Richard Alexander Jones was born in Flint, Flintshire on 19 June 1896.
The 1911 Census tells us that the family lived at 1 Kimberley Terrace, Bagillt, Flintshire. The head of the family was Samuel Jones aged 48, an Engine Driver at the Bagillt Lead Works. His wife Sarah Jones aged 44 and their four children – Richard Alexander Jones aged 14, a Grocer’s Errand Boy, Margaret Bibby Jones aged 12, Fred Jones aged 9 and Florence Jones aged 4. There was also a Boarder living with them, John Thomas aged 31, who was employed as a Coal Miner at Bettisfield Colliery.
Richard enlisted as an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve on 22nd June 1917. On 14 November 1917 he joined Howe Battalion, which was attached to the 1st Royal Marine Battalion and on 11 February 1918 was posted to Anson Battalion.
Badge of the Anson Battalion
Although a Seaman, Richard along with many other sailors fought as Infantry Soldiers, while retaining their naval identity.
At the declaration of the war on 4th August 1914, there was a surplus of some 20,000 to 30,00 men of the reserves of the Royal Navy who would not find jobs on any ship of war. On 17 August 1914 a decision was taken to form eight battalions in two Naval Brigades, which would join with the Marine Brigade to produce a composite Royal Naval Division. The eight battalions were named Drake, Benbow, Hawke, Collingwood, Nelson, Howe, Hood and Anson.
They began training in Mid-August 1914 but the ratings had not been issued with field equipment or khaki uniforms before being embarked for overseas service. Also, the rifles they were issued with were much older and inferior than those issued to the Army.
He is also remembered on The North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Deiniol Road, Bangor, North Wales.
There is a Flintshire Roll of Honour Card for him at the County Archives Office, Hawarden, which was completed on 9 September 1919 by his sister, Margaret Bibby Jones.