Richard Jones first appeared on a census in 1891. He was the youngest child of Edwin and Catherine Jones, who were recorded living at Salop Road, Overton, Flintshire. Head of the household was Richard’s father Edwin, 43, a Joiner, who had been born in Overton. His wife Catherine, 38 had been born in Malpas, Cheshire. Their listed children were Ernest, 16, (a Stone Mason’s Apprentice who had been born in Malpas), daughter Annie, 11, William, 10, Esther, 8 and baby Richard, aged 1 had all been born in Overton.
The 1901 census recorded the family living in Penyllan Street, Overton. By then the family in the household just comprised of Edwin, 53, still a Joiner, Catherine, 48 and son Richard age 10.
On the 1911 census the address is given as Penyllan Cottage with 4 rooms. Edward jones was by then 63 and still a Joiner (House). His wife of 39 years, Catherine, was 59. She had given birth to eight children, six of whom were still living. Richard, was 21, single and like his father, was a House Joiner.
Richard enlisted on the 23rd November 1915 and joined from the Army Reserve, Class “B” on the 10th February 1916 at Overton.
Richards Army Service Records have survived and are acccessible on www.ancestry.co.uk. They are, however in very poor condition and it is very difficult to read them in parts. There are, however, some glimpses into his story. He was 25 years and 8 months old on enlistment. He was a carpenter. He was 5 feet 7 inches and weighed 147 lbs. His chest measured 37 inches with an expansion range of 3 inches. His physical development was very good. He had been vaccinated in infancy. His next of kin was his father – Edwin Jones of Penyllan Overton on Dee.
He passed Classes of Instruction in Swimming 26th April 1916 (60 yds)
A preliminary Test card states that he was a proficient carpenter and his knowledge was Good/Fair.
He served ‘at home from the 10th February 1916 to 10th August 1916 and joined the British Expeditionary Force in France from the 11th August 1916 to his death on the 1st June 1917. His total service was 1 year and 197 days. (Possibly 192 days – difficult to read).
included in the records is a statement of all the relatives of the deceased soldier that were living in 1919. It is very badly ripped with parts missing. It is possible to make out that his Father was Edwin and his mother Catherine. Part of the address Penyllan is just about visible. Three full blood brothers are listed – Ernest 45 yrs , Edwin 43 and William 40 all of whom lived at different addresses in Overton. One full blood sister is named – Ester Jones (Mrs Griffiths ) who lived at 21 Kent Road, The Lodge, Brymbo.
The Declaration had been filled in and signed by Edwin Jones Father, Penllan, Overton, Ellesmere., Salop, at Overton on the 20th day of October 1919. It was formally witnessed by Elliot Simpson, Clerk in Holy Orders, Overton Rectory, Ellesmere, Salop.
The records include army memos about his medals and personal effects. There is one memo detailing the fact that he was killed in action on the 1st June 1917. (He actually died in Belgium)
The UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers includes an entry for Richard Jones. It tells us that his sole Legatee was his mother Catherine who received his War Gratuity of £5 on the 14th November 1919.
Richard’s British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Card on Ancestry, lists his medals.
There is an index card for him in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. (Cards Overton F 17) gives the address Penyllan Cottage, Overton and confirms his Regimental details. It was signed by his brother Ernest Jones on the 1st June 1919*
*I don’t know if this was 1919 or 1917, but it may be that Ernest wrote the date of Richard’s death on the bottom of the card, I couldn’t make it out properly, but coincidence for him to sign it on the 2nd anniversary of Richard’s death.