I would like to start by acknowledging Alwyn Evans of Saint Asaph for his research on this Serviceman, who is shown on St. Asaph Memorial as R. Charles Pritchard when in fact he was Robert Charles Jones.
Robert Charles Jones was born in Denbigh in 1982.
The 1901 census on Ancestry.co.uk shows that Robert Charles Jones was living with his Grandparents at number 9, Jones Square, Saint Asaph. Hugh Pritchard, Head, age 45, born in Denbigh was a Hotel Driver/Groom by trade and his wife Catherine age 48 was also born in Denbigh. At his time Robert Charles Jones was 9 years of age. I cannot locate the Grandparents prior to this census and have had difficulty proving who Robert’s parents were.
I cannot locate Robert Charles on the 1911 census.
The following is information passed to me from Alwyn Evans, St. Asaph Historical Society.
St Asaph WW1 War Memorial
On the War Memorial there is an R Charles Pritchard, S.L.I engraved. It was assumed that the S.L.I was an abbreviation for Somerset Light Infantry but no records were found for an R Charles Pritchard. However, it has been found recently that a Mrs Pritchard, Denbigh Road, St Asaph had had received an intimation from the War Office that her grandson, Private Charles Pritchard Jones, has been killed in action. On cross checking, it was found that he had been a Private in the Somerset Light Infantry which showed that he was probably the soldier listed on the War Memorial. Whoever gave the Stone Mason the names to engrave had incorrectly assumed that as he had been brought up by Mrs Pritchard, then his surname was also Pritchard. Furthermore, his correct name was Robert Charles Jones but he was known as Charles Jones. He was born in Denbigh in April, May or June 1892 and his mother was Sarah Jones. He was brought up by his grandparents Hugh and Catherine Pritchard, Jones Square, Denbigh Road, St Asaph.
In summary his name on the War Memorial should be Robert Charles Jones, S L.I. and he was 8775 Private Robert Charles Jones, 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry who was killed in action on 20th December 1914 and is buried in the Strand Military Cemetery, Hainaut, Belgium.
Robert Charles Jones enlisted in Warrington.
The following information is taken from The Great War 1914-1918, Somerset County Council Website.
The Great War saw the Somerset Light Infantry increasing in size to nineteen battalions, which fought in the three main theatres of war: on the Western front, in Mesopotamia and in Palestine, whilst other battalions remained on garrison duty in India, Burma and at home.
With the declaration of war on 3 August 1914 the 2nd battalion was on garrison duty in India and it was to remain here for the duration of the war. The 1st battalion was stationed at Colchester as part of the 11th Infantry Brigade of the 4th Division. It was the first Somerset Regiment to be selected for active service and within days from the declaration of war the battalion was mobilised. In just two weeks the battalion was in France on the Western Front, where they would remain for the duration of the war. Forming part of the British Expeditionary Force the 1st battalion was soon confronting the enemy during the battle for Le Cateau, before becoming embroiled in the retreat from Mons. Early October saw the 1st battalion entering the trenches for the first time, they took a position in Ploegsteert Wood, Belgium, where they remained for the winter.
For more information about The Somerset Light Infantry please follow the link http://www1.somerset.gov.uk/archives/sli/greatwar.htm
Robert Charles Jones was awarded the 1914 Star, The British War Medal and The Victory Medal.
Robert Charles Jones was buried in The Srand Military Cemetery, Hainaut, Belguim.