In memory of Arthur, John and Thomas Jones

Photo of Arthur Parry JonesThomas Parry Jones and his wife Maria Louise lost three sons in the space of just three months in 1918. They had seven children who had survived past infancy and lived at Preswylfa (later the Victoria Club) on Abergele Road, Old Colwyn.

Arthur Parry Jones, pictured left in front of an aeroplane, was born in 1899. After his schooling he worked for Coed Coch Estates, Abergele, initially as a clerk. He had been promoted to surveyor by August 1917, when he joined the Royal Flying Corps. He gained his “wings” in March 1918 and was given the rank of Second Lieutenant the following month.

While with a training squadron in Croydon, Arthur was flying a Sopwith Camel on 22 September 1918 when the aircraft plummeted to the ground, killing him instantly. He was 19 years old. He was given a military funeral at St Cynfran’s Church, Llysfaen, attended by an army band and firing party from Kinmel Camp.

A month later, on 21 October, Arthur’s brother John Parry Jones died while on duty with the Army Service Corps. John was born c.1889 and had worked as a grocer’s assistant in Old Colwyn before moving to Oswestry, where he lived with his wife Pauline Ann. He enlisting in Shrewsbury and joined the remount service, which provided horses and mules for the army. He was 29 when he died, and is buried at Haifa War Cemetery, Israel.

Photo of Thomas Storey JonesAs Thomas and Maria grieved for both sons, the end of the war in November 1918 might have eased their worries for their son Thomas Storey Jones, who had enlisted as soon as war broke out in August 1914 and survived the entire conflict. He had previously worked as an errand boy for a local bakery. He is pictured right.

As a Private in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, Thomas had survived the mass slaughter at the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915 as the Allies tried and failed to invade Turkey. Later (possibly in late 1916) he was sent to Salonika, Greece, where Britain retained six divisions after the unsuccessful Allied effort to prevent Germany and its allies from invading Serbia.

Thomas died on Christmas Day 1918 in a hospital at Mikra. His death may have been caused by malaria, which killed many British servicemen in Salonika. Thomas was 24 years old. He is buried at Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria.

With thanks to Stephen Binks

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