Rowland Hugh Jones

Badge of the Royal Engineers

Badge of the Royal Engineers

Date of birth: 1885
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 277986
Rank: Sapper
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Battalion: 6th Provisional Company
Died: 12th May 1917 aged 31 years
Death location: Southampton



Before the War
Rowland Hugh Jones was born in 1885 in Southampton.  His parents were Thomas Lemar Jones, born 1848 in Canterbury, Kent and Marie Ray, born 1847 in Faversham in Kent.  Thomas and Marie married in 1869 in Elham, in Kent.

By the 1871 census Thomas and Marie are living in Southampton.  Thomas is a Sapper with the Royal Engineers and they have a baby, Thomas (8 months).

On the 1881 census Thomas is listed on the schedule for the Ordnance Survey Office but still as a soldier, while Marie is on the census return for St Marys, living at 17 Cliff Road, Southampton with six children: Thomas L (10), Owen J (8), Llewellyn R (7), Annie E (5), Lewis E (3) and Wilfred A (11 months).  It states that Marie was formerly a Dressmaker and is now a Soldier’s Wife, Royal Engineers.

Ten years later the 1891 census shows the family living at 15 Cliff Road, Southampton.  Thomas senior is employed as a Clerk – Ordnance Survey, as are both his sons, Thomas Lemar junior (20) and Llewellyn Ralph (17).  Also still living at home are Annie Elizabeth (15), Lewis Edwyn (13), Wilfred Allan (10) and Rowland Hugh (5).

Entering the 20th Century and the census of 1901 the family are still at 15 Cliff Road, Southampton.  Living here are Thomas L senior(53), Marie (53), Annie E (25) and Rowland H (15).  Both Thomas and Rowland are shown as Temporary Assistants with the Ordnance Survey.

By the 1911 census Thomas L Sn (63) is retired, listing as Army and Civil Service Pensioner, Ordnance Survey.  Also in the household are Marie (64), Rowland Hugh (25), Ordnance Survey TC Assistant, and Winifred Lemar (18) granddaughter.  They are all now living at Hawthorn, 11 Harborough Road, Polygon, Southampton.  Thomas and Marie have been married 41 years, they had seven children, with six living and one deceased.

Thomas Lemar senior died 17th March 1936, aged 88, at the Royal South Hants Hospital.  He was living at 47 University Road, Highfield, Southampton and left his estate to his widow Marie.  Marie Jones died the following year, 1937, aged 90.


Military History
Rowland followed his father and joined the Royal Engineers as a SapperHe was with the 6th Provisional Company.

Royal Engineers during WW1 – Preparation for the Battle of Arras, 1917
From October 1916 the Royal Engineers had been working underground, constructing tunnels for the troops in preparation for the Battle of Arras in 1917.  Beneath Arras itself there is a vast network of caverns called the boves, consisting of underground quarries and sewage tunnels. The engineers came up with a plan to add new tunnels to this network so that troops could arrive at the battlefield in secrecy and in safety. The size of the excavation was immense. In one sector alone four Tunnel Companies of 500 men each worked around the clock in 18-hour shifts for two months.

There is conflicting evidence as to how Rowland died.  One record says he died in Chatham of heart failure and the other record says he died ‘at home’.  Both agree on the date of 12th May 1917.

JONES, Rowland Hugh Sapper 277986

Rowland is buried in the Commonwealth War Graves, Southampton Hollybrook Cemetery, reference  L. 5. 35.  At the time of his death Rowland’s father was living at Woodcote Road., Hampton Park, Southampton.

Rowland is memorialised on the Southampton Cenotaph and at the Ordnance Survey in Southampton.


Researcher: Bridgett Vane
Published: 13th March 2016
Updated: Insert dates here

If you have any more information about the above named person, or any other name listed on this website or Southampton’s Cenotaph, please email and we will contact you.  Many thanks.