Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay
Name / Enw: Jolley, Robert James
Regiment/Catrawd: Cheshire Regiment 1st Battalion
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: 2/Lieutenant (formerly Corporal 9802)
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: IV. B. 21.
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British War Medals and the 1914 Star:
Date of Death: 22nd August 1918
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Died of wounds 22nd August 1918
The first recording of Robert James on a census was in 1911. The family was living at 5 Henrietta Street Shotton in Flintshire. Robert James’ father was Sidney John Jolley 46, an ‘Army Pensioner’ and ‘Manager of a Club’. He had been born in Southport, Lancashire. His wife of 18 years was Mary Agnes, 41 who had been born in Chester, Cheshire. Their listed children were Robert James Jolley 17 and a ‘Helper Roller’ in the Iron Works. Sidney William 15 was a ‘Scrap cutter’ also in the iron works. Agnes Eliza was 12 and ‘in School’ All three of these older children had been born in India. Letitia Catherine 8, James 7, Catherine 5, Charles 4, and Andrew Kennedy 3, had all been born in Neston, Cheshire.
Many thanks to Yvette for contacting me and also allowing the above photographs of the family in India and the one below to be added to Robert’s story.
There was a family entry on www. ancestry.co.uk about Robert James Jolley. Born 1894 in India, Bellary. I contacted the author of the entry and this is her reply.
To: Mavis Williams, Subject: RE: Robert James Jolley. – Hallo Mavis, Robert was killed in the battle of Albert. I do have details of the battle in which he died. The only pictures I have of Robert is when he was a child in India with his father and mother. He was about 5 years of age. I think it is wonderful what you are doing. These men were the salt of earth and indeed need to be remember for what they did and died for.
Adendum to the above message:-
Came across your old mail and I was not certain if I had sent you all the information you needed at the time. I found some more family photos and although I don’t have one of Robert in uniform, the photo of him with his mother and father in India is interesting. I have been to the Cheshire Museum in Chester and they do not have a photo showing this white uniform. You have shown the family, but the story is quite tragic. The family returned in 1902 and in 1911 Mary Agnes (the mother) died of heart failure. The last 4 children were put into care, somewhere still researching that one and a few years later Robert and his brother Sidney joined the army. Robert in the Cheshire and Sidney the Welsh Fusiliers. Sidney survived with half a leg missing but never adjusted to civilian life very well. The father Sidney John went back to war with Robert. He was part of the Salford pals and was now a Lancashire Fusilier. I do not know where his or his fathers medals are.
Sorry this is so late, you are probably totally finished with your project. anyway i think it was a wonderful thing that you and the other people did remembering these men.
Best regards yvette.
Website for photo’s:- http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/5721701/photo/4?pgnum=1&pg=32816&pgpl=pgNum
There is a medal card for Robert James Jolley, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk. It confirms the regimental details above. It details his medals. The card tells us he was Commissioned on the 11th January 1918. He entered his first Theatre of War on the 16th August 1914. On the reverse of card it records that his medals should be sent to his father, S.J. JOLLEY Esq, 11, Paradise Row, Chester.
R J Jolley in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that there is no Legatee named, but £107. 10s 0d to Cox & Co. In August 1918, then very small amounts to C.P. Base. In August/October 1918, also £3. 6s 2d to R.P. Shrewsbury October 1918. In the Column “Effects 1919/1920” were amounts of money – £28 and £35.
Robert James Jolley in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966:- JOLLEY, Robert James of 5, Henrietta-street Shotton, Flintshire, 2nd Lieutenant Cheshire Regiment died 22 August 1918 in France on Active military service. Administration St. Asaph 27th June 1919 to Sidney John Jolley army pensioner. Effects – £129. 19s 1d.
There was no Flintshire WW1 Index Card for him.
Robert James was named on the memorial screen at St Ethelwold’s Church. Somebody made an effort to ensure he was remembered.
Cheshire Regiment War Diaries 31st August-3rd September 1918 – Transcript of War Diary above.
The Cheshire Regiment
It was now realised that the two battalions were some 500 yards ahead of any other troops and that the enemy was working round the left. “A” and “B” Companies withdrew slowly to the high ground west of the railway and defensive flanks were made on the left by major Brunfield’s Company and on the right of the Royal Warwickshires by Captain Ferguson’s Company. The trench running along the face of the hill was occupied as a front line.
This retirement was carried out under very heavy machine gun fire from three directions.
Lieuts R J Jolley, McGuire (attached) and Postellis (attached) were killed. major Brunfield and six officers were wounded.
The Battalion went into action 600 strong and lost no less than 300 killed and wounded on this day. Three officers being killed and eight wounded.
The Battalion was relieved in the evening.
In April 2014 we received this lovely e mail from Tessa Davies, another family member.
Subject: – Robert James Jolley
Dear All, I have just stumbled upon this site and I wanted to thank
you so very much for including my great uncle Robert James Jolley.I
have learned so much more about him from your efforts. I would like to
reassure you that he has never, ever been forgotten in my heart. My
mother gave me his memorial disc when I was a young teenager and I did
look up his grave and intend to visit it to let poor Robert know that
his family haven’t forgotten him and never will.
What is so surprising is the emotion I felt when I saw his name appear
on your site. Robert’s sister, my grandmother Laetitia Jones (nee
Jolley)loved her brothers so much and I think may have lost another
one or two brothers in WW1. However, I cannot be sure and this may be
inaccurate family ‘folklore’. In time, when I retire, I will have the
time to look into this much more closely. It is so tragic that Robert
very nearly survived the entire war. He was a brave and dutiful young
man. I never knew about his name being on a church memorial so will
visit this as soon as I can. Thank you so much again for doing such
important work.All these young men must be remembered and our Robert
James will never be forgotten. With best wishes