Published By John Davies
Charles Ellis Jones was born 1 August 1897 at Oswestry. His parents were John Llewellyn Jones (1873, Oswestry) and Minnie Bland (1874, Manchester). They had married in 1896; Charles was their first child, followed by a sister, Florence (b. 1904) and a brother Frank (b. 1911). The family lived at 95 York Street, Oswestry and by 1911 had moved to 22 Victoria Street. Their father worked as a postman in Oswestry – lodging with them was William Roberts, also a postman. By the end of the war they had moved again to 4 West Street. His father also served in the forces enlisting in 1914 in the KSLI, aged 41.
After leaving school Charles worked for Messrs. Woodall, Minshall, Thomas & Co, stationers on The Cross, Oswestry – he worked as a Printer’s Boy on the printing works rather than in the shop. He only stayed at Woodall’s for a short time and in October 1913, aged 16, he joined the Royal Navy signing on as a Boy Sailor. After training at HMS Impregnable at Devonport he served on a variety of ships; HMS Powerful, a cruiser on the China station, until September 1914. He then spent time at shore base HMS Defiance until January 1915 and was then posted to HMS Cordelia until May 1917 – Cordelia was a Carolina Class Light Cruiser that fought at the Battle of Jutland when Charles was on board. Also, when on Cordelia, he was promoted first to Ordinary Seaman and then to Able Seaman. After Cordelia he served on HMS Vivid and then had another tour on Defiance, then Blake and finally, on 1 April 1918, on HMS Magic, an M Class Destroyer. Ten days after joining HMS Magic he was killed in an explosion. HMS Magic hit a mine on 10 April 1918 whilst patrolling the approaches to the Irish Sea near to Fanad Head (1.5 miles ENE Fanad Head) on the north coast of Ireland. The mine had been laid by U-Boat UC 31. The ship survived the explosion and was salvaged but 25 ratings were killed. Charles’ body was lost at sea; he is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. He is also commemorated at St Oswald’s Church, Oswestry.