Jersey Company Member Record
John Dournald Le Breton
Month Joined:
February 1915
Age (1915)
Jersey Militia Unit
Rank (1915)
Royal Irish Rifles No.
Hampshire Regt. No.
31 Church of England Town Battalion Company Sergeant Major 4145 N/A
Personal History    
The son of Philip and Elizabeth, of Ann Street, St Helier, and formerly living in Gaspe, Newfoundland. Prior to the war, he worked as a for Mr Vautier the grocer and merchant. In 1915, he married Georgina.

Known as 'Jack', as a respected Company Sergeant Major in the Town Battalion of the Jersey Militia, at the start of 1915 he was the natural choice for the Jersey Company's senior non-commissioned officer. While training in Ireland, he showed atheletice prowess as well, wining the mile running race at a Battalion sports day. From the start, he was a highly respected member of the Jersey Company. One man reported 'Our Sgt-Major invairably has the welfare of the Company at heart, and he is conscientiously here, there and everywhere, at all hours'. In August 1916 he became the senior non-commissioned officer for 7th Royal Irish Rifles when promoted to Acting Regimemtal Sergeant Major, a position made permanent later in the war. During the fighting at Guillemont in September 1916, he won a French Medal Militaire for rescuing a number of wounded men while under shellfire. In June the following year, during the Battle of Messines Ridge he further won a Distinguished Conduct Medal, or DCM, for single-handedly capturing a number of german soldiers. He probably transferred to 2nd Royal Irish Rifles with the rest of the Jersey Company in November 1917, but soon after was forced to cease active service due to an eye condition. Much to his distress, for the remainder of the war he served with a training unit in the UK.

After the war, he was key member of the Contingent Association, heavily involved in ex-servicemen's welfare, and worked extensively in Children's Services. Awarded an MBE, he died in 1970 aged 88-years-old.


Notes / Comments Medals
Photo Source(s)
St Helier Town Hall
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Grave Photo
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