John Gregson Jones was born about 1889 in Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire, the son of William Jones & (stepson of ) Esther Jones (his 2nd wife).
William’s first wife had been Mary Gregson, formerly Hart. They had married in 1889 when he was 22 and Mary was 34 (Wigan & Leigh,Lancashire,ROW/66/186), Mary was a widow and the mother of 4 children. Mary’s first husband had been Mathew Hart. He had died in 1887 age 31.
The census of 1891 recorded the family living at 59, Bolton Road, Hamlet of Stubshaw Cross, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire. Head of the household was William who had been born in Rhyl. Mary his wife was 34 and had been born in Lancashire. William’s four step children were listed Elizabeth A. 15, Henry 13, Frances ,10 and Mathew 6. They were all recorded with the surname Hart. Also listed was his own child John Jones, aged 1.
In June 1891 Mary (nee Gregson, formerly Hart) died and she was buried on the 23rd June 1891 in St. Thomas’s Churchyard, Ashton-in Makerfield. William moved back to Wales at some point, then he met Esther Roberts.
They married in Holywell Registry Office in 1896 (Flintshire (Mold) HOL/24/E58). They were recorded on the 1901 census living at Lan-y-Rhiw, Ffynnongroew, Flintshire. William Jones, 32 a Collier (Hewer) was head of the household. Esther, 33 had been born in Llanasa, Flints. The children were John G. Jones, 11, Maria, 4, and David S 2. Also listed in the household was Evan Roberts, Brother-in-Law, a 40 year old Scythe Stone Quarryman.
The 1911 census shows the family still living at Lan-y-Rhiw, Ffynnongroew, Flintshire, in 4 rooms. Head of the household, William, 42, was still a Coal Miner, (Hewer) and his wife of 15 years, Esther was 43. She had given birth to 7 children but one had died. The children listed in the household were John Gregson 21 a Coal Miner (Loader), Maria 14, David Stanley 12, Frederick Ifor 9, Kitty 6, Erwyn 2 and baby daughter, 4 months had all been born in Ffynnongroew, Flintshire.
John Gregson Jones joined the Police Force at some point and was PC 74 stationed at Connah’s Quay.
UK Soldiers who Died in The Great War 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental details at the top of this page. It adds that he enlisted in Shotton. This source tells us he was ‘Killed in Action’. His medal index card also on Ancestry, details his medals.
John Gregson Jones in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us he was Killed in Action on the 29th April* and the Administrator of his Estate, William BAKER was paid 2 amounts one – £4. 3s 1d paid on the 20th November 1916 and the other amount of £1. 16s 11d which was part of his War Gratuity of £3. on the 26th November 1919. The other part of his War Gratuity of £1. 3s 1d was paid, I think, to his father, but there was no name, but words, I couldn’t decipher, looking like “Reslly? Leg?”
*This date is at odds with the C.W.G.C. database, which took their information from the Grave Register, they give the date as the 28th April 1916.
County Herald Friday 26th May 1916
The Late P.C. Gregson Jones – At the Rehoboth Welsh Congregational Church on Sunday a letter from the father of the late P.C. Gregson Jones acknowledged the vote of condolence passed by the church with the parents and relatives in the bereavement they had sustained by the death of the young man on the battlefield recently. Jones hailed from Ffynnongroew and was for a short time a member of the Flintshire Police Force and stationed at Connah’s Quay at the time of his enlistment. When at Connah’s Quay he became a member of Rehoboth.
WW1 Centenary: Remembering officers from North Wales
North Wales Police have today (Monday, August 4th 2014) marked the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with a small service outside its Headquarters in Colwyn Bay. Chief Constable Mark Polin led the commemoration, which involved officers and staff, by reading out the names of the 14 police officers who lost their lives. During the ceremony bugler Mr Bryn Davies, a former soldier with the Royal Welch Fusiliers played ‘The Last Post’ and the flag was flown at half-mast. The details were provided of the 14 police officers from North Wales who died for their country. They included the following:
Pte. 1784 John Gregson Jones, 1st Bn. Welsh Guards: Formerly PC 74 Jones stationed at Connah’s Quay. Killed in action, aged 25, on 29th April 1916 at Ypres. Buried at Potijze Burial Ground cemetery, Belgium, plot B
Chief Constable Mark Polin’s speech included the following.
“A hundred years ago today PC 19 Thomas Charles Orris, based at Bangor received a telegram from London. The message would have been addressed to L/Cpl T.C. Orris followed by the word ‘Mobilise’ and signed by the ‘Officer Commanding 2nd Bn. Gernadier Guards’. PC Orris had only joined the Police three months before, having been a soldier for several years and still being a reservist he was the first police officer from NorthWales to go off to war. “He may have believed, as many others did, that the war would be finished by Christmas but PC Orris was killed only 4 months later in France, aged 27, without seeing his next Christmas. “In 1914, the area we now police was served by five separate constabularies for Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Meirioneth. In total 104 officers from across the five constabularies served during the war. Chief Constable Mark Polin said: “It is important that we all take time to come together and remember the great sacrifices made by the many people who gave their lives. “We also pay our respects to the Police officers who left our Welsh communities to protect our country, so we could live our lives freely. By reflecting on the sacrifices of the fallen, and the great privileges that we enjoy today, we honour and pay tribute to their bravery, commitment and dedication. By remembering the fallen today, they will all live on forever.”
John Gregson Jones is also named on the Ffynongroew Memorial –
Flintshire WW1 Index Cards (Ffynnongroyw F 9) – JONES, John Gregson, Taurhiw, Ffynnongroew