Published By John Davies
John Parry Jones was born on 15 August 1888 in Old Colwyn. He was the second child of Thomas Parry Jones and Judith Story (nee Williams) with elder brother William and younger siblings Mary, Edith and Thomas. His father was a grocer with a shop in Old Colwyn; they lived at Preswylfa, Eirias in Old Colwyn. His mother would die in 1895 and his father re-married to Maria Louisa Templeton; they would have 2 more children. John, like his father, worked as a grocer and in 1911 was employed by Robert Jones, grocer at Liverpool House in Old Colwyn and where John was lodging.
At some time after 1911 John met and courted Paulina Ann Matthews – the photographs above were taken at John’s sister’s wedding in December 1912 at Bangor. In 1911 Paulina was working as a waitress at the Wynstay Hotel, Oswestry, employed by Charles Drew (father of Lieutenant George M Drew, RNR ) and co-worker to Private 22116 Frederick Johnson. John and Paulina would marry in 1915. At his enlistment he gave his residence as Oswestry so it is possible John had moved to work in the town and it is where they had first met. John enlisted in the Army Service Corps; he was not awarded the so did not go overseas until at least 1916. He served in the Middle East in the remounts section, dealing with the supply of horses and mules. He died on 21 October 1918, most likely because of illness or sickness, at 33 Combined Clearing Hospital at Haifa. He is buried in Haifa Military Cemetery. Haifa was an important port and supply base and a strategic objective in the 1918 Middle East Campaign. The city was captured on 23 September 1918 and it is probable John had arrived soon after. The hospital, 33 CCH, arrived on 15 October. John must have been one of the first admissions. John is also commemorated on the war memorial at Holy Trinity Church.
His younger brother Thomas Story Jones (CWGC) also served, as Private 11792 11 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers, he was KIA on Christmas Day 1918 in Salonika. He was also in the RWF. Thomas is commemorated on Old Colwyn War Memorial. In 1918 too, in November, their father grieved a third bereavement when his wife Louisa died.