DAVID EUGENE JONES
This post was written by Victoria Doran
The very short tale of a young man who was adopted by an elderly Hoylake couple, and who died when SS Kingstonian was torpedoed off Sardinia.
Book of Remembrance entry
It is only known that David Jones had a middle name from the list of names on the tablets that used to be on the walls of Holy Trinity church before it was demolished. They are now in St Hildeburgh church. Without this information it is almost certain that he could not have been identified.
Fortunately there was only one David Eugene Jones’ birth registered anywhere in England and Wales anywhere near the correct time. This was at the end of 1891 in Leeds, Yorkshire, and the mother’s surname was May.
Nothing further has been discovered about his parents.
In 1901 David was living as a ‘boarder’ at 2 Hazel Road, Hoylake with Joseph Lawley and his wife Annie. Joseph was a labourer, born in Neston while Annie came from Pembrokeshire, Wales. As Joseph and Annie were apparently aged 53 and 66 respectively, they were probably being paid to board an ‘orphan’ by the local council, a common practice at the time. Somehow he must have arrived in north west Wirral from Yorkshire and been rendered in need of care.
In 1911 we find the same ‘family’ at 10 Church Road, Hoylake.
1911 census for 10 Church Road, Hoylake
Joseph works for Hoylake Urban District Council. Annie is now called ‘Let’. Joseph is now apparently 59, and ‘Let’ is 74. Nothing further has been discovered about the Lawleys as their ages differ on the 1901 and 1911 censuses, and Lawley was quite a common surname in Neston.
However David is shown as an adopted son, working as an assistant caretaker and gardener for one of the many private schools in the area.
On 28 April 1918 David was a storekeeper on SS Kingstonian off the coast of Sardinia. SS Kingstonian was a cargo ship of 6564 gross tonnage built for the Leyland Line in 1901. U-Boat 48 was in the area and she sank. David was unfortunate in that he was the only member of the crew to die. He was 26 years old. It is not known why his date of death is given as the 29th, both by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and in the Book of Remembrance.
He is buried in Carloforte Communal Cemetery in Sardinia, alongside 9 Royal Naval personnel who died the following day when HMS Dalkeith, a tug, was sunk by the same U-Boat.
He is commemorated on Grange Hill War Memorial and the Hoylake Roll of Honour, now in St Hildeburgh church.
Birth: Oct 1891 in Leeds, Yorkshire
Death: 28 Apr 1918 in Carloforte Bay, off Sardinia; torpedoed by UB 48
Addresses: 2 Hazel Road, Hoylake (01); 10 School Lane, Hoylake (11)
Occupation: assistant caretaker and gardener
Unit: SS Kingstonian; storekeeper
Number and Rank: not applicable
Medals: awarded medals but not known which ones
Buried and Commemorated: Carloforte Communal Cemetery, Sardinia; Grange Hill War Memorial; Hoylake Roll of Honour
Sources: CWGC, BR, www.uboat.net, Census: 01, 11, GH, HT