Jasper Whitfield SNOWDON (1896-1917)
2nd Lieutenant Jasper Whitfield Snowdon (1896-1917) was a colleague of Cyril Sladden in the 9th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.
Jasper Snowdon was born in Bradford on 5th October 1896, the youngest of five children and only son of Edward Snowdon, a silk manufacturer, and his wife, Ellen. He was baptized at Ilkley on 26th December 1896. In 1901 the family lived at 6 Park Drive, Bradford. Jasper was educated at Rossall School, Fleetwood, where he was at the time of the 1911 census.
Snowdon had been a Cadet in the Officers’ Training Corps and, as a result, was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment on 21st October 1914 (just 16 days after his 18th birthday). He went with this battalion to the Western Front theatre of war, arriving on 2nd February 1915.
By September 1915, he was in Mesopotamia with the 9th Battalion. In a letter of 22nd January 1916, Cyril Sladden described Snowdon: “I don’t think I have ever said much about the other officers of the company. Snowden, from whom I took over the company on rejoining, has his second star, and coming from the special reserve has had several months in France where he got a slight wound. He came out here about September. He has only recently left school, but is generally of serious disposition and looks much older than he is. He has not been very fit most of the time, and went to hospital from Suvla, and only recently rejoined. Probably his health is responsible for maturing him, often a little depressing. I think he found that charge of a company was more than he cared about, and was glad to hand over after having it 10 days or so.”
A letter of 15th February 1917 from Cyril Sladden indicates that Snowdon, who had been away from Cyril’s company since April 1916, had recently rejoined. Cyril was able to hand over C Company to Snowdon as Cyril himself had just started the job of second-in-command. Ten days later, Snowdon was dead.
2nd Lieutenant Snowdon was killed in action on the Hai Salient on 25th February 1917, aged 20. His grave was unknown; his name is recorded on the Basra Memorial. At the time of his death, the address of the Snowdon family home was given as The Garth, Embsay, Skipton-in-Craven.