|Regiment||Rank||Service No||Place of Birth||Date of Death||Age||Burial|
|1st/6th South Staffs||Private||1751||Bilston||13 Oct 1915||23||Loos Memorial, France|
27 Regent Street, Woodsetton, Staffordshire.
Thomas Jones (44, Colliery Labourer – Underground, born Sedgley), his wife Ester (43, born Dudley), and their 5 children: Thomas Abraham (16, Coal Miner – Underground, born Sedgley), Amelia (11, born Sedgley), William (9, born Sedgley), Emily Jane (7, born Sedgley), and John (5, born Sedgley).
27 Regent Street, Woodsetton, Staffordshire.
Thomas Jones (52, Colliery Labourer – Underground, born Staffordshire), his wife Ester (52, born Staffordshire), and 4 of their 5 surviving children of 7: Amelia (21, Warehouse Packer, born Staffordshire), William (18, Coal Miner – Underground, born Staffordshire), Emily Jane (16, born Staffordshire), and John (14, Moulder, born Staffordshire).
Before the war William had been employed as a miner at Bunn’s Lane Colliery, Dudley. For 4 years he had been a member of the South Staffs Territorials, and had been at annual camp when war was declared. The Dudley Herald newspaper says that his mining experience was being utilised, this suggests that he was being ‘loaned’ to one of the Royal Engineer’s tunnelling companies, probably the 175th Company, this was a common practice. For example, the 1/6th South Staffs War Diary for 5th September 1915 says: “Working parties for R.E. Companies”. William had been home on leave during the last week in September, and had returned as the battalion was moving from Hill 60 to Vaudricourt, near Bethune. Here they trained and prepared before their move to Vermelles where they would go into action on 13th October.
Cause of Death
The 1/6th South Staffs arrived in France between the 3rd and 5th March 1915. They moved to Armentieres on 20th March and then to Fletre for further training. In April the battalion marched to Wulveringhem in Belgium alternating between trench duties and further training. In June 1915 they moved nearer to Ypres, and for the next 2 months spent time at the feared Hill 60. On 2nd October the 1/6th moved back into France to take part in the second stage of the Loos Offensive. Further training preceded the march to the assembly trenches near Vermelles on 12th October.
At noon on 13th October, a fine sunny day, the attack commenced. The 1/5th and 1/6th South Staffs were to attack the West Face of the heavily defended Hohenzollern Redoubt, from the trench known as Big Willie which was already partly held by the 1/5th South Staffs. The South Staffs battalions were to attack in 4 waves; ‘B’ and ‘C’ companies of the 1/5th, followed by ‘A’ and ‘D’ companies of the 1/5th, followed by ‘A’ and ‘C’ companies of the 1/6th, and finally ‘B’ and ‘D’ companies of the 1/6th. The first wave hardly got out of their trench due to devastating machine gun fire decimating their number. The second wave made their advance unaware of the disaster in front of them and suffered similarly high casualties. The third wave followed on as ordered, as they too were unaware of the situation in front due to lack of communication and the smoke intended to mask the South Staffs advance. The fourth wave also took losses, but at this point the attack was called off.
The attack was a costly failure and this in effect was the culmination of the Battle of Loos. The Division had casualties of 180 Officers and 3583 Other Ranks. As Edmonds wrote in the Official History, “…it was a long time before the Division recovered from the effects of 13th October.”
William Jones, like the majority of the men killed here, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial at Dud Corner, in sight of the Hohenzollern Redoubt.
- HOME FOR A WEEK | Dudley Herald, 2nd October 1915
Regent Street, Woodsetton, has been looking very bright with many flags this week, all put out in honour of the return home on a week’s furlough, after seven months in and out of the trenches, of a bright and very highly respected young Territorial named Private William Jones, the second son of Mr. and Mrs. thomas Jones. He is 23 years of age, and has been four years in the Tipton Company of the 6th South Staffs Territorial Battalion, which in peace as in war, was, and is still, commanded by Lieut.-Col. T.F. Waterhouse. Young Jones went into camp on the Saturday prior to the August Bank Holiday, and was one of the 75 per cent who volunteered for active war service. He landed in France on March 1st, and has been in the thick of the fighting ever since. He has had the good fortune so far to escape without a scratch. Prior to the war he was engaged as a miner at the Bunn’s Lane Colliery, and his knowledge of mining is being specially utilised at the front. He left France on Saturday morning last, and arrived at his home on Saturday afternoon. He will depart from Wolverhampton station this (Saturday) afternoon. Private Jones’ father is employed at Messrs. Lee, Howl, and Co.’s, Tipton.
- THE LATE PRIVATE W. JONES | Dudley Herald, 27th November 1915
In the last week of September young Private William Jones, second son of Mr. and Mrs. thomas Jones, of Regent Street, Woodsetton, was home from the trenches on a short furlough. Only a few days after he returned to the front he was killed. He was a particularly bright and attractive young man; only 23 years of age, he had been four years in the Tipton Company of the 6th South Staffs Territorials. Young Jones went into camp on the Saturday prior to the August Bank Holiday, and was one of the 75 per cent who volunteered for active war service. He landed in France on March 1st. Prior to the war he was engaged as a miner at the Bunn’s Lane Colliery. His father is employed at Messrs. Lee, Howl, and Co.’s, Tipton. the young soldier was educated at St. Chad’s Day and Sunday School, West Coseley. A comrade writes to the parents:- “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Will you accept my deepest sympathy in the loss you have sustained. Poor Bill was my friend and chum – the best in the world, and one that cannot be replaced. During the eight months we have been out here we have spent some very happy hours together. the day before the charge he was talking of by-gone happy days, and the happiness in store for us in the future. Your son knew not the meaning of fear. May God in His mercy strengthen and help you all in this, your great trouble, is the wish of his friend and chum, Jack Attwell.”