Jones, Albert

The 1891 Census for Wales on shows us that the Jones family were living at Pen y Bryn Bach, Mount Road, St Asaph.

Head of the household was John Jones age 28 born in Llansannan, Denbighshire, a Painter by trade.

His wife is shown as Frances Jones age 26 born on Lee Hill, Shropshire and their only child was Albert age 1 month born in Saint Asaph, Flintshire.

The 1901 Census for Wales on shows that the family are still at the same address  and that  they have an addition to the family, namely Margaret May, age 4. Albert Jones is 10 years of age.

The 1911 Census on reveals to us that Albert Jones is now in the Grenadier Guards and is stationed in London, he is 20 years of age.

Albert Jones’ Record Card at Flintshire Archives Hawarden states that Albert enlisted in Rhyl, his address was given as 3 Mill St. Saint Asaph and that he died in France/ Flanders, October 1914. It was dated 24th September 1919 and signed by Charles Jones.

UK Soldiers who died in the Great War on advises us that Albert was in the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards and was killed in Action on 26th October 1914 age 23.

The following information was supplied by Mr Alwyn Jones of Saint Asaph. I greatly appreciate the help and advice that he has provided.


Albert Jones was born in St. Asaph in 1891. He was the only son of the three children of John Jones and the former Fanny Elizabeth Collins. His sibling was Margaret May (1897) and he had an adopted sister Kattie (1902). On 31 March 1901 they lived in Penybryn Bach, St. Asaph. His father was a painter. By 1911, his parents had moved to Mill St. St Asaph.

At some time he had joined the army as a reservist in the 4th Grenadier Guards when he was a policeman (PC 8) stationed at Mold. On 2 April 1911, he enlisted in the army and was Guardsman 14610 in the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards and was based at Wellington Barracks, St James Park, Westminster S W.

Albert was awarded The 1914 Star, The British War Medal and The Victory Medal

Grenadier Guards during WW1

The Regiment raised five battalions and was awarded 34 Battle Honours and 7 Victoria Crosses, losing 4,680 men and suffering 12,000 casualties during the course of the war. In 1919 the King commanded the rank of Guardsman replace that of Private in recognition of the Regiments efforts during the war.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Warley, London District and then joined the 20th Brigade of the 7th Division and moved to Lyndhurst.
07.10.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Zeebrugge and the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including; The First Battle of Ypres after which only 4 officers and 200 men remained of the Battalion.
04.08.1915 Transferred to the 3rd Guards Brigade of the Guards Division and once again engaged in various action on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval.
During 1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of Pilkem, The Battle of the Menin Road, The Battle of Poelkapelle, The First Battle of Passchendaele, The Battle of Cambrai 1917. 
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras 1918, The Battle of Albert, The Second Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Havrincourt, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Maubeug

The First battle of Ypres

On October 19, 1914, near the Belgian city of Ypres, Allied and German forces begin the first of what would be three battles to control the city and its advantageous positions on the north coast of Belgium during the First World War.

After the German advance through Belgium and eastern France was curtailed by a decisive Allied victory in the Battle of the Marne in late September 1914, the so-called “Race to the Sea” began, as each army attempted to outflank the other on their way northwards, hastily constructing trench fortifications as they went. The race ended in mid-October at Ypres, the ancient Flemish city with its fortifications guarding the ports of the English Channel and access to the North Sea beyond.

After the Germans captured the Belgian city of Antwerp early in October, Antwerp’s remaining Belgian forces along with troops of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), commanded by Sir John French, withdrew to Ypres, arriving at the city between October 8 and 19 to reinforce the Belgian and French defenses there. Meanwhile, the Germans prepared to launch the first phase of an offensive aimed at breaking the Allied lines and capturing Ypres and other channel ports, thus controlling the outlets to the North Sea.

