William was born in Treuddyn in 1885. The 1911 census tells us that his parents were both born and bred in the village. His father was Gomer Jones a coal hewer (aged 60 in 1911), his mother Elizabeth was 54. Still at home were William Hope aged 26, a salesman working for the colliery, Meredith Gomer 17 was an agent working at the coal warf and Emily 12, was still at school. The census form tells us that Elizabeth had born 9 children, 8 of whom were still alive in 1911.
William Hope Jones married Catherine Ann Jones at Bethesda Chapel Mold, Flintshire on 20th January 1916
William’s surviving army records tell us that he enlisted right at the beginning of the war in August 1914 in Wrexham. He was posted to France in 1915 and his army career was successful with regular promotions. Although his army papers tell us some of his story his mother wrote some details on his Flintshire Roll of Honour card that help us understand what happened.
She gives his name, regiment, rank and number and the address Shop Newydd, New Road, Treuddyn and states that he served for 4 years and 2 months. She adds
‘The above soldier joined the colours on 12th August 1914. He went to France in 1915. She wrote that he was stationed at
La Harve (we think that’s what it says) for 3 years. In January 1917 (We believe this should say 1918) as the result of injuries sustained through the fall of a steel girder, he was conveyed to hospital at Rue dePhastury (??) France. Having been there a few weeks he was brought to Netley Hospital (Southampton) and finally transferred to Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool where in October 1918 he succumbed to the injuries received.
His army papers on 27th January 1918 detail his injuries in medical terms ‘Fractured spinal column, lower dorsal and upper lumber region. Contused head and face’ He was discharged – no longer physically fit for war service 21st May 1918.
He has a military grave in the cemetery at Mold, Flintshire.
William’s father, Gomer, when he was 18 years old, was involved in the Mold Riots of 1869, when local miners rebelled after having their wages cut. Gomer was one of 5 men who were sentenced to ten years penal servitude for their roles in the riot. He was released on a royal pardon after three years.
(Thanks to David Rowe for making this connection).