From towers to trenches, we remember Arthur Jones
Temperatures in England in the summer of 1911 rose to a record breaking 100 degrees Fahrenheit, indeed the summer of 1911 was to become one of the hottest of the twentieth century. Even then concern was mounting at the military ambition of the German Kaiser, a subject Winston Churchill home secretary was said to have discussed with his peers.
Amongst the labourers working on the farms in rural Buckinghamshire during that long dry and hot summer were brothers Herbert and Arthur Jones. Both Arthur and his younger brother Tom were ringers at St Edmunds, Maids Moreton perhaps other members of the family including Herbert were also ringers.
There were four of seven children born to George and Eliza Jones living at home in Duck Lake, Maids Moreton when the 1911 census was taken. Unfortunately one had died before the census was taken. Father George was employed by the Coal Hawker as a labourer (description supplied by son Herbert who completed the form on behalf of his father). In the 1901 census his occupation was described as Horse Keeper to Coal Merchant. The family had lived in the street known as Duck Lake since at least 1891 in one of the Robbins Cottages. The home had 4 rooms including the kitchen.
On the 1st July 1916 Arthur found himself serving with the 6th Battalion of the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry in the infamous Battle of the Somme, his battalion were on duty in the Zillebeke trenches near Ypres, on the second day of the battle Arthur died of wounds and was one of 12 men and officers to die during the 3 week period the Battalion were on duty in that area.
Arthur was buried in the Ypres Reservoir Cemetery. The cemetery register records the following information “Jones Pte A. W., 12719 6th Bn. Oxf. and Bucks. Light Inf. Died of wounds 2nd July 1916. Age 25. Son of George and Eliza Jones of Ducks’ Lake, Maids Moreton, Buckingham. I. C. 23.” The records also show that the family requested the words “Peace Perfect Peace” to be added to the grave stone.
Census records for 1911, 1901, 1891
Medal card records
The Long, Long Trail
The Perfect Summer by Juliet Nicolson