were blown apart. Two other fellows close by sobbingly murmured, "There go poor Bob Thurman and Charles Jessup." These other fellows nerves were about gone and the Captain sent them further back below a little rise safe from shelling to get over it. A catastrophe such as that should have and would have unnerved any human being. I felt sick. When it was definitely known that Bob and Jessup were the victims, instead of fear or rage, devilish murdering hate took possession. Hell's fire could not keep Company A down. As if with one accord, all jumped up, shaking their fists, cursing and swearing, "God damn you, come on you bunch of bastards."
"Why in the hell don't we go after them?" someone screamed. "Are we going to let them kill all of us and do nothing?" It looked as if Company A was going berserk, but finally the Captain, Lieutenant and sergeants coaxed, cursed and calmed the bunch down and made us understand that against that wall of machine gun, high explosives and gas shells we could not live a minute."

Another member of A Co., Corporal Pinet, wrote from a base hospital where he was recovering from wounds received in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He wrote that the 110th Engineers into battle as infantry reserves. Later they dug a system of trenches for the infantry. On the evening of that Sunday evening a shell burst just behind Corporal Pinet, killing two of his best friends.

"That evening a shell burst just behind me and a piece striking me in the back knocked me into a shell hole to get my breath. Two of my best friends were killed by the shell, one Charles JESSOP. He was on his way to the front with a message, and he sure died game."

With A Co., 110th Engineers, 35th Division. Buried at Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Romagne, France Plot D, Row 21, Grave 29. His name was included in the Honor Roll Casualty List of Nov 10, 1918.

In 1930 Mrs. Minnie S. JESSOP from Topeka applied, as part of the U.S. Government's program of the WWI Mother's Pilgrimage, to visit her son's grave in France.

Return to: Stories

Copyright © 2008-2017