He was born Robert (Bob) Hayes (Jones was his adopted name) in Mostyn on 5th August, 1883 and the youngest child of five to William Hayes and Jane (Jones). He was a brother to Catherine (b1873), John Thomas (b1876), Sarah (b1878), William George (b1880) and Private James Hayes (1881-1915), who is on the Mostyn War Memorial.
William was born in Prestatyn and Jane in Tremeirchion and were married in 1873 in the St Asaph Registration District. They resided at Halendy, Mostyn and William was a labourer in the Mostyn ironworks.
Jane died in 1885, aged 35, and the family were split up. In the 1891 census John Thomas and Sarah were living at 50, Castle Street, Whiston, Nr Prescot, Lancashire at the home of Mr and Mrs Robert Jones, who were probably either related to William and Jane or at least known to them. John Thomas was aged 14 and working as a coal miner and Sarah was 13 and working as a domestic servant.
William George and James remained with their father in Halendy while Robert was adopted by Mr Morris Jones, a self employed coal dealer, and his wife Margaret, of 197, West View Terrace, Oakenholt. They had eight children of their own and may have been related also.
William died in early 1910, aged 75. Morris died in December, 1910 aged 71, and Margaret in November, 1914, aged 77, and are buried in an unmarked grave in the Northop Road Cemetery.
On leaving school Bob was a coal labourer, probably working for Morris. It is not known where he was on census night in 1911.
He was a single man he when enlisted in the army in Wrexham in August, 1914 and landed in France on the 13th of that month, so he was probably with the territorials.
Since he was with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers he would have been involved in the famous Christmas Truce of 1914, which was a series of widespread unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front in France on Christmas Day. Both sides came out of their trenches and met in No Man’s Land and exchanged gifts and even played a game of soccer.
Bob was killed in action in the Battle of Loos, France, 25th September 1915 and buried in Cambrin Churchyard Extension, France (Plot H, Grave 21).
He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal and is remembered on two war memorials – Flint Town and St David’s Parish Church, Oakenholt. He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor.
The sisters of Private Jones received a letter from Captain W H Stanman, of the Battalion, dated 1st October to the following effect: “It is with regret that I have to inform you of the death of 8443 Private R Jones, who was killed in action on the morning of the 25th September, whilst nobly doing his duty.”
Private Robert Jones was well known and respected in Flint and Pentre
Corporal Harry Ellis, of Feathers Street, Flint, who was also with the 2nd Battalion of the RWF in France, arrived home on a few days’ leave in October, 1915, having sufficiently recovered in the Tranmere Hospital to enable him to travel to Flint. He paid tribute to Private Jones in a letter that appeared in the County Herald on 22nd October.
TRIBUTE TO THE DARING OF A FLINT SOLDIER
Ellis alluded to two other Flint soldiers of the same Battalion, viz., Privates Johnny Welsh and Robert Jones (Gardeners Row, Pentre), and he took occasion to mention that whilst other men of Flint could be favoured with presents of goods subscribed for by the people of Flint, the three of them never participated in those particular gifts, notwithstanding the fact that they had been out in the trenches so many months. He was very sorry to have lost a comrade by the death of Jones, who, he said, “was one of the most willing and daring soldiers who had ever left Flint to fight for his King and Country. In fact he had done deeds which other men had been afraid to do. And I may say that Johnny Welsh is one of the bravest soldiers in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Welsh had not had leave or gifts.” Ellis says that after what he had seen and heard he had formed the opinion that the German troops, near where he had been stationed a long time, were completely “fed up” with the War. The captured German prisoners said they were, and were glad to be amongst the prisoners, for they looked as though they were improperly fed, and exhausted.