Jones, Ernest

I found Enest Jones when I added “Saltney” to the search field on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, and the additional information came up – Additional Info – Son of Frederick William and Sarah Jones, of Saltney, Flintshire.   Personal Inscription – SUNSHINE PASSES, SHADOWS FALL BUT MEMORIES OF YOU, DEAR SON, OUTLIVE ALL. MAM.  I do not think he is on any memorial and he must be remembered.

Ernest Jones was born in 1920, the son of Frederick William & Sarah Martha Jones (nee Hughes/Price).   Frederick and Sarah married on Christmas Eve, 24th December 1905 at Church of St. Mark, Lache- cum-Saltney, according to the Parish Registers – Marriages.

Page 63 No. 125 24th December 1905 Frederick JONES, 32, Bachelor, Brick Burner, 18, Bridge Street, Saltney, William JONES, Clockmaker & Sarah HUGHES, 21, Spinster, 18, Bridge Street, Saltney, Ellis PRICE, Labourer. (After Banns).   Witnesses:- Owen WILLIAMS & Isabella PRICE*

*I believe this to be Sarah’s sister Eliza Arabella Price.

Frederick and Sarah are seen with their family on the 1911 census, living at 18, Bridge Street, Saltney, Chester. (4 rooms )in the household of Sarah’s mother Elizabeth, 57 and a widow, she tells us that she had been married 25 years 5 children born, all still living – this was crossed out by the Enumerator as she was a widow, and born Halkyn, Flints. (Bilingual).

Her son John Price (Probably Edward John on earlier censuses),24, single and a Porter in a Draper’s shop, Bella Price, 23 and single, Mary H. Price, 17and single, Alice Price, 15 and single, all had been born in Holywell, Flintshire and were bilingual.    Also in the household was Fred Jones, Son-in-Law, 37 and a Labourer, born in Flints, Flintshire.    Sarah M. Jones, 26, was the daughter of Elizabeth Price and she tells us that they had been married 6 years and 3 children had been born to them, all still living and like her siblings had been born in Holywell, Flintshire and was bilingual.    Fred and Sarah’s children were Sarah E. Jones, Granddaughter, 5, Frederick E. Jones, 2, Grandson and Richard James Jones, 1, Grandson, they were born in Saltney, Flintshire.

Frederick & Sarah were to go on and have 3 further children, Ernest Jones in 1920, Albert Jones in 1924 and then Alice L. Jones in 1927.   This is confirmed by the 1939 National Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939.

The newspaper cutting from the Cheshire Observer, dated 10th June 1944, after Ernest’s death tells us a little about his childhood.    He was born in Bridge Street and educated at St. Anthony’s School, Saltney and upon leaving school at the age of 14, he went to work at Rustproof Metal Windows Company Saltney and was later employed as a press operator, a position he held until he joined the forces in June 1940.      Many thanks to the Newspaper.

The National Register, is a source of information, dates of birth are given and also occupations, and this shows that Frederick Jones was born on the 29th September 1870 and was an Old Age Pensioner, his wife Sarah F*Jones had been born on the 26th January 1886 and as most married women on this register, who didn’t have job, was described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”   Ellis F. Jones had been born on the 7th September 1908, Ernest Jones had been born on the 22nd June 1920, Albert Jones had been born on the 28th March 1924, they were single and all three and were Labourers on Government Work (Heavy Work) at the Rustproof Factory.   Last but not least was Alice L. Jones, born on the 19th January 1927 and was still at school.   Alice Lilian was later to marry Bertram Richard Wells at St. Mark’s Church, Lache cum Saltney in 1946. (Cheshire West     CE35/4/218).

*I believe that the initial for Sarah should be M., not F., and is an Enumerator’s mistake.

So in the June of 1940 Ernest either enlisted or was conscripted into the war effort, he alongside one of his workmates, Arthur Griffiths, who enlisted on the 23rd June 1939, but he too was listed on the 1939 National Register.   Arthur was in 37 Squadron of the R.A.F. and sadly he died on the 4th April 1944 (just about 6 weeks before Ernest) and is buried in Budapest War Cemetery in Hungary, please click on the link to read his story.

Ernest was to be in a different area of the war, he was in the 2nd Bn. King’s Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster).   He was, according to the newspaper cutting (below), sent 18 months before his death to Ceylon for jungle training and that was where he was killed in action on the 14th May 1944.

