Thomas Allen Jones was born just over the border in Dodleston in 1889. His parents Thomas and Annie Jones were from Llannefydd which is where their first two children, Jane and John, were born. By the time Thomas Allen arrived they had moved to the parish of Dodleston. His sister Sarah – one year younger – was born there too. The 1891 census shows them living in Lower Kinnerton where Thomas senior was employed as a labourer.
Sometime after 1894 the family moved to the Waen. They were living in Aberkinsey Bach and the father was employed as a farm bailiff on the Fachwen estate. The family in 1901 had now grown to include two more sons; Arthur and William Henry plus their 20 year old niece Jane Jones. Everyone in the household was bilingual. Roedd pawb yn y teulu yn gallu siarad Cymraeg a Saesneg.
Ten years later in 1911 the parents and younger children were still in Aberkinsey Bach. Sarah now 21 ‘was doing dairy work’ whilst young Arthur was an agricultural engineer. William Henry was still at school.
Thomas Allen however had left home and was residing at 2 Glodaeth St, Llandudno. This was a 14 roomed property which included a grocery store. Thomas was in fact “living over the shop” as he is described as one of six assistants to John David Parry, a manager in the grocery trade. The house also accommodated Mr Parry’s family; a wife, 4 children, mother in law, 3 young women who were general servants and a clerk. All the staff were young and, like Thomas, mostly in their early twenties.
Thomas signed up in Colwyn Bay in November 1915 and joined the 20th(Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. By now he was the manager of Ceylon Stores, Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay. Many of his service records have survived. He gave his address as Fachwen Farm, Waen. Having remained in the UK for the first few months of his service on the 25th of May 1916 he was posted to France. His records show that on the 19th of June he joined his Battalion for duty in the field.
By the 15th of July he was reported missing.
For the families, friends and sweethearts at home the ‘not knowing’ must have been terrible. A Miss Nell Roberts wrote twice – once in August then again in September – to ask for news of Thomas.
Sadly his body was never found. Thomas is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France.
“The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive” ( Commonwealth Graves Commission)
Thomas is also commemorated on the Colwyn Bay War Memorial.