William (Will) John Jones was born in Holywell in 1875 and baptised on 2nd July, 1876 at St James’s Parish Church, Holywell. He was the eldest of two children to David Jones and Elizabeth Eleanor (Wilbraham).
David was born in Holywell and Elizabeth in Bodfari and married at St Cleopas Parish Church, Toxteth Park, Liverpool in 1875.
Before the marriage Elizabeth was employed as a cook for a Mr and Mrs John Laing of 379, Park Road, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, and before that she was a servant for Mr Johnson Roger Jones, a paper manufacturer, of Pistyll Hall, Milwr, Nr Holywell.
They lived in High Street, Holywell for several years and the 1891 census found them at 2, Coleshill Street, Flint and in 1911 they were in 4, Coleshill Street. David was employed as gardener and coachman to the Reverend Canon Nicholas of the Parish Church.
William married Frances Annie Jones at the Register Office, Chester on 4th August, 1903 and resided at Tros y Waen, Flint Mountain for a number of years before settling at 61, Sydney Street, Flint. They had four children – David Thomas (b1903), William Edward (b1905), Martha Elizabeth (b1906), and Susannah (b1908).
David died at his home on 29th September, 1914, aged 72, and was buried in the Northop Road Cemetery.
His obituary stated: “Mr Jones was a native of Holywell, but he had lived in the Borough of Flint 35 years. He had been employed by the late Mr Denton, who some years ago was the licensee of the Royal Oak Hotel: then, subsequently, by the late Dr T Hughes; Mr J Alexander at the Paper Mill; and for six years officiated as coachman and gardener at the Rectory, Flint. He had been in failing health for some time, and he died on Tuesday last week at his residence.”
William succeeded his father as gardener and chauffeur in the employ of the Rector of Flint leaving his job as an ironworker.
He enlisted in Flint in September, 1916 with the Royal Army Service Corps, No. 208436. At some point he was transferred to the Tank Corps and was posted to France where he died from wounds received in action on 1st October 1917. He was buried in Bucquoy Road Cemetery, Ficheux, France (Plot II, Row H, Grave 4).
He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal and is remembered on Flint Town war memorial and the Tank Corps Book of Honour. He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor.
DEATH A WELL KNOWN FLINTONIAN AT THE FRONT
(County Herald 12th October, 1917)
On Saturday afternoon the sad intelligence reached Flint that Gunner William J Jones, of Sydney Street, Flint, had died from wounds received in action last week. Jones, it will be remembered, joined up months ago when he was in the employ of the Rev Canon Nicholas, at the Rectory, as Gardener and Chauffeur. Only a short time has elapsed since he was home on “draft leave,” and then he left for the Front. The news of his death came as a great shock to his numerous friends in the Borough, and amongst whom he was known as a most genial companion. He was the son of a Mr Jones, who was well known in the Holywell district, and who for a number of years was employed by Canon Nicholas as gardener and coachman, and resided in Coleshill, Flint. In consequence of his illness and infirmity the Canon released him of his duties and granted him a weekly pension, which he enjoyed up to the time of his death. Upon the release from duties his son succeeded him in the position. Deceased was ever ready to render whatever assistance he possibly could in all local public movements; and on several occasions he has been seen taking an active part with members of the Fire Brigade in subduing fires. When Jones joined the Army he left behind him a wife and four children, as well as an aged mother, all dependant upon him; and the sympathies of people in Flint, as well as at the Flint Mountain locality, are extended to the family in the sore bereavement they have sustained.
William’s mother died at Rose Cottage, Holway, Holywell on 13th March, 1918, aged 74, and buried with her husband.
In November, 1918 Frances Annie died, aged 38, and buried in an unmarked grave in the Northop Road Cemetery. She was one of the victims of the global flu epidemic.
The children of William and Frances, now orphans, were separated and sent to live with relatives.
David Thomas died at the Holywell Workhouse Infirmary on 4th August, 1919, aged 15, and was buried with his mother.
William Edward, Martha Elizabeth and Susannah all eventually married and had families of their own.