John Humphrey Ernest Jones was born in Portmadoc in 1888.
The 1891 census tells us that he was 2 and he lived Llanllechid, Caernarfon with his parents – father, Thomas Jones 32, a bank manager who had been born in Caernarfon, Mother Jane (also known as Jennie) 32 who had been born in Mold, Flintshire and siblings Jeannie (Jane) Gaynor 3 and Thomas 1. There were two servants.
In 1901 John was 13 and living with his Uncle. The family was living at 72 High Street which was a shop in Mold the home and the business of Thomas Lewis who was Jane’s brother. He was a 47 year old grocer. John’s father Thomas Jones was now listed as a ‘Bookeeper’ 43 yrs. Mother Jane was 43 and she had been busy with her growing family which now consisted of the following children in addition to John, Jeannie Gaynor 14, Cecil Lewis 10,Thomas Osmond 11,Ronald lewis 6, Marian Lewis 2. There was one servant.
The 1911 census is a bit of a mystery. The family is still living at the home of grocer, Thomas Lewis at 72 High Street Mold. The mother is listed as Jane Lewis Jones and although she is listed as married (not widowed), there is no sign of the husband. She is described as a 53 year old housekeeper. ‘Jane’ Gaynor is a 23 year old schoolteacher, Thomas O is a 21 year old Insurance Officer, Cecil is a 19 year old Grocer’s Assistant, Ronald is 17 and does not work, Marian 11 is at school. There is a servant. Our man John Humphrey Ernest is no longer living at home.
His army records tell us that he in fact married Hilda Francis on the 10th February 1913 at the Tabernacle Church in Aberystwyth. They had one son Ernest Francis who was born on 30th January 1914 in Ashley Bristol. When he enlisted he gives on his Attestation paper the address 2 Claremont Avenue, Bishopston, Bristol and he says he was a bank clerk.
His records are very difficult to decipher but we think he received shrapnel wounds to face and knee 31st December 1917. Then he received injuuries to his back and left arm in 1918. It is not clear from his army records if it was these latter injuries caused his death. On his Flintshire Roll of Honour card, however, it says that he was ‘Wounded in the back and died directly after getting into hospital’
His wife Hilda moved around the country from one address to another and there are various communications between the army and her concerning these addresses. In June 1918 she was in Borth, Cardingshire. In August 1918 she was in Llandrundod Wells and at some point but we can’t tell when, she moved from Romford to Rhyd yr Alun in Mold. (This address was the home of John’s sister Jeannie/Jane Gaynor who was now Mrs Roberts). Hilda was awarded a pension of 20 shillings and 5 pence per week. We publish below a letter to her dated 6th January 1919 addressed to her in Borth which lists all of John’s possessions returned to her. This sad list consists of –
Disc (identity), letters, photos, cards, pipe, religious book, wristwatch with strap, protector, nail clippers (broken), cigarette case, pouch, 18ct gold ring and photo wallet.