Frederick John Jones

Date of birth: 1890
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Battalion: 2nd
Rank / Service No: Private, 8740
Died: 15th April 1915, aged 25 years
Buried: Browns Road Military Cemetery, Festubert, France (Plot II Row A, Grave 2)

 

Frederick was the third of 5 siblings born to Frederick Edward H. M. and Sarah Agnes Jones (nee Mansbridge), who married in Marylebone in 1884.

The family must have moved to Southampton sometime between 1886 and 1888 and they lived latterly at 12 Belvidere Terrace, Northam.

 

Frederick Edward was born in Southampton in 1854 and he died in the city in 1903.

Sarah was born in Harwich in 1856 and she passed away in the city in 1932.

 

Siblings 

Eliza Mabel   b. 15 December 1885 Gravesend   d. 1953 Southampton   Married William Dear in Southampton in 1905 (couple living at 12 Belvidere Terrace in 1939).

May Phoebe   b. 1888 Southampton   d. 1934 Southampton

Frederick John

Harry Lawson   b. 9 August 1892 Southampton   d. 1976 Southampton

Edith Ellen   b. 15 May 1895 Southampton   d. 1990 Fareham   Married Walter Meadley in Southampton in 1924.

 

 

The 2nd R.I.F were in Dover with the 12th Brigade in the 4th Division when war broke out. They moved to Norfolk and were held back from the original B.E.F because of the fear of a German invasion.

 

This decision was swiftly reversed, and the battalion landed at Le Havre on 22nd August.

The infantry part of the division provided reinforcements at the Battle of Le Cateau whilst the artillery etc were still in transit.

 

On 26 January 1915, the battalion became part of the 5th Brigade in the 2nd Division.

On 12 May, the battalion marched through the town of Richebourg on their way up to the line to prepare for the Battle of Festubert.

 

The battle was an attack by the British against what was seen as defensively weak lines in Artois.

The battle lasted 10 days, but Frederick saw no more than the first day.

 

The cemetery was begun in October 1914, the same month as Festubert was occupied by the Allies.

It was used by fighting units and field ambulances until November 1917, when it contained 299 graves.

 

After the Armistice more graves were brought in from the Givenchy area, and the cemetery now contains 1,071 Commonwealth WW1 burials.

 

A “special exhumation” was carried out on 22 August 1922 at the cemetery. Plot I, Row B, Grave 18 was exhumed, apparently looking for the remains of Fred Jones; “no remains were found”.

On the same day, Plot II Row A Grave 2 was also exhumed. The grave contained the remains of a male, 5’10”, with no hair and a badly broken skull.

 

It was noted that the remains were much larger than those found in Plot II Row E Grave 7, which was also exhumed on 22 August 1922.

 

Frederick’s headstone reads: “To memory ever dear.”

 

 

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 5th October 2016
Updated:

 

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