James Jones, the bricklayer who died at Passchendaele

James was born in 1879, the son of George and Alice Jones. James became a bricklayer and married Rosina Bicknell in 1903.  At the time of the 1911 census James and Rosina were living at Maythorne Cottage, The Street, Witley with their children James Charles (born 1903), Alice Dorothy (born 1907), Ruth Elizabeth (born 1909) and William George (born 1911).

James joined The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) on 29th December, 1914.   He was wounded at Festubert on 16th May, 1915 and when fit returned to the front.  He was wounded in the shoulder at Delville Wood during the battle of the Somme, hospitalized in Wales and returned to the front on 16th November 1916. On 7th September 1917, during the battle of Passchendaele, James and his battalion relieved the 9th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment in trenches at Bodmin Copse, Clonmel Copse and Hedge Street. On the 9th September during shelling by the Germans, James was severely wounded. His platoon commander wrote to Rosina that James lived for only a short time.  Sadly, Rosina received the letter on her birthday. James was buried where he fell and the spot marked with a cross but it was lost during subsequent actions and he has no known grave. James was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

James and Rosina’s son, William died on 12th June 1925 aged 14 and is buried in All Saints churchyard with Rosina who died on 1st June 1939 aged 56.

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