It is not easy to unravel John Edward Jones’s story as the facts on the index card in the Flintshire Record Office do not tally with the military information online.
There were many Jones families in Newmarket at the time of the First World War and more than one John Edward Jones.
The man whose records are online was born in Newmarket, enlisted in Ferndale Glamorganshire and fought at Gallipoli where he lost his life on the 7th of January 1916. He was a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery / Royal Horse Artillery.
He died in the 1st Canadian Stationery Hospital, Mudros and is buried in the Portianos Military Cemetery, Greece.
Because of its position, the island of Lemnos played an important part in the campaigns against Turkey during the First World War. It was occupied by a force of marines on 23 February 1915 in preparation for the military attack on Gallipoli, and Mudros became a considerable Allied camp. The 1st and 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospitals, the 3rd Australian General Hospital and other medical units were stationed on both sides of Mudros bay and a considerable Egyptian Labour Corps detachment was employed. After the evacuation of Gallipoli, a garrison remained on the island and the 1st Royal Naval Brigade was on Lemnos, Imbros and Tenedos for the first few months of 1916. On 30 October 1918, the Armistice between the Entente Powers and Turkey was signed at Mudros. Portianos Military Cemetery was begun in August 1915 and used until August 1920. The cemetery now contains 347 Commonwealth burial of the First World War and five war graves of other nationalities. (Commonwealth War Graves website)
The information on the CWG website regarding John Edward Jones’s age is ambiguous. On the main page it gives his age as 40 whereas he is recorded as 34 years old on one of the headstone documents!
Whatever, it seems that the Rector of Newmarket, the Rev S A Jones, suggested the following inscription for the headstone:
“CU IAWN” (“MOST BELOVED”)
How poignant that Welsh inscriptions commemorate these men who lie so far from home.
So who was John Edward Jones?
According to the information on the CWG website, his parents were Owen and Margaret Jones. He had several siblings although I believe he was the eldest. At the time of the 1911 census his parents and younger siblings were living in Mostyn Terrace, Newmarket – next door to the Black Boy Inn. This was occupied by another Jones family. Were they related? This family had a son, Robert, whose index card states he was “still serving” in 1919 when the cards were completed. Robert’s regimental number was 8531…… the number ascribed to John Edward Jones on his index card.
This may partially explain the confusion I encountered when researching this soldier and why the Black Boy Inn was given as his address on the index card.