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Jones, Elias

Courtesy of “Find a Grave”

Elias was the second son of John and Jane Jones. He had an older brother, John William, and two sisters, Mary and Sarah. In the 1911 census Elias was a pony driver below ground in the colliery. He was 17 in 1911 and 25 when he died in 1918. At the time of his death he had served for 3 years and 4 months.

Elias was a stretcher-bearer in the 14th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. His distinguished war service is documented in the local newspaper, the Prestatyn Weekly. On 10th March 1917 it reported his promotion from private to full corporal along with the award of the Military Medal for continuous good work. In September of the same year it reported that he had been awarded the DCM “for his gallant work during the last great push in Flanders”. The informant goes on to comment what an unusual honour this was for a non-combatant. “Corporal Jones is the N.C.O. in charge of the stretcher-bearers of the Battalion, and they had a very trying time of it, for the ground was just like a morass – simply mud, slime and shell-holes, the whole way from the front line to the dressing stations, and when one realises that it took from two to four hours to carry a case, and that under continuous shell-fire and pitiless rain, one may have a vague idea of what a stretcher-bearer’s work is during an advance. Corp. Jones must have done exceptionally good work, for it is quite an unusual thing for a non-combatant to have two highly valued medals for gallantry conferred on him. It speaks very highly of his courage and devotion to duty …”

“D C M Citation “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Hearing that there were many wounded in front of the line held by his battalion, he went forward, in broad daylight and in full view of the enemy over ground which was heavily sniped, and brought in his wounded comrades back to the aid post. He set a very splendid example of devotion and total disregard of his own safety.”  Seems to be for gallantry on 1/2nd August 1917, in the aftermath of the 31st July attack on Pilkem Ridge, Third Ypres.”

In November 1917 Elias came home on leave and was “the object of many hearty congratulations”. A concert was arranged in the Wesleyan schoolroom and Elias was presented with a gold watch and chain along with money raised from public subscription.

The report of his death appeared in the paper initially on 4th May – an unofficial report from the chaplain who had conducted the funeral. It was confirmed officially.on 11th May 1918, quoting a letter of condolence from the local MP, John Herbert Lewis, and a comrade, Sgt Sutton, who commented that he had fully expected Corporal Jones to be awarded the V.C., that he was “one of the bravest men in the division” and that “officers and men thought the world of him”.

Elias’s Attestation Papers may have been lost in the bombings of the 2nd World War but he enlisted early for the war as the records on Ancestry.c.uk show us.

Elias Jones in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 tells us he was born in Connah’s Quay, his residence was in Mostyn and he enlisted in Holywell.   It also tells us he died of wounds. And he was awarded many distinctions namely the D.C.M., M.M. and Clasp.

Elias Jones in the UK, British Army Recipients of the Military Medal, 1914-1920 tells us about these medals, but sadly not how he came to win them, I will try and find out.  They are listed on that as:-Medals:    Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal +Bar

Elias Jones in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 tell us that his first Theatre of War was France and he entered it on the 1st December 1915.

I cannot find his “Army Register of Soldiers Effects” on Ancestry.

There is a Flintshire WW1 Index Card (Ffynnongroyw F 10) – JONES, Elias 5 Davies Terrace, Ffynnongroew

Elias is also named on Picton Memorial and also on the Connah’s Quay and Shotton Pages, please click on the link to read more of his story.

There is an E. Jones remembered on the Bangor Memorial Arch – http://www.bangorcivicsociety.org.uk/pages/arch/DSCF4394.htm

 


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