THOMAS FREDERICK JONES AND JOHN REGINALD JONES
This post was written by Victoria Doran.
Two brothers from a middle class family who enlisted in different regiments on the same day early on in the war, and died in the same year in very different circumstances.
Adjacent entries in the Book of Remembrance
Thomas and Reg Jones were the only sons of Thomas Arrowsmith Jones (1858-1920) and Edith Laura Simpson (1865-1953) to reach adulthood. A younger brother Alfred Simpson Jones (1893-1900) died before his seventh birthday. They also had a younger sister, Edith Dorothy Jones (1894-1961) who never married.
Thomas Arrowsmith Jones was born about 1858 in Liverpool. Arrowsmith was his mother’s maiden name. His full name was not used on any census before his marriage in the summer of 1887 in Liverpool; the family were Wesleyans and no baptism or church marriage records have been found, so it has not been possible to establish his parentage and ancestry. He was a book keeper in the beer and stout in bottles export trade when he married, and rose to become managing director of his firm, travelling frequently to North America.
Edith Laura Simpson was the elder of the two daughters of Frederick John Simpson (1838-1913) and Eliza Newton (1834-1917). The Simpson family were fishermen at Freiston on the coast of Lincolnshire and Frederick started as a fisherman. By the age of 23 he had joined the Police Force, and he married Eliza in 1864 in Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire. She was the daughter of an agricultural labourer and before her marriage was cook in a household with 3 servants.
Both daughters were born in Lincolnshire, but Frederick then joined a railway police force as a detective and moved his family to Sheffield for several years. Then they moved again to Garston on the south side of Liverpool. By this time he was a railway police superintendent. It is known that he worked for the Cheshire Lines Railway. After his daughters left home to marry, he employed a domestic servant.
All Thomas and Edith’s children were born in Garston and the family lived there until at least 1901. By 1911 they had moved to Cable Road, Hoylake, and were still there in 1914. By 1919 the remnant of the family moved back to Garston, but after Thomas’ death Edith and her daughter moved back to Hoylake, where they remained for the rest of their lives.
THOMAS FREDERICK JONES
Thomas was born about the beginning of 1889 in Garston, Liverpool and baptised on the 16 January 1890 at the local Wesleyan church.
Deeside Advertiser for 25 June 1915
This newspaper cutting tells us much of what is known about Thomas. David Rollo & Co were a firm of engineers. He has not been found at the 1911 census.
On 1 September 1914 he enlisted in the 1st/10th (Liverpool Scottish) Battalion, King’s Liverpool Regiment as Private 3326.
Liverpool Scottish cap badge
He was tall at 6ft 2 in. This was a pre-war Territorial battalion, and many of its members had a modicum of peacetime part time training, but Thomas cannot have learnt very much by the time they landed in France on 1 November 1914. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 7 November, but one month later he returned to England suffering from influenza (according to his military record) or rheumatism (according to the press cutting). In any event he recovered quite quickly and was back in France on 23 January 1915. He was promoted to Sergeant on 29 January. Possibly he had received a little more training before his return.
On 16 June 1915 the Liverpool Scottish made a famous ‘charge’ during the Battle of Hooge, and many were killed in a very short time, Thomas among them. They were lead by two local Captains, John Graham and Bryden McKinnell, amongst others, both of whom died. Stephen Roberts has written better than I can about the Battle of Hooge in the post for Bryden McKinnell.
Thomas was 26 years old and his body was not recovered. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres.
Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium – courtesy of Denise Riley
He left an estate of £201, quite a lot for a young man at the time. He was awarded the 14 Star, Victory & British War medals.
Birth: Jan 1889 at Garston, Liverpool
Death: 16 Jun 1915 at Hooge, Belgium
Addresses: 22 Argyle Road, Garston (91); 65 Island Road, Garston (01)
Unit: 1st / 10th Battalion (Scottish) King’s Liverpool Regiment
Number and Rank: 3326, Sergeant
Medals: 14 Star, Victory and British War
Commemorated: GH H, Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium
Sources: BR, GH, H, CWGC, SDGW, SR, MC, RSE, DA, Census: 91, 01, BR, Probate
JOHN REGINALD JONES
John Reginald Jones seems to have been known as Reg, so that is what he will be called.
John Reginald Jones
Reg was born in December 1890 in Garston and baptised on 21 January 1891 at the local Wesleyan church. Before the war he worked as a bank clerk for the London City and Midland Bank at their branch in Laird Street, Birkenhead.
He also enlisted on 1 September 1914, this time in the Lancashire & Cheshire unit of the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was Gunner 1134.
Royal Garrison artillery cap badge
Unlike his brother, Reg received a reasonable period of training, only landing in France on 3 November 1915, 14 months after he enlisted. However his training was never put to the test as he was taken ill a few days later before reaching the front. His military record records the problem as ‘inflammation of the intestines’ but a report in the Deeside Advertiser makes it clear that he was operated on to remove his appendix. He never got nearer to a hospital than Casualty Clearing Station No.15 at Hazebrouck in the north of France. He appeared to be recovering well when he had a sudden relapse and died on 23 November. No doubt due to infection.
He was 24 years old and is buried in Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery.
Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery
He left an estate of £154 and was awarded the 15 Star, Victory & British War medals.
Birth: Dec 1890 at Garston, Liverpool
Death: 23 Nov 1915 at Hazebrouck, Nord Pas de Calais, France; of complications following appendicitis
Addresses: 22 Argyle Road, Garston (91); 65 Island Road, Garston (01); ‘Belvedere’, 63 Cable Road, Hoylake (11)
Occupation: bank clerk
Unit: 39th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Number and Rank: 1134, Private
Medals: 15 Star, Victory and British War
Commemorated: GH, H, Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery
Sources: BR, GH, H, CWGC, SDGW, SR, MC, DA, Census: 91, 01, 11, BR, Probate