William O. Jones was born about 1889. He was the son of Robert Jones, 35, who was a Railway Shunter (Points) and Elizabeth Jones, 34 who had both been born in Bangor, Caernarvonshire. Their 3 sons, Hughie Parry Jones, Robert Ed. Jones and William O. Jones had been born in Llanbeblig, Carnarvonshire.
The 1901 census records the family living at 82, Ewart Street, Mold Junction, Saltney,Flintshire. The family had been blessed with a daughter, Hannah, 7 who was the only one in the family who couldn’t speak both English & Welsh. She spoke only English. The 3 sons were Hugh P 16, a Railway Number Taker (Rly Porter), Edward 15 and William O 12. There was another person recorded in the hose that night- a Robert Williams, 24 Railway Shunter
The family was still living in Mold Junction on the 1911 census at 58, Ewart Street, Mold Junction. Robert Jones, 55 was listed as a Brakeman of Goods Train (L. & N.W. R.Co). His wife of 27 years, Elizabeth was 54. She had given birth to 5 children but 1 had died. The listed ‘children’ were Hugh Parry, 26 a Checker, Robert Edward, 25 was an Extra Fireman.They both worked for the same company as their father. Hannah Lucy, 17 was “at Home”. William Owen was not there.
The 1911 census records that “our” William Owen Jones was further afield, lodging at 44, George Street, “Cheetham Hill”, Broughton, Salford. in the household of Albert Edward Richings and his wife Sarah Elizabeth and their 4 children. William Owen Jones was a “Boarder”, age 23, single and a Clothier’s Salesman.
UK Soldiers who Died in the Great war 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental details above. It says he was born in Caernarvonshire and tells us that he Died of Wounds in France & Flanders. It adds that he enlisted in Manchester. His medal card, also on ‘Ancestry’ details his medals and states that his first Theatre of War was France and he first entered it on 14th November 1915. It too says he ‘Died of Wounds’ on 31st July 1916.
William Owen Jones in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his father Robert who was paid £2 9s 11d on the 11th December 1016 and his War Gratuity of £4 on the 10th October 1919.
Flintshire WW1 Index Card (Saltney Ferry F17) – JONES, William Owen, 58, Ewart Street, Saltney Ferry 7349 Private 20th Bn Royal Fusiliers. Period of Service, about 16 months. Died of Wounds at Rouen Hospital 31st October 1916. Wounded 20th October 1916. (At odds with the CWGC, will check) Card signed by H.P.JONES, Brother of deceased. 30th October 1919.
Reverse of card:- “Will you kindly fill in the card and return it to me as soon as convenient. Hoping you are all well. E.L.ROBERTS”. (this man signed a lot of cards, he must have bee responsible to distribute and collect them.)
He is remembered on the Plaque that was formerly sited in St. Mathew’s Church in Saltney Ferry (which was as destroyed by fire in 2008), and is now in St Mark’s Church in High Street, Saltney.