Died of Wounds on Thursday, 2nd September 1915, age unknown.
Buried in Grave III. B. 20. at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
1st Bn., Wiltshire Regiment. 7th Brigade of 3rd Division.
Formerly 11637 Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Nuneaton, Warks, Resident: Askern, Yorks.
First landed France & Flanders, 4th May 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.
Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.
Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/145246/
Lower Church Lane, Tipton, Staffs.
Benjamin Jones (31, Brickmaker, born Tipton), his wife Elizabeth (30, born Coseley), and their 2 children: Joseph (9, born Tipton), and Benjamin (8, born Tipton).
There is insufficient detail to allow identification of Joseph Jones on the 1911 Census returns.
Marriage of Joseph Jones and Amelia Ann Owen registered December quarter 1913 in Nuneaton. A son, George Edward, was born on 30th November 1914. After Joseph's death, Amelia re-married on 20th December 1915 to Albert E. Robinson, a coal miner; the marriage was registered in Doncaster.
Joseph's younger brother, Benjamin, was also a casualty of the Great War. He was killed in action on 10th April 1918 during the Battle of Estaires whilst serving with the 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium; this is about 10 miles south-east of Lijssenthoek where Joseph is buried.
At the time of Joseph's death there was no army pay owing to him, in fact he was in debt to the army for 8/11d (eight shillings and 11 pence). Joseph's War Gratuity was £3/10/0d (three pounds and ten shillings), this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Amelia Ann, in October 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that John had enlisted in approximately September 1914. Amelia had re-married in December 1915 in Doncaster and was by now Mrs Amelia A. Robinson.
Amelia was to have been awarded a Widow's Pension of 15/0d (15 shillings) per week from 20th March 1916 but this was rescinded as she had re-married. Instead, she received a Pension of 5/0d (5 shillings) per week in respect of her son, George. Upon re-marriage, a War Widow's pension ceased but was compensated by a lump sum gratuity. The sum of £50/2/6d (50 pounds, 2 shillings and 6 pence) was paid to Mrs Amelia Robinson on 24th March 1916. Her son's pension would continue until his 16th birthday.
On the 24th August 1915, the 1st Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment (1/Wilts) moved into the front-line near Hooge, just over 2 miles east of Ypres along the infamous Menin Road. Part of the line consisted of just mine craters created when the Royal Engineers Tunnelling Companies (and their German counterparts) had exploded mines beneath the enemy positions. The 1/Wilts were near the stables of the ruined Hooge Chateau, in close proximity to German front-line trenches.
After 3 days in the line, the 1/Wilts were relieved and marched to Dickebusche where they were in bivouac until they returned to the same location at Hooge on 30th August.
At 4.30am on 1st September, the British artillery started a bombardment which turned into a costly 2-day artillery contest. The Germans retaliated by shelling the mine crater and surrounding front-line trenches; these were badly damaged and also telephone communications cut. 5 Other Ranks of the 1/Wilts were killed on that day, inevitably German trenches and troops were equally affected.
The British artillery recommenced their bombardment at 3.55am on the 2nd September, with the Germans instantly beginning their retaliation. This duel continued throughout the day with a British crescendo around 3pm leading the Germans to think an attack was imminent. They their increased artillery fire on the front-line, also adding shrapnel fire onto the Communication Trenches to prevent the front-lines being reinforced.
The War Diary for the 2nd September records: “the dugouts in the crater were wrecked by trench mortars, and heavy casualties sustained here. The fire trenches on the left were obliterated and the main Communication Trench completely blown in in many places.”
The War Diary also records that 14 Other Ranks were killed and 38 Other Ranks wounded on that day. The Commonwealth War Graves shows 18 men killed but spread over the 2nd and 3rd September, presumably a number of men wounded subsequently died from their wounds.
Joseph Jones died from his wounds on 2nd September at the 17th Casualty Clearing Station, his wounds were recorded on his Pension Card as "Gunshot wound - frontal skull". At the time of his death, and for most of the war, 17 CCS was at Remy Sidings which was the hospital area adjacent to Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, where he is buried. As Remy Sidings was 10 miles to the west of Hooge, it is likely that Joseph was wounded during the artillery duels of the 1st or 2nd September.