Published By Joan Zorn
NOTE. There are 2 possible candidates for this man. See also Private 26265 Thomas Jones, 1 Bn Cheshire Regiment. KIA 8 May 1917. Arras Memorial (unknown)
Thomas Jones was born in 1890 at Oswestry. Few records for Thomas have been discovered. He was possibly the son of Mary Jones, an inmate at; she is listed as single and an ‘imbecile’. Again, possibly, he married Elizabeth Jones in 1914 and would have one child. After the war his widow remarried to become Mrs Wynn(e) and was living at Gordon Square in Morda. Thomas enlisted at Oswestry joining the 1/3 Bn Herefordshire’s. This was a training battalion raised at Hereford in 1915 and stationed at Oswestry Park Hall Camp. Thomas died at on 29 July 1916. Cause of death was given as Epilepticus Status – an acute and prolonged epileptic seizure lasting, by today’s diagnostics, 5 or more minutes. However, in 1915, the disorder could last 20-30 minutes; the condition, as in Thomas’s case, can be life threatening. It is possible he had a history of epilepsy – he should have declared so on enlistment and he would have been discharged under . His mother’s designation as an ‘imbecile’ (1901 census with reservations, see above) is a speculative genetic source for his condition – at the time imbecility covered a range of undiagnosed or unknown disabilities or conditions. Alternatively, it could be related to a head or other injury or illness contracted after enlistment. It is also possible that he had not declared any epilepsy in order to join up and that ‘Army life’ brought on his seizure.
Given his unit designation as a reserve/training battalion, it being stationed at Park Hall and his death at Park Hall Hospital suggests that he died while still training. Also, he does not seem to have been awarded any medals, which concludes that he saw no overseas service. Thomas is buried at Oswestry Cemetery, his headstone reads ‘Loved in life, Remembered in Death’, chosen by his widow. He may possibly be commemorated at Holy Trinity Church Oswestry as ‘Tom Jones’. He may also be on the War Memorial at Llanyblodwel, his mother’s birthplace.