John Francis Jones was born in 1889 and according to the 1901 and 1911 censuses, in Bilston, Staffordshire.
On the 1901 census John Francis was living with his family at 10, Brook Road, Hawarden, Shotton, Cheshire. Father, John Jones 41, was a Sheet Iron Roller who had been born in Bromwich, Staffordshire. His wife Rachel 40 had been born in Tipton, Staffordshire. Their listed children were John 12, Minnie 8, Frank 7, Lily 6 and Stanley was 2. There were 2 married Boarders who were hailed from Staffordshire and worked in the ironworks.
By the 1911 census they had moved up the street to 19 Brook Road, and the census shows that John Snr 48, was a widower. John F, 22 and Frank 17, were both Labourers. Minnie 18 was a Servant. Lily was 16 and Stanley was 12 and at school.
His Commonwealth War Grave Certificate tells us that John Francis was married to Amy Jones of South Terrace, Hawarden, Chester. They married on the 10th February 1912 in St. Ethelwold’s Church, Shotton, and Amy Jones’s (nee Jones) address is given as 18 Wellington Street, Shotton. which would explain which J. Jones is shown on the transcribed newspaper cutting below and will solve one of the J. Jones mysteries on this war memorial.
LANCE-CORPORAL J. JONES, SHOTTON
Lance-Corporal John Jones, son* of Mr. & Mrs. Jones, of 18, Wellington Street, Shotton, has been killed at the Dardanelles. He was 25 years of age, and for some time was employed at Hawarden Bridge Ironworks, where he was greatly respected. He was a married man with one child.
* I think that it should have read son-in-law as his father is quoted as living at 19, Brook Road on the newspaper cutting of the 7th October 1915.(See photograph below)
UK Soldiers who Died in The Great War 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms all the regimental details above and adds that he enlisted in Shotton. This source says he was born in Hawarden which contradicts other sources and is almost certainly an error.
His medal card tells us that his first Theatre of War was ‘The Balkans’ and he entered it on 28th June 1915.
There is an index card for John Francis in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. (Flintshire WW1 Index Card F18 Hawarden) . It confirms the regimental details above and adds the address South Terrace, Hawarden. It says he served from Sept. 1914 and was ‘Killed in Action’ in the Dardanelles on the 22nd August 1915. The card was signed on the 13th October 1919 by Amy Jones, his wife.
John Francis Jones in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the ole Legatee of his War Gratuity was his widow Amy who was paid £3. 0s 0d on the 11th November 1919.
Oddfellows Memorial Tablet, Wepre Lodge. In the ‘Mold, Deeside & Buckley Leader’ dated 3rd October 1924, a list of the members were honoured on the Connah’s Quay Memorial Tablet to Wepre Lodge Fallen Oddfellows. On the 3rd October 1924, the Tablet had been unveiled by the Vicar of Shotton, J.J.J. Robinson. J.F. Jones was among the members who were honoured.
The County Herald reported on the 9th September 1919 that Pte. J. Jones, who fell on 21st August 1915 was named on the Wepre Presbyterian Church Memorial Plaque that was unveiled in 1919 at Wepre Presbyterian Church (This has now been demolished!).
John Francis was named on 2 other memorials – the Hawarden Memorial, and the Memorial Tablet in Wepre Presbytarian Church, Connah’s Quay. Somebody made an effort to ensure he was remembered. (see below)
COUNTY HERALD 9th September 1919.
Memorial Tablet Unveiled
In connection with the Wepre Presbyterian Church there is a special memorial service on the occasion of the unveiling of a tablet erected to the memory of five worshippers of the church who fell in the war by their returned comrades. The memorial tablet is of Aberdeen granite and a most beautiful piece of work, carried out by Mr. E. JONES, Church Street, Connah’s Quay. The inscription on the tablet is as follows:–
“Erected to the glory of God and in loving memory of five worshippers of this Church who fell in the Great War, 1914-1919: 2nd Lieut. William WILLIAMS, who fell August 30th 1917: Corporal A. DAVIES, who fell July 15th 1917; Pte. J. JONES, who fell August 21st 1915; Pte. J. MILLINGTON, who fell September 25th 1915; Pte. M.H. GRIFFITHS, who fell February 25th 1919.”
There was a large and representative congregation, including the Chairman (Mr. J. Roberts, J.P.) and members of the Urban Council. — The Rev. J. Puleston Jones, M.A., preached an eloquent and powerful memorial service.
At the conclusion of the sermon the congregation sang that well known hymn, “Now the labourer’s task is o’er.” The Dedication lesson was read by Mr. J. Forber, J.P., after which Madame Katie Peters Hughes exquisitely rendered ” O rest in the Lord.” — Mr. J.T. Humphreys, the senior deacon of the church, then delivered a short dedicatory address. He said : “We are met here this evening to dedicate this memorial to the glory of God and to the memory of five men who have fallen in the great war. They responded to their nation’s call in a time of great peril and danger to our country and our Allies, in the cause of righteousness, the sacredness of treaties, and the cause of weaker nations, when we were threatened by the greatest foe in the annals of history. A glorious victory has been obtained, and let us hope that when the League of Nations has been established war will be no more. These five men were worshippers in this church, and we rejoice to remember that they were all men of noble character. And we have reason to believe that they have been sustained during their trials and conflicts of faith in God. They have made the supreme sacrifice in the great cause. — Mrs. J.T. Humphreys, assisted by Mr. Douglas Robb, then performed the unveiling ceremony. — The Rev. J. Puleston Jones, M.A. offered the dedicatory prayer, which was followed by the singing of the Lord’s Prayer. The closing hymn, “Thou wast their Rock, then Fortress, and their Might, ” followed by the benediction and vesper hymn, brought a most impressive and memorable service to a close.
John Francis Jones was brother to Frank George Jones who was also killed in the war and who has his own page on this website.
* The fact they were Brothers was denoted on the Committee member’s list of the Fallen for the Cenotaph at Connah’s Quay/Shotton.
Having read the War Diaries of the 8th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers, I suspect that John Francis may have been either injured a few days earlier than the 22nd of August or was one of the missing men of the 16th August. I suppose we will never really know, but the diary entries may shed some light on the days before his death.
Taken from the War Diary of the 8th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers – 16th August 1915 05.00
Found Turks had erected 3 loopholes in small knoll some 30 yds from our crest line – a small party under command of Lieut. E.A. ALLIER? was sent out, covered by our machine guns, to endeavour to destroy them. The party failed to carry out their object owing to the fire being opened on them from CHUNUK BAIR & were obliged to fall back. Lieut. ALLIER? & 5 men were reported as “missing.”
The Mountain Artillery shelled their loopholes in the evening & at 9.30pm a bombing party under Lieut. Mc. C. JONES went out to endeavour to occupy the work. They reached the trench with no casualty but owing to the bombs of the Turks were unable to maintain themselves & had to fall back.
If anyone wants to see the extracts from the War Diary, please get in touch through the website or they can be seen on Ancestry.co.uk.