Victor Hugo Jones DCM

Date of birth: 1887
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 14108
Rank: 2nd Corporal
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Battalion: 7th Division, Signal Company
Died: 30th September 1917
Death location: Belgium

 

Before the War
Victor Hugo Jones was born in 1887 in Southampton.  His parents were Frederick James and Anslow, née Bowley.  Both his parents were born in Southampton, Frederick in 1862 and Anslow in 1861.  They married in 1885.

On the 1891 census, Frederick is shown as a Joiner and the family was living at 213 Northumberland Road.  At this time Victor is 3-4 years old and he has siblings Madeline F (2), and twins, Roy G and Grace B, both five months old.

By the 1901 census the family is shown living at 9 Millbank Street and Frederick is shown as a Ship’s Joiner.  Sadly three children have died: Madeline, Roy and Grace all died in January 1893.  There are three new children: Margery Bowley (5), Blanche Maud (3), and Frederick R (1).

In 1911 the family are shown living at Honora, 11 Hillside Avenue, Bitterne Park, Southampton.  The three youngest children are still at home but Victor is not listed.  The census also shows that another child had died; this child does not appear on any of the census returns.  Frederick senior is shown as a Ship’s Joiner.

Frederick James Jones died in September 1932 and his wife, Anslow, died in 1944; she was then living in Chatham, Kent.

 

Military History
Victor Hugo Jones was with the 7th Division of the Signal Company, Royal Engineers.  In 1915 he was awarded the D.C.M., (Distinguished Conduct Medal).

Victor was killed in action on 30th September 1917 and is on the Tyne Cot Memorial as well as on the Southampton Cenotaph.

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Distinguished Conduct Medal
Victor Jones was awarded this medal on 5 August 1915; the citation reads: For great gallantry and ability from the 16th to 18th May, 1915, at Festubert, when he continually volunteered to repair broken telephone wire under heavy shell fire, re-establishing communication at critical moments. Victor was entitled to use the letters D.C.M. after his name.  He was also entitled to the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

About the Distinguished Conduct Medal
Established on 4 December 1854 during the Crimean War, the Distinguished Conduct Medal (D.C.M.) was a high level award for bravery, being a second level military decoration to other ranks: Non-Commissioned Personnel of the British Army and Commonwealth Countries were eligible for this award.

The Distinguished Conduct Medal was regarded as second only to the Victoria Cross in prestige. Bars were awarded to recipients of the D.C.M. in recognition of the performance of further acts of gallantry meriting the award.  Conferment of the D.C.M. gallantry award was announced in the London Gazette and accompanied by a citation.

About the Signals Company, Royal Engineers
In 1914 each infantry Division included a Signals Company with a total strength of 162 men. It was organised into a Company HQ and 4 Sections, of which No.1 Section was responsible for communications with Divisional HQ and Nos. 2-4 with the Brigades of the Division.

  • Major or Captain in command of Company
  • 4 Lieutenants (or Second Lieutenants), one each commanding a Section
  • 25 other ranks at Company HQ (Company Sergeant-Major, Company Quartermaster Sergeant, 1 Sergeant at Company HQ, 1 Sergeant and 1 Corporal in Signallers Group, 1 Sergeant and 8 Corporals in Despatch Riders Group, 1 Shoeing Smith, 1 Trumpeter, 7 Drivers, 2 Batmen)
  • 248 other ranks in No.1 Section (2 Sergeants, 2 Corporals, 3 2nd-Corporals [a rank peculiar to the Royal Engineers and Army Ordnance Corps], 1 Shoeing Smith, 26 Sappers, 12 Drivers, 2 Batmen)
  • 72 other ranks in total in Nos. 2-4 Sections (3 Sergeants, 3 2nd-Corporals, 24 Sappers and 6 Drivers in telephone sections; 3 Sergeants, 3 Corporals and 18 Sappers in Signallers and Despatch Riders sections; 6 Batmen, 3 Sappers and 3 Drivers at Section HQs)
  • 2 attached Privates of the Royal Army Medical Corps for water duties
  • 1 attached Driver of the Army Service Corps (not counted into strength as officially he was part of the Divisional Train)

The Signals Companies relied on horses for transport and had an establishment of 33 riding horses plus 47 draught heavy and 4 pack horses. There were also 32 bicycles and 9 motorcycles.

With the exception of the Trumpeter, all other ranks were armed as infantrymen, carrying the SMLE rifle.

About the Tyne Cot Memorial

Tyne Cot Cemetery

Tyne Cot Cemetery

The battles of the Ypres Salient claimed many lives on both sides and it quickly became clear that the commemoration of members of the Commonwealth forces with no known grave would have to be divided between several different sites.

The site of the Menin Gate was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates those of all Commonwealth nations, except New Zealand, who died in the Salient, in the case of United Kingdom casualties before 16th August 1917  (with some exceptions). Those United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war.  Other New Zealand
casualties are commemorated on memorials at Buttes New British Cemetery
and Messines Ridge British Cemetery.

This memorial now bears the names of almost 35,000 officers and men whose graves are not known.  The memorial, designed by Sir Herbert Baker with sculpture by Joseph Armitage and F.V. Blundstone, was unveiled by Sir Gilbert Dyett on 20 June 1927.

The memorial forms the north-eastern boundary of Tyne Cot Cemetery, which was established around a captured German blockhouse or pill-box used as an advance dressing station. The original battlefield cemetery of 343 graves was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when remains were brought in from the battlefields of Passchendaele and Langemarck, and from a few small burial grounds. It is now the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world in terms of burials. At the suggestion of King George V, who visited the cemetery in 1922, the Cross of Sacrifice was placed on the original large pill-box. There are three other pill-boxes in the cemetery.

There are now 11,956 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Tyne Cot Cemetery; 8,369 of these are unidentified.

 

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 Southampton.cenotaph@hotmail.co.uk and we will contact you.  Many thanks.