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News > OP updates > Obituaries > Matthew Jackson RIP

Matthew Jackson RIP

15 Aug 2022

Colonel MCF Jackson (Late RE) Ret’d
OP 1972 - 82

3 November 1963 – 11 May 2022

The son of a Naval Family, living in Old Portsmouth, Matthew joined the Lower School in 1972.  He thrived at PGS, doing well academically and enthusiastically grasping school life in all its facets.  He loved his sport, eventually becoming a robust flanker in the First XV and he was a key member of the CCF, where he excelled and developed his love for all things military.  He ended his school days as an engaging, energetic, and conscientious Second Prefect (Deputy Head Boy) and Senior NCO in the CCF Naval section. He was bound for the Navy until a diagnosis of colour blindness meant he had a change of path.  He would go on to join the Royal Engineers, a decision he would never regret.

Before that came University at Liverpool, where he took a degree in Mechanical Engineering, living life to the full and preparing for the course at Sandhurst, from where he passed out in 1986.  Matthew loved Army life and served all over the world, including tours in Bosnia, Germany, Canada, Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, and Iraq.  In Bosnia, he was Military Assistant to the NATO Deputy Commander, and he also served in Berlin, where he was lucky enough to be when the Berlin Wall came down.  Success at the Army Command and Staff course meant that he was eligible to command in the higher ranks, and Matthew went on to be selectively promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and then Colonel.  He commanded the Joint Civilian and Military Co-operation Group between 2005 and 2008, a unique organisation that developed civilian/military planning for post-conflict situations.  This experience shaped the latter part of his career, and after an MSc in Security and Development at Bristol in 2013 (his third degree, as he had also achieved a Masters in Defence Administration in 1996), he led the Military Stabilisation Support Group – a team of 600 supporting humanitarian operations across the globe, and in particular training foreign forces to help the UN with the recovery of Somalia after its civil war.

His personal life was as blissful as his military career was busy.  He and Amelia married in 1992 built a life together with their two children, Brontë and Luke, living in many different places and finding time to travel and socialise wherever they went.  They were fabulous hosts and Matthew always displayed an optimism and zest for life that was unsurpassed.  He adored his children and took great pride in their many achievements.  He was also a devoted husband, and he and Amelia had only recently bought their dream house in Wiltshire and were embarking on renovations.  He was an extraordinarily kind and generous friend, and his first instinct was always for others. 

Matthew left the Army in 2016, and immediately began a career as a self-employed consultant in the same highly specialised area of rebuilding fragile states (see OPUS article Issue 24 in 2021).  This meant more travel, but this was in his blood, and he enjoyed every minute of his newfound civilian life.  When he wasn’t working, he loved rugby (supporting Bath and England in particular), music, fine wine, skiing, sailing and cookery.  He loved a gathering, and when he was there, he was always at the heart of the fun. 

Matthew died aged 58, very suddenly and with no warning.  He leaves behind Amelia his wife, Brontë and Luke, his parents Mike and Jane (who still live in Old Portsmouth), and his sister Serena (OP 1984), together with a large wider family.  At his funeral, his loss was described as unfathomable – his family and many friends will miss him profoundly.

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