Private 20953 Jonah Timmins

Timmins Jonah 96 411x600

Killed in Action on Tuesday, 25th September 1917, age 21.
Buried in Grave II. C. 35. at Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

12th Bn., Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regt.). Labour Corps.
Transferred to 14241, 24th Company, Labour Corps.

Son of Jonah and Elizabeth Timmins, of 2 Court, 1 House, Wood St., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/104162/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Jonah Timmins registered March quarter 1896 in Dudley.

1901 Census
7 Court 2 House, Wood Street, Tipton, Staffs. (in 3 rooms)
Jonah Timmins (46, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Eliza (40, born Tipton), and their 7 children: Esther (10, born Tipton), Jack (9, born Tipton), Eliza (7, born Tipton), John (5, born Tipton), Eadie (3, born Tipton), Honor (2, born Tipton), and Solomon (2 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
7 Court 2 House, Wood Street, Tipton, Staffs. (in 3 rooms)
Jonah Timmins (56, Coal Miner - Hewer, born Tipton), his wife Elizabeth (50, born Tipton), and 7 of their 8 surviving children of 9: John (19, Coal Miner - Hewer, born Tipton), Elizabeth (17, born Tipton), Jonah(15, Coal Miner - Hewer, born Tipton), Edith (13, born Tipton), Hannah (11, born Tipton), Solomon (9, born Tipton), and Elsie (7, born Tipton).

Personal Data

It appears that Jonah first joined the 12th (Labour) Battalion, Duke of Wellingtons (West Riding). In April/May 1917 it was split into the 24th and 25th Labour Companies of the Labour Corps as it went to France.

There is some confusion here, as Jonah is recorded by the CWGC as belonging to the Duke of Wellingtons, the CWGC itself says that he had transferred to the Labour Corps.

After Jonah's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £4/1/10d (4 pounds, 1 shilling and 10 pence); this was paid to his mother and sole legatee, Elizabeth, in June 1918. His War Gratuity was £7/0/0d (7 pounds exactly), this was also paid to Elizabeth in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Jonah had enlisted in February 1916.

Action resulting in his death

Jonah was killed on 25th September 1917 which was the closing day of the Battle of Menin Road (20th - 25th September 1917), but the circumstances and location of Jonah's death are not known. He is buried in Perth Cemetery (China Wall), near Hellfire Corner, Ypres.

Newspaper Cuttings

The following item from the Tipton Herald is from Jonah's brother, Jack Timmins, who served with the 7th South Staffs and survived the war. Private 9874 Jack Timmins landed in the Balkans on July 21 1915, and served throughout the war, being discharged on December 14 1918 with a Silver War Badge, so had been wounded.

Tipton Herald November 20 1915
Private John Timmins of Wood Street, Tipton Green, who is serving with the 7th South Staffs Battalion at the Dardanelles, writes home to his parents as follows: "Just a few lines to let you know I am still alive and in the pink. We took three lines of Turkish trenches and it was a perfect hell. I had seen a bit of dirty work myself in the pit, as a miner, but this was a terrible job. We were in the front line, I can't remember all and don't want to. We had been in some reserve trenches for a rest. We never have our clothes off now, and I did not get my face washed for five days. Many chums of mine are killed or wounded. The Staffords have done their bit and it is no soft job that the British have taken in hand. When we got to the trenches we were under artillery fire for two hours, and I have never heard a noise like it in all my life. It was a perfect hell, and how the Turks could stand it was a mystery to me. We were to be ready at a certain time to go over the parapet and rush the trenches. The Turks were simply pouring shrapnel upon us, and at roll call a big lot of our men were missing. The Staffords may well be proud of their name, for they have upheld the nation's traditions. The sights going through the charge were awful, but the least said about it the better. Nobody knows what warfare is except those who have been in it. We had Captain Lionel Townsend killed, and we all regret his death, as he was a pure gentleman. It was a strain on everyone but we are not downhearted yet. I hope the people of Wood Street will keep the old flag flying."
As showing the difficulties of the Dardanelles we may say that the above letter was posted at the end of September and arrived in Tipton in November.

Birmingham Daily Post 29th October 1917
The following casualties amongst warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men are reported under various dates:
LABOUR CORPS- Timmins, 14241, J., (Tipton).