Edward Arnold Jones was born in Flint in 1884 and baptised on 14th August, 1884 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint. He was the son of Robert Jones and Elizabeth (Vaughan). He was a brother to William John Jones (1881-?) who became postmaster of Halkyn, and Private Reginald Lloyd Jones.
Edward Arnold Jones was born in Flint in 1884 and baptised 14th August, 1884 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint. He was the son of Robert Jones and Elizabeth (Vaughan). He was a brother to William John Jones (1881-?) who became postmaster of Halkyn, and Private Reginald Lloyd Jones who also died in the war (see page ??).
Robert was born at Coed-y-Cra Farm, Halkyn in 1848 and was a self employed draper. Elizabeth (Bessie) was born in West Felton, near Oswestry, Shropshire in 1851. They married on 9th October, 1879 at St Oswald’s Parish Church, Oswestry, and set up home at 4, Church Street, Flint. By 1901 they had moved to 12, Wesley Mount, Northop Road, Flint.
On leaving school Edward became a draper’s apprentice, presumably for his father, and it is likely his brother Reginald did too because by the 1911 census they were both boarding at the home of a Mr Javiett of 22, Lilly Road, Prescot Road, Fairfield, Liverpool and their occupations given as draper’s assistants. With whom they were employed at this time is not known, however, before the war began they had become employees for Affleck & Brown Ltd, Drapers, Oldham Street, Manchester which continued trading until the 1970s.
Their mother Bessie died on 9th January, 1914 at Slipin, Halkyn, and was buried in Halkyn Churchyard.
Her obituary in the County Herald reads: “It is with extreme regret we record the death of Mrs Elizabeth (Bessie) Jones, wife of Mr. Robert Jones, of Wesley Mount, Northop Road, Flint, and late of Bradford House, Flint. The deceased lady, who was 62 years of age, had resided with her husband in this town for a period of about 44 years, during which she had been a staunch Churchwoman, and whose ready help and assistance was always available in every good and social cause for the benefiting the poorer inhabitants of the Borough. Her husband occupies the position of one of the Borough Elective Auditors, and is also one of the Overseers of the Flint Parish. As time progressed, Mrs Jones was affected by illness, and she had borne her suffering a long time with Christian fortitude. About five months ago she decided to retire to her home at Slipin, Halkyn, where her husband was conducting a business. Almost immediately after arriving at Halkyn her illness assumed a most serious aspect. She received every kindly and possible nursing, but her strength failed, and the death occurred shortly before midnight on Friday to the great grief of her husband, the members of the family, and her relatives and friends.”
Edward was a single man when he enlisted in Manchester, circa September, 1914 with the 16th Manchester Regiment who landed in France on 8th November, 1915.
He sent a letter home, dated 18th March, 1916, which was published in the County Herald, where he stated that he had cycled several miles in order to see his brother, Private Reggie Jones, who is a member of the same Battalion. He found him in the dug-out looking out for enemy aeroplanes about thirteen miles from where the writer commenced his cycle journey. They were very pleased to see each other as they had not been together since Christmas Day. The men of the Battalion where Reggie was had had a rough time during the winter, but the trenches and the dug-outs were not so bad now, as the fine weather which they had had during the week was giving the ground a chance to dry. All the ground where Reggie was stationed was full of holes caused by explosions of shells which had landed there. Reggie had had a very narrow escape from death, as on the previous Saturday night he was on guard when a shell burst about a yard or two from him, and he had to stay on guard for extra hours that night as the sentry who was to relieve him could not get there because of the Germans shelling the place. The Germans started shelling when he (Arnold) was there, but it was a reply to the British shelling. He was glad to get away, as the Germans were shelling the road over which he was cycling. The Battalion were moving on the previous night for a rest. There was a small British cemetery about 200 yards away from the dug-outs where the men of the Battalion had placed nice little crosses which they had made in memory of their fallen comrades.
He died on 30th March, 1917 at Grimsby Military Hospital as a result of an illness. His death was announced in the county Herald of 6th April, 1917.
“It is with deep regret that we make the announcement of the death of Private Arnold Jones, the second son of Mr Robert Jones, of Wesley Mount, Northop Road, Flint, and which sad event occurred on Friday evening last week. The deceased and his brother, the late Private Reggie Jones, were prior to the commencement of the war employed in one of the large drapery establishments in Manchester. They, eventually, departed with the Battalion to the Front, where Reggie was killed in action some time ago. Private Arnold Jones suffered from an illness, and being invalided home was sent to Yorkshire, and other places. He was then sent to a hospital to the East of England, where in December he underwent an operation. His strength gradually failed, and the end came on the evening named. Deceased was 32 years of age. The sympathies of numerous friends are offered to the bereaved father and relatives. The remains were removed to Flint on Monday morning, and were conveyed to the residence in Wesley Mount. The funeral was fixed to take place on Wednesday, the remains to be interred in the Halkyn Churchyard alongside those of his late mother.”
The following week was the funeral report: “On Wednesday afternoon last week the funeral of the late Private Arnold Jones took place amid many manifestations of deep mourning and regret. The mourners assembled at the residence, where there were also in attendance the Rev Canon W Ll Nicholas (Rector), and the Revs R Lloyd Jones, BA, and H Williams (curates). The opening of the service was read by Canon Nicholas, and thereafter the remains were conveyed to Halkyn Parish Church, where the Rev J F Rees (Rector) conducted an impressive service, during which the hymn, “Jesu, Lover of my Soul,” was very feelingly sung. When the remains were being removed from the edifice to the grave, the organist (Mr Ll P Jones) played the “Dead March.” The Rev J F Rees read the final prayers as the remains were lowered to their last resting place alongside those of the deceased’s mother.”
Private Jones was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal and remembered on four memorials: Flint Town; St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint; St Mary’s Parish Church, Halkyn and Affleck & Brown Ltd, Oldham St, Manchester. He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor on the Halkyn Panel.
Edward’s father, Robert, died on 31st October, 1937, and buried St Mary’s Churchyard, Halkyn. His obituary reads:
“Halkyn’s oldest resident, Mr Robert Jones, died on Sunday at the age of 89. He had been confined to bed for the last four months, but previously had enjoyed good health.
Mr Jones was the son of the late Mr John Jones, owner of the Coed-y-Cra flour mill. He attended Halkyn School and upon leaving he served his apprenticeship as a draper with the late Mr James Garner, of Holywell. Subsequently he was employed at drapery establishments in Chester. Later he was appointed a traveller for Messrs Evans and Co, Newtown, manufacturers of woollen garments. After his marriage he opened business in Flint on his own account as a draper and outfitter at Bradford House, where he continued for 25 years. At the end of that time he removed to Halkyn, where he joined his brother, the late Mr E Lloyd Jones, in carrying on a grocer’s and drapers business.
Mr Jones had lived in Halkyn for the past 30 years (sic), and during that time he won the affection of all those with whom he came in contact. He was of a quiet and genial disposition and was highly respected. He was the oldest member of the Parish Church where he was at one time Peoples’ Warden. He has also been a sidesman and has served on the Parochial Church Council. Mr Jones was a generous supporter of the church. During his time in Flint he was also Peoples’ Warden at the Parish Church there.”
Edward and his brother Robert are also named on the Halkyn war memorial.