Jones Percy Griffith

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Eifion & Viv Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Mold

Name / Enw: Jones Percy Griffith

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Engineers then 20th Sqd Royal Air Force

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Sapper 69495 then Second Lieutenant

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: V.C. 38

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Died on 2 July 1918 aged 29

 Percy was the son of Griffith Jones and stepson of Annie Jones of The Chalet Mold.  He was born in 1889 (approx- his age varies on different documents).

He was recorded in the census of 1901 living with his family at 16 Waterloo Road in Seaforth, Waterloo, Lancashire. Head of the household was  Griffith Jones who was 50 and his occupation was ‘Forwarding Agent’. He had been born in Llandyrnog. His (second) wife was Annie who was 35 who had been born in Anglesey. The listed children were Percy 9, Arthur 8 who had both been born in Birkdale, Lancashire and Margaret 9 months who had been born in Waterloo, Lancashire. There was a visitor from Llandyrnog – Catherine Webster. There were two resident servants Kate Ryan a Housemaid and Lizzie O’Riley a Cook.

The next census of 1911 records the family at The Chalet in Mold. Griffith O Jones was listed as a 56 year old ‘Retired Team Owner’. (There is a discrepancy with his age as it doesn’t fit with the previous census). His wife of 11 years Annie E Jones was 44. This census form tells us that she had given birth to 2 children but that one had died. The children listed in the household were Arthur G Jones who was 17 and was an Apprentice in Mercantile Marine Services. Griffith G Jones was 5 years old – he had been born in Waterloo.  We assume that the child that died was Margaret. Percy is not with the family in 1911.

We believe that in 1911 Percy was a boarder with the Bertram family at 24 Knowsley Road Bootle where he was listed as an Apprentice Marine Engineer aged 19.

At some point after that , Percy went to America. We know that when war broke out in 1914 he made enquiries about returning to join the army. His Army Service Records have survived and are accessible on www,ancestry.co.uk. There is some interesting correspondence in his army records. The first one that we’ve transcribed here was addressed to Percy in the USA.

Royal Engineers Record Office
Brompton Barracks
Chatham

30th December 1914
PG Jones
C/o Central YMCA
1421 Arch Street
Philadelphia
Penn
USA

Sir

In reply to your letter of the 18th inst. I have to inform you that on your arrival in the United Kingdom you should apply to the nearest Recruiting Officer – taking this letter with you- who will submit the question of your enlistment to this office on A.F.B 203 supported by this correspondence and some testimony as to your trade qualifications.

If you are physically fit and your testimonials are satisfactory you will in all probability be accepted for the Royal Engineers,

Yours faithfully

Signature illegible

Copies of two testimonials

A from last English firm

The Sun Patent Evap Co
428 Tower Bridge
Liverpool

27th March 1913
To ?
53 Victoria St
Westminster SW

Hydraulic, steam and general engineers

Mr P G Jones has been in our employ for about 12 months, firstly in the drawing office and partly superintending the installation of steam and pumping plants.
We have always found him to be very trustworthy and reliable, quick and resourceful having effective control over workmen and using tact in management.    He is a good designer, accurate in work we have no hesitation in recommending him and feel assured that he would give satisfaction in any position and display diligence and application

signed F W Woodroffe
Managing Director

B From USA

Burlington Distilling co
(Denatured Alcohol and its by- products)
Burlington
N J

20th May 1914

To Whom it may concern
Mr PG Jones was with this company as 1st assistant to the Chief design and builder in connection with the design, layout and maintenance of the power plant and works.
He was found compliant, reliable and honourable in whatever work he undertook. We know him to be a hardworking student with the best of habits.
Trusting that you will be able to place Mr Jones with this information.
I remain
very truely yours

Signed J W Kenerel
Superintendent

Percy, obviously a skilled and qualified mechanical draughtsman, returned to the UK and was accepted by the Royal Engineers. He signed his attestation papers on 5th March 1915 in Liverpool. He named his father Griffith Jones of The Chalet’, Nr Mold as his next of kin.  In November 1916 he completed Army form w 3297 which was  his will leaving all of his property and effects to his step brother Griffith Annesley Jones of ‘the Chalet’, nr Mold. (Although in fact in a different will he left his money to his step mother see below) He embarked for France as part of the Expeditionary Force on the 7th November 1915.

There is a letter from the Royal Engineers at Chatham to a Mrs Jones,  14 High Street, Llanerchymead explaining that Percy was admitted to the 3rd Northern General Hospital Sheffield on July 26th 1916. Army form B 103 states that he was wounded on 21st July 1916 was returned to England with shell shock. We’re assume the Mrs Jones was his stepmother. He obviously made a recovery and returned to the war.

Despite his glowing testimonials, Percy was not always a model soldier and in his records are lists of ‘offences’ that he committed. eg.  being absent from tattoo, Having a dirty rifle, being absent from parade then found asleep in a barn 4 hours later. For these and other offences he lost pay.

Despite all this Percy was promoted. On the 13th August 1917 he was discharged from the Royal Engineers on being appointed to a temporary commission. He was ‘Gazetted’ on 27th March 1917

There is an entry for Percy in the National Probate Calendar (Index of wills and administration). Percy Griffith Jones  of the Chalet Gwernymynydd near Mold Denbighshire died 2nd July 1918 in France.Administration (with will) London 16th November to Annie Elizabeth Jones (wife of Griffith Owen Jones) Effects £269 .. 0sh ..1d

As we see from his Commonwealth War Grave Certificate he was Second Lieutenant Percy Griffith Jones of the 20th Sqdn Royal Air Force when he died.

Mold Jones Percy Griffith 001

Percy’s grave in Longuenesse Cemetery near St Omer. It is a shared grave. The other occupant is 295437 Private Tannock a Royal Scots Fusilier. The inscription for Percy reads Second Lieutenant P G Jones Royal Air Force, 2nd July 1918 age 24. He died that we might live. (St Omer was headquarters of BEF in WW1. There were a number of hospital clearing stations. The cemetery is a large one and contains many nationalities). Photograph taken 5th October 2013. Visit by Eifion and Viv Williams

Percy Griffith Jones is also named on the Gwernymynydd Memorial.