Field-Marshal Sir Claud William Jacob GCB GCSI KCMG
Appointed Colonel of the Regiment on 2nd February 1927.
Sir Claud Jacob, who assumed the Colonelcy on 1st February 1927, served his first two years of service in the old 29th Regiment before transferring to the Indian Army. Like many officers of the Indian Service, he was conscious of a great debt to the battalion of the British Army in which he had served his apprenticeship, and he welcomed the opportunity to repay that debt in identifying himself with every interest of the Regiment and devoting much time and thought to his duties as their Colonel.
He was born in 1863 of a long line of soldiers whose name is perpetuated in a fine cavalry regiment, Jacob’s Horse. After education at Sherborne School and Sandhurst he transferred from the British Service to the Indian Staff Corps in 1884.
He saw service in the Zhob Valley Expedition, 1890, and again on the North-West Frontier in 1901. It was as Colonel on the General Staff that he arrived in France in 1914 with the Indian Expeditionary Force and in 1915 received command of the Dehra Dun Brigade. He continued to go from strength to strength, commanding the 21st Division and in May 1916, assuming command of the 2nd Corps with the rank of Lieutenant-General.
As a Corps Commander he fought through the Somme battle in 1916, Passchendaele in 1917 and the hard fighting in 1918. After command of a Corps on the Rhine in 1919 he returned to India in 1920 as the late Lord Rawlinson’s Chief of Staff, in which capacity the heavy burden of seeing through Lord Rawlinson’s reorganization of the Indian Army fell on his shoulders. From 1924 to 1925 he commanded the Northern Command in India, acting in 1925 for a short period as Commander-in-Chief. During this period he was made A.D.C. General to His Majesty The King and was promoted to Field-Marshal in 1926.
Returning to England, he held the extremely important post of Military Secretary at the India Office from 1926 to 1930, and on 24th May 1938 he was appointed Constable of the Tower of London (photo below shows the ceremony, at the tower, with the 1st Battation Worcestershires which at the time was commanded by Lieut.-Colonel S. A. Gabb). This event happy occasion, coincided with the 1st Battalion’s responsibility for duty at the Tower of London.
1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment at the Tower of London 1938
In November 1938, Sir Claud handed over his office. He should have retired in 1933 at the age of seventy, but, to the great joy of the Regiment, his tenure was extended by His Majesty for another five years.
After surrendering the Colonelcy, Sir Claud Jacob continued to take an active interest in the affairs of his Regiment throughout the war years, and it was good to see him at Harrow in 1943 when the 1st Battalion once again assumed its identity.
It would be difficult to assess in detail the many services he rendered. He was responsible for the restoration of the ancient Lion badge of the 29th and the motto “Firm” of the 36th to the centre of the Regimental Colour.
At his side Lady Jacob had quietly played her part as hostess with great charm and high sense of duty. To her the sympathy of all ranks of the Regiment went out when her husband in his eighty-fifth year died at King’s College Hospital on 2nd June 1948.