Jones, Benjamin

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Jones, Benjamin

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 9th Bn.

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 36077 (This is his correct number but it has been misrecorded as 26077 on a number of sources.)

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Arras Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Bay 6

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

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British Medals

Date of Death: 22nd March 1918

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Officially reported missing on 22nd March 1918 & presumed killed.

Benjamin’s parents, James Jones and Mary Hughes married in Northop Church on  22nd December 1887. By the 1901 census they were living at 1,  Park View, Northop, Flintshire, father, James 38 was  a Collier. Mary his wife was  36. Their listed children were Mary E 12,  Maggie  10, Sarah  8,  John J.  6 , Ben was  3 and baby Frederick was  1. All the family had been born in Northop.

The 1911 census sees the family at Chapel Houses Pentremach Northop, Flintshire. Father, James 48, was a miner (hewer). His wife of 23 years, Mary E was 46. She had given birth to nine children all of whom had survived. The children listed were James 16, a Ridge moulder.  Ben 13,  was at school  as were Baden 11, John 8, and Ethel  8.  Edith was 3.

Benjamin is mentioned in the book ” Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1918 Royal Welsh Fusiliers   Volume 28 “. This source quotes 26077 as the regimental number. It tells us that he enlisted in Mold and was  Killed in action in France & Flanders on the  22nd March 1918.

There is an index card for Benjamin Jones in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. (Flintshire WW1 Index Cards F32) It gives the address Old Chapel Cottages, Northop Hall.  This source says his regimental number was 36077 and that he was a Lance Corporal.  The card tells us he served for 2 years & 184 days.   He was officially reported missing on 22nd March 1918 & presumed killed. The card  was  signed  on the 30th September 1919 by James Jones(Father).

Below is a letter received by J. Jones from Pte. H. Lloyd 69386. 9th Bn. RWF:-

“Lance Corporal B. Jones was wounded & captured on 23rd March 1918 whilst crossing road near Fremincourt on Cambrai? Front.   He was wounded in right lung & right arm. he was carried some distance to a dressing station but could not go any further & preferred to be left.  The above soldier shook hands with him & left him.  This was about 7pm on above date”. (Pte Lloyd was captured & kept Prisoner until Armistice.)

Benjamin’s Army Service Records have survived and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk. They are remarkably intact.

The papers tell us that he enlisted in Mold on the 18th September 1915 and he attested on that same day at Kinmel Park. His attestation form and his medical form tell us that he was 19 years and 3 months old and was a Labourer who lived at Chapel House Pentre Bridge, Northop Hall.

He was 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighed 136 lbs. His chest was 35 inches with a 2 inch range of expansion. His physical development was good an dhe was allocated to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers with the regimental number 36077. The form says he became non effective by ….’Died’.  Death was accepted for official purposes 22nd March 1918.

There is correspondence between the army and Benjamin’s mother concerning his medals, possessions and a commemorative scroll and plaque.

There is an army form that was completed on 20th January 1920 which listed his immediate family members. His father was James Jones and his mother was Mary Elizabeth Jones both of Northop Hall. His brothers were John 25 who was with the BEF in Egypt and Fred Baden 19, of Northop Hall.  His sisters were Mary Elizabeth Taylor 31 of Halifax, Margaret Dith 29, of Birkenhead, Sarah Jones 27, the Vicarage, Northop and Ethel 14 and Edith 12 both at Northop Hall.

He served ‘at home’ between 18th September 1915 and the 16th February 1916. He served in France from 17th February 1916 till his death on the 22nd March 1918. He was made a Lance Corporal in December 1915 and was promoted to Corporal in January 1916. He reverted to Private at his own request 5 months later. His records say he was appointed once again to Lance Corporal – unpaid, in January 1918.

He spent two long periods in hospital with an injured knee and abcess on his left leg. The first was 56 days between August 1917 and October 1917 which he spent in No 9 Canadian General Hospital, the second was a further 40 days between October and December 1917 which he spent  at Military Hospital Thorncliffe in Eastbourne. He was discharged ‘fit to rejoin his unit’ on 11th December and ordered to report himself to the Embarkation Officer at Folkstone from where he would be returned to France.

There is a letter from the army to his mother confirming that his regimental number was 36077

Jones, Benjamin is named on the Memorial Plaque in St.Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay. He is also named on the Northop Hall Memorial. Follow the link to his page in the Northop  Hall Memorial of this website for more details on this soldier.