Published By Joan Zorn
NOTE. There are 2 possible candidates for this man. See also Private 4960 Thomas Jones, 3/1 Bn Herefordshire Regiment. Died at Home 29 July 1916, Oswestry General Cemetery
Thomas Jones was born in 1895 at Oswestry. He was from a large family with 15 children, of which 10 survived into adulthood. His parents were Edward and Emma Jones (nee Biggs). His father worked as a builder’s labourer and carter. In 1901 the family was living at 52 Parry’s Buildings on Castle Street Oswestry. By 1911 Thomas was living at Hughes Buildings, Llys Lane with his father, now widowed, and brother David. Thomas was working as an errand boy. David then moved to Manchester with his brothers George and Richard; they were most likely working on the docks. Also with them was sister Sarah. At the outbreak of war Thomas was living at Swan Crescent with his sister Alice; he was working as a labourer.
Thomas enlisted at Chester on 10 May 1915, joining the Cheshire Regiment. His service record shows that he opted for a Garrison Battalion (Garrison Battalions were raised from men too old/young/unfit for full military service. They garrisoned areas, leaving regular battalions free to fight. Egypt was a popular posting for them). In March 1916 the 1 Garrison Battalion embarked from Devonport for Alexandria, arriving there just as 1/4Bn Ches Rgt was being withdrawn from Gallipoli. In the following months troops from the MEF were redeployed and in July 1916, Thomas was sent to France. Initially posted to 10 Bn Cheshire’s he was transferred to 1 Bn on 30 July 1916. He served with the battalion on the Western Front – in January 1917 he was sentenced to Field Punishment No. 1 for misconduct. Thomas was killed in action on 8 May 1917 near to Bailleull-Sir-Berthoult. The battalion had been called into the line at short notice and that evening had been shelled with HE and gas; casualties were 4 ORs killed. Thomas’s body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. He is also possibly recorded on the war memorial at Holy Trinity Church, Oswestry as ‘Tom Jones’.