Prestatyn grave of John Jones

Grave of John Jones (d.1889)

Photo of grave of John JonesJohn Jones was struck by a train as he took a shortcut home along a railway line he was employed to maintain.

John worked for the London & North Western Railway as a platelayer. His job was to ensure the tracks were kept in safe condition. This involved working on railways which were open to passing trains. He would have been well aware of the dangers, not least because in 1881 he came across the mangled corpse of fellow platelayer Edward Dowell, aged 18, on the branch line between Prestatyn and Meliden. Edward’s inquest jury concluded he died accidentally while walking along the railway.

John lived at Crossing Cottage, Meliden. In 1881 he shared the house with his wife Elizabeth and children Hugh (13), John (9), Mary (6), Isaac (2) and baby Elizabeth, along with a lodger.

On a Saturday evening in May 1889, John walked to Rhyl and used the railway as a shortcut. A policeman saw him in a drunken state in Rhyl at about 11.30pm. John was later discovered, semi-conscious, beside the “down line” – used by trains on the main line towards Holyhead. His skull had a compound fracture. He died at Chester Infirmary the following day, aged 47.

Elizabeth, his wife, outlived him for decades and died in 1920. She and Mary are also buried here.

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