Jones, Joseph Francis Maldwyn

Joseph Francis Maldwyn Jones, known as Maldwyn, was the son of Edward David and Lillie Jones, of Olive Villa, Prestatyn. He was born at Coedpoeth, Denbighshire, about 1893.

In the 1901 Census for Wales, available on Ancestry, the family are living at Ivy House, High Street, Prestatyn. Head of the family was Edward David Jones, age 39, Born at Llanfihangel, Montgomery. He was described as an employer, a builder and contractor. His wife Lillie was 34, and had been born at Liverpool. Oswald Tudno was 10, born at Wrexham, Joseph F M was 8, born at Coedpoeth, while Josephine Gwendoline, age 6, had been born at Prestatyn. All the family spoke both Welsh and English.

In 1911, the family were at Olive Villa, Prestatyn. Oswald Tudno was not at home, but the parents were there, Joseph F M (Maldwyn) is now 18 years old, and a journeyman butcher. Josephine G is 16, and “at home”. Lillie had given birth to 3 children, who were all living, and had been married for 21 years.  There were seven rooms in the house.

Maldwyn’s Service records have survived, but they are damaged and sometimes hard to read. However, we do know that he was attested into the East Lancs  territorial force, Royal Engineers, on 23rd November 1915. He took the oath at Manchester. His number was 440549, and his rank was Driver. He was “embodied” as sapper on 27th November 1915.

The records also show that he was demobilised for a period of two months on 29th April 1916, the remustered as sapper on 29th June 1916. He served at home from 24th November 1915 until 25th May 1917, so he never served overseas.

In his records is a letter from the Ministry of Pensions, Royal Hospital, Chelsea, regarding his having been discharged from the Army, and his pension being under consideration. He was discharged on 25th May 1917 as being no longer fit for military service, at Chatham.

He was discharged from the Royal Engineers, (East Lancs T F) on a weekly pension of 27 shillings and 6 pence.

There is an entry for Maldwyn in the British Army WW1 Pension Records, and it is in this record that we learn personal details.

His military character had been very good, and his conduct very satisfactory. His age was given as 27 years, slightly different from the census records. His height was 5ft 4ins, his chest measurement 36ins, 38 ins when expanded. His complexion was fresh, his eyes blue grey, and his hair was reddish brown. His trade was described as a farmer. He had a scar on the front of his right thigh.

His service from 25 November 1915, to 25th May 1917, was calculated as 1year, 183 days.

The cause of his medical discharge was tuberculosis of the peritoneum. It was impossible to state when the infection first started, but the symptoms had appeared around December 1916 at Bangor. It was acknowledged that the condition was aggravated by military service. Other medical symptoms were described, and it was noted that the condition could lead to total incapacity.

The Prestatyn Weekly reported that on May 26th, that is the day after he was discharged, Maldwyn Jones arrived home after a long illness. He only lived another six months after returning home, and died on November 13th 1917, and was buried in Prestatyn Churchyard.

There is a card for Maldwyn in the Roll of Honour at the Hawarden archives, which gives similar details to those above. It gives his address as Maelor House, Nant Hall Road, Prestatyn. It was signed on 28th September 1919 by O.T. Jones, Lieutenant R E, which is very likely to be his brother Oswald Tudno Jones, who was serving in the Royal Engineers during the war.

A year after his death the following appears in the In Memorial column of the Prestatyn Weekly:

In affectionate and loving memory of our dear son, Joseph Francis (Maldwyn), died November 13th 1917, second son of Mr and Mrs E.D. Jones, Maelor House, Prestatyn.

His cheerful smile and loving ways

Are pleasant to recall

He had a kindly word for each

And died beloved by all.

Sadly missed by father, mother, brother and sisters.

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