Jones, Owen

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Peter Kelsall (Buckley)/Barry Hiller (Holyhead)

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Welsh Methodist Chapel, Buckley/Holyhead

Name / Enw: Jones, Owen

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Field Artillery, "A" Bty. 285th Bde

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Gunner, 112406

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Ploegstreet Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panel 1

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Belgium

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory, British

Date of Death: 9th April 1918

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Killed in Action, age 20

Owen Jones is identified on a memorial plaque removed from the now demolished Bethel Welsh Methodist Church in Mold Road. He is also included on the “Scrap of Paper” prepared by members of the chapel. He is shown as killed in action, along with three other chapel members, Albert Edwin HopwoodWilliam Thomas Jones, and Glyn Roberts. It seems that both Owen and Glyn moved to Buckley from Welsh speaking Gwynedd or Anglesey and joined the Welsh chapel.

Owen Jones is not commemorated on the Hawkesbury Memorial or the plaque in Bistre Parish Church.

The story of Owen Jones and his connection to Buckley was pieced together from CWGC and other records. From the Roll of Honour for the London and North West Railway (LNWR) a record was found for Gunner O. Jones, a railway clerk at Padeswood. From two potential men in the CWGC records further research identified Owen as Gunner Owen Jones, service number 112408, son of Edward and Catherine J. Jones, of 12, Longford Terrace, Holyhead. From LNWR employment record we know that Owen transferred to Padeswood on 20 November 1914. His birth date is recorded as 5 July 1897 which fits with his age on the Census and on CWGC records. He is also recorded as leaving to join the army on 20 October 1915.

The following information is reproduced from the Holyhead Memorial website.

Owen Jones was born at Llanbadrig, Anglesey the son of Edward and Catherine Jane Jones of 12 Longford Terrace, Holyhead. In 1901 he lived at 1 Leweryd Villas, Kingsland, Holyhead with his parents Edward (32) and Catherine Jane (27) together with his sisters, Ellen (6) and Lizzie Jane (7 months). His father was born at Llanfechell, Anglesey and was employed as a Railway Labourer. His mother originated from Rhosberw, Anglesey. In 1911 the family resided at the same place and now included an additional child, Margret Catherine (3).

Just four days after the German Michael offensive on the Somme had been brought to a halt, a second offensive – Georgette – was launched to the north. At 4.15am on 9th April, an intense bombardment of high-explosive and gas shells burst over British and Portuguese positions on a 10-mile (16km) front south of Armentieres. At 8.45am, upwards of 8 German divisions swept forward through thick fog and smoke. By nightfall, the line had been advanced by as much as 4½ miles (7km) where the Germans had established a bridgehead north of the River Lys at Bac St. Maur. The Artillery of 57 Division were involved in resisting the onslaught and suffered from the intense bombardment received. It is probable that Gunner Jones died during this action.