JONES, Meredith – Gresford War Memorial

Pic by John Davies 19/04/2014

Meredith Jones, was born circa 1883, the son of Williams & Elizabeth Jones,  and he was living with them and his siblings at Hillock Lane, Gresford, Denbighshire on the 1891 census, age 8.    His father John, 53 was a Coal Miner and had been born in Denbigh, Denbighshire and was the only person in the household who was bilingual.    His mother, Elizabeth, 37 and the rest of the family had been born in Gresford and spoke only English.   Meredith’s siblings were William, 12 and Elizabeth, 10.

The 1901 census shows that the family had moved to Oakfield Cottages, Gresford, Denbighshire.   John Jones was on this census 54 and a Coal Merchant and born Ruthin, Denbighshire.   Elizabeth gives her age as 52, and William is missing from this census leaving just Elizabeth, 21 and Meredith, 17 and a Labourer, both born Bradley, Denbighshire.

1906 sees Meredith marrying in All Saint’s Church, his bride was Sarah A. Tideswell (Wrexham County Borough (Wrexham)C11/02/99).   I do not know how they met, so any help would be appreciated.

All Saints Church, Gresford.

Page 99 No. 197 12th March 1906 Meredith JONES, 25, Bachelor, Labourer, Gresford, John JONES, Coal Merchant & Ann TIDESWELL, 34, Spinster, Gresford, Ralph Joseph TIDESWELL, Potter’s Fireman.   After Banns.

1911 sees the family still living at Oakfield Cottages, Gresford, Denbighshire (5 rooms), but No. 6.    Head of the household was John Jones, 67, this time born in Derwin, Merionethshire, a Coal Dealer  (own Account) with his wife, Elizabeth, 63, who both tell us that they had been married for 33 years and 4 children had been born to them, all still living*.   William, 31 and single was a bricklayer, Meredith, 28 and married** was a General Labourer.   Also in the household was a Servant, Harold Cartwright, 21, single and a Carter, born in Wrexham.

*A daughter, Florence was shown on the 1881 census, age 8 years, but doesn’t appear on any other census with the family, but must have been alive in 1911.

**Meredith on his Attestation Papers, in 1914, states that he is 28 years 2 months old then.

Meredith Jones in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, tells us that he was born in Wrexham, Denbighshire and resided in Stoke-on-Trent, he enlisted in Manchester (Although on one of his Army Papers, it states that he joined in Liverpool.

Meredith Jones in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 tell us that he was awarded Victory & British War Medals, but does not tell us where his first Theatre of War was nor when he entered it.

Meredith Jones in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that he died in Action and that his Sole Legatee was his widow Sarah A. who received £6 12s 7d on the 19th December 1918 and £1 4s 6d on the 11th February 1919 also his War Gratuity of £6 on the 24th January 1920 and a further £12 on the 24th February 1920.

Meredith Jones in the British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920 shows that he was a very complex man* and that he did not go to France till 1918, from 4th September 1914 to 19th February 1918, even though he enlisted in 1914, his service up till then was 3 years 169 days in the UK, then he was in France from 20th February 1918 to 7th April 1918 – 67 Days, home to the UK from 18th April 1918 to 20th August 1918 – 115 days, then back to France for 29 days when he was killed on the 18th September 1918, a few months before the war ended in November 1918.   This source also gives another Regimental Number – 71734.   He was briefly in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.


*In his Attestation papers there were multiple pages of Offences and if anyone wishes to contact me, I have downloaded a lot of them, I will send them to you, which may help in understanding him and his relationship with his wife, Sarah A. and his 3 children, who it seems suffered a lot of hardships for over 7 years due to his actions.    This source also gives his birthplace as Gresford, Denbighshire.

When I first started reading his papers, I thought that his behaviour was because of Shell Shock, PTSD or some other war problem and he was reacting to what he had seen, etc., but he didn’t go out to the battle field till 1918 and lots of his misdemeanours were before this.   He was obviously a character, never the less he gave his life for us all.

However, he gave his life for us, and he is remembered on the Roll of Honour in All Saints Church, Gresford.

Compiled and researched by Mavis Williams

Gresford War Memorial

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