Excerpt from the website:- Stilwell gave the Chinese 22nd Division orders to advance against the bridges held by the Japanese on March 15. After two months of fighting, Myitkyina was now in reach. With the arrival of the rainy season, the incessant rain didn’t stop until May 17. On that day, at 10:00 p.m., the Chinese Expeditionary Force launched an attack with the U.S. Army’s ‘Merrill’s Marauders’ unit against the Japanese airstrip at Myitkyina, supported by artillery. Eight Japanese planes were quickly destroyed as the battle escalated. The Japanese were caught by surprise, and, not knowing where their enemies were, poured gasoline onto the airfield in an attempt to disable it and retreated into Myitkyina proper, intending to fight the Chinese and Americans on more favorable terms there. The Chinese and the Americans quickly overran the field relatively intact, whereupon U.S. Army Air Forces and Royal Air Force C-47 transport aircraft moved the Chinese 89th Regiment of the 30th Division to the battlefield to supplement the exhausted C.E.F. and Marauder units already at Myitkyina. -Film footage, but taken from the American point of view. – 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Royal Regiment, Burma, 1944 – Photo’s of the Regiment in Burma.

King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum – Lancaster

Regimental History – 20th Century

Second World War 1939-1945

2nd Battalion, King’s Own Royal Regiment, Lancaster

Excerpts taken from the above website:-

Notes from ‘War Diaries’ of 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Royal Regiment.

(Public Record Office Reference: W0172-2520 Mar-Dec 1943 W0172 – 4886 Jan-Dec 1944.)

At the outbreak of the war the 2nd Battalion was based in Palestine. In June 1940 they were moved to Egypt and from August to December 1940 it was based in defensive positions around Mersa Matruh in the Western Desert. In 1941 the battalion was in Syria where it fought in two actions against the Vichy French forces. In September 1941 the battalion arrived, by sea, to Tobruk where they remained until just before Christmas. The battalion was involved in the operation on 21st November 1941 which is known as the ‘Tobruk Sortie’. The battalion left Tobruk for Egypt and in March 1942 moved to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and later India, where jungle warfare training took place. From March until July 1944 the battalion operated as Number 41 and 46 Chindit Columns operating behind the lines in Burma. In May 1944 both Columns were involved in fierce action inside ‘Blackpool Block’ a defensive perimeter south-west of Myitkyina. In July the battalion was withdrawn from Burma to India having marched over 1100 miles during the campaign.

May 1944

1 SG7290


4 41 Col tail and support to MOKSO SAKAN (SCO716). 41 Col harbour SCO301.

5 41 Col attacks LWEO (SH0895).Jap taken prisoner.8600 gals petrol, 250 gals oil, 6 stores destroyed.

6 1000 hrs. Bridge destroyed east of YWATHIT (SH1496) by RE and two platoons. Remainder attack YWATHITGALE (SH1298). Enemy counter attack. Japs 13 killed, 3 wounded. Bn 1 killed, 2 wounded. 2100 hrs. at SH154995.

7 41 Col fighting force at NSUN (SC1501). 46 Col into CLYDESIDE (SC2304).

8 41 Col at NAMYUNG (SC1804). 46 Col attacked. 20 enemy killed. Bn 1 wounded.

9 41 Col into CLYDESIDE.

12 75mm gun starts up.

13 Capt. Arnold killed.

14 Capt. Winmill killed.

15 Enemy dug in 10 – 20 yds from inner wire. Lt G.H.Edwards wounded on patrol. Lt C.R.A. Jones killed.

16 Heavy attack driven off, 60 – 70 Japs killed.

18 105 mm shelling of block.

22 41 and 46 Cols amalgamated and out to float.

23 Two platoons attack outside block.

24 Lt Col Thompson takes three platoons into the block.

25 Lt Col Thompson leads counterattack. Block ordered to withdraw.

Notes taken on 26 October 1979. – A.G.G.Oliver.

It seems that he was amongst the ones killed with Captain Winmill, but as Ernest was among “Other Ranks” his death is not recorded in the War Diary.

Ernest was first buried in the Sahmaw War Cemetery (Christian) and the reburied on the Taukkyan War Cemetery on the 30th July 1954.

Excerpt from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Citation:- History information

TAUKKYAN WAR CEMETERY is the largest of the three war cemeteries in Burma (now Myanmar). It was begun in 1951 for the reception of graves from four battlefield cemeteries at Akyab, Mandalay, Meiktila and Sahmaw which were difficult to access and could not be maintained. The last was an original ‘Chindit’ cemetery containing many of those who died in the battle for Myitkyina. The graves have been grouped together at Taukkyan to preserve the individuality of these battlefield cemeteries.

Burials were also transferred from civil and cantonment cemeteries, and from a number of isolated jungle and roadside sites. Because of prolonged post-war unrest, considerable delay occurred before the Army Graves Service were able to complete their work, and in the meantime many such graves had disappeared. However, when the task was resumed, several hundred more graves were retrieved from scattered positions throughout the country and brought together here.

I believe that both Frederick & Sarah were alive to bear the loss of their son, but Frederick died in 1949, before Ernest’s Personal Inscription was written by his mother Sarah, so she had 2 deaths in a short time to bear.   They had also had to bear the fact that during the war all six of their children were helping the country with the war effort, as the newspaper tells us 3 other sons were in the forces and 2 daughters were on Munitions work.  This family were like thousands of others at this time in this country, all working towards victory and all sacrificing in some way.

Ernest must be remembered.

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