John Henry Jones was born in Flint on 9th February, 1884 and baptised 23rd March, 1884 at St Mary’s Parish Church. He was the third of seven children to John Owen Jones and Susannah Frances (Jones). He was a brother to Rifleman William Edward Jones.
John Owen and Susannah Frances were both born in Flint and were married at St Mary’s Parish Church on 27th January, 1879. In the 1881 census they were living with Susannah’s parents in Mumforth Street and Edward was described as an Unemployed Assistant Schoolmaster. By 1891 they had moved to the Plough Inn, 2, Earl Street and now had five children. Edward was now a railway signalman. By the turn of the century they were living at 3, Papermill Cottages, Oakenholt. Edward was now a timekeeper at the Paper Mill and John Henry was a clerk there.
John Henry was an adventurer and set sail for a new life across the Atlantic Ocean. He spent about nine years working in the West Indies before moving to New York City in early 1917 to work as a head waiter. His address was 206, 40th Street.
He made the decision to join the Canadian Army and enlisted with the 110th Regiment at Toronto on 21st June, 1917. He named his mother as his next of kin.
His Medical Examiners Report revealed: Height: 5ft 6¾ins; Chest: 35ins; Weight: 142½lbs; Complexion: Medium; Eyes: blue; Hair: brown; Religious Denomination: Church of England (Epis); Distinctive Marks: Scar right calf; Mole right upper leg; Three moles on stomach; Mole centre back; Both eyes D. 20; Hearing O.K.; Nose and throat O.K.
After training he left Canada on 20th November, 1917 and arrived in England on 7th December, 1917 on the SS Scotia. He was transferred to the 116th Regiment and landed in France on 29th March, 1918.
He was killed in action on 29th September, 1918 and buried in St Olle British Cemetery, Raillencourt, France, in Plot A, Grave 7.
He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal and remembered on the war memorial in St David’s Parish Church, Oakenholt and on Page 438 in the Canadian Book of Remembrance.
As well as William Edward he had two other brothers who fought in the war.
Thomas Arthur was living in Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire when he enlisted in the 2/6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers as a Private, No. 41531, and was killed in action in France on 9th October, 1917, aged 38, and was buried in the Tyne Cot Cemetery in Plot I, Row C, Grave 2.
According to his sister Gwendoline May (1903-1993) the following poem was written by Thomas Arthur in 1916 as a tribute to the 5th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. She used to recite the poem at concerts given at the Town Hall and St David’s Church. She said he was so badly gassed during the last major battle of the war that he died shortly afterwards.
The Fighting Fifth
To call to arms, clear and distinct,
Aroused the noble lads from Flint,
From Oakenholt, two miles away,
Those lads rolled up to join the fray.
Some left their father’s, some their mothers,
Some their sisters, some their brothers,
And answered to their country’s call,
To live or die, to fight or fall.
Bravely they faced the foe and shells,
Away out at the Dardanelles,
Ah, some will never forget that day,
They landed at grim Suvla Bay.
The booming guns that turned one deaf,
Did not disturb the RWF,
Brave Colonel Phillips in command,
A hero midst this gallant band.
His last words were whilst still he led,
“Come on the Fifth” and then fell dead,
Lads whom he knew whilst at the Mill,
Some fighting yet, while some lie still.
Like their great leader they were slain,
Now share a grave upon that plain,
We know in life their deeds were fine,
We know in death they lie sublime.
Though hearts were sore when news flashed o’er the sea,
Yet the brave Fifth shall ne’er forgotten be
Robert Samuel enlisted in October, 1914 with the 13th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, No. 15900, as a Brigade Clerk. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal on 1st February, 1915 and then to Sergeant on 1st June, 1915 then he transferred to the Royal Army Service Corps, No. 145916. He was wounded in action at Ypres, 27th July, 1917, and was awarded the Belgian Croix-de-Guerre (London Gazette 12th July, 1918). In October, 1918 he was admitted to the Chester War Hospital for 65 days due to Hysteria (Asphonia), which meant he couldn’t speak, and probably caused by shell shock. He died in 1966 aged 78.
John Owen died on 11th May 1932, aged 73, at his residence, 3, Papermill Cottages, after a short illness, and was buried in the Northop Road Cemetery.
Obituary: Mr Jones was very well known and highly respected in the town of Flint. For many years he was employed at the North Wales Paper Mill as timekeeper, and he was working as recently as three weeks ago, up to when he had enjoyed excellent health. The deceased was a prominent member of the Flint Castle Lodge of Oddfellows, and was secretary of the Juvenile Section, and in that capacity was responsible for the arrangements in connection with the Children’s Parade on Whit-Tuesday. He was also a member of the Flint Borough Workingmen’s Club and Institute. He was a faithful member of St Mary’s Parish Church.
Susannah Frances died on 13th January 1939, aged 78, and was buried with her husband.
Obituary: The deceased lady was taken ill on the Sunday prior to her death, and on Thursday she was transferred to the Flint Cottage Hospital for special treatment but unfortunately she died in her sleep on Friday afternoon. The late Mrs Jones was a native of Flint, where she was very well known and highly esteemed. She was a daughter of the late Mr and Mrs John Jones, of Railway Cottage, Pentre, Flint. She was a devoted churchwoman and a member of St Mary’s Parish Church, but she had attended St David’s Church, Oakenholt, since her late husband and herself came to reside in Paper Mill Lane, Oakenholt 47 years ago, when the late Mr J O Jones became timekeeper at the North Wales Paper Mill. Previous to that they were licensees of the old Plough Inn, Earl Street, Flint. The late Mrs Jones was pre-deceased by her husband in 1932, three years after they had celebrated their Golden Wedding in January 1929. Mrs Jones was a member of the Flint Branch of the Mothers’ Union and she was also a member of the Oakenholt Women’s Institute. During the war she took a personal and practical interest in all local and organisations engaged in work to provide comforts for those on active service, prisoners of war and refugees.