On October 19, a protracted period of fierce combat began, as the Germans opened their Flanders offensive and the Allies steadfastly resisted, while seeking their own chances to go on the attack wherever possible. Fighting continued, with heavy losses on both sides, until November 22, when the arrival of winter weather forced the battle to a halt. The area between the positions established by both sides during this period—from Ypres on the British side to Menin and Roulers on the German side—became known as the Ypres Salient, a region that over the course of the next several years would see some of the war’s bitterest and most brutal struggles.

The Battle of Langemarch

The battle of Langemarck, 21-24 October 1914, was part of the wider first battle of Ypres (19 October-22 November). It began as an encounter battle, between troops of the British I corps and German troops, both advancing to make an attack. It ended with the Allies on the defensive around Ypres, holding off the first of a series of fierce German attacks that would be typical of the remained of the battle of Ypres.

At the end of 20 October the two divisions of I corps were separated by Ypres. Sir John French ordered the corps to move to Langemarck and then launch an attack to the north, with the ambitious aim of liberating Bruges. French believed that there was only one German army corps north of Ypres, when there were actually five between Ypres and the coast.

The start of the British attack was delayed by the time needed for the two divisions of I corps to reach Langemarck. Some progress was made, before the advancing British began to encounter an increasing number of German troops, also advancing to the attack. At 3 p.m. General Douglas Haig, commander of I corps, cancelled the advance and ordered his men to hold their positions. The new front line was only 1,000 yards beyond Langemarck.

The British defences on the new front line were not particularly powerful. Rather than the continuous line of trenches, protected by barbed wire, of later periods, the trenches around Langemarck were at best three feet deep, and were not yet connected in a continuous defensive line. Travel between the isolated trenches could be very dangerous, and at night they were vulnerable to infiltration.

At the end of 21 October the Allies finally realised that the Germans were present in much more strength than expected. Any idea of an offensive by the BEF was abandoned for the moment, and Joffre agreed to send the French IX corps to Ypres.

The fighting on 21 October had left the 1st Division of I corps badly stretched out west of Langemarck. On 22 October the Germans launched an attack along a large stretch of the British line, against the 1st, 2nd and 7th Divisions.The German attack was repulsed along most of the British line, apart from in the centre of the 1st Division. Here the 1st battalion of the Cameron Highlanders held a semi-circular position north of the Kortekeer Cabaret. The line here was made up of a series of unconnected trenches, and late in the afternoon the Germans penetrated the north west portion of the line. Once inside the semi-circle they were then in a position to attack the remaining British positions from behind. At 6.00 pm the Camerons were forced to retreat a quarter of a mile, leaving a potential gap in the British lines.

Haig responded to this crisis with a certain amount of flexibility, creating a reserve force from a variety of sources. On the morning of 23rd October that scratch force recaptured the cabaret. At the same time a major German attack against Langemarck was defeated. Both battles were over by 1 p.m.

The same day also saw a French counterattack, launched by the 17th Division of IX Corps. The attack was launched from the front held by the 2nd division.
Foch had hoped for British support during his offensive, but his request didn’t reach General Haig until 2 a.m. on 23 October, only seven hours before the attack was expected to begin. The French attack itself failed, but the French division replaced the British 2nd division in the front line.  The next day the 1st division was also relieved, this time by two French territorial brigades.

After 24 October the focus of the fighting at Ypres moved south. The British position on the Menin road would come under fierce attack on 25-26 October, and temporarily collapse late on the 26th, before the crisis of the battle came at Gheluvelt (29-31 October).

Albert is commemorated at the Memin Gate,West – Vlaanderen, Belguim.

The site of the Menin Gate was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates casualties from the forces of Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and United Kingdom who died in the Salient. In the case of United Kingdom casualties, only those prior 16 August 1917 (with some exceptions). United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war. New Zealand casualties that died prior to 16 August 1917 are commemorated on memorials at Buttes New British Cemetery and Messines Ridge British Cemetery.

The YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL now bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. The memorial, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield with sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick, was unveiled by Lord Plumer on 24 July 1927.

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