John Hugh Jones was born in Cerrigydrudion in 1889. His formative years are unknown. However the 1911 census shows a 22 year old of that name employed as a horseman in Plas Coch, Cefn Meiriadog – near St Asaph. In the days before tractors horses were used for all the jobs on the farm. Hence the horseman’s job was an important one.
In the First World War the big guns were moved from place to place by horsepower so perhaps it is not surprising that John Hugh Jones enlisted as a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery. As such he would have seen action in the heart of battle.
John Hugh Jones was married to Elizabeth, the daughter of Evan and Mary Jones, Ysgol Isa. They had a little girl, Ceridwen. Sadly they would have learnt that on the 30th of July 1918 he lost his life whilst on active service in France.
John Hugh Jones is buried in the Raperie British Cemetery, Villemontoire. The Commonwealth War Graves web site tells us that Villemontoire is connected entirely with the victorious advance of the 15th (Scottish) and 34th Divisions, under French leadership, in the period from the 23rd July to the 2nd August 1918.
Bereaved relatives were asked if they would like to suggest an inscription for their loved one’s headstone. John’s wife, Elizabeth, chose the words ‘UNTIL THE DAY DAWN’
This report appeared in the Denbighshire Free Press on the 21st of September 1918:
“KILLED IN ACTION
The residents of Waen, St Asaph, have heard with regret the sad news that two of their young men have been victims of the war, giving their lives for their country, namely Pte John Hugh Jones, Prysgol Isaf, Waen, St Asaph and Pte Joseph Jones, Arthur Cottage, Waen, who have both been killed in action. Both were very useful and popular men in the Waen district.”
The following extract from Stori Capel Waengoleugoed: Sul, Gwyl a Gwaith carries on the family history to the present day:
“Roedd John Hugh Jones yn wr i Elizabeth Jones, merch Mary ac Evan Jones Ysgol Isa. Lladdwyd ar y 30 o Orffenaf 1918 yn 29 oed ac mae ei fedd ym mynwent Raperie, Villemontoire, Aisne, Ffrainc. Gadawodd ferch fach Ceridwen. Yn ddiweddarach mabwysiadodd Elizabeth Jones bachgen o’r enw Stanley Roberts. Bu i Stanley fyw gydol ei fywyd yn y Waen yn gweithio yn ffactri Pilkingtons ac yn helpu ar y ffermydd ar adeg cynhaeafau. Priododd a chafodd ddau fab David a James. Yn drist iawn chafodd ei wraig salwch creulon a bu farw yn ifanc a bu farw ei fab David o’r un salwch yn ei 30’au. Bu farw Stanley Roberts yng Nghartref y Meadows yn 2013 yn 84 mlwydd oed ac mae ei fab James yn parhau i fyw yn y Waen yn Nhai Cochion.
Priododd Ceridwen a Stanley Stenton a buont yn byw yn y Waen trwy gydol eu bywyd. Chawsant un ferch Elizabeth a chafodd Elizabeth 5 o fechgyn bach. Yn 1971 bu stormydd mawr ac roedd ddau o fechgyn bach Elizabeth wedi mynd am dro wrth ymyl yr Afon Elwy yn Llanelwy pan lithrodd un o’r bechgyn i fewn i’r afon a chael ei foddi”.