Jones, J C

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Jones, J C

This soldier had been impossible to trace . His name, J. C. Jones, was all there was to work on. There is no Flintshire WW1 Index Card for him at The County Record Office in Hawarden which is usually a good starting point.

There is a Jones, John C., named on the Memorial Plaque in St.Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay.

The newspaper cuttings below, could just have well been referring to J.E JONES, who is also on the website and indeed lived in High Street.

There was a Pte J Jones named on a plaque in Wepre  Presbyterian Church.

Wepre Presbyterian Church Memorial Tablet unveiled - County Herald 9th September 1919 2

Wepre Presbyterian Church Memorial Tablet unveiled - County Herald 9th September 1919 3

On the 9th September 1919,  The County Herald named a Pte. J. Jones, “who fell on 21st August 1915” 

The County Herald dated Friday 25th August 1917 included  on their “Roll of Honour”  Private J. Jones of High Street, Connah’s Quay.

JONES, J. Roll of Honour County Herald 25th August 1917 2

All of the above are contradictory and confusing and not a lot of help. The name Jones presents obvious difficulties when researching in Wales.

We used this page on the website to ask for  help that could be given to identify this soldier about whom we knew nothing.

In April 2016 a gentleman by the name of Jeremy Sinclair made contact to say that he believed he knew something about our mystery man J.C. Jones. Jeremy explained that he had grown up in Connah’s Quay and that a couple who lived nearby became quite close. They were Mrs Alice Maud Jones and her husband Ernest W Jones. Young Jeremy grew up thinking of Alice Maud as an honorary grandmother. In fact he used to call her Gran which pleased her very much. Alice Maud had been a Jones before she was married. Jeremy told us that J C Jones was her brother. She used to speak of him to Jeremy. The trouble is, this brother’s name was Thomas Jones and his nickname was Jack – he was a ‘Jack of all trades’.  It’s a complex and difficult story.

The family lived in Railway Cottage Maude Street Connah’s Quay and were recorded there in the 1901 census. Head of the household was William Jones, a 41 year old Railway Plate layer. His wife was Jane, she was 44. Their seven listed children were Hugh 20, Mary C 16, William 14, Alice 11, Emily 9, Thomas 3 and Arthur 1.

They were still there in the census of 1911. William Jones was then 51 and was a Foreman Platelayer. His wife of 31 years, Jane, had given birth to 10 children, seven of whom were still alive. Only three of them were listed at home on census night. Maud 22 was a domestic servant (Jeremy tells us that she worked for the Fraeme family).Thomas was 13 and Arthur was 1. They were both at school.

William Jones, the father was a very devout and obedient Presbyterian. The church and he were strict and intolerant of all other faiths. According to Alice Maud, Thomas (who I shall refer to as Jack from this point on), was rebellious and rejected his Father’s dogmatic, autocratic rule. His rebellious ways caused great rifts in the family. Alice Maud said that Jack saw a poster with a fierce looking soldier pointing a finger saying ‘Your Country Needs You’. Against his father’s orders, Jack went to Chester and enlisted. The father then forbade everyone in the family  from mentioning Jack’s name in his presence or in the house. Jack never returned to Maude Street but secretly kept in touch with Alice Maud. They sometimes met in Shotton.

Jack was sent to the front and there was no further contact. Alice Maude had mentioned to young Jeremy that he’d been in Cambrai in 1917. In 1917 the father told the family that he’d been shot for a coward by the British army. Alice Maude never believed this.

When it came to the memorials, the father William refused to give his consent to his son’s name being on any memorial. The Elders at the Presbyterian Church at Wepre insisted on a memorial but to placate the father, they used the initial J for Jack instead of the T for Thomas.

St Mark’s Church included a John C Jones. Jeremy believes this referred to Jack. Alice Maud claimed that her father believed this to be a deliberate oblique reference to his son and was a deliberate dig from the rival church. Paranoia or truth?  Is it about the same man? There are still many questions.

That’s the sad story as Jeremy remembers Alice Maude telling it.

Alice Maude and her husband Ernest White Jones moved to Yorkshire but eventually returned to live in Mold Road Connah’s Quay. Ironically, they attended the Wepre  Presbyterian Church for the rest of their lives.

We have still been unable to trace Jack’s military identity. There is no record of a soldier with either of his names having been executed by the army. The mystery remains but we know a little more about this young man and his family – torn apart by bigotry and dogma.